Wednesday, September 3, 2014
Big 12 morning links
By Brandon Chatmon
Can someone tell James Harden what's going on please?
- Kansas expects to play the seven freshmen listed on its depth chart, reports Jesse Newell of the Topeka Capital-Journal. After creating some preseason buzz with their practice performances, it's no surprise to see running back Corey Avery and linebacker Kyron Watson on the list of true freshman set to play when KU faces Southwest Missouri State on Saturday. But keep an eye on receiver Derrick Neal, a 5-foot-10, 155-pound dynamo who has displayed early playmaking ability and could eventually emerge as another offensive weapon alongside Tony Pierson and Nick Harwell.
- The Oklahoman's John Helsley introduces you to Oklahoma State defensive end Emmanuel Ogbah, who burst onto the scene as the Big 12 Defensive Player of the Week with his stellar two-sack performance against Florida State. Ogbah showed flashes of his ability a year ago, recording four sacks as a redshirt freshman. The sophomore started to emerge during the spring as a potential breakout performer and didn't disappoint against the Seminoles. Now the challenge facing him will be his ability to handle the increased attention from opposing offenses and continue to be productive along the Cowboys' defensive front.
- The stinging disappointment of Texas Tech's 42-35 win over Central Arkansas remains in the minds of Red Raiders players. "I felt better about some of the losses we had last year than the game on Saturday night," linebacker Sam Eguavoen told the Lubbock Avalanche-Journal. The numbers aren't as bad as the actual performance and lackluster intensity from the Red Raiders. This could be where the Red Raiders' hope of having better depth in 2014 could really be tested. If the current starters can't or don't approach the game with the right mindset, limit mistakes and focus on the little details, better depth would mean those players could be replaced without hesitation.
- Iowa State running back Aaron Wimberly and Kansas State quarterback Jake Waters will be reunited when the Wildcats and Cyclones meet on Saturday. The pair were roommates at Iowa Western, writes Tommy Birch of the Des Moines Register. It's interesting that Waters, an Iowa native, was never really on the priority list for the Cyclones during their forays on the recruiting trail, with Cyclones coach Paul Rhoads saying his program wasn't looking to sign a junior college quarterback when Waters decided to play for K-State.
- Kansas State could be looking at a two-back system, writes Kellis Robinett of the Kansas City Star. DeMarcus Robinson and Charles Jones were each productive in the Wildcats' season-opening win over Stephen F. Austin. Robinson finished with 96 all-purpose yards (49 rushing, 47 receiving) while Jones had 72 all-purpose yards, including 55 rushing yards and two touchdowns. If both players continue to be productive, there's really no reason to hand the bulk of the carries to one or the other. Even though it's good to have a bell cow in the backfield, it's even better to have multiple productive running backs that can complement each other or carry the load.