LAWRENCE — Peyton Bender will start at quarterback for Kansas in Saturday's matchup at Baylor.
Beyond that first snap, though? Let's just say nothing is guaranteed.
"Might be for one play, might be for 50 plays," KU coach David Beaty said Tuesday of Bender's workload. "We'll see how it goes."
The Jayhawks (2-1) are in a full-on timeshare at quarterback, with the senior Bender ceding more and more snaps to sophomore Miles Kendrick with each passing week.
Bender has completed 44 of 73 pass attempts for 390 yards and three touchdowns, while the dual-threat Kendrick has completed 9 of 15 attempts for 93 yards and one score, adding 12 carries for 43 yards and a touchdown. Neither quarterback has thrown an interception.
Beaty said the situation at signal caller has developed just as the KU coaches intended.
"So far, so good. It's really been right along the line of what we had planned," Beaty said. "We'll continue to tweak that plan if we need to, but Peyton will get the start again this week. He's a guy that brings a certain skill to the table that helps us in his role, and then the same thing with Miles."
The Jayhawks' easing in of Kendrick has resulted in a start-and-stop start for Bender.
After starting eight games to mixed results as a junior, Bender was named the KU starting quarterback Aug. 21. However, less than a week later Beaty said Kendrick, a junior college transfer from College of San Mateo (Calif.), would play "in every game" for KU, citing a "new twist" the 5-foot-10 player brought to the team's offense.
Bender started KU's season opener -- a 26-23 overtime loss to FCS opponent Nicholls State -- and while he threw two touchdown passes and had another dropped, he wasn't on the field for the team's last play on offense, a 3-yard loss on a Kendrick rush in overtime. Kendrick's only other appearance that contest was in the second quarter, replacing Bender after the latter led the Jayhawks on back-to-back scoring drives.
In the Jayhawks' 31-7 victory at Central Michigan in Week 2, Kendrick handled the first drive following Bender's first touchdown throw, a 31-yard completion to Kerr Johnson that gave KU the lead late in the second quarter. Kendrick finished that contest with one pass attempt and four rushes.
Kendrick saw his greatest workload in last weekend's 55-14 victory over Rutgers, scoring both through the air and on the ground. He took over a Bender-led drive in the red zone and threw a 4-yard touchdown pass that gave the Jayhawks a 17-7 advantage.
Bender was out-snapped by Kendrick and didn't see the field in the second half of the Rutgers game -- "Some of the things that (Rutgers) did structurally lent itself a little bit more to what we had game planned for with Miles," Beaty said following the victory.
For his part, Bender said he sees advantages to the Jayhawks' two-quarterback attack.
"I think really what it does is keep the defense off guard," Bender said. "It makes the opponent have to prepare for two styles of play and so far it's been working so we got to make sure we keep preparing. We're both going to play so we both have to be ready when our time is called."
The plan all along, Beaty said Tuesday, was to get Kendrick comfortable and up to speed in the offense through in-game situations, and it's an approach the fourth-year coach sees paying off.
So how often can KU fans expect to see either quarterback in the 2:30 p.m. Saturday contest against the Bears (2-1) at McLane Stadium in Waco, Texas? That answer, and the answer for every game moving forward, will be made on an opponent-by-opponent basis, Beaty said.
Outside of his overtime appearance in Week 1 and the red zone switch in Week 3, Kendrick has started and finished every drive he's appeared in this season. Rhythm is the key factor in why he's been given full drives as opposed to one-or-two-play appearances.
The team is also mindful of not becoming one-dimensional with Kendrick, who rushed for 417 yards and five touchdowns last season at the juco level.
"I think initially people would probably look at Miles and say, 'When they want to run the ball, they'll bring Miles in.' We as an offense have to know that," Beaty said. "We looked long and hard all throughout the country for a guy that could run the football, but ... (also) be able to throw the ball equally as well, and Miles can do that.
"One of the things we hope all of our self-scout stuff is telling people is that, man, it's going to be hard to load the box on him because he can throw it. Hopefully we can get him to that point."
Digest all that? Good, because there's one final noteworthy remark from Beaty, who offered a glowing review of third-stringer Carter Stanley after the junior's mop-up duty appearance against Rutgers.
"Carter is just a hair's breath," Beaty said Saturday, "from being able to play for us, too."
WISE AVOIDS INJURY -- Daniel Wise missed the second half of the Rutgers game with an undisclosed injury, but Beaty said the senior defensive tackle returned to practice this week and will be ready for the Baylor contest.
"Fortunately it was not severe at all," Beaty said. "He's good to go."
POOKA AVAILABLE -- True freshman running back Pooka Williams will also be available for the Jayhawks against the Bears. Williams missed Week 1 for an undisclosed non-disciplinary matter Beaty later labeled an eligibility issue, but the matter appears to be in the past.
Williams has rushed 32 times for 283 yards and three touchdowns over the Jayhawks' last two contests.
"He'll be playing Saturday," Beaty said. "As far as I'm concerned, it's behind me until somebody tells me different."