Each Saturday, some players are overshadowed by teammates, putting in a critical performance as others end up getting the headlines. We aim to shine a light on those overlooked contributors each week in Big 12's unsung heroes.
Here's a look at one unsung hero for each team in Week 13:
Baylor S Taion Sells: The junior was outstanding in the rain during Baylor’s 28-21 double overtime loss to TCU. Sells had 13 tackles (11 solo), including two tackles for loss and one pass breakup. Sells stepped up when it mattered with four tackles and two tackles for loss in the fourth quarter and overtime.
Iowa State WR Quenton Bundrage: The senior finished his Cyclones career with a solid final game. He had seven receptions for 70 yards to lead the team and had with a team-high 122 all-purpose yards in Iowa State’s 30-6 loss to West Virginia. Bundrage finished his career with 109 receptions for 1,456 yards and 15 touchdowns.
Kansas S Tevin Shaw: One of the Jayhawks’ top playmakers throughout the season, Shaw had a solid final game of 2015. He had four solo tackles, including one tackle for loss and a sack, during Kansas’ 45-14 loss to Kansas State. He finished the season as Kansas’ fourth-leading tackler with 65 total stops.
Kansas State FB Winston Dimel: The redshirt freshman has emerged to give Kansas State a pair of quality fullbacks alongside Glenn Gronkowski. Dimel had five carries for 25 yards and two touchdowns and added one reception for 44 yards in the Wildcats’ victory over Kansas. He scored a pair of first-quarter touchdowns that helped K-State get off to a 28-7 lead after 15 minutes of action.
Oklahoma LB Eric Striker: The senior’s numbers in Oklahoma’s 58-23 win over Oklahoma State aren’t going to land him on the list of potential Big 12 players of the week. Striker finished with three tackles and half of a tackle for loss. Yet his relentless pass rush and the overall havoc he created by being unblockable (three quarterback hurries) played a critical role for the Sooners' defense.
Oklahoma State QB J.W. Walsh: The lack of a completely healthy Mason Rudolph to start at quarterback handicapped the Cowboys offense, but Walsh was not the reason Oklahoma State lost to Oklahoma. He finished 25 of 45 for 325 yards, two touchdowns and one interception and also had 12 carries for 50 yards. Walsh, not the offensive line, was the reason the Cowboys did not give up a sack because of his eliusivness. Oklahoma State had a laundry list of problems against the Sooners, but poor play from Walsh was not one of them.
Texas DE Naashon Hughes: The sophomore was all over the place in Texas’ 48-45 loss to Texas Tech on Thanksgiving. Overshadowed by a breakout performance from Chris Warren, Hughes finished with 10 tackles (seven solo), including 1.5 tackles for loss, 1.5 sacks and one quarterback hurry. He could become one of the Big 12’s top playmakers next season.
TCU DT Davion Pierson: The Horned Frogs’ defensive leader was overshadowed by Ty Summers and Travin Howard, who combined for 42 tackles in the Horned Frogs’ win over Baylor. Yet Pierson was a disruptive monster in the middle with 13 tackles, including 3.5 tackles for loss, one sack, one fumble recovery and one quarterback hurry in the rainy conditions.
Texas Tech WR Ian Sadler: Jakeem Grant was the star of Tech’s win over Texas, thrilling the nation with a victory formation fake to seal the win. Yet Sadler played a critical role with six receptions for 108 yards to lead the Red Raiders in both categories. Two of Sadler’s six catches came on third-down plays.
West Virginia DE Noble Nwachukwu: The junior quietly has been a key player for the Mountaineers this season. He continued his consistent impact with six tackles (four solo), including 1.5 tackles for loss and one sack in West Virginia’s victory over Iowa State. He’s tied for fourth in the Big 12 with 7.5 sacks with one game to play.