Sunday, November 13, 2011
What we learned in the Big 12: Week 11
By David Ubben
Here's what I learned on a pretty fantastic Saturday of football across the Big 12.
Running back Henry Josey, having a breakout year, left Missouri's win over Texas with a knee injury.
The injury bug is cruel and indiscriminate. Why Henry Josey and Fozzy Whittaker? A week after Christine Michael and Ryan Broyles went down, two of the best stories in the Big 12 followed with what look like serious knee injuries. Josey started the season as the No. 3 back for Mizzou, and after injuries to players ahead of him, became one of the nation's top five rushers. Whittaker, meanwhile, was an injury-prone senior who finally stayed healthy for most of the season. His reward? Freshman Malcolm Brown emerged as the team's top rusher. His response? Kept his mouth shut, worked hard, helped Brown develop, returned two kicks for touchdowns and emerged as a threat in the WildFozzy formation and scored six times. Now his college career ends like this? Not fair for a guy that is everything right about college football.
If Oklahoma State doesn't scare you, it should. Seriously, who does that? Walks into Lubbock and leaves with a 60-point victory? Oklahoma State, apparently. OSU is clicking in every facet of the game. All that stands between the Cowboys and a national-title shot? Iowa State and an Oklahoma team missing its top receiver and top rusher. Does Oklahoma have enough to KO its rival? I don't think so, but we'll find out Dec. 3.
Sometimes they work. Sometimes they don't. That's why they're called gambles. Saturday night, Gary Patterson's TCU team scored a touchdown down 7 in the final 65 seconds. Kansas scored a touchdown in overtime in the same situation. It was a tight fit, but it worked for TCU; Kansas' pass, meanwhile, fell incomplete. TCU, with a call I wouldn't defend, got one of the biggest victories of the year on the Smurf Turf at Boise State. Kansas failed to win its second conference game since October 2009. Coach Turner Gill made the right call, reminiscent of the play at the end of the 1984 Orange Bowl. Both times, Gill's squad came up short. Doesn't make it the wrong call. Just makes it the wrong result. Get 'em next time.
Texas A&M's leaving for the SEC angry. It doesn't matter what happens anymore. Five losses? For a preseason top 10 team? The Aggies are a mess, and a team unable to make the plays necessary to win games. It's obvious by now. Five losses. Four came with double-digit leads in the second half. This time, the Aggies led by 10 with less than seven minutes left against one of the worst passing teams in the Big 12? The result? The same as the last, and a second loss in overtime, too. Texas A&M is a very bitter 5-5 with Kansas coming to town next week before a season finale against 6-3 Texas.
Kansas State is the exact opposite of Texas A&M. The Wildcats, though? They trailed in the fourth quarter against Eastern Kentucky, Miami, and tonight, and erased a second-half deficit against Texas Tech on the last play of the third quarter. K-State came back to win all of them. The Wildcats are rewarded with a gorgeous 8-2 record for a team picked to finish eighth in the Big 12. This team has guts and makes plays when the game is on the line. The fourth quarter and overtime only further proved that on Saturday.