Big 12 spring game recap: Kansas

Miss Kansas' spring game? We've got you covered.

What happened:

  • Quarterback Dayne Crist completed 11-of-19 passes for 156 yards, and Jake Heaps completed 7-of-10 passes for 106 yards and the game's only touchdown pass. He hit former QB Kale Pick for a 46-yard gain on a flea flicker early in the game.

  • Running back Anthony Pierson rushed for 141 yards on seven carries, including an 88-yard touchdown run, 20 yards longer than any Kansas play from scrimmage in 2011.

  • Daymond Patterson had five receptions for 64 yards and Pick had four catches for 82 yards.

  • Marquis Jackson rushed 10 times for 76 yards and three scores.

  • Michael Reynolds had five tackles and four tackles for loss, including three sacks. Nice day.

  • Corrigan Powell led all tacklers with eight stops.

  • Blue won, 45-0.

  • A crowd of 15,000 reportedly showed.

What we learned:

  • Have to feel good about a solid effort from Crist and Heaps, but good grief, what's going to happen if Crist gets hurt next year? Heaps is ineligible after transferring from BYU, but White QBs Blake Jablonski and Michael Cummings completed 3-of-10 passes for 19 yards. Yikes. I like Crist's chances to turn KU into a four-to-five win team, but if he goes down at some point, it's hard to see KU being much better than last year's team.

  • Wrote it when it happened, but James Sims' suspension hurt only himself earlier this spring. KU's backfield's going to be fine, but Sims is going to have a tough time getting his job back from Pierson, who turned heads from the moment he got on campus last year. Former receiver Marquis Jackson did plenty to be excited about, too. Sims carried the ball 14 times for 58 yards, but if Jackson and Pierson get it rolling through three games, Sims is going to have a lot of ground to make up.

  • Like West Virginia's defense, I'm not sure you can tell a lot about the Jayhawks just yet. They're going to be behind the curve in overall athleticism defensively, so it's going to be tough, but there's literally only one way to go after last year's disaster. KU has to be better, and it won't be hard after staking a strong claim as college football's worst defense in 2011.

  • I wouldn't take a ton from the Jayhawks' success running the ball. Coach Charlie Weis told me earlier this spring that defensive line was the Jayhawks' weakest position, and had to face one of its best and most experienced, the offensive line, every day. KU's going to be OK at running the ball, but not as dominant as they looked on Saturday. "We’re really thin at the defensive line," Weis said on Saturday. "Even though we’re rolling those guys through there, there’s only so much we can do. We need to get an influx of people. Some of those guys will be playing and some will be moving way down the depth chart."

They said it:

"Well, he could make every throw. He didn’t look too rusty to me. He completed 11-of-19, but we had three dropped balls and a couple that in a game would have been called pass interference. They go down as incompletions now, but I thought he slung it around pretty good. He knows the offense, he knows how to run the operation, he can get us out of trouble when it’s a bad call. I was generally pleased."

- Coach Charlie Weis on QB Dayne Crist

"I think we’ve taken a bunch of steps, but I think we have a bunch of steps to go. Too many times, coaches give you some kind of phrase to sugar coat it, but for us to be competitive on a weekly basis, we have a lot of work to do. Offensively, we’re ahead of our defense, but I truly believe that we’re going to be much improved on defense. Not only philosophically, do I believe in what they’re doing, but I do believe that with some of the guys coming in interjected with the people here, we’ll be much improved."

- Weis, on his team's growth during the spring