Oklahoma Sooners: Terrance Williams

Best WR tandems in Big 12 history

November, 4, 2013
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The Big 12 has featured some prolific wide receiver tandems over the years.

Baylor’s Tevin Reese and Antwan Goodley, however, have a chance to top that list.

[+] EnlargeAntwan Goodley, Tevin Reese
Jerome Miron/USA TODAY SportsAntwan Goodley and Tevin Reese rank 1-2 in the Big 12 in receiving yards per game.
This season, Reese is second in the Big 12 with 118 yards receiving a game. He trails only Goodley, who leads the league with an average of 128 yards receiving. They are a big reason why the Bears are on pace to break the FBS records for points (56.0) and yards (624.9) per game that were set by Army in 1944 and Houston in 1989.

Depending on how they finish, Reese and Goodley could wind up becoming the best duo in Big 12 history. But they aren’t the only big-time duos in the Big 12 this year.

Kansas State’s Tramaine Thompson and Tyler Lockett have been lighting it up since returning from injury. The last two weeks the two have totaled five touchdown catches.

Jalen Saunders and Sterling Shepard lead the Sooners with five touchdowns apiece. Texas Tech’s Eric Ward and Jakeem Grant are fifth and sixth in the league in receiving. Oklahoma State’s Josh Stewart and Tracy Moore are beginning to warm up with Clint Chelf at QB. And Jaxon Shipley and Mike Davis have been stalwarts in this league for years.

But who are the best tandems ever to play Big 12? We lay it out below.

Tight ends were not included (sorry Jermaine Gresham and Chase Coffman). The tandems were evaluated on what they accomplished together, not on whether their careers simply overlapped (eliminating Jeremy Maclin and Danario Alexander, for example); and, this is a list for duos, not singles, trios or quartets (apologies to Rashaun Woods, and the 2008 Oklahoma and 2010 Baylor receiving corps).

To the list:

1. Stedman Bailey and Tavon Austin, West Virginia (2012): In their only year in the league, this tandem was one-two in the Big 12 in receiving, combining for 224 receptions and 2,914 receiving yards. Bailey himself had 25 receiving touchdowns; nobody else in the league had more than 13. Austin, meanwhile, also rushed for 344 yards in one game at running back. As Bailey tweeted out earlier Monday morning on this topic, “case closed.”

2. Michael Crabtree and Danny Amendola, Texas Tech (2007): Crabtree got all the headlines in 2007 on his way to winning his first of two Biletnikoff awards. But out of the slot, Amendola quietly put up 109 receptions for 1,245 yards, as Tech went 9-4.

3. Jordan Shipley and Quan Cosby, Texas (2008): Shipley and Cosby starred on one of the three best Big 12 teams that didn’t win a conference title. The two each had 1,000 receiving yards and double-digit TDs from QB Colt McCoy, as the Longhorns finished the year 12-1, their only loss coming on Crabtree’s game-winning touchdown in the final seconds in Lubbock. The two were also prolific on special teams, with Shipley’s kick return touchdown sparking Texas’ 45-35 comeback win over Oklahoma.

4. Justin Blackmon and Josh Cooper, Oklahoma State (2011): As with Crabtree-Amendola, Blackmon got all the attention on his way to a second Biletnikoff award. But Cooper was a pivotal piece in OSU’s first Big 12 title team, as he racked up 71 receptions out of the slot. Blackmon, of course, had a monster year with 121 catches and 18 touchdowns.

5. Kendall Wright and Terrance Williams, Baylor (2011): Reese was actually the third wheel to this duo, which shined with RGIII at quarterback. Wright was an All-American with 108 catches, 1,663 yard and 14 touchdowns. Williams was big time, too, finishing fifth in the Big 12 in receiving before taking over the No. 1 role in 2012.

6. Ryan Broyles and Kenny Stills, Oklahoma (2010): Broyles led college football with 131 receptions on his way to becoming the all-time FBS leader in career catches. Stills broke OU’s freshman single-season receiving record, as the Sooners stormed back to capture the Big 12 crown after a pair of midseason losses.

7. Kerry Meier and Dezmon Briscoe, Kansas (2008): It might be difficult to remember now, but the Jayhawks used to play some ball. Meier tied Crabtree for second in the league with 97 receptions. Briscoe trailed only Dez Bryant with 1,402 receiving yards. This was an underrated duo.

8. Quincy Morgan and Aaron Lockett, Kansas State (1999): On one of the first passing teams in the Big 12, Morgan and Lockett shined. Morgan had 42 receptions for 1,007 yards and nine touchdowns and was a first-team all-conference selection. Lockett, Tyler Lockett's uncle, was a second-team all-league pick for the Wildcats, who went 11-1 and finished the year ranked sixth in the polls.

9. Mark Clayton and Travis Wilson, Oklahoma (2004): Clayton carried the moniker of best receiver in OU history until Broyles came around. Because of Adrian Peterson, Clayton’s numbers dipped in ’04, but he was still an All-American with 66 catches. Wilson led the Sooners with 11 TD grabs, as OU advanced to a second consecutive national championship game.

10. Jarrett Hicks and Joel Filani, Texas Tech (2005): Neither might be a household name around the Big 12 anymore, but these two were both first-team All-Big 12 selections in ’05 along with Iowa State WR Todd Blythe.

Roundtable: Landmine game in 2013 

January, 24, 2013
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Every Thursday, the SoonerNation staff will answer a roundtable question about OU football. Leave a comment or talk about it in our "There's Only One" forum.

Today's question: Which game in 2013, outside of at Notre Dame and at Oklahoma State, should be considered a land mine for the Sooners?

[+] EnlargeCasey Pachall
AP Photo/Jake SchoellkopfIf Casey Pachall returns as TCU's starting quarterback in 2013, OU's game vs. the Horned Frogs could be tougher.
• The Sooners have one of the toughest schedules in the country, with 11 of their 12 opponents coming off bowl appearances. The three-game gauntlet of Notre Dame (Sept. 28), TCU (Oct. 5) and Texas (Oct. 12) will be the defining stretch of the season. But another game OU ought to be wary of is a Nov. 16 trip to Waco. Baylor ended the 2012 season as one of the hottest teams in the country, and while QB Nick Florence and WR Terrance Williams are gone, the Bears return plenty of firepower. The last time the Sooners went to Waco they lost in dramatic fashion, and Kansas State and Oklahoma State found out how tough it is to win there this past season. The Sooners are capable of escaping October unscathed. That visit to Baylor, however, is capable of derailing them, too.
Senior Bowl practices are in full swing, and our team of scouts are on the ground in Mobile, Ala. offering updates. What have they found from the Big 12 talents?

Baylor's Terrance Williams is already blowing up, and looked the part of the best receiver at the entire event, writes colleagues Todd McShay and Steve Muench Insider. Scouts loved his "elite speed" and ability to catch the ball over his shoulder and pluck it out of the air, as well as the ability to make defenders miss. He's not shifty, as you saw last year, but his straight-line speed is giving defenders fits.

Landry Jones stood out as the "best arm" of the South's quarterbacks, but drew criticism for holding on to the ball too long, even though our scouts cited some nice throws during team drills.

Our own Kevin Weidl came away impressed Insider with Texas DE Alex Okafor's performance out at the North practice. There was some inconsistency, but Weidl loved his length, power and use of his hands, even if he lacks some explosiveness, too.

One other tough note from Mobile? West Virginia receiver Tavon Austin was one of five players who canceled in the 72 hours before the game, reports our trio Insider.

They called those decisions "immature" and something that angers scouts, and will necessitate later explanation.

Film review: Oklahoma 42, Baylor 34 

November, 11, 2012
11/11/12
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In a matchup of the Big 12’s most prolific passing offense and the conference’s top pass defense, there was a clear winner.

Oklahoma knocked off Baylor 42-34 on Saturday night at Oklahoma Memorial Stadium behind a terrific performance from the Sooners' secondary. The much-maligned group held Baylor to 172 passing yards and the Sooners' offense used another solid day from quarterback Landry Jones and the return of healthy Damien Williams to keep OU’s BCS berth hopes alive. Here are some key moments from the Sooners' win over the Bears.

Kenny Stills’ 15-yard catch on OU’s first drive

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Five storylines: Baylor vs. Oklahoma 

November, 8, 2012
11/08/12
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Oklahoma hosts Baylor at 2:30 p.m. CT on Saturday as the Sooners look to improve to 5-1 in Big 12 play. Here are five storylines to keep an eye on:

1. Will the Sooners defense redeem itself?

When people think of Baylor’s win over OU last season, thoughts of Bears receivers running uncontested through the secondary immediately come to mind.

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Scouting Baylor: Williams a big threat 

November, 6, 2012
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Baylor will arrive at Oklahoma Memorial Stadium with some momentum after a 41-14 win over Kansas last weekend. When the Sooners and Bears battle at 2:30 p.m. CT Saturday, OU will have to worry about Nick Florence, the Big 12’s leader in total offense who has stepped in after Robert Griffin III to provide a quality run-pass threat. But Florence is not the lone Bear who could cause concern this weekend.

SoonerNation watched Baylor’s win over Kansas and came away with three other key factors that could impact Saturday’s game.

[+] EnlargeQuandre Diggs
AP Photo/Michael ThomasBaylor receiver Terrance Williams is one of the top offensive players in the Big 12.
Slowing Terrance Williams

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Sooners schedule preview: Baylor 

August, 7, 2012
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November 10, 2012: Baylor
2011 record: 10-3 | 2011 conference record: 6-3 (Big 12)
OU’s all-time against Baylor: 20-1

Top returners: WR Terrance Williams, WR Tevin Reese, TE Jordan Najvar, OT Cyril Richardson, CB K.J. Morton, S Ahmad Dixon

Key losses: QB Robert Griffin III, RB Terrance Ganaway, WR Kendall Wright, C Phillip Blake, OG Robert T. Griffin, DT Nicolas Jean-Baptiste, DT Tracy Robertson, LB Elliot Coffey

2011 statistical leaders (*returners)
Rushing: Terrance Ganaway (1,347 yards)
Passing: Robert Griffin III (3,998 yards)
Receiving: Kendall Wright (1,572 yards)
Tackles: Elliot Coffey (114)
Sacks: Tracy Robertson (4.5)
Interceptions: K.J. Morton* (4)

What they’re saying: “It's been a phenomenal year for Baylor athletics. In general, I think our national brand is probably as good as it's ever been on a national level. I'm just thankful and happy to be a part of it. What we have to do now is maintain it, and that's where my inspiration, passion, and drive certainly is going to come from.” -- head coach Art Briles

Three things to watch:

1. It’s pretty much impossible to replace the best player in college football. After all, QB Robert Griffin III had the best football season in Baylor history. But the Bears must turn the page with Griffin in the NFL. The good news is that they have a veteran in senior Nick Florence. Briles praised Florence’s maturity at Big 12 media days. He doesn’t need to be RG3. But for Baylor to come close to the year it had last season, Florence will have to be good.

2. The Bears quietly picked up a transfer from running back Lache Seastrunk. The former No. 1 RB in Texas transferred to Baylor from Oregon last year, and now is eligible. The Bears have other backs, but Seastrunk could be a difference-maker who eases the sting of losing Griffin.

3. The Bears beat OU for the first time in 21 tries. How will Baylor handle that going to Norman? More importantly, how will OU handle it? The Sooners have been good in revenge games under Bob Stoops. Baylor better bring its best game.

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Early 2012 Big 12 power rankings

January, 10, 2012
1/10/12
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With the season over, it's time to take a look at the Big 12 in 2012. For now, that means assuming a few things. And we all know what assuming does.

It makes us all look like geniuses.

So, for the purpose of this, I'll assume a few predictions. First, I'll assume Robert Griffin III is heading for the NFL. I'll also assume Mike Stoops lands back at Oklahoma.

That said, it's time to project what this league looks like in 2012.

And, before we start, let me make this clear: The Big 12 from 1-6 is absolutely wide open. Last year, the league only had three legitimate title contenders: Oklahoma, Texas A&M and Oklahoma State. This year, every one of the top six teams (and maybe seven, if RG3 returns) can win the Big 12 in a realistic scenario. The difference between Nos. 2 and 6 is minuscule and could change a ton by the end of spring practice.

And for the curious: I would have Missouri behind Kansas State on this list, and I'd have Texas A&M right behind Texas.

1. Oklahoma: The Sooners moved into the familiar role of favorite after Landry Jones announced he'd return in 2012, but not nearly as heavy a favorite as they were in 2011. Injuries hurt Oklahoma late this season, and replacing Big 12 Defensive Player of the Year Frank Alexander, along with linebacker Travis Lewis and corner Jamell Fleming won't be easy. Receivers Kenny Stills and Jaz Reynolds have to play big for the Sooners to get the win.

2. Kansas State: The big question mark for this team is can it take care of business and not get stuck in close games in 2012? The Wildcats were 8-1 in games decided by a touchdown or less this season. They can't count on duplicating that in 2012. They should be better, and return most of the big pieces from this season's 10-win team, most importantly quarterback Collin Klein and linebacker Arthur Brown. Next season is the time to prove it.

3. West Virginia: Who else is excited to see Geno Smith, Dana Holgorsen and the Mountaineer Express show up in Big 12 country next season? Like I wrote last week, giving up 33 points and still winning by five touchdowns is the Big 12 way of life. The Mountaineers broke Baylor's week-old bowl scoring record with 70 points, and bring back most of a good Big East champion team in 2012. The transition won't be easy, but they've got a chance to make a big splash in their inaugural year. The Big 12 and West Virginia are both convinced that the Mountaineers will join the Big 12 in 2012 and are planning as if it will happen, though pending lawsuits with the Big East mean it's still unofficial.

(Read full post)

RG3's Bears shock Oklahoma, make history

November, 20, 2011
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WACO, Texas -- Robert Griffin III made his way into Baylor's locker room, but paused when he opened the door.

Nobody was there.

"I was like, where'd everybody go?"

They were still on the field celebrating. There was a postgame party at Floyd Casey Stadium, and everybody wearing green and gold was invited. The Bears had swiped the Sooners' picnic basket.

Before tonight, Baylor had never had a chance to celebrate a win over Oklahoma.

With a 34-yard toss from Griffin to Terrance Williams in the back corner of the end zone, that all changed.

"There at the end, God works in mysterious ways," Griffin said with a wide smile. "When I looked down the field, I saw him one-on-one. All this is happening in milliseconds, so I saw him one-on-one and I was like, 'Well, I’ll give him a shot.' I threw it up, and he made a great catch."

[+] EnlargeBaylor's Robert Griffin III
Sarah Glenn/Getty ImagesBaylor's Robert Griffin III passed for 479 yards and four touchdowns in the upset over Oklahoma.
Baylor 45, Oklahoma 38.

That play, coach Art Briles admitted, was "not the way we drew it up."

"The dude has had the ability to take over a game by himself," said Baylor linebacker Elliot Coffey, "and you saw it."

We all saw it. We saw Griffin prove once again he's the best deep-ball passer in college football, throwing four touchdown passes, even if one of them unbelievably deflected off Tevin Reese's hands and helmet before floating into Kendall Wright's hands for a game-changing 87-yard score.

Griffin could only shake his head at that one, but he finished with a school-record 476 yards on 21-of-34 passing, breaking his own single-season school record for passing yards. He was also the Bears' leading rusher with 72 yards.

"Another day at the office for Robert," Briles said. "He’s been doing that for three or four years. When the ball’s in his hand, he’s going to make good things happen, because he’s very intelligent, very passionate and very gifted."

Said Baylor safety Ahmad Dixon: "You can't really defend him. You have to just take what he gives you."

No run was bigger than a 22-yard scramble on second down on the game's final drive, when Baylor had just 51 seconds left and no timeouts. Oklahoma had three, and when the Bears looked content to try to run it and settle for overtime, the Sooners used one. Baylor knew it needed a first down. The man they call RG3 provided those precious 22 yards.

"Then the whole thing flips," Briles said.

The aggressive move backfired, and the Sooners' fate was in the hands of the most dangerous player in the Big 12. Baylor should have known.

"Robert Griffin’s the best in the game," running back Terrance Ganaway said. "When the ball’s in his hands, expect big things."

The late toss to Williams was the biggest, and Griffin barely saw it. He took a big hit, but saw Williams haul it in. He wasn't sure, but the offensive linemen that mobbed him confirmed it.

"Robert, you just won us the game," they told him.

He got up, took a moment to kneel near midfield, then pointed to the sky and jogged to the sideline. He just wrote maybe the most memorable chapter in Baylor history. They'll never forget this night in Waco.

"When you work for something extremely hard for a lot of years, and you finally get it, it’s a great feeling," Griffin said. "We worked for this. We haven’t been waiting for it. We’ve been preparing for it. And it finally came to pass."

Baylor's already been through the whole bowl eligibility brouhaha. That's so 2010. Saturday was the third time Floyd Casey Stadium's field has been stormed in the past two seasons. Baylor's already equaled its win total from 2010 with two games remaining, and the Bears might be favored in both. Then there's a bowl game.

That's not lost on Griffin.

"It's great, but you've still got to show up every day and go to work. Go to practice. Watch film. That's something I've learned to appreciate, because the year I was hurt, I couldn't practice," said Griffin, who missed the final nine games of the 2009 season with a torn ACL. "I couldn't walk. I couldn't go to the bathroom by myself. My mom had to help me. My fiancee had to help me. So, when things like that happen to you, it makes you appreciate everything."

America learned to appreciate Griffin once again, too. He captured the nation's attention with a game-winning drive on the first weekend of the season against TCU, but the Bears suffered a pair of losses and dropped out of the Top 25. A slew of losses from top-ranked teams, though, combined with RG3's heroics?

The Heisman race has gotten a sudden face-lift.

"They say we needed a signature win," Griffin said with a laugh. "And we got it."

Baylor looking to loosen up Sooner D

November, 19, 2011
11/19/11
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WACO, Texas -- Oklahoma's pursuing Baylor's running game aggressively, and it's paid off.

The Bears carried the ball six times on their opening drive.

Four went for losses. One was for no gain. The other went 6 yards.

Oklahoma looked bent on flying to the ball and making Baylor's offense one-dimensional.

Baylor, though, tried to answer. Robert Griffin III is looking deep, but his only connection, an 80-yard touchdown to Kendall Wright, was erased by a hold. The Bears ran a double pass from Griffin to Jerod Monk to Terrance Williams, too.

The Bears are trying to soften up the Sooners defense, but Oklahoma's bringing all kinds of blitzes and put a handful of big pops on RG3 on the opening drive.

Baylor will have to hit on a couple of those deep balls before the Sooners back off.

Additionally, we've already had five penalties for 60 yards tonight. An odd start on that front.

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