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Archive for Wednesday, October 20, 2004

KU quarterbacks not bothered by waiting

No starter announced; Mangino reiterates both could play at OU

October 20, 2004

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Don't be fooled, when it comes to playing Oklahoma's big bad defense, junior Jason Swanson might be the most experienced quarterback on the Kansas University football team.

That experience isn't from Swanson's days in Lawrence, either. Instead, he flashes back a few years to his first college season at the City College of San Francisco.

There, Swanson took a red-shirt year while trying to grasp things as a college quarterback. It made him the scout team quarterback, and that made it open season on his head for the CCSF defense -- a defense that included current Oklahoma linebacker and All-America candidate Lance Mitchell.

"He cleaned my clock every now and then," Swanson said with a laugh. "I was scout team, so I was live."

As the quarterback question remains unanswered -- at least publicly -- those close to the situation seem at ease. Swanson and Adam Barmann are battling for snaps after Barmann was yanked in the fourth quarter of KU's 31-28 victory over Kansas State last week.

It's unlikely KU coach Mark Mangino would make a definitive announcement before Saturday's game, but he has said more than once that both could get snaps against the Sooners.

"There's a good chance we'll play both of them," Mangino said Tuesday. "They're both practicing really well, and I'm confident in both kids. It may be a major decision viewed outside our program, but for me, I think it's not that difficult at all. They're both quality players."

They're similar enough that Mangino has a hard time putting a finger on a major difference between them. Swanson, he said, may have a little more speed, but Barmann by far is the bigger quarterback physically.

The experience of playing in front of a hostile crowd would be another notch on Barmann's belt. The sophomore has seen how tough it can get, making his college debut at Texas A&M, and playing the entire game at Nebraska earlier this season. Both schools draw close to 80,000 fans a game.

The Sooners play at Oklahoma Memorial Stadium, and have brought in crowds of 84,000 in each of their four home games this year.






"I think we'll be fine," Barmann said. "We played against Nebraska, at A&M ... after we get over the initial shock, I think we'll be OK."

Swanson claims he's not yet aware of the coaching staff's plans for Saturday, but he will be ready no matter what.

"I have no idea," Swanson said. "I have no clue. All I do is prepare each week like I'm going to have to step up."

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Internal things: Asked why Swanson was given the nod in the fourth quarter of the K-State game, Barmann said, "We know what the reasons are. It's kind of an internal thing. We'll keep it there."

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Injury update: Mangino said Tuesday that his team was relatively healthy heading into Saturday's game, but that running back Clark Green might not play because of an undisclosed injury.

"If I had to put a label on it," Mangino said, "right now I'd say it's questionable."

Mangino also said that cornerback Theo Baines probably would be ready for the Sooners. Baines left the K-State game early and was seen icing his right knee on the sideline.

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Game on television: Just a reminder, Saturday's road game will be televised by Fox Sports Net, now Sunflower Broadband Channel 36. The game kicks off at noon in Norman.

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