Monday, October 15, 2012
Player of the week: Big 12
By David Ubben
Why keep it at one player when one play wouldn't do the award justice?
In the past several weeks, the Big 12 (and nation, really) sat in awe and watched West Virginia rack up yards and points by the bunches. Coached by Dana Holgorsen, the Mountaineers had the best offensive scheme.
"You can't stop them, but can anyone slow them enough to give their offense a chance to catch up?" said, well, just about everyone.
Texas Tech proved that you can do a whole lot more than slow them down. The defensive backs crowded the receivers the whole day, shrinking the size of Smith's windows to deliver the ball. Bailey suffered an injured ankle and didn't play in the second half, and the Texas Tech defense zeroed in on limiting what Austin would be able to do.
He was held without both double-digit catches and 100 yards for the first time this season.
Texas Tech's entire defense gets this week's Player of the Week award.
Safety Cody Davis led the way with 13 tackles and two pass breakups. The Red Raiders' accomplishment is even more impressive considering they didn't force a single turnover or sack Smith once.
West Virginia had just seven points until a meaningless touchdown in the final three minutes, and Texas Tech's fourth-down defense was the biggest reason why.
If you don't force turnovers, you have to make plays when it counts. A week ago, WVU was 5-of-5 on fourth downs against Texas. Saturday, they were just 2-of-7.
Art Kaufman has turned this unit around, and this week, nothing in the Big 12 was more impressive.