3. Defensive backs' play after preseason worries and struggling early--The vacancy of cornerbacks Brian Jackson and Dominique Franks left some uncertainty in the secondary level, but safeties Jonathan Nelson and Quinton Carter provided some stability there. Still, even with those two guys, corners Jamell Fleming and Demontre Hurst were looked towards heavily to step up and solidify the unit. The group struggled out of the gates, but they really came together down the stretch, as Fleming and Hurst combined for 25 passes broken up throughout the season. Nelson and Carter finished second and third on the team in tackles with 102 and 96, respectively. The group limited big plays and clamped up their coverage towards the latter part of the season.
2. Tight end production culminating in perhaps the play of the year--It was a concern coming into the season, especially after Eric Mensik made the move to offensive line. But James Hanna and Trent Ratterree answered the call. After dropping a crucial fake field goal pass attempt in the Texas A&M game, Hanna responded with the biggest play of the season, when he caught a 76-yard touchdown in the final minutes to secure a victory in the Bedlam game. He ended the year with 18 catches for 292 yards and seven touchdown receptions. Ratterree caught 10 passes of his own for 198 yards, including one touchdown. His 19.8 yards per reception led the team.
1. Wide receiver Cameron Kenney's emergence down the stretch--No one could have seen this coming after he finished the first 11 games with 14 receptions for 184 yards and a touchdown. But in the final three contests of the year, he exploded for 19 catches, 360 yards and three touchdowns. Kenney racked up six receptions for 141 yards and a pair of touchdown catches against OSU and seven receptions for 154 yards and a touchdown in the Fiesta Bowl sandwiched around a six-catch, 65-yard game against Nebraska in the Big 12 Championship. This was nothing short of a remarkable finish to the season.
Stay tuned for the final day of the series tomorrow.