Gill picks QB Webb to start for Kansas
LAWRENCE, Kan. (AP) – One of the most embarrassing losses in team history has persuaded Kansas to change quarterbacks.
Coach Turner Gill announced Wednesday that redshirt freshman Jordan Webb will start on Saturday against No. 15 Georgia Tech instead of sophomore Kale Pick. Pick had beat out Webb after a long and close competition between the two during spring practice and early fall.
Webb came off the bench and played the last 10 minutes of Kansas’ opener Saturday against North Dakota State. A 6-3 loss was one of the most humiliating defeats in decades for the program that won the 2008 Orange Bowl, and ruined Gill’s debut as Kansas coach.
“It’s not just necessarily what Kale didn’t do, because there were multiple things that were happening,” Gill said. “A lot of it wasn’t just because of the quarterback. There were things that were going on with the offensive line, receivers and penalties and dropped ball and all those kinds of things.”
Gill also said the offense’s lack of production with Pick behind center was a factor in his decision. Pick had 13 completions in 22 passes for 138 yards and one interception. Webb was 6 for 11 for 59 yards in the last two drives of the game.
In August, Gill cited Pick’s intangibles and demeanor in practice and his ball security as reasons for giving him the job.
Webb said losing the competition for the quarterback job at the beginning of the season motivated him to work harder and earn the top spot.
“It’s what I’ve wanted all along,” he said. “It’s what everybody wants; everyone wants to be the starter. So it’s something that I hope that I can make the most of.”
Georgia Tech is coming off a 41-10 victory against South Carolina State last week.
“It’s an awesome opportunity,” Webb said. “People are going to be looking down on us after last week, so we want to come out here and make some noise and get some people talking.”
Gill also announced that junior Jeremiah Hatch would return to start at center after missing the first week for undisclosed medical reasons. Senior Sal Capra started against North Dakota State, and he will move to left guard this Saturday.