Monday, September 3, 2012
Big 12 weekend rewind: Week 1
By David Ubben
Time to look back on the week that was in the Big 12:
Best offensive performance:Geno Smith, QB, West Virginia. Smith was nearly perfect in his first game as a member of the Big 12. He completed 32 of 36 passes for 323 yards, four touchdowns and no interceptions. He also added 65 rushing yards and a touchdown, scored from 28 yards out on a broken running play. He's more than the best player in the Big 12 this week. The Walter Camp Award named him the national player of the week.
Best defensive performance:Isaiah Bruce, LB, West Virginia. Making his first start, the redshirt freshman racked up 16 tackles and scooped up a fumble, returning it 43 yards for a score. Those 16 tackles were the most by a Mountaineers freshman since 1990. Honorable mention: Bradley McDougald, S, Kansas
John Hubert's 95-yard touchdown run put Kansas State in control of the game.
Best play:John Hubert, RB, Kansas State. Jammed up against its own goal line, the K-State offensive line paved the way for a 95-yard run from Hubert as part of the Wildcats' 42 consecutive points to close the game. Hubert's run gave the Wildcats a 30-9 lead in the eventual 51-9 win. His run was the second longest in school history, dating back to a 96-yarder in 1948. Honorable mention: Jake Knott's second-quarter forced fumble versus Tulsa, Baylor scores a 66-yard TD on Mike Hicks' fumble return.
Worst play:Oklahoma's punt team. The defense pitched a shutout, but the special teams put this one in doubt. Tress Way didn't have much time to get the kick off, but no fewer than five UTEP defenders might have blocked this punt. One did, and running back Nathan Jeffery (177 rushing yards before suffering an injury) scooped it up and scored from 24 yards out to put UTEP ahead 7-0 early in the Sooners' 24-7 win. Dishonorable mention: Iowa State's safety off a draw play out of the shotgun ... at its own 3-yard line.
Best team performance: Baylor. West Virginia looked like it had this one sewn up until late Sunday night. Baylor rolled over SMU and turned its opener into a rout with a dominant third quarter that featured two big turnovers, one of which the Bears returned 66 yards for a touchdown. Baylor was already in control, but that spurt turned the game into a laugher, racing to a 45-3 lead. Honorable mention: West Virginia.
Stat of the week: Oklahoma State played "at least" 95 players on Saturday night. Late in the game, a No. 47 got into the game, but no one in the media or on Oklahoma State's media relations staff in the press box knew who the player was, according to The Oklahoman. It wasn't me. Who was this mystery man? Show yourself!
Best game:Iowa State 38, Tulsa 23. This one was closer than the final score indicated and featured a huge comeback by the Cyclones, who looked sluggish early after allowing 16 first-quarter points. They answered with 24 of their own to take a 31-16 lead, and Deon Broomfield iced the game with an interception in the final minutes to set up the final touchdown. No classics this week. Bar was pretty low for this award.
Worst game:Oklahoma State 84, Savannah State 0. Who wins in matchups like these? I know realignment forced OSU's hand a little bit, but people are still signing off on these games. Fans have to sit through a snoozer. The opposing team gets embarrassed in a borderline inhumane way. Oklahoma State, meanwhile, probably learns more about itself with an intrasquad scrimmage. Games against FCS teams are one thing. Games against FCS doormats are another. Keep these off the schedule.
Worst team performance:Oklahoma. The Sooners were a lot closer to being upset than the final score indicates. Landry Jones didn't turn the ball over, but if he'd had one or two, this game would have been a true disaster. That's to say nothing of the three missed field goals from UTEP kickers that would have had the Big 12 favorites trailing in the fourth quarter to a mediocre Conference USA squad. I know it's on the road and it's a season opener, but this was awful from Oklahoma.
Worst quarter:Iowa State's first quarter. The Cyclones legitimately looked overmatched and were in serious trouble. You wondered if they might get run out of their own stadium, trailing 16-7. They gave up a safety and couldn't stop the Tulsa offense. However, Cyclones star linebacker Jake Knott forced a fumble on Tulsa's first offensive snap of the second quarter and keyed off 24 consecutive points for Iowa State in the 38-23 win. No Big 12 team trailed by more than Iowa State on Saturday. Paul Rhoads now has 19 wins at Iowa State, despite being favored in just eight games.
Best quarter:Kansas State's fourth quarter. Who knew the Wildcats could score 35 points in a single quarter? K-State scored from 95, 86 and 49 yards away to ice a game that was tied 9-9 midway through the third quarter. The outburst was K-State's biggest in a single quarter since at least 1993.
Best quote:Kenny Vaccaro, S, Texas, on his secondary. "Honestly, we need to get our heads out of the magazines and start faster and play stronger."
Second-best quote:Geno Smith, when asked to grade West Virginia's offensive performance. "A-plus … plus, plus, plus."
Third-best quote: Charlie Weis, Kansas. QB Dayne Crist hit Kale Pick for a 43-yard gain off a play fake on the first play from scrimmage. Weis' confession: "I was throwing it deep on first play for months."