Sunday, September 11, 2011
Big 12 weekend rewind: Week 2
By David Ubben
Our weekly look back at the games that were:
Best offensive player: Steele Jantz, QB, Iowa State. The quarterback accounted for 321 yards of total offense in just his second start, a three-overtime win over in-state rival Iowa. He threw for four touchdowns and 279 yards on 25-of-37 passing and ran for 42 more yards, making a handful of clutch plays late to extend the game and, eventually, win it.
Best defensive player: N/A. Quite honestly, there were no standout defensive performances this week. Rather than award this, I'll abstain in Week 2.
Best team performance: Oklahoma State. The Cowboys were the only team whose game didn't go down to the wire this weekend, but the Cowboys thoroughly dominated a pretty good Arizona team, albeit one that wasn't at full strength. The 37-14 win was reminiscent of its bowl win over the Wildcats, but the offense was as advertised and the defense was solid.
Best game: Iowa State 44, Iowa 41. If you didn't see Saturday's early game, you missed a thriller. Iowa led 10-0. Then Iowa State tied it. Then Iowa led 16-10. Then Iowa State took a 17-16 lead. Then Iowa led 24-17. Then Iowa State tied it at 24 with 77 seconds left. The two traded touchdowns in the first two overtimes before Iowa State's James White clinched the win with a four-yard touchdown run and the stands at Jack Trice Stadium emptied onto the field.
Best place to be: Iowa State's locker room after the game. Paul Rhoads is an emotional guy, and is perhaps best known for his memorable postgame speeches after wins against Nebraska and Texas, and though we haven't seen a YouTube yet, Rhoads' voice was already cracking a bit in a postgame TV interview. "He was passionate,” LT Kelechi Osemele said of the postgame speech. "He cried. A lot of players were in there crying. He talked about playing with a chip on our shoulder and how proud he was. Ranking his great speeches, I think this one was the best."
Best ability to do nothing right: Everyone behind the Cy-Hawk trophy. So, to summarize: The Cy-Hawk trophy was already kind of terrible. Then the fine people at Iowa Corn unleashed this monstrosity/embarrassment. Which met strong, deserved backlash, and was replaced with this interim trophy, which was moderately terrible and generic but not "We Must Replace" bad. And when Iowa State won, its players sprinted to the opposite sideline to retrieve it, but the top half of the trophy atop the base broke off in about a minute. Let's give these guys a round of applause.
Worst quarter and change: Garrett Gilbert. Gilbert looked OK last week against Rice, but against BYU, he was 2-of-8 for eight yards and two interceptions. That is just an epically bad stat line. It's nothing personal against Gilbert, but his benching was long overdue. As odd as the two-quarterback approach may be for Texas, with Ash's limited packages and strong legs and Case McCoy's care with the ball, I expect to see both on the field for the foreseeable future.
Biggest overreaction: Everyone, to Gary Pinkel "icing" his own kicker. Pinkel's explanation (he was trying to draw Vontaze Burfict offsides) was questionable, but far from boneheaded. Grant Ressel is the best kicker in the Big 12 and not a guy who's going to get rattled. Beyond that, the entire concept of "icing" a kicker is faulty and unproven. Ressel missed a 49-yard kick. The real mistake was not making a more concerted effort to get him closer. James Franklin was rolling, and Missouri got too conservative late, unwilling to try and ride that momentum while risking a turnover.
Best revelation: Jaxon Shipley and Case McCoy are roommates. Hey, here's the deal: If you can't laugh at this by now, I don't know what to tell you. This admission was my favorite part of postgame at BYU-Texas.
Catch of the week: Jaxon Shipley, Texas. Facing a six-point deficit late in the 17-16 win over BYU, Shipley caught a pass while hurdling two defenders to reach further into BYU territory as part of the go-ahead drive.
Biggest rebound: Oklahoma State's fashion sense. The white pants, white helmets and gray jerseys were a terrible look. This week? The black pants, black jerseys and white helmets, which have become kind of a Thursday night tradition for OSU, were much, much better.
Second-biggest rebound: Jordan Webb, QB, Kansas. He was part of a trio of unremarkable passers for Kansas last year, but Webb was outstanding in a 45-42 win over Northern Illinois and got no help from his defense. He finished with 21-of-30 for 281 yards and three touchdowns. Nobody saw those kinds of numbers at Kansas last year.