In the blink of an eye, the first six games are in the books and the season is half over. We spend so much time anticipating the season from January to September that doesn’t seem right the season is halfway over so quickly, but alas it is. So let’s recap the first half of the season and look ahead to the back half.
Midseason high point: Beating Arkansas
Going to SEC country and coming out with a win was huge for this team. The Red Raiders carried that momentum into the next week’s game and almost pulled out a huge upset versus TCU but came up one play short.
Midseason low point: Aaron Green’s catch
That play was the true definition of the right place at the right time. It was also very unfortunate for the Red Raiders.
Midseason Offensive MVP: Pat Mahomes
Is there any real question he is the best player on the team? If the Red Raiders field a defense in two seasons, he will be a legitimate Heisman contender. I make the defensive note, because we know that team wins are a factor in the Heisman race these days unfortunately. There hasn’t been a whiff of a sophomore slump which I am sure was a fear in the back of some Red Raiders’ minds.
Midseason Defensive MVP: Pete Robertson
His sack numbers aren’t quite what they were last season, but he is one of the few difference makers on the Red Raider defense. He is always around the ball making plays or disrupting the offense in some form or fashion.
Midseason play of the year: Jah’Shawn Johnson’s strip
Jah’Shawn Johnson’s strip of Alex Collins to seal the victory versus Arkansas is my vote for play of the year up to this point. A couple of close runner-ups were Jakeem Grant’s pass to Reginald Davis versus Arkansas and Mahomes touchdown pass to Jakeem Grant versus Iowa State after eluding a surefire sack.
Midseason newcomer of the year: Jah’Shawn Johnson
Jah’Shawn Johnson gets the nod here as well. Dakota Allen and Justin Murphy also received consideration. Without his injury sidelining him for the past couple of games, I probably would have given the award to Murphy.
Midseason question mark: Linebackers
The defense as a whole hasn’t been great, but they have shown improvement from the first half to the second half in every game. They have also created 12 turnovers this season which is good enough for #20 in the nation. Last season they created only 15 turnovers which ranked #107 in the nation. Having said all of that the linebacking group is the biggest question mark on defense. They just don’t make a lot of plays.
Midseason player to watch: Gary Moore
Gary Moore has flashed big play ability several times over the course of the season. Continue to watch him development for the remainder of the season. He could possibly take over for Robertson next season without the position skipping a beat if he continues to develop.
Projection for the rest of the season: 2 wins, 4 losses
@ Kansas – Win
@ Oklahoma – Loss
Oklahoma State – Win
@ West Virginia – Loss
Kansas State – Loss
@ Texas – Loss
I only see Kansas and Oklahoma State as wins the rest of the way. While the Red Raiders have played well in Norman of late, winning there is never easy. West Virginia is winnable and if this game were in Lubbock I would pick the Red Raiders. Kansas State will be tough because Bill Snyder is a top 3 coach in the nation. The Red Raiders haven’t beaten Texas since 2008 and haven’t won in Austin since 1997. I am basing that loss more on history than anything else because even though the Longhorns beat the Sooners, I still don’t think they are a very good team. On the high end, I could see four wins and two losses for the Red Raiders as they finish off the season, but that seems unlikely based on the continued defensive struggles that plague the Red Raiders.
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