Wednesday, September 3, 2014
Big 12 stat check: Week 2
By Max Olson
A closer look at one statistic worth keeping an eye on for each Big 12 team entering Week 2:
Baylor: Bryce Petty's combined completion percentage in his last six regular-season games is 54.7 percent. He's finished with sub-60 percent passing in all six of those games, including 56.5 percent against SMU. In fairness, he did leave that game early with a back injury. But this is a curious trend, and one that Petty will probably end this week against Northwestern State.
Iowa State: The Cyclones must find a way to replace the explosive production of Quenton Bundrage. Last season, he produced a team-high 16 receptions of 15-plus yards and scored touchdowns on eight of them. Though E.J. Bibbs did have 12 catches of 15-plus in 2013, no current Iowa State wide receiver had more than four.
Kansas: Montell Cozart did not exceed 12 pass attempts in any of his three starts last season, which was probably a safe move. He was a true freshman, and trying to force throws and do too much might've been harmful for his development. What will new OC John Reagan ask of Cozart for his sophomore debut? Keep an eye on how he fares now that, presumably, he'll have more freedom to operate in the passing game.
Kansas State: The 55 points Kansas State put up against Stephen F. Austin was the Wildcats' most in a season opener since 2001. While 478 total yards might not sound like much, that output actually cracks the top 10 for KSU single-game total offense since Bill Snyder returned in 2009. And they did that despite getting just one reception from Tyler Lockett. This offense is poised to do some big things in 2014.
Oklahoma: Oklahoma's young stable of backs combined for 5 rushing touchdowns against Louisiana Tech. For the Sooners, that number has been exceeded only three times in the past decade by a group of OU running backs, most recently against Florida A&M in 2012 (8 TDs). Bob Stoops was understandably pleased by what his inexperienced backs contributed, and it's important they be trusted to take some of the burden off Trevor Knight.
Oklahoma State: This defense aced its first test against the run game vs. Florida State. Running back Karlos Williams was hit behind the line of scrimmage on 52 percent of his carries and the Seminoles finished the night with just 106 rushing yards on 3.4 yards per carry. That's as good as you can ask if you're this OSU staff against the No. 1 team in the country, and the Pokes defense will only get better as its players gain experience.
TCU: In the debut of their new offense, the Horned Frogs ran 96 plays against Samford. They'd never surpassed 90 in a game since joining the Big 12, not even in a triple-overtime loss to Texas Tech in 2012. The 96-play output is TCU's most since 2007, a 45-33 win over San Diego State in which the team ran 111 plays. Getting in that many snaps tells you what this Air Raid-inspired offense hopes to achieve from a tempo standpoint. They'll work this week and next to get faster before taking on Minnesota.
Texas: Quarterback Tyrone Swoopes enters his first career start as a Longhorn with only 55 career snaps under his belt. Most of those reps came in mop-up duty, with his most significant time coming with Texas already down big in its Alamo Bowl loss to Oregon. Expect BYU to give him a variety of defensive looks in an effort to trick the sophomore into making bad reads and mistakes.
Texas Tech: Central Arkansas went 6-for-6 on fourth downs against Texas Tech's defense and cranked out 28 first downs on the night. That's got to be concerning for a Tech defense that has a lot of work to do and must find ways to get off the field in Big 12 play. The 15 penalties for 113 yards Tech accounted for against UCA definitely contributes to that problem, too.
West Virginia: The 365 passing yards Clint Trickett put up against the Crimson Tide were the second-most Alabama has given up since Nick Saban took over as head coach in 2007. Only Johnny Manziel (464 yards, 2013) has surpassed that total. Trickett was not afraid to attack that Bama defense with tempo and precision, and that has to be encouraging for this West Virginia offense going forward.