It was an eventful week leading up to Saturday with most of the news in the Baylor camp being of the negative variety. Bryce Petty was bravely predicting throughout the week that he would play despite having two fractured transverse processes in his spine. Apparently it sounds worse than it is, but there was no reason to trot out your franchise quarterback against an FCS team whose defense got 34 hung on them in week 1. Texas also had another round of purges, this time both tackles from the offensive line were suspended which is not the situation you want when you are rolling out your backup quarterback for his first career start and your starting center is out for the season. That situation lead to the Big 12 taking another playoff credibility hit in Austin at the hands of the Stormin' Mormons from BYU. Good grief Horns, 41-7? Charlie, the next time you play BYU purchase a Taysom Hill voodoo doll, that might be your best shot at stopping him. Luckily the B1G had a wheels off weekend that overshadowed that loss with Ohio State, Michigan and Michigan State all going down.
Missouri State (NL) 23 @ Oklahoma State 40
Okie State jumped out to a 27-6 halftime lead and as expected cruised to an easy victory in this game. The main item of note was that JW Walsh was injured in the first quarter and left the game not to return. Daxx Garman played in relief and had a very solid game going 16 for 26 for 244 yards and 2 touchdowns. 87 of those yards came on a touchdown strike to Brandon Sheperd. Garman is a redshirt Junior and transferred to Oklahoma State from Arizona. He sat out 2012 due to transfer rules and saw minimal action last year. His lay off had no effect on his performance though, and depending on the severity of Walsh's injury, we might be seeing a lot more of Garman. Tyreek Hill also had a 100 yard day rushing and continues to get better and better.
Kansas State (-13) 32 @ Iowa State 28
What a difference a week makes. After getting manhandled at home by the North Dakota State Bison last week, Iowa State showed up against the Snydercats. Actually they showed up in the second quarter to be exact. Kansas State jumped out to a 13-0 lead in the 1st and it seemed that Iowa State was in for another embarrassing home loss. But to the credit of Paul Rhoads and OC Mark Mangino, Iowa State came storming back with 28 unanswered points and late in the first half the Cyclones were in charge.
From an offensive standpoint Mangino was mixing up plays nicely and scored one touchdown on a long hand-off reverse turned pass play from Jarvis West to Allen Lazard. It was a nifty piece of work. The defense was also getting stops and playing hard throughout. Kansas State scored at the very end of the half to snatch back a bit of momentum heading into the break, but they were still down 28-20.
But as it has happened so many times in the past, the Kansas State coaching staff went into halftime, made adjustments and pulled out the 2nd half. After a scoreless 3rd, Kansas scored 14 points in the 4th and put this game away late. If you didn't see it, take a look at the goal line stop on Jake Waters during the 2-point attempt on the first touchdown in the 4th quarter. It was a great hit and preserved a 2-point lead for the Cyclones. With less than 2 minutes to play though, Waters drove the wildcats into Iowa State territory and scrambled into the end zone to put the game away. Waters was the hero of this game; he motivated his teammates on the sidelines, passed well, ran well and was the heartbeat of the team. Kudos to him for dealing with adversity and sneaking out a win in a notoriously tough venue.
Towson (NL) 0 @ West Virginia 54
West Virginia is really starting to impress, especially the play of Clint Trickett. They are certainly beating the preseason expectations of finishing near the bottom of the conference. Granted, this game was against Towson and the Eers should have won big, but with a shutout and a great QB play, they won in dominant fashion. Now, with a close loss to Alabama and an appropriately strong game against an early season patsy, the Mountaineers are definitely looking like a bowl team and could potentially surprise a team or two in the Big 12.
Trickett played 3 quarters and threw for 2 TDs and ran for another. He amassed 348 yards in the air and threw no picks. Even against an overmatched defense those types of numbers are hard to manage. The defense held Towson to only 122 yards and a shutout. Again, the competition was on the lower end, but shutouts are hard to come by. There is still a lot of season left but the Eers have definitely started it out the right way with a down to the wire showing against Bama and a dominant victory over their FCS foe.
Texas Tech (-21) 30 @ UTEP 26
This game ended up being a nail-biter for Red Raider fans when it really should not have been. Given that it started at 10pm Waco time Baylor fans were able to stay to the end of the Baylor game and still get home in time to watch a big chunk of it. That is what I did anyway.
This game was a back and forth affair with UTEP drawing first and second blood in the first quarter with two field goals. In the first play from scrimmage in the 2nd, Tech's Justin Stockton took the ball 75 yards for a touchdown to draw the game even after a failed PAT. Davis Webb threw a TD pass late in the 2nd and then threw another early in the 3rd (both to Bradley Marquez) and Tech started to pull away at 23-13, but the Miners did not give up. They scored 14 unanswered points late in the game and with 5 minutes to play were leading 26-23. To Tech's credit, they did not give up either and Webb threw his third TD pass of the game to Bradley Marquez with 2 and half minutes to play. The miners took the ensuing kickoff to midfield and after a Tech penalty were in position to score late in the game. The Tech D stiffened though and held the Miner's upset bid off.
Coach Bro has really got to be scratching his head at this point in the season. They have squeaked by two very average teams to date and with Arkansas, OSU and K-State up next, thinks could get ugly in Lubbock.
Oklahoma (-25) 52 @ Tulsa 7
Although this was an Oklahoma in-state rivalry, bedlam it was not. Oklahoma raced out to a 31-0 halftime lead and never looked back, dropping 52 on the Golden Hurricane. Trevor Knight was sharp with 299 yards in the air and two touchdowns, one of which was to QB-turned-TE Blake Bell. Knight also had a slick 30-yard touchdown run as well. The defense was dominant, turning in a pick-6 and en route to collecting 4 Tulsa turnovers. Alex Ross had an 82-yard scamper up the gut for a score in the 2nd and showed amazing speed doing it. He just outflew the defenders to the goal line.
Down by 31 at halftime, Tulsa was dangerously close to being downgraded to a Golden Tropical Storm, but they were able to get on the board early in the 3rd and staved off the shutout. With Tennessee visiting Norman next week, the Sooners will have their first real test of the season.
BYU 41 @ Texas (-2) 7
With Tyrone Swoopes scheduled to make his first start and 3 starting O-linemen out due to injury or suspension, this figured to be a tough game for Texas. But playing in DKR with an elite level defense should have been strong enough to get the job done. Unfortunately for the Horns it far from being enough. BYU came into Austin and gave the Longhorns a pants-down spanking on the 50 yard-line. It was the worst home loss in 17 years for UT and was very nearly a shutout. At home. Taysom Hill was dominant yet again for BYU throwing for 181 yards and running for 99. His 30 yard scramble early in the 3rd quarter has shown up on every highlight reel and news program that covered the game. It included a hurdle at about the 5-yard line to add insult to injury and blew the game wide open. At that point the match was still competitive at 13-0 but the Cougars went on to score three more times in the 3rd to extend the lead into a rout. Overall Taysom Hill ran for 3 TDs and Adam Hine ran for the other 2.
Tyrone Swoopes actually looked pretty good in this game. The main thing that people wanted to see was whether or not he would give away the game by getting rattled and making poor decisions. He was actually fairly calm and collected throughout and was not the main reason for the poor showing. A leaky offensive line, an ineffectual running game and a defense that went on walk-about during the 3rd quarter were the main contributors to the loss. Swoopes did throw an interception late but the game was all but over at that point.
Back to the drawing board Charlie. With UCLA, Baylor and OU coming up in the next month, things are not going to get any easier.
SE Missouri St (NL) 28 @ Kansas 34
Kansas opened their 2014 campaign with South East Missouri State and had things well in hand early, racing out to a 24-0 lead over the Redhawks in the 1st quarter. Kansas looked like a much-improved team up to that point, but in the 2nd quarter things started to come apart for the Jayhawk offense culminating with a -21 yard drive to finish the half. The defense was stymieing the Redhawks though and the score still stood at 24-0. SEMO did manage a touchdown early in the 3rd but turned the ball over on their next series and Kansas was able to extend their lead to 34-7 during the quarter. Sitting on a 4 possession lead and having been the beneficiary of 3 turnovers, this game was un-losable for the Jayhawks, but only just. In the 4th quarter the Jayhawk defense gave up three straight touchdowns and if this game would have gone about 3 more minutes, they would have given up a 4th and lost the game.
The offense did their job with Montell Cozart throwing for 3 touchdowns and no interceptions but the defense gave up 297 yards through the air. To South East Missouri State. Imagine what higher octane Big 12 quarterbacks are going to do to that secondary. A win is a win though and Kansas has a W on their record.
Sunday Morning Quarterback
Things are starting to shape up in the Big 12 with a clear upper tier of Baylor and Oklahoma, a hazier middle tier of West Virginia, Kansas State, OSU, Texas Tech and TCU and a lower tier of Iowa State, Kansas and yes - Texas. Obviously there is a lot of ball left to be played, but at 2 games in this is how it looks.
Texas Tech is barely holding on to middle-tier status after having to mount a last minute comeback over the UTEP Miners this weekend. Kansas State also looked shaky having to also mount a comeback in Ames. West Virginia and OSU both played well against elite competition in their first game, then both hammered their next opponent. One or both of them could end up being a factor in the conference championship especially if Texas is unable to right the ship.
Baylor's outing highlighted young guns on the offensive side of the ball and more smothering defensive play. Granted, Northwestern Louisiana was a team that Baylor should have had its way with, but a dominant performance on the offensive side of the ball with 2nd and 3rd stringers should give the team confidence. They are only going to get better as the starters begin to trickle back in. KD Cannon is an absolute beast and is uncoverable. Seth Russell could have thrown that same pass to him every play and the result would have been the same. Davion Hall and Jay Lee also looked great streaking down the sidelines for touchdowns as well. Seth Russell seemed to be a different player as a starter which makes sense. Although he has had a lot of snaps they were always when the game was a foregone conclusion. In this game he had to prepare differently and come out to compete. Compete he did. I was also impressed by Johnny Jefferson. He is making the most of his opportunity to shine. And last but not least, Silas Nacita aka Salsa Nacho did some brilliant running in mop up time. All in all a great win for the Bears and one that should inspire confidence that can be taken forward when the meat of the schedule kicks in.
Go Bears, 2-0...