Big 12 News

Despite Jason Bean Announced as Starter, Cole Ballard Starts for Kansas

While reports surrounding the Kansas quarterback room mentioned Jason Bean starting in the Sunflower Showdown against Kansas State, true freshman quarterback Cole Ballard entered the game as the starter.

Bean was seen before kickoff taking his weekly lap around the field in Lawrence and was even announced as the starter in the stadium’s PA system. After warming up with the Jayhawks and suiting up for action, Kansas elected to go with Ballard in their Week 12 matchup.


Ballard took snaps in relief of Jason Bean in the Jayhawks’ Week 11 loss to Texas Tech after Bean went down with a head injury in the first half. The Indiana native finished his day off with nine completions for 124 yards and one interception.

While Bean made headlines on Friday night for telling a Kansas fan that he would be active against Kansas State, the Texas native did not get the start against the Wildcats.

Bean has thrown for 1,431 yards on 92 completions in his 2023 season with the Jayhawks, boasting a touchdown to interception ratio of 10-4. While Bean has been playing some of the best football of his six-year career, the Jayhawks will enter the matchup with Cole Ballard making his first career start in a crucial rivalry game.

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