Wednesday, October 10, 2012
Which Big 12 defense has impressed most?
By David Ubben
We've already seen some shakeups among Big 12 defenses, but which unit has impressed you most? Let's take a vote:
The Cyclones rank third in the Big 12 in scoring defense and have forced 12 turnovers, fourth-most in the Big 12. Jake Knott and A.J. Klein are as talented as any two linebackers in the league, and the secondary is way, way underrated. Jacques Washington is tied for the Big 12 lead with three interceptions and the unit ranks fourth in total defense.
TCU has had to replace a lot of personnel, but true freshman Devonte Fields has been as good as any defensive end in the league. Linebacker Joel Hasley has flown around for the defense, and is ninth in the Big 12 with 37 tackles. The Frogs have forced a Big 12-high 14 turnovers, including three picks from Jason Verrett, tied for the most in the Big 12. The Frogs have played a good schedule and are second in the Big 12 in total defense. They're giving up just 13.2 points a game, the lowest mark in the Big 12.
The Sooners have had a tough time forcing turnovers, but Oklahoma is giving up just 16 points a game, and ranks third in the Big 12 in total defense. Aaron Colvin has broken up six passes and to this point, looks like a breakout star on the Sooners defense.
K-State's slow pace helps its defense put up good numbers, but the Wildcats have been big-time thieves this year, their 13 takeaways good for second in the league. That's helped K-State rank second in the Big 12 in scoring defense, and the Wildcats went on the road and held Oklahoma to just 19 points. The Wildcats, though, rank fifth in total defense.
Texas Tech is no longer the nation's No. 1 overall defense after giving up 41 points in three quarters to Oklahoma, but the Red Raiders are easily the most improved unit on this list after finishing 114th in total defense a year ago. That knocked Tech to fifth in the Big 12 in scoring defense, but the Red Raiders are still No. 1 in the Big 12 in total defense. Can they force a few more turnovers? Tech has just seven so far this year.