Crist shines in Kansas spring game

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Dayne Crist had an impressive performance in the Kansas spring game on Saturday as the Jayhawks prepare to begin the Charlie Weis era in the fall.

The former Notre Dame quarterback, who has one year of eligibility remaining, will be the starter in Lawrence this fall before former BYU signal-caller Jake Heaps takes over the offense in 2013.

Crist, who was recruited by Weis to Notre Dame but struggled to stay healthy before losing his starting job to Tommy Rees in 2011, was 11 of 19 through the air for 156 yards. He had some help from sophomore running back Tony Pierson, who displayed his breakaway speed on an 88-yard touchdown run. The Jayhawks’ longest play from scrimmage last season was a 68-yard reception by JaCorey Shepherd against Oklahoma State, and the longest rush was 56 yards by James Sims against Oklahoma.

Crist and Pierson led the Blue team, which featured mostly first-team players, to a 45-0 win over the White team at Memorial Stadium.

Pierson, who was named the offensive MVP of the game, finished with 141 yards rushing on only seven carries. Sophomore Marquis Jackson, meanwhile, had three scoring runs. Kale Pick led all receivers with 82 yards on four catches and Daymond Patterson had a game-high five receptions for 64 yards.

If Weis is to have longterm success at Kansas, much more attention will need to be paid to the defense on the recruiting trail, an area he did not focus on while in South Bend. But with Crist and Heaps in the fold, the Jayhawks at least should be able to put points on the board as they try to move up the Big 12 ladder.

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