Big 12 Wrap-Up: Week 1

By Brandon Starkey on September 5th, 2012

Big 12 Wrap-Up: Week 1

The Kansas State Wildcats season kicked off last Saturday night at Bill Snyder Family Stadium. It wasn’t the easiest game to watch as the Wildcats looked very sloppy to start the game. Missouri State matched the Wildcats blow for blow in the first half, and if it wasn’t for some major missteps in the red zone the Bears probably would have had a significant lead going into the half.

The game started strong for with Collin Klein connecting on a 44-yard pass to Travis Tannahill in the opening possession of the game. But the offense fell apart in the red zone and was forced to settle for a field goal. Missouri State then picked apart the Kansas State secondary and nearly scored, but Missouri State receiver Julian Burton fumbled the ball at the Kansas State 2 yard line.

K-State failed to take advantage of the turnover and went three and out on three straight incomplete passes from Klein. Missouri State QB Ashton Glasser once again had a good drive leading the bears to the red zone. But the Bears were forced into a field goal which tied the game at 3 to end the 1st quarter.

The second quarter didn’t go much better for Kansas State as they had struggles moving the ball, and Missouri State was able to throw the ball at will (until they would get past 50 yard line). The Wildcats drove into the red zone twice in the 2nd quarter but were forced to kick two field goals. K-State went into a halftime with a disappointing 9-6 lead.

K-State wanted to come out in the second half and make a statement but was unable to. Once again Glasser had a successful drive but it stalled in the red zone and the Bears were forced to kick a field goal which tied the game at 9 apiece. From there it went downhill for Missouri State. On the very next possession Kansas State drove the ball at will against Missouri State and scored on a 18 yard touchdown pass to Tramaine Thompson to give K-State the 16-9 lead.

After a couple possessions from both teams that went nowhere K-State got the spark they needed. Tyler Lockett busted out a 43 yard punt return putting K-State in excellent field position. After a 17 yard rush by Klein the Wildcats were inside the 10 yard line to end the 3rd quarter. From there on it was a rout. Braden Wilson scored his second career touchdown on a 4 yard rush.  Then after the Bears pinned K-State on their own two yard line after a beautiful 67 yard punt, John Hubert made the play of the game with a 95 yard rushing touchdown giving K-State a 30-9 lead.

On the very next possession Glasser made his first huge mistake of the season throwing an interception to all-american Nigel Malone. Klein connected on a one yard touchdown pass to Chris Harper to give K-State a 37-9 lead. The very next possession Missouri State had a turnover on downs and back up K-State quarterback Daniel Sams entered for the first time in his career. His drive started with a 10 yard penalty for holding. Sams then ran the ball 3 times for 17 yards. Following a roughing the kicker penalty Sams was given another chance with the offense. On the very first play following the penalty Sams rushed the ball 46 yards for his first career touchdown.

K-States final score came from an 89 yard punt return from Thompson, capping off the Wildcats’ 51-9 win over Terry Allen’s Missouri State bears. The score is very misleading, however, as the Bears gave K-State all they could handle for much of three quarters. One perfect quarter doesn’t erase three below average quarters. The secondary struggled to guard Missouri State receivers, but never gave up “the big one.” The defensive line also failed to sack the Missouri State quarterback through the entire game. If K-State wants to compete for a Big 12 title they have to play much better.

PREDICTION: 62-3 K-State
RESULT: 51-9 K-State

NEXT UP FOR KANSAS STATE: Miami
NEXT UP FOR MISSOURI STATE: Louisville

The Big 12 Wrap-Up

West Virginia 

The West Virginia Mountaineers started their season off with a very impressive offensive showing against the Marshall Thundering Herd. Geno Smith stamped his name in as a major Heisman contender by going 32-36 passing for 323 yards and four touchdowns. His legs were also in action by gaining 65 yards on only 8 carries with another scoring touchdown.

The Mountaineers jumped out to an early 13-0 lead and nearly went up 3 scores until the Thundering Herd held them on a goal line stand. The Herd took advantage of this score on a 14 play 98 yard drive cutting the lead to 6. Marshall kept the game within reach until Tavon Austin busted off a 70 yard rush which set up a 6 yard touchdown pass from Geno Smith to Tavon Austin putting the Mountaineers up 27-10.

After that score it was smooth sailing for West Virginia. By the end of the game West Virginia had scored a touchdown on all but four possessions (a turnover on downs from Marshalls 2 yard line,  a punt in the 3rd quarter, a punt in the fourth quarter, and an interception with less than a minute remaining in the game). Two of those possessions (including the turnover) were by the 2nd string offense.

The Mountaineer defense did show some signs of weakness as they gave up 413 passing yards. But some of those numbers are inflated as the 2nd string defense was in for much of the 2nd half. The rush defense was very impressive giving up only 132 yards on 45 carries (2.9 yards per carry). Although Marshall is not the most talented opponent, West Virginia proved that they are a definite Big 12 championship contender.

PREDICTION: West Virginia 48-13
RESULT: West Virginia 69-34

NEXT UP FOR WEST VIRGINIA: James Madison
NEXT UP FOR MARSHALL: Western Carolina

Iowa State

The Iowa State Cyclones made a statement in their opening week. The Tulsa Hurricane was without question the toughest opponent a Big 12 team faced during week one. The Hurricane is led by Nebraska QB transfer Cody Green. But Iowa State was able to keep Green in check, only allowing 198 yards on 49 passes (only 23 were completed). The tough Iowa State defense had a little trouble stopping the run giving up 160 yards on 34 carries (4.7 yards per carry). But that was inflated from one 77 yard rush by Tulsa HB Trey Watts. If you subtract that from the total the Iowa State defense gave up only 83 yards on 33 carries for a very impressive 2.5 yards per carry.

But the Iowa State defense wasn’t the question mark going into this game. The defense is led All-Big 12 linebackers Jake Knott and AJ Klein. The real question mark was their offense. Last season freshman Jared Barnett took over for an injured and struggling Steele Jantz. This season the senior quarterback, Jantz, took his job back and played incredibly well passing 32-45 for 281 yards and two touchdowns. Shontrelle Johnson, Iowa States JR HB, ran for 120 yards on only 18 carries and a score.

The game wasn’t a blowout, and Tulsa gave the Clones a very tough first half.  Iowa State struck first with a 43 yard touchdown pass from Jantz to Josh Lenz. But Tulsa answered back by forcing a safety and then scoring on two touchdowns to end the first quarter. The extra point on the second score was blocked making the score Tulsa 16 Iowa State 7 going into the second. Iowa State finished the half strong out scoring Tulsa 17-0 in the 2nd giving ISU a 24-16 lead.

Iowa State scored first in the second half giving the Clones a two score lead, but Tulsa did not go down lightly. Tulsa’s Cody Green connected on a 4 yard touchdown pass to make the game a one score lead with 9 minutes remaining in the game. After a couple of failed drives the Iowa State defense held Tulsa on two drives which could have tied the football game. Following the defensive stand, Junior HB Johnson scored the back breaker to give the clones a 38-23 lead with just over 2 minutes to play.

PREDICTION: Iowa State 17-16
RESULT: Iowa State 38-23

NEXT UP FOR ISU: Iowa
NEXT UP FOR TULSA: Tulane 

Oklahoma State

The Oklahoma State Cowboys began their 2012 campaign with the most lopsided victory in the nation. The Cowboys put up 84 points in an shutout of Savannah State. Coming into the season there were question marks on if the Cowboys offense could keep its pace going from last season after losing superstar players in QB Brandon Weedon and WR Justin Blackmon. That was answered quickly in this game.

The Cowboys defense dominated Savannah State from start to finish in this game. In the first 7 possessions in the 1st quarter Savannah State went 3 and out 5 times, had a turnover, and punted after 5 plays. The Cowboys offense capitalized quickly scoring 5 rushing touchdowns in the first quarter in drives that took no longer than 1:30 to score. The game was over before the second quarter started.

By the end of the game the Cowboys rushing attack had put up 395 rushing yards with a staggering 9 rushing touchdowns. As impressive as this game was it really doesn’t show how good the Cowboys are. It does show the many weapons that Oklahoma State has and that they cannot be taken lightly. But Savannah State is one of, if not the, worst teams in college football. During the previous 3 seasons the Tigers have only won four games, and have lost handily to teams such as Southeastern Louisiana State (6-63), Florida A&M (7-47), Norfolk State (3-45), and Bethune-Cookman (3-59). Oklahoma State will face their first test next week at Arizona.

PREDICTION: Oklahoma State 52-19
RESULT: Oklahoma State 84-0

NEXT UP FOR OK STATE: Arizona
NEXT UP FOR SAVANNAH STATE: Florida State 

Kansas

The Charlie Weis Era started this past weekend in Lawrence against the South Dakota State Jack Rabbits. For much of the game it looked like Déjà vu of Turner Gills first game against North Dakota State, but with a solid third quarter the Hawks were able to close out a scare from the Jack Rabbits.

The game didn’t start out the way KU fans would have liked. Running back Zach Zenner for SDSU took a hand off from the goal line and took it 99 yards to pay dirt. After a couple of failed opportunities where KU moved the ball well but didn’t score (missed field goal, turnover on downs both from SDSU’s 25 yard line) KU scored on a rushing touchdown by Tony Pierson to tie the game. KU’s defense had a very solid 2nd quarter but the offense sputtered. Right before the end of the half KU started a possession from the Jack Rabbit’s 7 yard line. They moved the ball -4 yards and had to settle with a field goal. Still this gave the Hawks a 10-7 halftime lead.

The second half was better for KU. Kansas scored on their first two possessions in the third quarter, including Dayne Crist’s first career KU touchdown pass giving KU a 24-7 lead. But from there the offense sputtered again scoring on only one of their next 6 possessions, which also resulted in an interception and a turnover on downs. But luckily KU’s defense stepped up big for their struggling offense by forcing 4 turnovers in the second half (5 for the game). KU won the game in victory formation 31-17.

PREDICTION: 31-10
RESULT: 31-17

NEXT UP FOR KU: Rice
NEXT UP FOR SDSU: Southeastern Louisiana

Texas Tech

The Red Raiders return a lot of talent for the 2012 season and were looking to get off to a fast start. The Red Raiders got exactly that in their season opener scoring on 4 of their first 5 drives to start the game. These drives were long time consuming drives, with the shortest being a 10 play 68 yard drive that resulted in a field goal. The Red Raider defense did a solid job of keeping Northwestern State out of the end zone, but was unable to force a turnover.

Seth Doege had to shake a little rust off going 23-34 passing for 199 yards 1 touchdown and an interception. Erik Stephens returned from injury for the Red Raiders and rushed for 58 yards and two scores. The game wasn’t sloppy, but it wasn’t overly impressive. Texas Tech played a very efficient game. They didn’t give up big plays, or make mental mistakes offensively (other than their very first possession which resulted in an interception). They will be a dangerous offense in the Big 12.

PREDICTION: 64-10
RESULT: 44-6
NEXT UP FOR TECH: Texas State
NEXT UP FOR NORTHWESTERN ST: Arkansas-Monticello 

Texas

The Texas Longhorns opened their season with the Wyoming Cowboys. The Longhorns played an efficient game against a fairly talented Wyoming team. Texas quarterback David Ash played conservatively but effectively throwing the ball 27 times while completing 20 of those passes for 156 yards and a touchdown. The passing attack did look vanilla not taking very many deep threats, but you can do that when you have a great rushing attack, which Texas surely does.

Texas was led by sophomore HB Joe Bergeron who ran for 110 yards on 15 carries with a touchdown. Sophomore HB Malcolm Brown was right behind him with 105 yards on 14 carries and a score. The Longhorns will be set at halfback for many years to come and will be the most effective part of there offense this season. Offensively the Longhorns did not have a single turnover.

Wyoming actually led the Longhorns after one quarter with a 9-7 lead. But that faded fast with a 17-0 second quarter for Texas. The Longhorns defense allowed 276 passing yards and two touchdowns. But they also had two turnovers, and held the Wyoming offense to 69 yards rushing on 30 carries (2.3 per carry).

PREDICTION: 41-3
RESULT: 37-17
NEXT UP FOR TEXAS: New Mexico
NEXT UP FOR WYOMING: Toledo

Oklahoma 

The Oklahoma Sooners had the most disappointing start to the season of Big 12 schools. They were expected to dominate the Miners of UTEP from start to finish. Instead, they were in a battle until the final minutes of the 4th quarter. The Sooners offense looked very stale against a pesky UTEP defense, scoring on only one of 7 drives in the first half.

UTEP took first blood in this game by blocking a punt and returning it 24 yards to take a 7-0 lead. OU responded with a 68 yard touchdown pass from Landry Jones to Kenny Stills. From this point until late into the 4th it was a defensive battle. OU had struggles stopping UTEP HB Nathan Jeffery as he ran for 177 yards on 21 carries. But the Sooners defense was able to keep all other backs in check by only allowing 30 yards on 15 carries (2.0 yards per carry). The Sooners defense also dominated QB Nick Lamaison who only completed 6 passes the entire game for only 39 yards.

The UTEP defense was equally impressive as they had constant pressure on OU’s Jones. Jones played a smart game and avoided throwing any interceptions and tossing two touchdowns. OU scored touchdowns on two of there final three possessions to ice the game. It was a larger test than they expected, but they came to play when it mattered. OU’s defense didn’t allow a point and the offense did not turn the ball over.

PREDICTION: OU 56-0
RESULT: OU 24-7
NEXT UP FOR OU: Florida A&M
NEXT UP FOR UTEP: Ole Miss

Baylor 

The Baylor Bears were another Big 12 team to really make a statement that they are not a team to be taken lightly. Everyone knew they had an explosive offense last year. But how were they going to respond after losing Terrence Ganaway, Kendall Wright, and most importantly Robert Griffin III? Well they answered that with Nick Florence and Terrence Williams.

The bears jumped out to an early 14-0 lead against the Mustangs on their first two drives going 74 and 75 yards. Baylor had a solid balanced attack rushing for 220 yards, and passing for 393 to route the mustangs 59-24. The defensive stats are elevated a bit. Baylor took a 45-3 lead late in the third, and it was after this that SMU scored the majority of their 24 points. Baylor did allow the Mustangs to rush for 145 yards on 29 carries. Garrett Gilbert (former Texas QB) led the Mustangs with passing yards with 286, but he threw 2 costly interceptions.

The Baylor offense will yet again be a high powered attack. The defense looked to be improved from what the starters have shown, but they have ways to go. Luckily for Baylor they have one of the best defensive coordinators in football, Phil Bennett former SMU head coach, and Kansas State defensive coordinator.

PREDICTION: 28-24
RESULT: 59-24
NEXT UP FOR BAYLOR: Sam Houston St
NEXT UP FOR SMU: Stephen F. Austin