Archive for Tuesday, October 20, 1998

TELECONFERENCE.

October 20, 1998

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In Internet chat rooms and bulletin boards and radio talk shows, there's a quarterback controversy brewing at Kansas University.

In KU football coach Terry Allen's mind, there is no such controversy over starter Zac Wegner.

``He's our guy,'' Allen said Monday on the Big 12 coaches' teleconference, ``and that's absolutely it.''

Wegner has blown hot and cold this season. Three times he has thrown for more than 200 yards, and just two Big 12 quarterbacks -- Iowa State's Todd Bandhauer and Colorado's Mike Moschetti -- have thrown for more total yards.

But Wegner has thrown six interceptions -- only Bandhauer, with 11, has more -- and Wegner's coming off an 8-for-25, 121-yard performance last Saturday at Nebraska.

Wegner ranks 12th in the Big 12 in pass efficiency with 117.3 points. Kansas State's Michael Bishop leads the league with 163.6 points.

``Our quarterback is a hot-and-cold individual,'' Allen said. ``When he's hot, we can be explosive. When he's not, we struggle a little bit. ... When Zac's good, he's very good. When he's bad, he's pretty bad.''

Still, Allen's not about to bench Wegner, a junior who just made his 13th consecutive start and 17th major-college appearance.

``We depend on ol' No. 14 out there,'' Allen said. ``We're the ones who are around it every day, and we feel he is our best quarterback.''

He's also their only quarterback with college experience. Second-stringer Jay Alexander, a sophomore, hasn't played organized ball in two years. In his only appearance this season, Alexander was 5-for-6 for 74 yards with an interception against Illinois State.

Behind Alexander are two true freshmen -- Jonas Weatherbie and walk-on Jake Letourneau.

And though Wegner has struggled at times, the Jayhawks rank 60th nationally in total offense with 348.71 yards per game. Last season, KU ranked 112th in that category.

``Statistically, we're getting better,'' Allen said. ``But we still have to get better. That's something we have to work on.''

KU will play host to Colorado on Saturday. Kickoff is 6 p.m. at Memorial Stadium.

NOTES

  • That 63-21 loss to Kansas earlier in the season hasn't disheartened Illinois State. The Redbirds have defeated their other five opponents and currently rank No. 18 in the NCAA Div. I-AA poll. ...
  • North Texas, KU's only remaining non-conference foe -- the Eagles will be here on Nov. 7, has won two straight after dropping its first four under first-year head coach Darrell Dickey, the former Kansas State quarterback. Three of those four losses were Oklahoma, Texas Tech and Texas A&M of the Big 12. ...
  • Saturday's Colorado game will be the Jayhawks' third straight with a 6 p.m. kickoff. ...
  • Kansas hasn't beaten the Buffaloes in Lawrence since 1981. ...
  • In this week's NCAA stats, Kansas is last in the Big 12 and No. 108 nationally in rushing defense while Colorado is last in the league and No. 94 nationally in rushing offense. ...
  • Kansas is also in triple digits nationally in scoring defense. The Jayhawks, who have surrendered 33.3 points a game, are No. 103. ...
  • Kansas State and Kansas rank 1-2 nationally in punt returns with averages of 21.0 and 17.8 respectively. ...
  • Kansas has 25 touchdowns this season -- four more than all of last season. KU has surrendered 31 TDS -- four fewer than all of `97. ...
  • Penalties haven't been a problem for the Jayhawks. Foes have been flagged 65 times for 466 yards while KU has been penalized only 35 times for 299 yards. ...

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