Big 12: 061113 first year player

Big 12 viewer's guide: Week 14

November, 28, 2014
Nov 28
10:00
AM ET
Baylor and Kansas State each face one final hurdle before a head-to-head matchup at McLane Stadium on the final Saturday of the season that could garner plenty of headlines. Meanwhile, West Virginia and Iowa State look to snap significant losing streaks.

Here are the storylines to watch in the Big 12 during Week 14:

West Virginia at Iowa State, noon ET (Fox Sports 1): Neither team brings much momentum into this game with the Cyclones on a four-game losing streak and the Mountaineers on a three-game slide. Those downward trends won't sit well with Dana Holgorsen or Paul Rhoads. ISU watched its first Big 12 win slip out of its hands against Texas Tech a week ago, so the Cyclones could be entering this game with more momentum than previous weeks. Intrigue will join WVU on the plane to Ames, Iowa, with Skyler Howard's performance against Kansas State putting a spotlight on the quarterback spot for Holgorsen’s squad. Even if starter Clint Trickett is healthy, Holgorsen might not hesitate to turn to Howard if Trickett struggles.

No. 7 Baylor versus Texas Tech in Arlington, Texas, 3:30 pm ET (ABC): The Bears can't seem to get the traction they need to rise in the College Football Playoff rankings. But BU needs to win, and win impressively, if it hopes to keep its name in the conversation for another week. The Bears have minimal room for error. Tech enters the game after its first win since mid-October against ISU a week ago. The Red Raiders would love to play spoiler for the Bears while creating a little momentum heading into the offseason if they're able to finish the regular season with a two-game win streak which includes a win over the nation's No. 7 team.

Kansas versus No. 12 Kansas State, 4 p.m. ET (Fox Sports 1): The final home game for all-purpose threat Tyler Lockett could inspire the senior to do something special at Bill Snyder Family Stadium. The Wildcats have plenty to play for with a Big 12 title still within reach. Meanwhile, KU interim coach Clint Bowen could strengthen his résumé even further with a win over the in-state rival Wildcats. And the Jayhawks' sloppy showing at Oklahoma should give KU plenty of motivation to show they're better than they played against the Sooners a week ago.
You never know who will break out in their first year in the league. Last season, we saw a true freshman in TCU's Devonte Fields capture the league's Defensive Player of the Year Award, and plenty of other freshmen, redshirt freshmen and juco transfers had major impacts across the league.

Here are a few first-year players to keep an eye on this season.

Robbie Rhodes
Scott Drucker/IntersportBaylor commit Robbie Rhodes was rated as one of the nation's top receivers in the ESPN 150 in 2013.
Cassius Sendish, CB, Kansas: Sendish was part of the juco blitz that came to KU this spring, but had an immediate impact on and off the field. Coach Charlie Weis loves his leadership, and he provides a big boost in the secondary that badly needed one after ranking eighth in the league in pass defense. The 6-foot, 187-pounder already made an impression on everybody in the program with his wit and the way he carries himself, and he should be fun to watch this fall.

Jake Waters, QB, Kansas State: Waters hasn't officially won Kansas State's quarterback job yet, but he was the nation's No. 78 overall juco prospect and earned plenty of notoriety for breaking some guy named Cam Newton's completion percentage record on the way to a national title last season. He's still got to beat out Daniel Sams to be able to replace Collin Klein, but the 6-foot-2, 215-pounder could bring some accuracy to the table that's been missing awhile.

Robbie Rhodes, WR, Baylor: Rhodes is one of the highest-ranked recruits to ever step foot on Baylor's campus, and could have an immediate impact for a receiving corps trying to replace Lanear Sampson and Terrance Williams. He was ranked as the nation's No. 3 receiver and No. 35 overall recruit, as well as the fourth-best player in Texas. The Bears beat out TCU and Texas for his services, and the 6-foot-1, 185-pound Fort Worth, Texas native could crack the field very early. Only two players in the Big 12 were ranked higher than Rhodes in the class of 2013.

Kevin White, WR, West Virginia: White is a big body at 6-foot-4 and 210 pounds and a different kind of receiver than West Virginia is used to suiting up, but after losing Tavon Austin and Stedman Bailey, a ton of targets will be available in a receiving corps that has little experience, even with the boost of Ivan McCartney's return. He already showed his ability in the spring game, turning a screen pass into a 46-yard score. He'll get plenty of opportunities to do that some more this fall.

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