Week 1 of the 2021 Big 12 football season is in the books with the league finishing 9-1 between Friday and Saturday. There were top performances, like Kansas State and Texas Tech, and underwhelming performances such as Oklahoma and Iowa State. But for those teams who impressed, who are the reasons why?
Each week we will be picking the best offensive, defensive and special teams performance in the Big 12 Conference, which I’m sure won’t be at all controversial or debated by our readers.
So with one week down, let’s get to it!
Offense: Texas RB Bijan Robinson
Robinson helped redshirt freshman QB Hudson Card work through his debut as starter racking up 20 carries for 106 yards and a touchdown, while catching four passes for 73 yards and a touchdown as well. Robinson is considered a Heisman contender and he was able to certainly get off on the right foot in this game. He did appear to get injured in the third quarter, which limited his time after that, but the Longhorns needed to have an impressive showing in Steve Sarkisian’s opener, and they did just that with a Top 25 win over Louisiana-Lafayette on Saturday in Austin.
Defense: Kansas State LB Cody Fletcher
In what was the most dominant defensive performance of the day in the Big 12, Kansas State held Stanford scoreless until garbage time, and Fletcher was a big reason why. The linebacker finished with eight tackles, 1.5 tackles for loss and one sack as the Wildcats rolled the Cardinal 24-7. Linebacker has been somewhat of a question mark for Kansas State coming into the season, but if Fletcher can build further on his 2020 season (43 tackles and one sack), then the Wildcats defense may be, once again, an overachieving unit in the league.
Special Teams: Oklahoma K Gabe Brkic
Gabe Brkic was the brightest spot of the day for OU in a 40-35 win over Tulane on Saturday. He was 4 of 5 on field goals, including three of over 50 yards (51, 55 and 56). Brkic is already setting himself up to be the front runner for the Lou Groza Award, given to the best place-kicker in college football.