Sunday, September 8, 2013
What we learned in the Big 12: Week 2
By Jake Trotter
Here's what we learned in a weird Week 2 in the Big 12:
1. Texas is the same Texas: During the offseason and the preseason, coach Mack Brown kept saying how this Texas team was different than the ones from the past three seasons. However, in a loss to BYU on Saturday, this looked like the same Texas. The Longhorns' defense surrendered a school-record 550 yards on the ground while the Texas offense could only watch on in horror. This will be an interesting week in Austin. And if the Longhorns fall to a surging Ole Miss team this weekend, the wheels could begin to careen off -- assuming they haven’t already.
J.W. Walsh threw for 326 yards and four TDs in Oklahoma State's victory over UTSA.
2. J.W. Walsh can throw: In just his fourth career start, the Oklahoma State sophomore showed that he’s not just an option quarterback. Against UTSA, Walsh completed 24 of 27 passes for 326 yards and four touchdowns as the Cowboys coasted to an easy win. Walsh, in fact, broke Brandon Weeden’s school record for completion percentage in a game (88.9 percent), and notched the third-highest QBR of any player in college football for the week. Sure, the performance came against UTSA. But if Walsh continues to throw like that, the Cowboys will be difficult to contain on offense this season.
3. Oklahoma’s QB controversy is just getting started: Freshman Trevor Knight might have won the quarterback job during the preseason. But Saturday night against West Virginia, he gave the Sooners plenty of reasons to reopen the competition. After a lackluster first half, Knight fell apart in the second. He completed just one of five passes and threw two interceptions before the Sooners benched him in favor of Blake Bell early in the fourth quarter. After Sam Bradford and Landry Jones both shattered multiple passing records during their careers, Oklahoma is now struggling just to complete passes. Coach Bob Stoops hinted after the game that he might make a switch at quarterback. Considering the way Knight played Saturday, Stoops might have to with Notre Dame, TCU and Texas coming up on the schedule.
4. Trevone Boykin is the man for the Frogs: TCU’s quarterback controversy resolved itself Saturday when starter Casey Pachall suffered an injury to his non-throwing arm that required surgery. With Pachall expected to miss an extended period of time, Boykin can officially move forward as the quarterback in the TCU offense. Pachall won the starting job during the preseason; but so far, the offense has been more effective with Boykin, who, after replacing Pachall, led the Horned Frogs to three straight scoring drives on Saturday to put away Southeastern Louisiana. After Pachall left school last season, Boykin went just 3-6 as a starter. But he looks like an improved quarterback across the board and brings an element of mobility to the position that was missing with Pachall in the game.
5. The Baylor offense is scary: For the second week in a row (this time against Buffalo), Baylor scored four touchdowns in the first quarter, prompting Bulls coach Jeff Quinn to suggest the Bears might deserve to be ranked with the team he faced last week (Ohio State). Baylor might not be on that level just yet. But there’s no reason why with this balanced and prolific offense, the Bears can’t contend in a wide-open Big 12.