Big 12: internal affairs 2
Posted by ESPN.com's Tim Griffin
Here are some items that are being talked about around the Big 12 after the first week of games.
- Darrell Scott’s usage is prompting a lot of questions at Colorado. The nation’s top 2008 running back recruit picked up only two “touches” in the Colorado State game -- one rush and one pass reception. If he’s hurt, it doesn’t make much sense to put him back on kickoff returns, which is what Dan Hawkins has done. The more likely cause for his lack of playing time is Scott's struggles in pass-blocking situations, which is why he didn’t play much when Colorado was behind Sunday night.
- Iowa State coach Paul Rhoads wanted to instill discipline in his program as one of his first steps. Here’s an indication that what he’s teaching is taking hold. Despite not having any sideline communications from the booth by the traditional headset method, the Cyclones had no offensive penalties. That is a fantastic achievement -- compare it to Oklahoma’s struggles with penalties in the BYU game. I don’t know how good the Cyclones will be, but their first-game precision was a strong first step.
- It will be interesting to see what effect the early-season injuries of Sam Bradford and Jermaine Gresham have as far as players declaring early for the NFL draft. If both see their draft status drop, we likely won’t see actions like the four Oklahoma players who all returned en masse for another season of college football. I wonder if Oklahoma State’s Dez Bryant was watching?
- Here’s a nugget courtesy of ESPN’s Stats & Information that I found fascinating in light of what happened last week in the Oklahoma-BYU game. Before every pass Bradford threw, the Oklahoma quarterback lined up in the shotgun, and every time he handed the ball off, he was under center. It could have taken the BYU defense a few drives to figure that out, but on the last drive of the half, linebacker Coleby Clawson hit Bradford twice in three plays coming from the same spot, and eventually knocked him out of the game. To start the second half, backup quarterback Landry Jones lined up in the shotgun and handed the ball off.
- Kansas State coaches are rightfully worried about conditioning as the Wildcats prepare for Saturday’s game at Louisiana-Lafayette. KSU might have the least depth of any team in the conference after playing six offensive linemen and six defensive linemen in the opening game of the season. And the early weather forecast for Saturday’s game at Cajun Field might be more akin to a sauna with temperatures in the low-80s, a 40 percent chance of rain and humidity at least 80 percent.
Posted by ESPN.com's Tim Griffin
Here are some tidbits from around the conference that will shape how teams play their games this week.
1. Kansas: TB Angus Quigley, a third-stringer before the start of the season, has emerged as the team's most consistent rushing threat. Despite big expectations for Jake Sharp and Jocques Crawford before the season, it's been Quigley who's been the best runner. The Jayhawks need some kind of consistency rushing the ball for any kind of success against South Florida on Friday night.
2. Missouri: Coaches are hoping the return of S William Moore and LB Van Alexander will help boost their defense's production. The Tigers allowed 250 yards passing against Southeast Missouri State and surrendered 15- and 11-play drives in the first half of the game. That unit must improve before Big 12 play begins.
3. Iowa State: Look for the team to use Phillip Bates more against Iowa than in his first two games as he's backed up starting ISU QB Austen Arnaud. Bates' athleticism could give the Iowa defense some problems, particularly on option plays and other outside runs. Remember, Bates' 38-yard reception last season against the Hawkeyes was the key play in ISU's game-winning drive.
4. Oklahoma: Don't be surprised if top defensive recruit R.J. Washington gets his redshirt pulled this week. The Sooners' depth at defensive end is lagging as Frank Alexander recovers from a stab wound. And Washington has been routinely wowing coaches with his performance in practice. They believe it's about time for him to be tested in a game.
5. Oklahoma State: Despite Dez Bryant's huge game last week against Houston, look for Oklahoma State to try to develop other receiving threats this week against Missouri State. With Artrell Woods gimpy with a knee injury, players like Jeremy Broadway, Damian Davis, Josh Cooper and DeMarcus Conner need to produce to keep offenses from concentrating on Bryant.