Home Football Big 12 Big 12 Rundown: Week One Reaction

Big 12 Rundown: Week One Reaction

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Was that supposed to be funny?

Texas Tech is 1-0, and the offense moved the ball as you’d expect the Red Raiders to do. Over 600 yards of offense to go along with 42 points. Sophomore quarterback Davis Webb threw for 452 yards, four touchdowns and over eight yards per attempt. But what in the world happened on defense? Central Arkansas put up 35 points and even went 6-6 on fourth down conversions. Further more, the Red Raiders committed 15 penalties for 113 yards. We’ll just chalk that one up to first game jitters.

Getting defensive 

The Texas Longhorns weren’t flashy. They scored 38 points with 354 total yards of offense, but that was an impressive win. The defense suffocated the Mean Green  and only allowed 94 yards of total offense, forcing four interceptions. What’s the big deal, right? It was just North Texas. The Longhorns are expected to dominate. Keep in mind the Horns’ total defense was ranked 6th last year in the Big 12. Also, keep mind New Mexico State put up over 340 yards on the defense in last years’ opener. The Mean Grean could only muster up three competitions. It was total domination against a nine win bowl team from a year ago. This was a great start to the Charlie Strong Era. Going forward, if Dominic Espinosa misses any significant time after leaving the game in the third quarter with an ankle injury, that would be a terrible setback.

 Getting offensive 

The TCU offense has been terrible in recent years, and has held the team back severely in the Big 12 since transitioning over, but there was plenty to get excited about in yesterdays’ 48-14 victory over Samford. I know, there isn’t much to brag about defeating Samford, but can you remember the last time the Frogs put up over 500 yards of offense, while completely dominating an opponent? It was the 2012 opener against Grambling. The variety of called plays and players used by Doug Meacham and Sonny Cumbie was something to behold. 13 players caught at least one pass and the ground game produced 200 yards, with seven players running the ball. Trevone Boykin appears to be the man needed behind center, so enough with the two QB uncertainty.

Almost giant slayers 

Both West Virginia and Oklahoma State opened with games that had the potential of shaking up the playoff landscape in the first week. West Virginia wasn’t expected to challenge (2) Alabama in any area except who had a firmer handshake at the end of the game, but the Mountaineers kept the game within reach until the very end. Clint Trickett looked outstanding compared to last season; he was able to pick which open receiver he wanted to throw to and hit his spots well. The ground game on the other hand didn’t come close to contributing. Defensively, WVU held ‘Bama to a field goal four times, keeping them out of the red zone better than anyone expected. The Tide were clearly the better team, it’s silly to even bring it up, and there’s still a loss in West Virginia’s 2014 record. But the question now becomes how will the Mountaineers respond moving forward this season? Can we expect this kind of tough performance every week from Trickett and co., or are they going to play to their level of their opponents and take their fans on a roller coaster ride through December?

Oh, that pesky J.W. Walsh fumble! With under five minutes to go, and the Cowboys down six points at midfield, the absolute worst happened for OSU. The Walsh fumble sealed their fate for week one, but the rest of the season might turn out very well. Oklahoma State was another team not expected to, well, wait, with so many young players on a team in the middle of a transition, we didn’t know what to expect. The Cowboys overcame a very shaky start and didn’t back down. The defense was impressive. Florida State had 14 possessions, but just three touchdowns and three field goals. The ‘Noles will have one of the best offenses in the nation this season, so yes, this performance holds water. Walsh hasn’t been able to put it together in the past but the junior looked poised and confident last night.

That was fast

After jumping out to a 14 point lead over the FBS slayer North Dakota State Bison, the Iowa State Cyclones played like the Iowa State Cyclones. Aaron Wimberly was ready for a big day, running for two scores early on, but didn’t do much the rest of the game. ISU was out gained 503 to 253. After a 34-14 loss that came about after center Tom Farniok and wideout Quenton Bundrage both went down with injuries, Iowa State fans need to temper their expectations for this season.

 

*Section Photo credit to John Weast, Getty Images; Featured Photo (above) credit to Paul Abell, USA Today Sports

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