Kansas University football coach Mark Mangino cleared the air on what many outsiders believed was a budding quarterback controversy, insisting Monday senior Adam Barmann remains the backup quarterback behind freshman Kerry Meier.
"There won't be any controversy at all," Mangino said. "When Kerry's healthy, he's the starter."
Mangino's words during Monday's Big 12 coaches teleconference were a bit more insightful than his comments last week, when he said he didn't "deal with hypotheticals" when asked who would start if Meier was healthy.
Meier has missed the last two games because of a shoulder injury, and Barmann has been solid filling in for the most part. In two games, Barmann is 52-of-89 passing for 678 yards and two touchdowns. In Meier's three games as KU's quarterback, he was 47-of-86 passing for 538 yards and six touchdowns.
Meier injured his shoulder in the fourth quarter of the Toledo game on Sept. 15 when being tackled on a short run. He attempted to play through it, but threw two costly interceptions that had a big impact in Toledo winning the game.
Since then, Meier has been limited in practice. He didn't warm up before the Sept. 23 game against South Florida, but did throw the football some before Saturday's game against Nebraska. In 11-on-11 drills during the Nebraska pregame, Meier worked with the second team.
Meier, however, wasn't an option to play against the Huskers. That allowed Barmann to play through his first-quarter struggles, when the senior was 0-for-6 passing with two interceptions. Barmann eventually played outstanding, throwing for 405 yards and orchestrating two crucial scoring drives in the fourth quarter of the 39-32 overtime loss.
Still, the quarterback position remains Meier's, according to Mangino. KU's fifth-year coach said Monday that Meier wasn't ready to play just yet, but could be by Saturday's game against Texas A&M.
"The medical staff has to clear him, and he has to be able to show that he can function completely without pain," Mangino said. "If those two things come together, there's a good chance he plays this week."