Unsung: Week 2

Final article from the Texas State coverage as Fitzgerald hands out his game balls and looks around the Big 12 as well.

Game balls were easy to hand out for the Texas Tech performance versus Texas State from my perspective. QB Seth Doege and Safety Cody Davis hands down made the plays that turned the tide of the game. The team must have agreed as their selections for weekly player of the week honors were the same. Ryan Bustin also had a career long 50-yard field goal to nab special team player of the week honors. Also props to freshman Keenan Ward, who earned a scout team player of the week honor. The Snyder product, practicing as a DB took snaps as a scout team QB this week to better prepare the defense for the Texas St. option attack.

From an unsung standpoint, the Red Raider offensive line is a strong candidate. Another 500+ yard performance and none of the quarterbacks were sacked.  That kind of performance will bode well for the offense as it moves forward against better competition. Texas had success moving the ball against New Mexico with the pass, but not as much as one would think with the run. If the Red Raiders can put together another spectacular offensive performance this week against the Lobos with a healthy mixture of each, it will be largely due to the offensive line.

"I think just consistency (was better), especially with our offensive line. We saw a lot more defensive looks, twists, stunts, blitzes in this past game than we did in the first game. I thought the first game we were a little timid, too. We've got to be the aggressor. We've got to be more physical up front with our guys upfront on offense and the same on defense. We can't be afraid to make a mistake.

 

Around the league, Kansas State QB Colin Klein won the Big 12 offensive player of the week with the big 52-13 win over Miami. We knew Kansas State would be good offensively, but the defense appears to really have made strides. Miami still has some speed and some players that will play on Sunday. K-State shut them down and took the ‘canes out of the game early. This isn't the same defense that got into a lot of shootouts and won with Big 12 offenses a year ago.

Speaking of defense, the Kansas defense leads the Big 12 in forced turnovers with eight. That's twice the number of anyone else in the league except for Iowa State and Kansas State who have 5. The drawback is that the Jayhawks have also given the ball up 5 times, and two interceptions led to them losng to Rice 25-24.

There are four Big 12 running backs who have rushed for at least 100 yards in each of their teams first two games this season: Joseph Randle of OSU, Damian Williams of OU, John Hubert of KSU, and Tony Pierson of Kansas. Despite the loss, OSU still ran for 200 yards. With the performance of their receivers, the Cowboys may move more to the ground game. Hubert isn't surprising, neither is Williams as someone for OU had to step up, but Tony Pierson is the balance in the Kansas offense that is necessary to keep games close.

There are also four Big 12 teams who remain perfect in the red zone after two games (Baylor is 4/4, but only through 1 game.) Texas Tech, Oklahoma State, Texas and OU are all perfect with at least 10 opportunities each. Last year, over half of the Big 12 was at least 88% on red zone scoring opportunities. Texas A&M led with 95 %, Missouri, OU, Oklahoma State (who had 20 more red zone opportunities than everyone else) Tech and Oklahoma all were between 87.9% and 89.5% .This could be key moving into the conference season, as teams who do not cash in opportunities in the red zone could be on the outside looking in with all of the points being scored.


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