Saturday, September 12, 2009
Quick observations about Big 12
By ESPN.com staff
Posted by ESPN.com's Tim Griffin
Some of the chest-pounding that marked the first week of the Big 12 appears to have dissipated.
Struggling performances will do that for you. Several Big 12 teams had that on Saturday.
Oklahoma State will fall out of the top 10 after a 45-35 loss to Houston that will be one of the biggest stunners in the nation this week.
The dogfight that I expected for Kansas State materialized at Cajun Field against Louisiana-Lafayette -- and then some in a disappointing 17-15 loss to the Ragin' Cajuns. The Wildcats stormed back from a 14-2 halftime deficit to briefly take the lead before a game-winning 48-yard field goal by Tyler Albrecht with 32 seconds left.
Missouri barely escaped a third-straight loss to Bowling Green before escaping with a 27-20 victory over the Falcons. The Tigers trailed 20-6 late in the third quarter before storming back for three late touchdowns -- including two TD passes by sophomore quarterback Blaine Gabbert.
Other games played out more like I expected. I was a little surprised that Oklahoma's offense was as dominant in a 64-0 beatdown against Idaho State, but it probably speaks to the level of competition the Bengals provided.
Landry Jones blistered Idaho State for 286 yards and three touchdown passes and DeMarco Murray rushed for 101 yards. The game against Tulsa will be more of a challenge, although Saturday's game obviously has to help build Jones' confidence.
Texas Tech quarterback Taylor Potts showed more in his second career start, blistering Rice for 456 passing yards and seven touchdown passes in a 55-10 victory over the Owls. Potts came within one of the Tech school single-game record of eight touchdown passes set by B.J. Symons against Texas A&M in 2003.
And Kansas finished Saturday's games with a solid 34-7 victory at UTEP. The Jayhawks' new infatuation with the Pistol to boost their running game appears to have shown some promise as Jake Sharp rushed for 104 yards and freshman Toben Opurum chipped in with 87 yards.
But the biggest revelation for the Jayhawks was the strong return of wide receiver Dezmon Briscoe, who produced eight catches for 154 yards in his first game back after missing last week's game with a team-mandated suspension.
Texas overcame a slow start that included several special-teams mistakes in a 41-10 triumph at Wyoming. But anybody who watched that game knew the Longhorns struggled in the first half before beating back the challenge with superior depth in the second half -- even playing at high altitude.