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Big 12 players in Week 6 spotlight

10/1/2014

Last week, Oklahoma State quarterback Daxx Garman went from "in the spotlight" to Big 12 offensive player of the week. Who could have a breakout game in Week 6? Here are 10 players to keep an eye on during a full slate of conference games Saturday.

Baylor's interior offensive line: Texas has been a disappointment this season. Longhorns defensive tackle Malcom Brown has not. He leads the Big 12 in tackles for loss (7.5) this season. Bears guards Desmine Hillard and Blake Muir along with center Kyle Fuller will need to limit Brown's disruptive tendencies Saturday.

Iowa State cornerback Nigel Tribune: The Cyclones' secondary will be under fire against Oklahoma State. Garman's arrival under center has sparked a deep passing game we haven't seen from the Pokes in a while. Expect OSU to test Tribune but, as a best-of-the-bunch at cornerback for ISU, the sophomore could win his share of battles.

Kansas cornerback Dexter McDonald: West Virginia coach Dana Holgorsen praised McDonald and cornerback JaCorey Shepherd, calling the duo "as good as I've seen" earlier this week. But Holgorsen won't hesitate to go right after them, especially with Mountaineers pass catcher Kevin White playing as good as any receiver in the Big 12. McDonald will have plenty of chances to impact the game and has the talent to do just that.

Kansas State cornerback Danzel McDaniel: The junior college transfer impressed with his competitiveness against Auburn. That competitive fire will likely come to the forefront against Texas Tech, which is going to put the ball in the air plenty of times regardless of who is taking the snaps for Kliff Kingsbury's squad. McDaniel enters the game with 15 tackles and one sack. He should get plenty of playmaking opportunities against the Red Raiders.

Oklahoma quarterback Trevor Knight: Odds are TCU would rather force the game onto the shoulders of Knight than allow the tree trunks Samaje Perine calls legs to carry the bulk of the load for OU's offense. The Horned Frogs are likely to stack the box, try to take away Sooners go-to receiver Sterling Shepard and hope for the best. That's where Knight comes into the equation with his ability to make TCU pay with his arm or legs. If he can hit a deep pass or two and make TCU pay for its focus on the run, things will get a lot tougher for Gary Patterson's team.

Oklahoma State offensive line: Coach Mike Gundy keeps referring to the Cowboys' lackluster running game, so at some point the offensive line will accept the challenge. Expect OSU to commit to the running game against an ISU defense that is allowing 226.75 rushing yards per game and 5.15 yards per carry.

Texas cornerback Quandre Diggs: "Nobody's ever heard of that." Don't think Diggs' response to a question about Baylor's #WRU moniker Monday went unnoticed in Waco. Expect the Bears to go after Diggs and the rest of the UT secondary through the air and send wave after wave of talented receivers while doing so. But if anyone can stand up to the test it's Diggs, one of the best and most experienced defensive backs in the Big 12.

TCU receiver Kolby Listenbee: The Horned Frogs junior has shown he can get behind defenses with his track speed. Yet he and Trevone Boykin have been unable to connect on most of their attempted deep throws. Listenbee has caught nine of 19 targets but is averaging 18.8 yards per reception. But it only takes one or two deep throws to change the game and set up an upset of the Sooners.

Texas Tech receiver Bradley Marquez: Whoever lines up under center will garner much of the attention, but the Red Raiders' offense seems to have more success and increase in its explosiveness when Marquez is involved. He has six touchdown receptions in four games and 65.4 percent of his receptions result in a first down or touchdown. Getting him involved could be the key to Tech's hopes for success.

West Virginia running back Wendell Smallwood: This feels like it could be a breakout game for Smallwood, particularly with his ability to catch the ball out of the backfield and make plays in open space. He could be an X factor in WVU's offense this weekend with a solid KU secondary and Jayhawks linebacker Ben Heeney likely to be a problem in the running game. Enter Smallwood, who could create havoc on screens, short passes and draws.