Blue Edges White in Annual Kansas Football Spring Game

April 24, 2010

Video: Gill | Omigie | Webb | Pick | Biere

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LAWRENCE, Kan. – Kansas sophomore quarterback Kale Pick hit redshirt freshman wide receiver Christian Matthews for a 37-yard touchdown with just over two minutes remaining to give the Blue team a 14-10 win against the White team in KU’s annual spring game here Saturday afternoon.

An estimated crowd of 12,500, on a cloudy day at Kivisto Field at Memorial Stadium, saw KU cap its first spring football workouts under new head coach Turner Gill.

Matthews broke in front of his defender while Pick’s pass was in the air and raced the final 10 yards for the score capping a 70-yard drive.

Pick and redshirt freshman quarterback Jordan Webb took most of the snaps for both teams. Pick ended the afternoon 14-for-22 for 214 yards and two touchdowns. Webb was 8-for-14 for 46 yards and one touchdown. Sophomore D.J. Beshears led all receivers with five receptions for 38 yards, while redshirt freshman wide receiver Chris Omigie had four catches for 95 yards and one touchdown.

After a scoreless first quarter, the Blue team took a 7-0 lead on the first play of the second quarter when Webb completed a 20-yard touchdown pass to junior tight end Tim Biere. The catch was Biere’s third of the game as he accumulated 56 yards receiving for the day.

The White answered quickly when on its possession when Pick connected with Omigie on a 72-yard score on the third play of drive. Omigie took the ball away from a defensive back and raced down the sideline for the score.

Senior placekicker Jacob Branstetter gave the White team a 10-7 halftime lead when he made a 36-yard field goal capping an eight-play drive with 4:19 before intermission.

Senior cornerback Chris Harris and Gill each addressed the estimated 12,500 with a drug-free pledge during halftime. Harris read a pledge for the children in the crowd, while Gill had the adults repeat his prepared script.

Two stellar interceptions stalled Blue drives on the afternoon. In the second quarter redshirt freshman safety Dexter Linton intercepted a Quinn Meacham pass. In the second half senior Calvin Rubles picked off Pick with just under 10 minutes to play.

Senior linebacker Dakota Lewis (Blue) and junior linebacker Steven Johnson (White) led all tacklers with five each. Junior defensive tackle Richard Johnson (White) had two passes broken up to go along with four tackles, while senior Jamal Greene (Blue) had four tackles with three for loss.

The game was the centerpiece of a day full of activities, including a bike helmet fair, the HyVee Hawk Zone in two locations, an autograph session and an afternoon of entertainment in downtown Lawrence after the event. The HyVee Hawk Zone included fun activities for kids, including inflatables and games.

Spring football workouts for Kansas started Sunday, March 28 and the 15 sessions concluded with the spring game. This fall, Kansas will face seven schools which participated in bowl games last season. Included in that list are non-conference opponents Georgia Tech (Orange) and Southern Mississippi (New Orleans). Big 12 opponents KU will face this season which went to bowl games last year include Texas A&M (Independence), Iowa State (Insight), Nebraska (Holiday), Oklahoma State (Cotton) and Missouri (Texas).

Postgame quotes

Kansas Head Coach Turner Gill

On the play of sophomore quarterback this spring:Kale Pick

“I think he has done some good things. He has the ability to scramble and obviously today when you have a red shirt on a guy you aren’t able to see him do those type of things. He has done a pretty good job of throwing the football. There were a few situations where I would have liked to see him get rid of the ball earlier, but I’ll get a chance to watch that on tape. His performance today was pretty much what he has been doing all spring from that standpoint.”

On the play of Pick and freshman quarterback today:Jordan Webb

“I thought they both did some good things today. They both did a good job of keeping their composure in the huddle. We knew they weren’t going to be perfect today, but I liked how they both did a good job of trying to make some plays. The one thing we need to work on is getting rid of the football sooner. Maybe that is a good sign about our defensive; particularly our defensive tackles did a pretty good job of getting up the middle. If you get some pressure up the middle and get pressure on the quarterback, you are going to have some good things happen for you as we get into the season.”

On the offensive line:

“I think we need to improve on our run blocking. I also believe that we need to make some improvements on our pass blocking because you don’t want to let anyone get pressure on your quarterback. From a defense line standpoint, I think we played pretty well on the whole. It was a good sign to see that and they were going against all different groups of guys. They were consistently getting penetration both on the run and the pass.”

On defensive linemen and :Travis StephensKevin Young

“Both of those guys will definitely be in the mix. They both have shown most of the spring their ability to get after it and make plays on the run. Both of those guys will be battling it out and they may be starters, but we will find out as we go through the fall.”

On the offensive and defensive gameplans:

“It was pretty simple. We were mainly running our base plays and we didn’t do anything exotic. We just wanted to see execution. The defense was also just in a base defense. You saw about 30-40 percent of the offense that you will see in a game.”

Junior tight end Tim Biere

On the use of tight ends in Kansas’ offense:

“You could see out there, a lot of sets had two tight ends and one tight end, so we get used a lot more than we did last year. Right off the bat, the first I think I caught more passes on that first day of practice than I did in about a week last year. Right away I knew that we would have a lot more of a role in the offense than we did last year.”

On how he feels after spring practices:

“I feel like it’s the most comfortable I’ve been at KU so far. Coming into my third year, I know what it takes to play in the Big 12 [Conference], so I can prepare myself for it.”

Sophomore quarterback Kale Pick

On his objectives going into the game:

“I was happy that I could put the Blue Team ahead. I had the chance to get the last drive for the blue team. All of the linemen and running backs, all of the guys on the Blue Team were really wanting to win and didn’t want the White Team to win, so they were happy when we drove down, scored and got the win.”

On separating himself in the quarterback competition:

“I can’t be satisfied yet. I want to keep working hard, have a big summer while working with my receivers. Every day I want to get on the same page and get this offense going.”

On game-like situations:

“It was great. It was good to be out on the field. It has been awhile, but it’s a good feeling to be back.”

Freshman Quarterback Jordan Webb

On the quarterback competition:

“We don’t know who is leading now, we’re probably going to take it into fall camp. We are having fun with it though. We’re out there competing. We aren’t letting it get to us off the field. We’re all friends off the field, but we still have fun. You see us high-fiving each other as quarterbacks to make a good play. It’s just a fun competition.”

On what the affect on now naming a start this early is:

“I think it breeds competition. Throughout the summer, throughout fall, until we get to that first game, I think the competition is really going to make the starter a lot better.”

Junior Defensive Tackle Richard Johnson Jr.

On how he felt his 2009 season went:

“I started off pretty well. I started the first five games. I made some plays. After that I kind of fell off a little. I worked my way into playing with the third string.”

On how the new coaching staff is working for him:

“It’s great. Everything is going well. I love the atmosphere, just coming out everyday trying to work hard.”

On how the rivalry is having his old high school friends playing for Missouri:

“It makes (the rivalry) a lot tougher. I talk to them every week and see how things are going with them. You want to win the game, just because of bragging rights, and then you go back home, and everyone is going to talk about it.”

On how it feels to help turn the Kansas football program around:

“That’s one of the main things we wanted to do when we came in here – to play for a winning program. We’re doing things to turn it in the right direction, just trying to win some games.”

Sophomore Quarterback Conner Teahan

On getting the loudest cheer when he entered the game:

“Honestly, I didn’t hear it too much. I was just running out there, they told me I needed to say the cadence a little louder because the crowd was finally getting a little life in it. It was fun.”

On what it was like to take his first snap in over three years:

“I got them in practice, but it is a little different doing it in front of people. I’ve always tried to have the mindset that it is the same thing as in practice. Honestly, it felt pretty comfortable, I didn’t really feel out of it, I just felt ready.”

On if he called time out, or one of the coaches:

“Yeah, on third down, we had the wrong formation. The coaches just told me to call time out, so I did.”

On which teams were on the field when he was:

“I had the second team offense, and I’m guessing probably the second team defense – honestly, I’m not really sure, it might have been the third team.”

On how it felt to complete his first pass:

“I saw exactly what I wanted to do – I was just waiting for (Chris) Omigie to get out of his route and turn around and see the ball. I probably threw it a little early, but he was turning right when the ball got there.”