Welcome to the Frogs O' War weekend wrap up- a day after the ten teams of the Big 12 played eight games- with West Virginia and Baylor taking the week off. The conference had buttkickings as well as upsets, so this week we learned a lot about what teams may be serious contenders- but we learned a lot more about which teams have a lot of work ahead of them.
Iowa State 9, Iowa 6- This one was ugly in all phases, but the worst offender to the aesthetics of watching a football game was the Iowa offense. Expertly coached by famous former Texas OC Greg Davis the Iowa offense hiccuped its way to 300 of the least efficient yards you'll ever see- averaging a mighty 2.4 yards per carry on the ground and with quarterback James Vandenberg (who was actually quite good last year) completing below 50% of his passes for less that 6 yards per attempt. Throw in two interceptions and it looks like a miracle that it wasn't an Iowa State blowout... until you look at Iowa State's stats. ISU quarterback Steele Jantz was the difference, marching his team down the field the first possession of the game for a touchdown that would have been enough to win by itself if they hadn't missed the extra point. However the Jantz-man offered up two interceptions as well, and the Iowa State backs coughed up two fumbles that Iowa recovered as well, which helps explain why the game was so tight. Iowa shut Iowa State down in the second half but simply couldn't do anything on offense with the second to last Iowa possession of the game resulting in four turfed passes, and the last in an interception. If Iowa had a competent offense it would be time to worry about the Iowa State defense, but again- Greg Davis. Best Staff pick: FungoFrog picked Iowa State to win 20-14. Next week: Western Illinois Leathernecks.
Rice 25, Kansas 24- The Jayhawks are mad about this one. Dayne Crist turned in another awful performance, going 16-28 for 144 yards and two interceptions, but the real culprits for the Jayhawks were the coaching and the special teams. Time and again the Jayhawk defense gave the Owl receivers a big cushion and ended up getting victimized on short, but deadly efficient passes from Rice QB Tyler McHargue, while on offense Weis kept trying to dial up the big play on long fade routes- to 5'9" receivers. On the special teams side Kansas Kicker Ron Doherty missed two kicks, one an excusable 53 yarder that he doesn't have the leg to attempt with confidence, but also a 40 yarder that set the end game into motion. Rice picked off Dayne Crist on their own 48 yard line with four minutes to go and gobbled up the clock as well as the yardage, using the whole of the time to drive down the field and make a 35 yard field goal as time expired. So Charlie Weis' prediction of a September field goal celebration was partially true, he just had the wrong team celebrating. Things don't get easier next week, as the big daddy of Texan private schools comes to Lawrence. Best Staff Pick: FungoFrog picked Rice to win by 20-10. Next week: TCU Horned Frogs.
Miami 13, #21 Kansas State 52- Be afraid of Kansas State's defense. The wildcats beat up the Hurricanes up front, forcing three fumbles, holding the Hurricanes to a paltry 1.4 yards per carry and sacking the Miami quarterbacks five times. Kansas State jumped out to a quick 14-0 lead and coasted the rest of the way, breaking out a few silly trick plays that didn't have much effect. Collin Klein was helped considerably with an efficient running game, averaging 4.8 yards a carry and the wildcat offense was only forced to punt once all game- That's one less punt than TCU attempted while playing a team from a BCS conference. Be afraid of Kansas State's offense too. Kansas State has North Texas and a Bye week before they head to Norman in a game that will determine the early Big 12 frontrunner. Best Staff Pick: HawkeyedFrog picked K-State over Miami 40-17. Next week: North Texas Mean Green.
Join me for the Texas and Oklahoma schools summary after the jump!
Florida A&M 13, Oklahoma 69- Florida A&M is not very good, so OU did to them what they typically do to teams that aren't very good who come into Gaylord Memorial Stadium- blow them out. OU's first possession was a three and out, but put up back to back touchdown drives on their next two possessions that put the game firmly out of reach for the rattlers. The fact that OU averaged 8.9 yards per carry illustrates the degree to which this wasn't a contest, but the Stoops brothers won't be happy about the 75 yard touchdown that the Rattlers scored late in the second quarter. What you can also take from this game is the fact that Landry Jones still doesn't have much faith in his receiving corps outside of Kenny Stills. Stills is a heck of a player, but if OU can't spread the ball around efficiently they risk getting shut down by a team that can cover Stills and stack the box (Texas, K-State, TCU). Best Staff Pick: HawkeydFrog picked OU to score 70 points. Stupid missed extra point. Next week: Bye.
Oklahoma State 38, Arizona 59- Would you believe Oklahoma State led this game by two touchdowns? It's true- Oklahoma State's man of the match, Wes Lunt, hauled in two touchdown passes on Okie State's first two possessions, before Arizona scored the next thirty points in a row. The combination of Jeff Casteel's weird 3-3-5 and Oklahoma State's receivers consistently bobbling meant forced Okie State's freshman quarterback Wes Lunt into three interceptions, and with Rich Rodriguez's spread working at prime efficiency there was just no coming back from those mistakes. Oklahoma State showed significant discipline problems on the road, racking up 167 penalty yards, and also had trouble on defense- letting Arizona QB Matt Scott tear them up for 320 yards in the air to go along with 126 yards on the ground for Arizona's lead back Ka'Deem Carey while not turning the ball over once. Oklahoma State has a long way to go this season, but their Bye week is placed impeccably, giving coach Gundy a chance to coach up the players before a dress rehearsal with Louisiana-Lafayette, which leads into the Texas game. Best Staff Pick: FungoFrog only had Okie State by 21. We all blew this one. Next week: Bye.
New Mexico 0, Texas 45- New Mexico is averaging 33 points a game this season, previously they were averaging 66. Don't get too carried away by New Mexico picking up over 200 yards on the ground, they're a triple option team now and Texas did a good job of shutting them down as the game went on, while also collecting a pair of turnovers. The Texas offense was efficient, moving the ball on the ground and through the air with relative ease and had David Ash reminding everyone in the stadium a bit of Colt McCoy on a 49 yard touchdown run. Ash definitely showed why he's the starter this season turning in an additional 221 yards through the air before he was pulled on a highly efficient 16-22 performance. In the end, it's just New Mexico and Texas is halfway to a Mountain West championship, but no closer to a Big 12 championship heading into next week's showdown with... the dregs of the SEC. Best Staff Pick: HawkeyedFrog picked Texas with a score of 40-3. Next week: Ole Miss.
Texas Tech 58, Texas State 10- Boy was I wrong. After a pick six on the opening Texas State drive Texas Tech controlled the game throughout, piling on points and yardage like it were the Leach days all over again. Tech QB Seth Doege had over 300 yards and 5 TDs before being pulled, and Tech even killed Texas State on the ground by averaging over 8 yards a carry. Tech is going to be very dangerous this season, as that was a fired up and confident Texas State team that they throttled- let's just hope they don't check our predictions this week for billboard material when they come to Fort Worth. Texas Tech has a hard road ahead of them before making the trip to the metroplex, however, with New Mexico being their last opponent before heading to Iowa State and then facing five currently ranked teams in a row. The Big 12, ladies and gentlemen! Best Staff Pick: AngryTrey was the only one of us to pick Texas Tech to win, Fungo and I will hang our heads in shame. Next Week: New Mexico.