Big 12 Sports Articles

Big 12 Football By the Numbers: Week 1

NCAA Football: Northern Iowa at Iowa State

Stats don’t tell the whole story, especially early in the season. Nonetheless, tracking the numbers can ground observations and reveal emerging trends. However, it’s also easy to overreact and reach false conclusions based on stats from a small sample, so caveat lector.  

That said, here’s a look at some of the numbers from the Big 12’s opening week along with some possible overreactions to the facts and a few thoughts of my own on each team: 

1-2-3-4 

Loss for the Big 12 in Week 1.  

Passing TDs each for new KU QB Jason Bean and new Texas QB Hudson Card. 

Points scored in the second half of Iowa State versus Northern Iowa. 

West Virginia turnovers at Maryland. 

Note: 1 is a direct result of 4.

 

Missed Tackles

1. Oklahoma State – 17  

2. Oklahoma – 15  

3. Texas Tech – 12  

4. Kansas – 11  

T5. Baylor – 10  

T.5 Iowa State – 10  

T7. TCU – 8  

T7. Texas – 8  

T7. West Virginia – 8  

10. Kansas State – 6  

Note: This stat is particularly concerning for Oklahoma State and Oklahoma. Texas Tech’s tackling improved in the second half against Houston. OU and OSU were expected to field two of the better defenses in the league. 

Points For

1. TCU – 45  

2. Oklahoma – 40  

T3. Texas – 38  

T3. Texas Tech – 38 

5. Baylor – 29  

T6. Kanas State – 24  

T6. West Virginia – 24  

8. Oklahoma State – 23  

9. Kansas – 17  

10. Iowa State – 16  

Note: Iowa State’s offensive anemia against UNI makes it difficult to defend the Cyclones’ Top 10 ranking to doubters. ISU needs to put the offense in high gear for its game versus the salty Iowa Hawkeyes. TCU’s defense made life very easy on its offense.

 

Points Against

1. TCU – 3  

2. Kansas State – 7  

3. Iowa State – 10  

4. Kansas – 14  

5. Oklahoma State – 16  

6. Texas – 18  

7. Baylor – 20  

8. Texas Tech  – 21 

9. West Virginia – 30  

10. Oklahoma – 35  

Note: The Sooners flirted with disaster, and we are left wondering if Oklahoma’s defense is really good enough to compete for a national title. Duquesne and Stanford’s offenses were dominated by TCU and KSU’s defenses.  

Rushing Offense

1. Baylor – 245 yards, 2 TDs 

2. Kansas State – 200 yards, 3 TDs 

3. TCU – 178 yards, 4 TDs 

4. Texas – 170 yards, 2 TDs 

5. Texas Tech – 145 yards, 3 TDs 

6. Iowa State –136 yards, 1 TD 

7. Oklahoma – 116 yards, 3 TDs 

8. Kansas – 82 yards  

9. Oklahoma State – 54 yards, 2 TDs 

10. West Virginia – 42 yards, 2 TDs 

Note: WVU QB Jarret Doege finished with -25 rushing yards. Rushing offense looks like a huge concern for OSU.

 

Rushing Defense

1. Kansas State – 39 yards  

2. Iowa State – 45 yards 

3. TCU – 61 yards 

4. Texas – 76 yards, 1 TD 

5. Texas Tech – 77 yards, 2 TDs 

6. Baylor 79 yards, 1 TD 

7. Oklahoma – 100 yards, 2 TDs 

8. Oklahoma State 102 yards 

9. West Virginia – 163 yards 

10 Kansas – 165 yards, 2 TDs 

Note: Six Big 12 teams held opponents to less than 100 yards rushing. KSU putting the clamps on a notorious Stanford run game is impressive.  

Passing Offense

1. Oklahoma State 315 yards, 1 TD, 1 INT 

2. Oklahoma – 314 yards, 1 TD, 2 INTs 

3. West Virginia – 277 yards, 1 TD, 2 INTs 

4. Texas – 265 yards, 3 TDs 

5. TCU – 253 yards, 2 TDs, 1 INT 

6. Texas Tech – 231 yards, 1 TD 

7. Iowa State –199 yards  

8. Kansas – 163 yards, 2 TDs 

9. Baylor – 148 yards 

10. Kansas State – 144 yards, 1 INT 

Note: BU and KSU got it done on the ground, so their poor passing numbers may be more indicative of the fact that they didn’t need to throw the ball. OSU QB2, Shane Illingworth, got it done through the air.  

Passing Defense

1. TCU 76 yards, 1 INT 

2. Texas 76 yards, 1 TD 

3. Kansas – 98 yards 

4. Baylor – 156 yards, 1 TD, 3 INTs 

5. Texas Tech – 174 yards, 4 TDs, 4 INTs 

6. Kansas State 194 yards, 1 TD, 2 INTs 

7. Iowa State – 230 yards, 1 TD, 2 INTs 

8. Oklahoma State – 234 yards, 1 TD 

9. Oklahoma – 296 yards, 3 TDs 

10. West Virginia – 332 yards, 3 TDs 

Note: WVU’s pass defense appears to have taken a step backwards from last season. TCU’s pass defense finished with the best numbers, but Texas’ opponent was stronger.  

Leading Rushers

1. Tahj Brooks (TTU) – 134 yards, 2 TDs, 15 attempts 

2. Deuce Vaughn (KSU) – 124 yards, 1 TD, 13 attempts 

3. Tristan Ebner (BU) – 120 yards, 20 attempts 

4. Abram Smith (BU) – 118 yards, 2 TD, 19 attempts 

5. Bijan Robinson (UT) – 103 yards, 1 TD, 20 attempts 

6. Kennedy Brooks (OU) – 87 yards, 1 TD, 14 attempts 

7. Leddie Brown (WVU) –69 yards, 2 TD, 16 attempts 

8. Breece Hall (ISU) – 69 yards, 1 TD, 23 attempts 

9. Brock Purdy (ISU) – 58 yards, 9 attempts 

10. Kendre Miller (TCU) – 54 yards, 1 TD, 8 attempts 

11. Jason Bean (KU) – 54 yards, 15 attempts 

Note: OSU’s leading rusher, LD Brown, only had 30 yards, 1 TD, on 15 carries. Who could’ve guessed that TTU’s Brooks would lead the league in rushing after Week 1? 

Leading Receivers

1. Erik Ezukanma (TTU) – 179 yards, 7 receptions 

2. Marvin Mims (OU) – 117 yards, 5 receptions 

3. Jordan Whittington (UT) – 113 yards, 1 TD, 7 receptions 

4. Tay Martin (OSU) – 107 yards, 1 TD, 6 receptions 

5. Xavier Hutchinson (ISU) – 88 yards, 7 receptions 

6. Phillip Brooks (KSU) – 81 yards, 3 receptions 

7. Bijan Robinson (UT) – 73 yards, 1 TD, 4 receptions 

8. Brennan Presley  (OSU) – 68 yards, 4 receptions 

9. Sam James (WVU) – 65 yards, 5 receptions 

10. Mason Fairchild (KU) –58 yards, 4 receptions 

11. Derius Davis (TCU) – 57 yards, 2 receptions 

Note: Ezukanma leads the pack by a large margin and looks like an NFL draft pick. TCU spread the ball around well and had good field position all night.   

Leading Tacklers

Malcom Rodriquez (OSU) – 13 tackles, 2 assists, 3 missed  

Sean Mahone (WVU) – 12 tackles, 1 assist, 2 missed 

Jake Hummel (ISU) – 10 tackles, 1 missed 

DeMarvion Overshown (UT) – 8 tackles, 3 assists, 1 missed 

Collin Schooler (TTU) – 8 tackles, 3 assists, 1 missed 

Mike Rose (ISU) – 8 tackles, 1 assist, 3 missed 

Krishon Merriweather (TTU) – 8 tackles, 1 missed 

Delarrin Turner-Yell (OU) – 8 tackles, 1 missed 

Dillion Doyle (BU) – 7 tackles, 3 assists 

Akheem Mesidor (WVU) – 7 tackles, 2 assists, 1 missed 

Devin Harper (OSU) – 7 tackles, 1 assist, 1 missed 

Daniel Green (KSU) – 6 tackles, 3 assists, 1 missed 

Jalen Pitre (BU) – 6 tackles, 3 assists, 1 missed 

Kenny Logan, Jr. (KU) – 6 tackles, 2 assists, 1 missed 

Luke Brockermeyer (UT) – 6 tackles, 2 assists, 2 missed 

Daryl Porter, Jr. (WVU) – 6 tackles 

Dee Winters (TCU) – 6 tackles, 1 missed 

Note: These numbers are according to Pro Football Focus. One thing to keep in mind is that more tackles often indicates that the defense isn’t getting off the field. 

Facts and Possible Overreactions

Fact: Baylor led the league in rushing in Week 1.

Possible Overreaction: BU’s offensive line is greatly improved under new OC Jeff Grimes.

Fact: ISU’s Breece Hall averaged just 3 yards per carry against UNI.

Possible Overreaction: ISU doesn’t belong in the Top 10.

Fact: Kansas used a fourth quarter touchdown and defensive stop to beat South Dakota.

Possible Overreaction: New KU head coach Lance Leipold has already taught KU how to win games.

Fact: Kansas State controlled the defensive line of scrimmage against Stanford with a 3-man front.

Possible Overreaction: Kansas State’s defense is the most improved in the league.

Fact: Oklahoma QB Spencer Rattler threw 2 INTs and only 1 TD against Tulane.

Possible Overreaction: Rattler isn’t psychologically ready to win a Heisman or lead Oklahoma to a national championship.

Fact: Oklahoma State averaged just over 1.9 yards per carry against Missouri State.

Possible Overreaction: Oklahoma State will finish in the bottom half of the league.

Fact: TCU leads the league in scoring offense and scoring defense.

Possible Overreaction: TCU is ready to compete for a Big 12 championship.

Fact: Texas beat a Top 25 team in new head coach Steve Sarkisian’s debut.

Possible Overreaction: Texas is back.

Fact: Texas Tech scored 31 unanswered points to beat Houston.

Possible Overreaction: Texas Tech will finish in the top half of the league.

Fact: West Virginia QB Jarret Doege threw 2 interceptions, completed 58.5% of his passes, and took 3 sacks against Maryland.

Possible Overreaction: WVU needs to start playing RS freshman QB Garrett Greene.

Thoughts on Each Team

I expected Baylor’s defense to be more dominant against Texas State. The Bears’ rebuild under Dave Aranda may not be as far along as I thought. They need to use the game against Texas Southern to iron out some kinks.

Even though Iowa State’s rough performance against UNI may have been predictable, it’s still highly concerning. Iowa was sharp in its win against Indiana, and ISU is going to have to look completely different this Saturday to have a chance at reaching 2-0.

Kansas’ first win in nearly two years is heartening. I still don’t think the Jayhawks will win a Big 12 game, but they’ll have a chance to beat Duke when they travel to Durham in Week 4.

Kansas State notched a nice win for the Irate 8 over the Pac-12 in convincing fashion. However, the Cats’ Week 3 opponent, Nevada, beat Cal in Berkeley and might be better than Stanford. Nonetheless, KSU is playing noticeably faster this season.

I expect Oklahoma to look like the team we thought it would be by the time Nebraska travels to Norman. In fact, Saturday’s scare against Tulane is probably exactly what the Sooners needed.

Oklahoma State’s QB2 Shane Illingworth performed admirably in a late notice start. OSU’s rushing offense, however, wasn’t so admirable, which raises a lot of questions about the Cowboys’ offensive line.

It’s hard to know what to think of TCU’s complete dismantling of Duquesne other than the Horned Frogs took care of business against a clearly overmatched opponent. TCU’s Week 2 opponent, Cal, was held to 17 points in its season-opening loss to Nevada.

Texas answered the bell against a ranked opponent and looked good doing it, but it’s difficult not to wonder if Louisiana is actually worthy of the Top 25. Texas looks like a good team, but even Week 2’s matchup against Arkansas, which struggled to put away Rice until the fourth quarter, may not tell us much about how good Texas is or can be.

Texas Tech, Ezukanma, and Brooks put on a clinic in the second half against Houston. Oregon transfer Tyler Shough looked every bit the part of a Big 12 QB as well. The Red Raiders should cruise to 3-0 before traveling to Austin to open Big 12 play against the Longhorns.

West Virginia’s four turnovers against Maryland put its defense behind the eight-ball and sealed the Mountaineers fate. Now, with VA Tech’s Week 1 upset of North Carolina and WVU having to make the trip to Oklahoma open Big 12 play, the Mountaineers are looking at the potential of a worst case 1-3 start to the season.

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