Wednesday, October 5, 2011
Big 12 Stock Watch: Week 6
By David Ubben
You're so money and you don't even know it ... but you do!
Texas Tech's turnover margin: The Red Raiders won the turnover battle 4-1 in their 45-34 comeback win over Kansas. That moved them to third nationally in turnover margin, forcing eight more turnovers (11) than they've committed (3). The three turnovers are third-fewest nationally, behind only Northwestern and Stanford. Clean football being played out in West Texas.
Kansas' defense: The numbers are ugly for the Jayhawks after four games and a 2-2 record. Kansas' offense is much better this season, but it hardly has a chance when the team ranks dead last nationally in scoring defense (44.25 points), 119th in total defense (545 yards/game), 118th in rush defense (252.5 yards/game) and 108th in pass defense (292.5 yards/game). That's not going to work well in the Big 12. Or any league, for that matter.
Kendall Wright: The Bears receiver is outperforming his more highly-touted competition across the Big 12, like Justin Blackmon, Ryan Broyles and Jeff Fuller. All three receivers have admittedly played tougher competition, but his numbers have risen every season, and he's on pace for a career season that's paralleling his quarterback, Robert Griffin III. Wright is tied for the national lead with seven touchdown catches, leads the Big 12, fourth nationally, with 621 receiving yards, and he leads the Big 12, sixth nationally, with 40 receptions.
Texas A&M's pass defense: The Aggies have had two rough weeks, helping Brandon Weeden set a school record with 438 yards and following it up by letting Arkansas' Tyler Wilson break Ryan Mallett's record by more than 100 yards with 510 passing yards last week. Those two performances have the Aggies in dead last nationally in pass defense, giving up an average of 336 yards a game. Kansas is the next-worst Big 12 team, with its 292 yards a game average. Making matters more difficult, the Aggies haven't forced a turnover in 15 quarters, dating back to the first quarter against SMU in its opener. A dash of good news: A&M is fifth nationally in rush defense (63 yards/game).
Kansas State's defensive line: The Wildcats had one of the league's worst defensive lines a season ago, but this season, have two players in the Big 12's top five in sacks. Meshak Williams and Jordan Voelker both have three sacks and linebacker Arthur Brown also has two to rank eighth in the league. Last season, Prizell Brown was the only Wildcat in the Big 12's top 30 in sacks, with five on the season. The Wildcats already have 11 sacks after notching just 20 all of last season.
Iowa State's turnover margin: The Cyclones have had turnover problems all season, but overcame them to reach 3-0 for the first time since 2005. Not anymore. Texas came to town and made ISU pay, winning the turnover battle 3-0 in a 37-14 win. Iowa State has now turned the ball over 13 times in four games, which ranks 108th nationally. They've only forced five all season, though, and rank T-116th last nationally in turnover margin, at -8. Only Notre Dame (-9) has been worse.