Wednesday, September 22, 2010
Big 12 Stock Watch: Week 4
By ESPN.com staff
Here are a few things on the rise, and a few other things that have been on the down low to start the season.
We'll start with a changing of the guard as the Big 12's resident sack master.
Rising: Brian Duncan
The Texas Tech linebacker is still tied for the national sack lead after notching five in three games. Duncan did not record a single sack in all of 2009.
Falling: Von Miller
The Texas A&M linebacker led the nation in sacks last season with 17. But through three games, he's battled an ankle injury and has just six tackles. Through three games last year, Miller had eight sacks.
Four players in the Big 12 rank among the national top 7, and all have at least 24 catches in three games. Oklahoma's Ryan Broyles leads the group with 31 catches, ahead of Missouri's T.J. Moe and Michael Egnew, who have 30 and 29 catches, respectively. Oklahoma State's Justin Blackmon has 24 catches, but is the nation's leader in receiving yards (431) and touchdowns (8). Texas Tech's Lyle Leong has the second-most touchdown receptions, with six.
Falling: Oklahoma State passing records
The Cowboys broke single-game records for passing yards (574) and touchdowns (8) last week, headlined by Brandon Weeden's six touchdowns and more than 400 yards. Weeden, a junior, leads the nation in touchdown passes and is second to only Ryan Mallett in yardage, with 975 yards. If he keeps at this pace, he could come close to his coach's career record in just two seasons. Mike Gundy holds the career passing yardage lead at 7,997 yards and 49 touchdowns.
Nebraska may have single-handedly cost Jake Locker millions of dollars over the weekend, and five Big 12 teams (Kansas State, Texas Tech, Nebraska, Missouri, Oklahoma) rank in the top 14 in passes defended. The top three national leaders in pass breakups (Texas Tech's Jarvis Phillips, Kansas State's Terrance Sweeney and Oklahoma's Jamell Fleming) are all from the Big 12. Phillips is also the national leader in interceptions, with four, and returned one for a touchdown against Texas.
Nebraska, Texas Tech and Missouri all rank in the national top five in interceptions.
Falling: Prudent decisions and precision passing
Texas A&M quarterback Jerrod Johnson's four third-quarter interceptions against Florida International last week were more than 82 other FBS quarterbacks have thrown all season.