There are times when Texas sophomore quarterback Tyrone Swoopes says something that reminds you just how raw he is after playing high school ball at Class 2A Whitewright, north of Dallas, where his team went 1-9 his senior year.
“I was a little bit nervous,” Swoopes said Monday of Saturday’s game against Baylor in which he threw two interceptions, fumbled a snap at the goal line, stared at receivers and was off-target all game. “I had gotten hit a couple times. That kind of made me a little bit nervous.
“But after talking to (QB coach Shawn Watson) yesterday, he said that’s part of playing quarterback. You’re going to get hit, and you’re going to have to stand in there and throw the ball sometimes. He’s helping me out with that part of becoming a better quarterback.”
Despite being 6-4 and 243 pounds, Swoopes was talking about hits in the pocket making him nervous?
Wait until he gets a close-up of Mike Stoops’ bunch in the Cotton Bowl on Saturday.
Then, there was this:
When asked for the difference when he plays well versus when he doesn’t, Swoopes said, “It’s usually just simple things like not reading things right.
“Sometimes, defenses will give me the same looks over and over again, and I don’t decipher it like I’m supposed to, and I do the wrong things. Simple things like that. Nothing major.”
Nothing major? A defense gives a QB the same look over and over again, and he can’t decipher it “like I’m supposed to, and I do the wrong things” – and that’s nothing major?
Texas has scored just 13 points in the first quarter all season. And after defenses make halftime adjustments, Texas has scored just 14 points in the third quarter (and 0 points in the 3Q of UT’s last three games against UCLA, Kansas and Baylor).
Texas is averaging 18.4 points per game, which gives UT the 114th scoring offense of 125 teams in Division I.
Swoopes had a bad game against Baylor. That will happen to a quarterback with just four college starts.
And you have to respect Swoopes’ honesty when he says what he said Monday about getting nervous after taking hits and not recognizing his defensive keys.
But Swoopes has to be getting better from week to week. And he needs to burn to get that accomplished. He will need to put in extra film study. Oklahoma will pounce on Swoopes’ tendencies.
Quandre Diggs has said more than once he wonders if there are enough players on the Texas roster who hate to lose, players Diggs refers to as “dogs.”
“If you had dogs just going out there, you’d have guys totally prepared, because dogs can’t stand to lose,” Diggs said.
“It’s a man’s game. When I don’t see that dog, it disappoints me.”
Diggs wasn’t referring to any player in particular. But Swoopes going 1-9 his senior season at Whitewright has led to a lot of questions to Swoopes from the media about if he knows how to finish and win games.
Swoopes has said those days are long gone and that he and the offense will get better.
Nonetheless, I think it’s fair to say Swoopes, after hearing his comments on Monday, needs to be more of a dog.
Senior linebacker Jordan Hicks said Monday he feels like there are some on the team who subconsciously are waiting for something bad to happen instead of playing with a killer instinct.
“I don’t think anyone on this team is OK with losing,” Hicks said. “It’s one of those things where we’ve got to bounce back. There’s got to be a turning point in our season, and we’re running out of time. What better opportunity than OU weekend? There’s no better opportunity than this weekend. So, we’ve got to take advantage.
“There’s some people who lack confidence who think, when we’re playing well, ‘Oh, something is going to go wrong.’ And they’re just waiting for it – instead of going out with the mindset of, ‘We’re going to completely demolish this team.’
“We have to finish in all phases of the game – special teams, defense, offense.”
10 THINGS YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT OU
#1 … Since 2009, Oklahoma has won 10 straight rematch games against teams that beat the Sooners the previous season.
#2 … Since the 2000 season, Oklahoma has never dropped back-to-back regular season games under Bob Stoops, going 31-0 in the regular season in games following a loss.
#3 … Oklahoma is 22-1 (with 7 straight wins) in its last 23 games vs unranked opponents. The lone loss was to Texas last season.
#4 … OU is outscoring opponents 72-21 in the first quarter and is averaging 26 points per game in the first half. (Texas averages 18.4 ppg for all four quarters.)
#5 … Trevor Knight was 14 of 35 passing (40 percent) with 1 TD pass and 2 INTs in OU’s 37-33 loss to TCU. Knight has thrown at least 1 INT in four of OU’s five games this season. Subtract Knight’s 4 TD passes and 1 INT in a Sugar Bowl victory over Alabama last season, and Knight has 10 TD passes and 9 INTs for his career at OU.
#6 … Freshman running back Samaje Perine of Pflugerville Hendrickson, the Big 12’s leading rusher (101.2 ypg, 5.6 ypc, 8 TDs), had three rushing touchdowns against TCU and became the first Sooner since Chris Brown in 2008 with three or more touchdowns in back-to-back games (4 vs WVU on Sept. 20).
#7 … WR Sterling Shepard had seven catches for a career-high 215 yards and a TD vs TCU, giving him four straight games with at least 100 yards receiving – the second-longest FBS streak behind WVU’s Kevin White (5).
#8 … Oklahoma has one of the best FG kickers in the Big 12 in Michael Hunnicut, who is 7-of-8 on FG attempts. The only miss was blocked.
#9 … Redshirt sophomore CB Zack Sanchez leads the Big 12 in interceptions with 4.
#10 … Sophomore Alex Ross leads the Big 12 in kickoff return average (41.4 ypr) with one returned for a TD this season.
THREE THOUGHTS ON THE BIG 12
#1 … TCU junior QB Trevone Boykin is the best story in college football that no one is talking about. He has 10 TD passes and 2 INTs while completing 61.5 percent of his passes and doubles as the Horned Frogs’ leading rusher (61.5 ypg, 5.1 ypc, 3 TDs).
When Gary Patterson changed offenses by bringing in Doug Meachum and Sonny Cumbie to bring in a spread passing attack, most everyone assumed the QB would be Texas A&M graduate transfer Matt Joeckel. But Boykin had other plans.
Saturday’s game in Waco between the Toads and the Bears should be an amazing game. Baylor is a different animal at home.
Baylor 35, TCU 34
#2 … Iowa State athletic director Jamie Pollard was fined $25,000 by the Big 12 Monday for criticizing the officiating after Oklahoma State RB Desmond Roland appeared to be stopped short of the goal line as time expired in the first half – only to have officials reverse the call on the field and count it as a touchdown.
The call gave OSU a 13-6 halftime lead.
It’s the latest in a series of complaints ISU has had with officiating.
Iowa State coach Paul Rhoads was irate after a 31-30 loss to Texas last year, convinced that Johnathan Gray was stripped of the ball by LB Jeremiah George at the 1-yard line. Officials ruled that Gray's forward motion had been stopped, negating the fumble.
The Longhorns scored the game-winning touchdown on the next play.
The Big 12 office also apologized to Iowa State and suspended a replay official after he failed to review a controversial play in the Cyclones' loss to Kansas State earlier this season.
The Big 12 also reprimanded basketball officials for mistaken calls during Iowa State's game against Kansas two seasons ago.
"I recognize the Big 12 does not allow comments to be made on officiating, and I recognize there's penalties for that, but folks, our institution has been penalized already," Pollard said. "I can think of three situations where the fine has been pretty great -- because we lost games as the result of calls that either were apologized for, or the media certainly felt we should have been apologized to. We can't get that back. That ends careers for football coaches, ADs and presidents."
During his rant, Pollard implied that Big 12 officials were out to get the Cyclones because the school had voted against adding an eighth official before the 2013 season.
"Something's got to be done," Pollard said. "I don't know what it is, but there needs to be more accountability on what happens in certain situations."
And don’t look now, but WVU is playing a little defense, limiting opponents to 25.8 points per game, while Clint Trickett and the Mountaineers’ offense is averaging 36.6 ppg.
Texas Tech, meanwhile, is coming off another disastrous performance in a 45-13 loss at Kansas State in which Davis Webb threw 4 INTs, and the Red Raiders were flagged nine more times (55 total in five games).
WVU 35, Texas Tech 31
BIG 12 POWER POLL
1 ... Baylor
2 ... TCU
3 ... Kansas State
4 ... Oklahoma
5 ... Oklahoma State
6 ... Texas
7 ... West Virginia
8 ... Texas Tech
9 ... Iowa State
10 ... Kansas
MY TOP FOUR TEAMS IN COLLEGE FOOTBALL
2) Ole Miss
3) Miss State
IF I COULD ONLY INVITE 5 TO NEW YORK
GAMES OF THE WEEK
Ole Miss at Texas A&M … Why does it feel like “Bad” Bo Wallace shows up in College Station, and the Aggies pull the upset?
Alabama at Arkansas … No way can Bielema pull this one off … right?
Auburn at Mississippi State … HailState matches up well with Auburn. Can Nick Marshall win a game with his arm?
Georgia at Missouri … The battle for the SEC East. Give me Todd Gurley.
North Carolina at Notre Dame … Brian Kelly is working his magic.
Oregon at UCLA … Marcus Mariota goes off on the Bruins
Washington at Cal … Huskies try to derail the Pac-12’s first-place team in the North Division
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