Big 12 'hot and not' from Week 1
September, 7, 2009
By Tim Griffin | ESPN.com
Posted by ESPN.com's Tim Griffin
Here's a look at the naughty and nice across the conference in the first game of the season.
Hot: Missouri’s defense. After being torched for 451 yards and five touchdown passes last season against Juice Williams, a simpler Missouri defense squeezed the Illinois quarterback. Williams passed for 179 yards and no touchdown passes in Saturday’s game against the Tigers.
Not: Colorado’s offense. The Buffaloes had trouble with the play clock all night long and produced only 29 rushing yards on 21 carries. And that’s from a Buffalo offense that was thought to have one of the Big 12 North’s most potent running games. It was the worst rushing performance for the Buffaloes since producing minus-27 yards against Florida State in 2007.
Hot: Iowa State’s offensive execution. Despite playing most of the game without headset communications between the press box and sidelines, the Cyclones did not commit an offensive penalty in their first game utilizing offensive coordinator Tom Herman’s hurry-up attack.
Not: Oklahoma offensive line. First, they allowed the pressure that ended up getting Sam Bradford hurt. And they were flagged with three false starts on Oklahoma’s opening possession, major penalties on the first play of the first two second-half drives and six penalties by Oklahoma tackle Cory Brandon.
Hot: Oklahoma State’s defense: After allowing Georgia to convert two first downs on an 80-yard scoring drive to start the game, veteran coordinator Bill Young masterfully turned the tables from that point. After that scoring drive, the Cowboys defense allowed only 177 yards and 2-for-10 on third-down conversions.
Not: Kansas State’s special teams. This unit -- typically the strength of Ron Prince’s teams the last several seasons -- nearly cost the Wildcats the game in a closer-than-expected victory over Massachusetts. A muffed punt by Brandon Banks led to one UMass touchdown and a blocked punt that was returned for a touchdown made the game much closer than Bill Snyder was hoping his coaching return would be.
Hot: Texas redshirt freshman running back D.J. Monroe. He returned a kickoff 89 yards for a touchdown the first time he touched the ball and added 64 rushing yards on nine carries to lead the Longhorns' victory over Louisiana-Monroe.
Not: Colorado running back Darrell Scott. The Buffaloes’ top 2008 recruit hardly was a factor in the Buffaloes’ loss to Colorado State. Scott had two touches -- one carry and one reception -- and produced only 15 total yards.
Hot: Baylor wide receiver David Gettis. After struggling to produce in previous seasons, Gettis came through in a big way in the Bears’ victory over Wake Forest. He produced a game-high five receptions for 65 yards, including an 8-yard TD grab that was his first touchdown since 2006.
Not: Texas running back Vondrell McGee. His starting position might be short lived if he continues to struggle protecting the ball. McGee had a pair of fumbles, a rarity for Texas considering the last time that a Longhorn running back fumbled came in the 2007 Baylor game.