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Emptying the notebook for a Friday afternoon

10/31/2008

Posted by ESPN.com's Tim Griffin

Here's a collection of tidbits, notes and quotes I've been saving for Friday afternoon. Enjoy them.

WHO'S HOT AND NOT

Sizzling: Oklahoma's running game. Tailbacks Chris Brown and DeMarco Murray have produced 421 yards and six touchdowns in the Sooners' last two games, averaging 6.5 yards per carry.

Hot: Kansas State receiver Ernie Pierce, who produced 11 catches for 176 yards last week against Oklahoma. He had six catches all season before last week.

Not: Colorado, which fumbled on two of its first four snaps and went downhill from there in a 58-0 shellacking at Missouri.

Hot: Baylor quarterbacks, who have gone seven straight games without throwing an interception.

Not: Baylor kicker Ben Parks, who shanked a 19-yard field goal and had an extra point blocked last week against Nebraska.

Hot: Kansas wide receiver Kerry Meier, who needs seven receptions to set the school's single-season record of 70 set by Richard Estell in 1985.

Not: Kansas punt returner Daymond Patterson, who has four muffs in his last four games.

Hot: Missouri defensive end Stryker Sulak, who has forced five fumbles in his last eight games.

Not: Nebraska's defense, which allowed plays of 43, 40, 47, 34 and 44 yards against Baylor last week.

Hot: Texas A&M quarterback Jerrod Johnson, who has combined for 1,083 passing yards and six touchdowns in his last three games.

Not: Kansas quarterback Todd Reesing, who had less than 200 yards passing last week for the first time in 13 games.

Hot: Nebraska quarterback Joe Ganz. When the final three games of last season are included, Ganz has fired 30 touchdown passes in his last 11 games.

Not: Oklahoma State's offensive line, which allowed five sacks last week against Texas after allowing seven in the previous seven games of the season.

Frigid: Colorado's offense. The Buffaloes are averaging 10.5 points per game in conference games. The next lowest team, Baylor, is averaging 20.2 points per game.

JAWJACKING

"We're not Kansas." Texas defensive tackle Roy Miller to the Houston Chronicle after learning that Texas Tech had scored 63 points on the Jayhawks.

"I don't rank them. They're all exciting to play for," Texas Tech coach Mike Leach, on whether Saturday's game against Texas is the biggest he's ever prepared for.

"Relax. Have fun. Smile a little bit. My job is to get these kids to stay balanced, stay focused," Colorado coach Dan Hawkins, who told the Boulder Camera he wants his team to maintain a loose attitude this season.

"We're going to win championships because of the experience we're getting and how much the players want it. The young guys have really jumped on the boat." Texas A&M RB Cyrus Gray told the San Antonio Express-News about the Aggies' group of young players who are receiving extensive playing time this season.

"It's not as big of a deal as it was back then, but it's still a big deal for us. Guys still get really excited. Just the name 'Nebraska-Oklahoma' kind of gives a chill up your spine." Nebraska quarterback Joe Ganz, who told reporters about the Cornhuskers' rivalry with Oklahoma.

"I'm looking forward to meeting him. I hope the media gets a really good picture of me sacking him so he can have something to hang up on his wall," Missouri defensive end Brian Coulter, talking about his upcoming game against Baylor quarterback Robert Griffin, a distant cousin.

"It happens to everybody from time to time in college football. You get a day where the snowball starts rolling down the hill, and it gets bigger and bigger and bigger, and before you know it, you've got no chance to stop it, and it runs you over." Kansas coach Mark Mangino, after his team's 63-21 loss to Texas Tech last week.

THE BIG 12  IN FACTOIDS

  • Seven freshmen have started this season for Texas A&M and nine have played.

  • 5-foot-11 Kansas State linebacker Alex Hrebec is the third walk-on to start for the Wildcats this season, joining running back Keithen Valentine and cornerback Rashad Harrell.

  • Texas Tech wide receiver Michael Crabtree and Texas wide receiver Jordan Shipley are the only players in the country who have caught a touchdown pass in every game this season.

  • Iowa State punter Mike Brandtner has had two games this season with no punts, including last week against Texas A&M.

  • Colorado has prepared for the crowd noise it will face Saturday at Kyle Field by having recordings of jet engines pumped through their practices this week.

  • Missouri quarterback Chase Daniel directed scoring drives on 9 of 11 possessions against Colorado. When added to his performance in the second half against Texas, he's orchestrated scoring drives on 14 of his last 17 possessions. In his previous six quarters (first half against Texas and the Oklahoma State game), Daniel directed scoring drives on 4 of 18 possessions.

  • Nebraska won a game it trailed at halftime for the first time since 2003 in beating Baylor last week.

  • Oklahoma blew the Kansas State game open last week by producing 251 yards during the second quarter on 13 snaps -- an average of 19.3 yards per play.

  • Texas Tech has the best percentage of touchdowns from a starting field position of its 20 or worse. The Red Raiders have scored 15 touchdowns in 28 possessions marching 80 yards or more, 53.6 percent.

  • No team has ever won a Big 12 championship with a defense ranked lower than 44th nationally (Texas in 1996). Only Texas ranks above that level this season among Big 12 teams, ranked at 43rd in total defense this week.

  • Texas Tech is 10-26 against Top 25 teams (.277) and 63-11 (.851) against unranked teams under Coach Mike Leach.

  • Iowa State converted 12 of 17 third-down plays against Texas A&M last week (70.6 percent). The Cyclones had converted 30.6 percent of their third-down plays for t
    he season before the last game.

THE NUMBER

1,116 -- Rushing yards for Big 12 leader Kendall Hunter. No other Big 12 back has eclipsed 650 so far this season.

BY THE NUMBERS, PART I

Three Big 12 teams rank among the top six teams in halftime scoring margin. Here's a look at them.

BY THE NUMBERS, PART II

Texas Tech by far is the best team in pass protection this season. Here's a list of the top four teams this season in terms of pass plays per sack.

Note: Texas ranks second nationally with 29 sacks, meaning Texas Tech will be facing a big challenge against the Longhorns' defensive front.

BY THE NUMBERS PART III
Bob Stoops has already moved into second place in terms of most victories in his first 10 seasons as a head coach. Here's how the Oklahoma coach ranks in terms of the most wins in his first 10 seasons in major college history.

  1. George Woodruff, 1892-01, 124

  2. Bob Stoops, 1999-present, 104

  3. Paul Johnson, 1997-06, 99

  4. Barry Switzer, 1973-82, 98

Source: ESPN Research