The Kansas quarterback evaluation started in the winter. Or, at least, it could have.
Peyton Bender, Miles Kendrick and Carter Stanley — the three main candidates vying for the job — were all on KU’s campus. It hypothetically gave KU’s coaches plenty of time to evaluate and select the best of the bunch.
Knowing this fact only makes the circumstances of KU’s 48-28 home loss to Oklahoma State all the more confusing.
After starting the first three games, Bender did not take a snap Saturday. And after only getting garbage-time snaps as the No. 3 QB this season, Stanley was in on every offensive play against OSU.
Kendrick was unavailable because of a shoulder injury, according to KU, but that didn’t make the rest of the switcheroo any less confusing.
If Stanley was the best guy from the start, why wasn’t he in during key moments the first four games? And if Bender wasn’t, then why was he the original pick as the starter?
Those are questions coach David Beaty will face after Stanley provided KU with plenty of positive moments offensively, throwing for three touchdowns while completing 24 of 32 passes for 247 yards.
It wouldn’t be enough in the end. KU’s defense — the team’s unquestioned strength coming in — was torched too often for long pass plays, while Cowboys running back Justice Hill proved to be elusive while rushing for 189 yards.
The result was KU falling behind too much, too early for a second straight game, as the team trailed 24-7 at halftime while allowing 9.7 yards per play.
Freshman Pooka Williams had another standout performance, contributing 157 yards from scrimmage with a 60-yard touchdown run.
KU, 2-3 and 0-2 in the Big 12, will play at West Virginia at 11 a.m. on Oct. 6.