Monday, September 24, 2012
Big 12 weekend rewind: Week 4
By David Ubben
It's time to take a look at a few superlatives from the week that was across the Big 12:
Best offensive performance:Tavon Austin, WR, West Virginia. Austin gave Maryland fits on a slow day for the West Virginia offense, a 31-21 win over Maryland. He hauled in 13 catches for 179 yards and three touchdowns. Quite the day for the shifty speedster. Austin gets my runaway vote as the Big 12's quickest player, but it's a dead heat between Austin and a handful of others as the fastest.
Kenny Cain had a hand in three turnovers Saturday in TCU's win over Virginia.
Best defensive performance: Kenny Cain, LB, TCU. Cain forced three turnovers on his own in the Frogs' 27-7 win over Virginia. He picked off two passes, the second out of the hands of a receiver. He also recovered a first-half fumble to get the party started for the Frogs. A huge day at a much-needed position for Gary Patterson's defense. Honorable mention: Doug Rigg, LB, West Virginia, and Tony Jefferson, S, Oklahoma
Best team performance: Kansas State. Bill Snyder's crew did the impossible. Every time Oklahoma had been challenged at home by a ranked team, the Sooners bowed up and got the win. Most often, they got the win in emphatic fashion. Not on Saturday. The Wildcats forced mistakes from OU and made very few of their own, leaving as 24-19 winners and shooting into the top 10 with the upset.
Best freshman performance: Sterling Shepard, WR, Oklahoma. Shepard's breakout game was lost in the wreckage of an awful night in Norman, but Oklahoma found another target for Landry Jones. Shepard led all receivers on Saturday night with seven catches for 108 yards, including his first career touchdown. The true freshman really looks like he may be something special. Everything he does looks natural.
Best play: Justin Tuggle/Jarell Childs, Kansas State. Tuggle changed the entire game in Norman when he chased down Jones from Jones' blind side and stripped him deep in his own territory. Childs scooped up the ball and stepped into the end zone to put K-State up 7-3 in the eventual win. That early second-quarter play had more impact than any other all week.
Worst play: Blake Bell, QB, Oklahoma. On the possession after that fumble, Jones moved the Sooners inside the 5. Bell came in at the 1-yard line to "Belldoze" his way into the end zone but mishandled a snap. Kansas State recovered, and the Sooners wasted seven points. They lost by five. You do the math. Dishonorable mention: Casey Pachall's/Skye Dawson's turnovers inside the opponents' 5-yard line.
Worst team performance: Kansas. Oh, Jayhawks. This team really is pretty close to being 3-1, but the lack of execution late in games has them at 1-3. Another week, another blown fourth-quarter lead. This one on the road to Northern Illinois. Not pretty.