Webb to start at QB versus Georgia Tech

After a season-opener during which the Kansas offense was rendered ineffective, Head Coach Turner Gill announced a switch under center Tuesday. Redshirt freshman Jordan Webb will make his first career start, as the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets rumble in to town.

In theory, things shouldn't look much different for Jordan Webb this week.

When he steps on to the field at Memorial Stadium Saturday morning, it will be the same soft, green turf it was last week. His uniform will be the same crimson and blue, he'll call the same plays, and many of the same fans will be in the stands.

Theory is one thing, but practice? Well, that's another story entirely – particularly when one has recently been promoted to the role of starting quarterback.

Welcome to the spotlight, Mr. Webb.

"Obviously I'm excited," the redshirt freshman said Tuesday, during a brief post-practice press conference. "It's what I wanted all along, it's what everybody wants. Everybody wants to be the starter. So it's something I hope I can make the most of and run with."

Webb entered Sept. 4's season opener versus North Dakota State as the Kansas Jayhawks' number two quarterback, after a protracted position battle ended with sophomore Kale Pick atop the depth chart.

Just a few days before the game, Head Coach Turner Gill said he expected both quarterbacks to play. And with the Bison defense rendering the Kansas offense ineffective for three quarters of play, Webb got his shot in the game's final stanza.

Though he didn't lead the Jayhawks to a score – finishing the game six of 11 for 59 yards – he showed the coaching staff enough to earn himself a start in Week 2.

Tuesday, Gill stressed the change wasn't necessarily because of poor play on Pick's part, but rather was the result of a combination of factors; perhaps the most important of which was a desire to see how the offense responds under Webb's guidance.

"We believe, right now, this is the best time to have Jordan go," Gill said, of himself and offensive coordinator Chuck Long. "And we want to give him a chance to see what he can do in game action. Obviously they both played last week, and again most likely both of them will play this week."

The challenge is a stout one, as Saturday's opponent – the Yellow Jackets of Georgia Tech – boast considerably more talent than did feisty North Dakota State.

In that challenge, however, Webb sees a chance to prove himself.

"It's an awesome opportunity, it really is," he said. "People are going to be looking down on us now after last week, so (hopefully) we can come out here and make some noise, and get some people talking."

Other notes:

Junior center Jeremiah Hatch, a multi-year starter on the offense line, has been reinserted into the lineup at center, after spending most of Week One on the sidelines. Hatch replaces redshirt freshman Duane Zlatnik, which pushes senior Sal Capra from center to left guard.

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