LAWRENCE — As the old adage goes, teams that deploy two quarterbacks should often expect production from neither.
Les Miles may or may not prescribe to that particular philosophy, but when it comes to this year’s Kansas squad, the second-year head coach has made it clear that the Jayhawks’ long-term goals at signal caller differ from the approach his group took in its opener.
"We’d like to move in the direction of one, but we want to make sure that one is the best one, and I don’t think that’s necessarily an easy decision," Miles said. "So we’ll take it a step at a time and play the best players."
Whether KU uses multiple quarterbacks in its next contest, a 6:30 p.m. Saturday tilt at Baylor, remains to be seen. As Miles revealed Monday, though, the team will at least have that option at its disposal.
Thomas MacVittie, a 6-foot-5, 225-pound senior who started the Jayhawks’ 38-23 defeat to Coastal Carolina on Sept. 12 in Lawrence, is expected to be available for the visitors in Saturday’s game at McLane Stadium. MacVittie left the opener midway through the third quarter with an apparent injury.
"I think he’ll have an opportunity to certainly take the field (Saturday)," Miles said.
MacVittie was 5-for-9 passing for 20 yards with an interception before departing, also adding six carries for 42 yards. Junior Miles Kendrick, who spelled MacVittie on the Jayhawks’ third series and at other points throughout the first half, finished 15-for-24 passing for 156 yards with two touchdowns and an interception.
Miles on Monday didn’t specifically evaluate either quarterback’s performance — he was twice asked for his thoughts on MacVittie’s showing and instead redirected his answers to big-picture responses — but he did take aim at the Jayhawks’ three turnovers, two of which came from the quarterback position.
Coastal Carolina scored 21 points off those mistakes.
"We didn’t get off to a fast start," said Miles, whose team fell in a 28-0 hole. "Three of our first five possessions were turnovers. You can never win a game versus anybody that’s worth a dang if you’re giving them three opportunities at the ball."
Jalon Daniels appeared late in the opener, going 1-for-2 passing for 13 yards. The true freshman’s name was the third dropped by Miles when discussing the quarterback competition, though Miles didn’t reveal which player will start against the Bears.
That answer, he said, will be determined in the coming days.
"We’ll go into practice week and see who’s the best," Miles said, "or who gives us the best opportunity at victory."
Regardless of which quarterback takes the reins Saturday, or how often a switch is made, the Jayhawks’ leading receiver indicated fans shouldn’t expect the team’s offense to miss a beat.
"The amount of work that we put in, it honestly didn’t even matter who was there because the chemistry is there for both of them, because that’s how much we work," said junior wide receiver Takulve Williams, who had a team-high seven receptions for 38 yards in the opener. "Even throwing on our own after practice and stuff, it was always both of ’em. So it wasn’t really that big just off the fact that we throw with both of them a lot."
MacVittie apparently isn’t the only Jayhawk moving in a positive direction health-wise, with Miles saying he expects junior running back Pooka Williams, sophomore offensive guard Jacobi Lott, senior wide receiver Stephon Robinson and senior tight end Jack Luavasa to be available Saturday.
Williams and Lott were both injured in the opener, with Williams able to return and Lott sidelined for the remainder of the game. Robinson and Luavasa didn’t dress for that contest for undisclosed reasons. When healthy, all four players are starters.
Miles appeared most encouraged by Williams’ outlook.
"I’m not predicting the future, but I can tell you that he had a smile on his face and he’s moving quickly," Miles said. "I take that to mean that he’ll be ready."