Stats & Info: Kendall Wright

Wright finds place among key deflections

November, 20, 2011

Tony Gutierrez/AP PhotoRobert Griffin III enjoyed watching Kendall Wright's amazing touchdown in Baylor's win on Saturday.

While it wasn't the game-winner, Kendall Wright's 87-yard receiving touchdown was perhaps the most dramatic play of the Baylor Bears thrilling win over the Oklahoma Sooners on Saturday night.

Robert Griffin III's pass, intended for Tevin Reese, hit off of Reese's helmet and deflected about 20 yards down the field before being caught by Wright, who went the distance for the touchdown.

It brought back memories of other famous deflections in college and pro football history:

The Immaculate Reception
Franco Harris catches deflection to win AFC Divisional playoff game

December 23, 1972: The Pittsburgh Steelers were down 7-6 to the Raiders and were facing 4th–and-10 from their own 40-yard line. Terry Bradshaw’s pass, intended for John Fuqua, was broken up by Jack Tatum. The ball found its way to running back Franco Harris who scooped it up and rumbled in for the score, giving the Steelers a 13-7 win.

The Flea Kicker
Nebraska forces overtime on a receiving touchdown deflected off a foot

November 8, 1997: The top-ranked Nebraska Cornhuskers trailed the Missouri Tigers 38-31 in the final seconds. Scott Frost’s pass, intended for Shevin Wiggins, hit off Wiggins chest, deflected off the foot of a Missouri safety, and then was kicked back into the air by Wiggins who was being tackled. Nebraska receiver Matt Davison hauled in the deflected ball for a touchdown. The Cornhuskers would win in overtime and go on to win the national championship.

The Immaculate Deflection
Brandon Stokley hauls in deflection off Leon Hall

September 13, 2009: After Cedric Benson put the Bengals ahead with a touchdown with less than a minute to go, the Broncos scored on an 87-yard touchdown by Brandon Stokley. Kyle Orton’s pass, intended for Brandon Marshall, was tipped up by Leon Hall and then caught by Stokley who raced down the sideline for the game-winning touchdown with 11 seconds remaining.
A look at some of the notable performances and the numbers you need to know from the weekend in college hoops.

Familiar Faces
•  South Dakota State’s Nate Wolters went off for 32 points and 11 assists on Saturday vs Western Michigan. Last season, only five players put up 30-point, 10-assist games. Wolters is the first to do it in November since 2008 when both Stephen Curry and David Holston pulled it off.

•  North Carolina point guard Kendall Marshall dished out 15 assists while committing only one turnover in the Tar Heels win over UNC Asheville on Sunday. The assist total fell one shy of his career-high from last season. The last ACC player with 15 more assists and one turnover or fewer? Maryland’s Terrell Stokes in November 1998.

•  Starting for the first time since his freshman season, J’Covan Brown matched a career-high with 28 points and set a new one with eight assists as Texas topped Boston University on Sunday. He’s the first Longhorns player with at least 28 points and eight assists in a game since D.J. Augustin in 2007.

Old Names, New Playing Time
•  UNLV’s Mike Moser went off for 16 points and 20 rebounds on Friday vs Grand Canyon in his first game with the Runnin’ Rebels. As a freshman at UCLA in 2009-10, Moser finished the season with nine points and seven rebounds.

•  Last season, Jamal Wilson scored 38 points in Friday’s season opener for URI. That’s the most by a Rhode Island player since Zach Marbury, Stephon’s younger brother, scored 38 against La Salle in January 2001. Last season, he scored 87 points in 17 games, and didn’t score his 38th point until his 10th game.

•  San Diego State lost its top four scorers from a year ago. So who will fill that void? Sophomore Jamaal Franklin made a statement on Sunday with 31 points against UC-Davis. Franklin scored only 64 points all last season, and already had a career high at halftime in this one.

•  Tennessee sophomore Trae Golden scored 29 points in the season opener against UNC-Greensboro. He managed just 93 points all last season, and never scored in double figures. He was 5-for-9 from three-point range, after hitting just six all last season.

Nice First Impressions
•  Virginia Tech freshman Dorian Finney-Smith put up 10 points, 16 rebounds, five assists and four blocks in his first career game against Monmouth. He was the first Hokies player with a double-double in his debut since Jeff Allen in 2009. Over the past 15 seasons, no ACC freshman had at least 15 rebounds and five assists in a game.

•  Anthony Davis scored 23 points and added 10 rebounds, as Kentucky beat Marist 108-58 on Friday. Davis became just the third Kentucky freshman with 20 points and 10 rebounds in his debut. He joins current teammate Terrence Jones and Sam Bowie.

•  Iowa freshman Aaron White needed only 18 minutes of action to pick up a double-double in his first career game. White finished with 19 points and 10 rebounds in Friday’s 96-53 win over Chicago State. The 19 points are believed to be the most by an Iowa freshman in a season opener. He’s the first Hawkeye freshman with 10 points and 10 rebounds in his debut since Jess Settles in 1993.

What's the best QB-WR combo in Big 12?

August, 19, 2011

AP Photo/Matt Strasen
The best QB-WR combo might not be decided until Dec. 3 in Stillwater when OSU hosts OU.

The Big 12 is stacked with talented quarterback-wide receiver combinations. Last season, five of the top 20 passing offenses played in the Big 12, and four of them – the Baylor Bears, Texas A&M Aggies, Oklahoma Sooners and Oklahoma State Cowboys -- return their starting quarterback and top wide receiver.

But which quarterback-wide receiver duo is the best in the Big 12? With all due respect to Baylor’s Robert Griffin III and Kendall Wright and Texas A&M’s Ryan Tannehill and Jeff Fuller, this conversation should not leave the borders of Oklahoma.

Oklahoma and Oklahoma State have arguably the two best QB-WR tandems in the nation. In fact, all four players -- Landry Jones, Ryan Broyles, Brandon Weeden and Justin Blackmon -– have a serious chance at winning the Heisman based on their numbers last season.

Jones and Broyles thrive in Oklahoma’s quick pass, high-octane offense. Jones attempted more passes than any other quarterback in the country in 2010 and Broyles averaged an FBS-best 9.4 receptions per game.

Oklahoma was at its best when throwing quick screens and allowing its receivers to make plays in space. Of Broyles' 131 receptions last season, 51 were thrown at or behind the line of scrimmage. He averaged 10.0 yards after the catch on passes thrown that distance and did not drop a pass.

At Oklahoma State, Weeden and Blackmon did not connect on as many wide receiver screen passes, but they showed a similar propensity to turn short passes into long plays. When targeted at or behind the line, Weeden averaged 10.5 yards after the catch and 7.9 yards per reception. Those short passes added up, helping Blackmon to gain 100 or more receiving yards in every game he played last season.

Weeden and Blackmon were difficult to stop in the downfield attack as well. They combined for 12 touchdowns on plays of 20 or more yards (best of any QB-WR duo in the country) and averaged 32.1 yards per TD reception. On throws of 20 yards or more, Weeden completed 20 of 33 passes (60.6 percent) to Blackmon for 10 touchdowns.

Comparatively, when targeting Broyles on throws of 20 or more yards, Jones completed 11 of 23 pass attempts for five touchdowns in 2010. Broyles averaged 23.1 yards per TD reception and five of his 14 touchdowns were 20 yards or longer.

Oklahoma and Oklahoma State excel in different areas of the passing game. Oklahoma’s Jones and Broyles are efficient, completing passes that move the chains and lead to touchdowns. No other duo had more touchdowns the past two seasons. The Cowboys’ Weeden and Blackmon are more dynamic, converting more big plays downfield at a higher rate than any other duo in the country. No other duo had more touchdown plays of 10 or more yards last season.

Maybe the verdict on this one won’t be decided until the Sooners travel to Stillwater on Dec. 3 to meet the Cowboys.

For exclusive video, stories and blogs about quarterbacks from every level of competition, check out ESPN’s “Year of the Quarterback” page.