Texas Tech 41, SMU 23
I'm much more worried about the Tech game now than I was before this weekend. Although the Broffense struggled early, especially in the red zone, it came on late with freshman quarterback Baker Mayfield completing over 70% of his passes for four touchdowns without an interception. On the defensive side the Tech crew put in a good show to stop the run portion of the run and shoot, holding SMU as a team under 100 yards on the ground. Of all people Garrett Gilbert was the leading rusher for the ponies, and he is no Trevone Boykin (which is a good sign for TCU, admittedly). The inconsistent Gilbert did put up almost 400 yards passing on Tech, but Tech kept SMU out of the end zone apart from a busted run by Gilbert and a garbage score by Prescott Line (who, I may say, has a perfect name for SMU. When I picture an SMU grad Prescott Line is their name). If Tech's defense is legit I see another close game in the Tech/TCU series, though a much lower scoring one than the last time out.
Next up: Stephen F. Austin
Staff Picks: HawkeyedFrog and Jamie Plunkett picked Tech, Jamie's score was closest. Purple Wimple picked SMU
North Dakota 24, Kansas State 21
And it was going so well, too. After ending the first half deadlocked at 7, new wildcat starter Jake Waters threw a beautiful 56 yard touchdown pass then the defense forced a turnover on North Dakota's second play of the ensuing possession leading to a touchdown run and a 14 point lead for the wildcats. When momentum swings that hard against a FCS team you generally expect that the game will slip away and the Wildcats could be seen to visibly relax on the field. Big mistake. North Dakota answered on their next drive, and after a pickup on first down Waters threw three incompletions, letting North Dakota get the ball back for a field goal to cut the lead to 4 before the end of the third quarter. Kansas State drove to try and seize momentum back, but after reaching the North Dakota 30 K-State went backwards on four consecutive plays (including a penalty on 4th and 15) to be driven out of field goal range. North Dakota then put together one of the most soul crushing drives I've seen in all of my days of football, devouring over eight and a half minutes of clock before punching it into the end zone with just 32 seconds left to play. Panicked, Waters pressed and threw a pick on the very next snap and all that was left to do was for the Bison to kneel it out, and with that they earned the scalp of the defending Big 12 champ. The wildcats have officially moved from the scary game pile to the "It would be a surprising upset" pile for TCU.
Next up: Louisiana-Lafayette (0-1)
Staff Picks: HawkeyedFrog called North Dakota winning 45-38 (woo), Jamie Plunkett had a 3 point wildcat win at 27-24, almost what happened, Purple Wimple picked K-State by 20
Northern Iowa 28, Iowa State 20
Somehow, the Cyclones are still going to be bowl eligible. I have absolutely no idea how they'll manage to do it, but they will. That said, the Cyclones lost to a Northern Iowa team that didn't make the FCS playoffs last year and unlike Kansas State, Iowa State never led. The cyclones were absolutely pummeled on the ground by UNI's David Johnson and were equally helpless against him through the air as Johnson scored four total touchdowns, two rushing and two receiving. Cyclone QB Sam Richardson had a decent start in the season opener, completing almost 70% of his passes for two touchdowns with no picks, but was sacked five times by the Panthers. That, combined with the Cyclones being unable to run the ball on the Panthers made a lot of long yardage situations that they had to ask Richardson to bail them out of and he couldn't do it in this one. I'm surprised Iowa State lost, but not that surprised, yet I'm still pretty confident they'll make it to a bowl. It's what they do.
Next up: Iowa (0-1)
Staff Picks: We all picked Iowa State to win, but Purple Wimple came closest at 28-24. HawkeyedFrog picked Iowa State by 21. S'what I get for believing in the Cyclones too early.
West Virginia 24, William and Mary 17
All those questions you had about West Virginia coming into this season? Totally justified. The Tribe took a ten point lead at half time and it took West Virginia late in the fourth quarter to grab back the lead and hold on. The mountaineers had several promising drives stall due to penalties, fumbles and lost another opportunity to a muffed punt. Still, the Mountaineers had some big plays which could give hope to the Holgorsen crew this year, but that was balanced out somewhat by surrendering 66% passing to a weak tribe passing attack. My thoughts? The Mountaineers aren't going to be bowl eligible this year and may be the odds on favorite to be Kansas' first Big 12 win in two years.
Next up: Oklahoma (1-0)
Staff Picks: We all picked West Virginia to win, but Purple Wimple had the Mountaineers by 18- the closest. HawkeyedFrog picked West Virginia by 40. Ouch.
Texas 56, New Mexico State 7
What looked like a classic early season struggle for the Longhorns at the half turned into a laugher after as the Horns actually played like you'd expect a Texas team to play against a New Mexico State team. After trailing 7-0 late in the second quarter the Longhorns scored 56 straight points, David Ash shrugged off two interceptions to throw four touchdowns and Texas had three backs average over 10 ypc. 715 total yards of offense indicate that the Major Applewhite system may actually bear some fruit, while Manny Diaz's defense put together an acceptable debut game. New Mexico State isn't anyone's definition of a good time, but it was a nice display of strength for the Longhorns before their first test
Next up: Ole Miss (1-0)
Staff Picks: Everyone picked Texas, but Jamie Plunkett had a 24 point Longhorn win, the best guess of all of us.
Baylor 69, Wofford 3
Baylor is better than Iowa State, West Virginia and Kansas State. This much we can be reasonably sure of, and anything else is guess work. New QB Bryce Petty racked up the customary Briles passing numbers, Lache Seastrunk rumbled for over 100 yards and 2 touchdowns. Baylor's defense even looked strong in keeping the Terriers to 60 passing yards, but it's an FCS team and not even defending champ North Dakota State. This is what a team like Baylor should do to a FCS team, so kudos to the Bears for not dropping the ball.
Next up: Buffalo (0-1)
Staff Picks: Another unanimous selection, this time for Baylor. The only interesting thing is that both Jamie and Wimple picked Baylor to win by 32. Weird.
Oklahoma 34, Louisiana-Monroe 0
Remember in the power rankings when I said I was surprised Blake Bell wasn't your starting QB for the Sooners? After seeing Trevor Knight in action I'm even more surprised. Trevor completed less than 40% of his passes but did show himself to be a credible threat on the ground, rushing for over 100 yards at an almost 8 ypc clip. Still, with an offense like Oklahoma's I'm greatly concerned that Knight isn't going to be able to move the ball effectively down the field once they start playing defenses with a pulse, including a very surprisingly effective defense from their in-state rivals from Stillwater. The nice part of this game for the Sooners? An impressive shutout of the Warhawks, allowing them just 166 yards of total offense.
Next up: @ West Virginia (1-0)
Staff Picks: Another unanimous pick, HawkeyedFrog gave the Sooners the most credit by picking a 28-10 win
Oklahoma State 21, Mississippi State 3
I was expecting a shootout. Mississippi State coach Dan Mullen was the man behind the Florida spread that shredded its way to two national championships, and who made Urban's Gator offenses kind of atrocious without him, while Oklahoma State is one of the highest flyers of the Big 12. Points should have been coming by the bushel, instead we got four scores, one in each quarter and a fairly one sided beatdown. The Cowboys didn't have a touchdown pass, but forced two interceptions. Quarterback J.W. Walsh averaged a rather poor five yards per attempt, but had 13 rushes for 125 yards. Oklahoma State proved itself worthy of being the top ranked Big 12 team this week, and that's what I expect to see in the AP poll.
Next up: @ University of Texas-San Antonio
Staff Picks: Unanimous in picking OSU, also unanimous in thinking this would be a close game. How embarrassing for us.