Frogs O' War cast our eyes over the week that was in the Big 12.
Welcome to the Frogs O' War weekend wrap up- a day late thanks to Baylor playing on Sunday this week where we recap just what happened around our new league (and around our great football playing state). This is the first weekend of football and everyone in the new Big 12 kicked off their season this week (with the exception of us) so there's a whole lot of football to recap- let's get right into it.
Tulsa 24, Iowa State 38- The Golden Hurricanes were favored going into this one, and at the end of the first quarter it was plain to see why- after allowing an Iowa State touchdown on the Cyclone's second possession and then registering a three and out on offense Tulsa found its rhythm and recorded a safety, a touchdown and two point conversion on the ensuing possession and picked off Iowa State QB Steele Jantz to set up another Touchdown for Tulsa. Then in the second quarter the Cyclones hit back, forcing a fumble and totally changing the momentum of the game as Jantz went four for four in the air on the ensuing possession before running it into the end zone himself. Tulsa went three and out and Jantz took over again, tacking on another four completions in the next series and tossing a TD pass that gave Iowa State a 21-16 lead that they would not relinquish. Iowa State tacked on another two TDs ND Jantz was the hero with his arm instead of his legs- which makes Iowa State look considerably more dangerous when they come to Fort Worth for the Frogs' conference home opener. Next game: @ Iowa Hawkeyes (1-0).
South Dakota State 17, Kansas 31- Charlie Weis was victorious in his Big 12 debut, but early indications don't look great for the Jayhawks. The Jayhawks started by missing a field goal (kicking a field goal to beat TCU joke goes here) and soon after allowed a 99 yard touchdown run to give the Jackrabbits a new school record for longest play. Kansas did come back to sit on the Jackrabbits for much of the remainder of the game, but highly touted Notre Dame transfer Dayne Crist had a forgettable debut, completing less that 50% of his passes and putting up a 1:1 Touchdown/interception ratio- not a good sign against a FCS team, but Kansas put together a solid game on the ground with RB Tony Pierson going over 120 yards on twenty carries with two TDs. Don't be worried about Kansas yet, they'll have their hands full with Rice next Saturday. Next game: Rice Owls (0-1)
Northwestern State 6, Texas Tech 44- A mixed bag for Texas Tech. On the positive side, their defense showed a lot of grit that has been lacking the last few years, as the demons forced two Texas Tech turnovers but was only able to turn them into two field goal attempts, one of which missed. The Raiders went over 500 yards of offense, and though they weren't great at running the ball, they did it well enough to create some offensive balance as the Raiders continue to step away from the Air Raid. On the negative side, the offense hiccuped and stumbled a bit and the Raiders invited a bit of controversy when the most popular man on campus (the backup QB) played excellently and efficiently in the fourth quarter. The Raider defense played well but was unable to force any turnovers, leading to a -2 turnover margin that will get you killed in Big 12 play. What's most important for the Raiders though is that they got the win and it was never in question, we'll see how the offense does as they travel to San Marcos to welcome Texas State to the FBS- the same Texas State who beat down the Houston Cougars spread offense last week. Next game: @ Texas State Wildcats (1-0)
See what the big dogs of the Big 12 (and also Baylor!) got up to this week after the jump.
Marshall 34, West Virginia 69- After the 70 point outburst in the Orange Bowl, people tried to temper some expectations about West Virginia this offseason. Yes, they're going to be good on offense this year there's no question, they agreed, but don't expect them to be putting up 70 points on everyone next season. They were right in as much as 69 is less than 70, but it has the same result- a massive victory that West Virginia led by 49 points early in the fourth quarter before Dana Holgorsen called off the dogs. A thirty five point victory in a rivalry game? No matter how bad Marshall may be this year, that's saying something. There is some cause for concern in Morgantown though as Marshall had success moving the ball on West Virginia, racking up over 500 yards of total offense, they just couldn't get it into the end zone enough to keep from being blown out. Jeff Casteel will be missed in Morgantown this season if West Virginia keeps racking up 40+ point outbursts but still drops a few games. Next week will give West Virginia more of a break of the other side of the ball though. Next Game: James Madison Dukes (1-0).
Savannah State 0, Oklahoma State 84- How much do we know about Oklahoma State right now? No matter what happens in the Big 12, they are much better than Savannah State. New cowboy starting QB Wes Lunt completed his first elven passes and the Okies rolled up a 35 point edge at the end of the first quarter. The starters came out but the scoring kept going, as backups got game experience reps all across the board which could come in handy down the track. What can you take away from the game? Not much. Savannah State is not just an FCS team, it is a bad FCS team that has won one game in each of its past two seasons. How will Wes Lunt and the new cowboys react when they play a team that hits back? We'll get a partial answer next week as the Cowboys head to the desert to take on Rich Rodriguez's Arizona team- a team that put up over 600 yards of offense against an above average Toledo team. Next game: @ Arizona Wildcats (1-0).
Missouri State 9, Kansas State 51- It looks like it was a total blowout looking at the score, doesn't it? Look at this score: Missouri State 6, Kansas State 9. That was what it was at the half. Missouri State 9, Kansas State 16. That's better, but still only a touchdown apart- that was the score at the end of three quarters. Then in the fourth quarter things exploded and Kansas State had a comfortable margin at the end. What happened? In the first three quarters Kansas State's offense was essentially the Collin Klein quarterbacking show, supplemented by Collin Klein the leading rusher. Klein is as gifted a quarterback as you'll find in the Big 12 (if he were on Texas they'd be the Big 12 favorite) but he's not good enough to blow out a team, even a Missouri State, on his own. In the fourth quarter he got help in a big way, as the K-State running backs started chewing up the turf in a big way. And, shockingly enough, with the running backs going, Klein was more effective as well! A valuable lesson for Kansas State's coordinators to take into account next week when the competition stiffens. Next game Miami (Fl) (1-0)
SMU 24, Baylor 59- It looks like it was a blowout looking at the score doesn't it? Well in this case the scoreboard is only telling half the story, as SMU was just not competitive at all in this one. That bodes well for our game with the Mustangs on September 29th, but less so for the game with the Bears two weeks later. Mustang quarterback Garret Gilbert looked absolutely hopeless against the Baylor defense, which would be bad news for us if Garrett Gilbert didn't look absolutely hopeless against every defense he's gone against in the Big 12. We'll pass over praising the Baylor defense for now since Gilbert is a fairly miserable QB, but the Bear offense was clicking at a high level as QB Nick Florence completed 70% of his passes and even the normally substandard Baylor ground game rolled out over 200 yards on the ground. It bears (no pun intended) watching whether the Baylor offense can keep rolling without RGIII, but I don't expect the defense to keep performing at a high level for too long. It'll be a while before we get a real read on the bears however, as the rest of their non-conference schedule is a joke. Next game: Sam Houston State Bearkats (0-0).
Wyoming 17, Texas 37- If this game looks familiar to you, don't be too surprised as this one followed the script of each of the two Texas/Wyoming games from the 2009 and 2010 seasons. Texas is slow to get going and Wyoming scores early and one starts to think that the cowboys could make a game of it this year... And then the rest of the game happens and the Texas defense smothers them. This was a bit less thorough than the usual Texas smothering of Wyoming, as Wyoming has Brett Smith- likely the best QB in the Mountain West this year at the helm, but the end result was the same. Texas dominated the game on the ground, racking up 280 rush yards leaving David Ash in the game manager role where he was able to thrive, completing almost 75% of his passes but averaging only 6ish yards per completion. Whether Texas is 8 wins good or 10 wins good is yet to be determined, but the horns are going to be a tough out for anyone if they can run on the relatively soft run defenses of the Big 12. Next game: New Mexico Lobos (1-0).
Oklahoma 27, UTEP 7- OU has to be thanking its lucky stars to be 1-0 today because the Sooners were absolutely dreadful on offense. The OU defense did an excellent job in pitching a shutout (UTEP's touchdown came on a blocked punt), but the Oklahoma offensive line was dreadful and UTEP spent the entire night in Landry Jones' face. As a resut OU was often stymied on third downs, and the game could have easily turned into one of the all-time upsets if UTEP had recovered any of OU's three fumbles (two of which barely made it out of bounds before they could be scooped up). Since we play OU in the last week of the season so they'll have plenty of time to work on these issues before we can capitalize on them, but for this week at least OU looked eminently beatable. Probably not next week though. Next game: Florida A&M Rattlers (0-1).