Despite losing their fifth straight game on Saturday, the Kansas Jayhawks may have uncovered a new impact performer after a strong relief effort from freshman quarterback Michael Cummings.
The 5'10, 201-pound Cummings was brought in to relieve Kansas starter Dayne Crist in the second-half of Saturday's 20-14 loss, and responded by completing five of 10 passes for 75 yards and a crucial touchdown pass. Though the redshirt freshman made his collegiate debut the previous week in garbage time, he managed to win over a number of his teammates with his impressive play in crunch time.
"We felt the energy and then he started making a couple of plays here and there and got the crowd back into it," Kansas linebacker Huldon Tharpe said at the team's postgame press conference. "He gave us the opportunity to win the game."
On a day when Crist was once again unable to throw a touchdown pass for the third time in four games, it was Cummings who quite literally stole the show against a stout Oklahoma State defense. Though his decision to pull the wildly inconsistent Crist speaks volumes anyway, Kansas head coach Charlie Weis was quite complimentary of Cummings' effort and hinted at a possible shake-up at the position.
"That's a game against a good team and he wasn't flinching," Weis said proudly. "He had great composure, he was having fun, and he put us in a position to win the game. It's something we are going to have to seriously look at."
Hardly flourishing under his former Notre Dame coach in Lawrence like he once imagined, Crist looks to be nearing his final days as the team's main signal caller. The Jayhawks' 1-5 overall record may play a huge factor in Weis' decision on which player to start going forward, but right now it looks like only a matter of time before Cummings is given the No. 1 job.