Week Two is officially in the books as the conference as the Big 12 went 10-4 this weekend. The action started on Friday night with Kansas and ended early Sunday morning with Oklahoma State. Here is the good, bad, and ugly from Week Two in the Big 12.
Jalon Daniels is Back (Kansas beat Illinois 34-23)
On Friday night, we got to see the 2023 debut for Kansas quarterback Jalon Daniels. He threw two touchdowns in the first quarter and moved around extremely well for a guy who was having back pains that kept him out of the opener. Thee offense looked good with him running the show and the ground game was working as well as Kansas racked up 262 rushing yards. He showed us why he was the Big 12 preseason player of the year.
Will Howard is the Big 12’s Best Quarterback (Kansas State beat Troy 42-13)
While Jalon Daniels and Quinn Ewers stole the headlines in the offseason, people seemed to forget about Will Howard. Whenever he took over at quarterback last season, Kansas State’s offense completely changed. He led them to a Big 12 championship, and I never felt like he got the respect he deserves. On Saturday against Troy, Howard threw for 250 yards and three touchdowns will adding a pair of rushing touchdowns to his incredible day.
Hello, Kedon Slovis (BYU beat Southern Utah 41-16)
Coming into the season, there were a lot of questions about quarterback Kedon Slovis. He transferred from Pitt, and nobody was quite sure of how he would look for BYU. He got off to a slow start in week one against Sam Houston, but on Saturday against Southern Utah he had a message for the doubters. Slovis threw for 348 yards and four touchdowns and had another score on the ground as well. If he can play like that on a consistent basis, then BYU may have something there.
Oklahoma’s Defense is Better (Oklahoma beat SMU 28-11)
On a slow offensive day, Oklahoma’s defense stole the show against SMU. They were able to get a pair of turnovers and they held a good SMU offense to just 11 point which is impressive. If not for the offensive struggles at times, this game would have been a blowout. However, the headlines came after the game because of Art Briles which I will touch on a bit later.
West Virginia’s Offense Showed Life (West Virginia beat Duquesne 56-17)
While there was a lengthy weather delay in Morgantown, that didn’t seem to slow down West Virginia’s offense. Quarterback Garrett Greene threw for 240 yards and four touchdowns. His favorite target was none other than Hudson Clement who had a monster game with 177 yards and three scores. While the passing game was clicking, the running game was just as good as the Mountaineers rushed for a whopping 304 yards led by Jahiem White.
I May Have Underestimated Cincinnati (Cincinnati beat Pitt 27-21)
Before the season, I didn’t think the Bearcats would have a chance at being bowl eligible and right now they are sitting at 2-0 making me look like a fool. Cincinnati used their run game to control the clock and it worked like a charm. The offense ran for over 200 yards and had the football for almost 35 minutes. Meanwhile, the defense did their part as well. While this team may not be a Big 12 title contender in my eyes, they are starting to turn some heads.
Colton Boomer’s Leg (UCF beat Boise State 18-16)
On a day where the offense had trouble finding the end zone, UCF kicker Colton Boomer was the player of the game. Colton went 4/4 on his kicks including a game winning 40-yard field goal as time expired. He also drilled two field goals from fifty plus yards as well.
Texas is Back (Texas beat Alabama 34-24)
Hats off to the Texas Longhorns. They were the team of the week in college football. To go into Tuscaloosa and beat Alabama by double digits is unheard of. In fact, this was Alabama’s first regular season non-conference loss since 2007. The Texas defense got turnovers and the offense moved the ball well with Quinn Ewers who finished the game with 349 yards and three scores. If the run game can get going, then this team may not lose a game in conference play. Is Texas back? I think so.
TCU Took Care of Business (TCU beat Nicholls 41-6)
There’s not a lot to say here other than TCU did what they were supposed to do against an inferior team. The defense looked better, but the offense didn’t look as good as they did in week one. I am still not quite sure what to make of this TCU team just yet.
The Quarterback Roulette Continues for Oklahoma State (Oklahoma State beat Arizona State 27-15)
After playing three different quarterbacks in Week One, Oklahoma State did the same thing again against Arizona State. Alan Bowman, Gunnar Gundy, and Garret Rangel all got playing time. Yes, Oklahoma State is 2-0 but it is an ugly 2-0 in my book. The offensive line isn’t getting a push and the lack of a run game is going to put a ton of pressure on whoever is playing quarterback. And speaking of quarterbacks, it’s time for Mike Gundy to pick one already.
Baylor’s Offense is Broken (Lost 20-13 to Utah)
The Baylor defense did their part, but the offense still looks like a complete cluster you know what. The offensive line still looks bad, and Sawyer Robertson is not the answer at quarterback. I know Blake Shapen is hurt, but I am also not sure if any quarterback would be comfortable behind the Baylor offensive line. The second half offense was pathetic as they scored three points and completed just two passes. Robertson’s interception late in the game was costly and yet somehow the Bears had a chance to win the game their at the end. Unfortunately, they couldn’t get the job done, but I will say that this looked like pass interference to me.
Iowa State’s Offense Needs Help (Lost 20-13 to Iowa)
The Cyclones played well enough defensively to beat Iowa, but their offense didn’t hold up its end of the bargain. Up front, Iowa State had no push as the run game averaged less than three yards per carry. Receivers dropped passes left and right and Rocco Becht had a costly pick six as well. Whether it’s Rocco Becht or JJ Kohl out there, they will need some help and right now they just aren’t getting it. Plus, special teams had a rough day too.
The Tech Turnovers (Texas Tech lost 38-30 to Oregon)
The Red Raiders were in this game until the very end, but the five turnovers were just too much to overcome. I know the defense wasn’t great, but the offense put them in some really tough spots. Tyler Shough threw three interceptions (including one pick six) and fumbled the ball as well. Outside of the turnovers, I thought Texas Tech played well enough to win the game, but they need to figure some things out. Right now, this team doesn’t look like a Big 12 title contender to me.
On Saturday after Oklahoma’s win against SMU, a photo was taken of Art Briles talking with offensive coordinator Jeff Lebby. Briles was seen wearing an OU shirt and it made a lot of people (including myself) upset. Head Coach Brent Venables and AD Joe Castiglione didn’t know he was going to be there, and I don’t know who to blame but someone completely fumbled this. You can’t have Art Briles on your field wearing your school logo. It was a bad look no matter which way you slice it.
UCF Quarterback John Rhys Plumlee’s Injury
On the final drive of the game, Plumlee ran towards the sideline and when he was going down his leg got caught underneath him. While he got up fairly quickly, I noticed he had to be helped to the sideline because he couldn’t walk on his own. I hope that the injury won’t keep him out for too long because is one of the most fun players to watch in the Big 12.
Houston, We Have a Problem (Houston Lost 43-41 to Rice)
Throw out the stat book and the excuses. The University of Houston has no business losing to a school like Rice. To go down 28-0 in the game is embarrassing on so many levels. They should have never been in that spot in the first place. While they did make a come back and took the game to double overtime, they ultimately fell short. To Houston I want to say, this isn’t the AAC anymore. This is the Big 12 and losing to Rice (who hasn’t beaten a power five opponent since 2013) is unacceptable. Dana do better.