Saturday, 11 September 2010 01:50

The Big 12 South: Week Two

Written by Jay Beck

UPDATE: After the action from Saturday, I threw in the final score at the end of each preview to compare my pregame thoughts with what actually went down in the game.  For the week, the picks were 6-0 straight up, and 3-3 against the spread.  After two weeks in the Big 12 South, the picks are 12-0 straight up, and 5-5 against the spread.


Florida State @ Oklahoma

  • Game time: 2:30
  • TV: ABC or ESPN2 (depending on your location)
  • Sirius Channel 121
  • The Spread: Oklahoma – 7


I could do another breakdown, but we should have that covered here with two different takes on the game. One from a Florida State perspective, and the other from the Sooner point-of-view.

Here's Rob McCannell's take on the matchup if you missed it earlier this week. You can follow Rob and the Seminoles at Plant the Spear.

And, here's my take from the Big 12 perspective.

Enjoy this one on Saturday. It should be good.


  • The Line:  Oklahoma -7
  • Predicted Score:  Oklahoma 34 Florida State 28
  • Final Score:  Oklahoma 47 Florida State 17


Comment:  A much easier win for the Sooners after the slow start against Utah State last week.  Landry Jones looked great completing 30-40 passes for 380 yards and four TD's.  The OU defense did a great job containing Heisman candidate Christian Ponder.


Buffalo @ Baylor

  • Game time: 6:00
  • TV: Fox College Sports
  • Sirius Channel 161
  • The Spread: Baylor -16.5


The Lowdown: One of the best sites to see during opening weekend was Baylor quarterback Robert Griffin back on the field doing his thing. Griffin didn’t disappoint rushing for 59 yards on six carries and also got it done with his arm throwing for 242 yards and two touchdowns. Baylor got a double dose of pleasure seeing running back Jay Finley finally healthy as well after limping through last season on a bad ankle.

WACO, TX - OCTOBER 24:  Running back Jay Finley #32 of the Baylor Bears runs the ball past Jeremiah Price #97 of the Oklahoma State Cowboys at Floyd Casey Stadium on October 24, 2009 in Waco, Texas.  (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)

Buffalo will bring a fast-paced spread offense to Waco led by first year starting quarterback Jerry Davis. The Bulls opened the season by taking out Rhode Island, 31-0. Buffalo has a new head coach following Turner Gill’s departure to Kansas. He is Jeff Quinn who spent the past three seasons at Cincinnati as their offensive coordinator and line coach.

Baylor, What to Watch For: The Bears didn’t get much of a test in their season opener against Sam Houston State. Their defense looked good holding the Bearkats to 195 yards of total offense. They’ll get a much stiffer test this weekend against a Buffalo offense that likes to spread the field and create mismatches in space. Baylor has some inexperienced starters on D this year but by all accounts, they’re a more athletic defense and will get a chance to show it on Saturday.

Buffalo, What to Watch For: Quarterback Jerry Davis had a nice opener throwing for 302 yards and four touchdowns. He picked out a favorite receiver against Rhode Island as well. Marcus Rivers finished with 10 catches and 155 yards including a touchdown. If the Bulls want to get out of Waco with a win, a running game might help.

Against Rhode Island, Buffalo rushed the ball 28 times for 91 yards spreading the carries between four backs with the highest yardage total of the four being 27 yards.  If the Bulls stay one dimensional, look for the Bears to pin their ears back and get after the quarterback on Saturday, something they are looking to improve upon from last season.

Final Take: This one has the potential to be a look-ahead game for Baylor with TCU coming up next week. Buffalo should put up a few points but not enough to start thinking upset. I’ll say the Bears get it done with Griffin having another big day. Baylor 30 Buffalo 17.


  • The Line:  Baylor -16.5
  • Predicted Score:  Baylor 30 Buffalo 17
  • Final Score:  Baylor 34 Buffalo 6


Comment: Great win for Baylor.  Robert Griffin threw for a career high 297 yards and accountef for all four touchdowns.  Baylor will find out what they're made of next week against TCU.


Troy @ Oklahoma State

  • Game time: 6:00
  • TV: None
  • Sirius Channel 121
  • The Spread: Oklahoma State -14


The Lowdown: The Dana Holgorsen era as the Cowboys offensive coordinator got off to a roaring start last week against Washington State as they put up 65 points on the Cougars. Meanwhile, Troy opened with a 30-27 victory over Bowling Green. The Trojans kicked a game winning field goal with four seconds remaining to get by Bowling Green. Oklahoma State has won 19 of their last 20 games at home and figure to make it 20 out of 21 against Troy.

WACO, TX - OCTOBER 24:  Justin Blackmon #81 and Cooper Nicholas #89 of the Oklahoma State Cowboys celebrate a touchdown in front of Jordan Lake #21 of the Baylor Bears at Floyd Casey Stadium on October 24, 2009 in Waco, Texas.  (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)

Troy, What to Watch For: In Troy’s win over Bowling Green, the Trojans finished with 475 yards. They attempted 41 passes and 43 rushes in the game, something I’m guessing wasn’t by mistake. It's all about balance, right?

Two players to keep an eye on are redshirt freshman quarterback, Corey Robinson, and last year’s leading receiver, Jerrel Jernigan. Making his first start against Bowling Green, Robinson threw for 252 yards and a touchdown. Jernigan finished 2009 with over 1100 yards receiving and had six catches against Bowling Green. Jernigan will also carry the rock quite a few times considering he lines up at wide receiver and had five rushing attempts for 59 yards in the opener.

Oklahoma State, What to Watch For: It will be hard not to watch Kendall Hunter who rushed for 257 yards on only 21 carries against Washington State. OSU will have a big size advantage against Troy upfront so Hunter could be in for another big week. Not to mention, Troy only returns three starters on defense from last year and will be going on the road for the first time this season.  Expect Mike Gundy's team to take advantage.

This is going to be one exciting offense to watch as the players get more accustomed to the system Holgorsen has installed.  The Cowboys have the skill players to make it work as long as their inexperience on the offensive line doesn't become an issue.

Final Take: The Pokes will continue to plow through the non-conference schedule. Troy will put up a fight for a half but Brandon Weeden and Hunter will be too much for a young defense to overcome in Stillwater. Okie State 38 Troy 20.


  • The Line:  Okie State -14
  • Predicted Score:  OSU 38 Troy 20
  • Final Score:  Oklahoma State 41  Troy 38


Comment: Oklahoma State trailed at halftime, 27-20, but rallied in the second half and then held on for the win.  Another big game for Kendall Hunter who is off to an unbelievable start after two weeks.



Wyoming @ Texas

  • Game time: 6:00
  • TV: Fox Sports Net
  • Sirius Channel 215 XM
  • The Spread: Texas – 28.5


The Lowdown: Texas and Wyoming meet for the second season in a row. Last year, the Cowboys hung tough with Texas before falling 41-10 in Laramie. Texas is coming off a 34-17 opening win against Rice while Wyoming survived a fourth quarter comeback bid from Southern Utah and held on for the win, 28-20.

HOUSTON - SEPTEMBER 04: Defensive Coordinator/Linebackers coach Will Muschamp watches from the sidelines during a game against the Rice Owls at Reliant Stadium on September 4, 2010 in Houston, Texas. (Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images)

Wyoming will be playing with heavy hearts on Saturday after freshman linebacker Ruben Narcisse was killed in a car accident on Monday morning. The Cowboys will wear special stickers on their helmets with Narcisse’s initials in honor of their fallen teammate.

Wyoming, What to Watch For: Wyoming is coached by former Missouri offensive coordinator Dave Christensen which means they’ll be a polar opposite from the Rice rushing attack Texas saw in week one. The player to keep an eye on is the trigger man, Austyn Carta-Samuels. He threw for 319 yards and three touchdowns last weekend. He’s also a threat to run the ball off the zone read play. Not counting lost yards for sacks, he rushed for 639 yards in 2009. The Cowboys also return their leading receiver and running back so they’ll be experienced at the skill positions.

On defense, Wyoming returns three players who had over 116 tackles last year. The leader in middle linebacker Brian Hendricks who had 14 tackles in the opener. They’ll also rely on defensive end Gabe Knapton and free safety Chris Prosinski to slow down the newfound Texas running game.

Texas, What to Watch For: Texas used a workman like effort in their opener against Rice. Nothing fancy, but they got the job done. Tre’ Newton moves back into the starting running back role after Cody Johnson won the spot during fall camp. And continue to keep an eye on quarterback Garrett Gilbert. He wasn’t asked to do a lot against Rice, but I’m guessing they may open it up a little more as Gilbert continues to gain experience.

Final Take: Texas should control the line of scrimmage on both sides of the ball against Wyoming.. The Longhorns new running game will pick up some steam and Will Muschamp’s defense will make it a long day for Carta-Samuels. Texas 35 – Wyoming 10.


  • The Line:  Texas -28.5
  • Predicted Score:  Texas 35 Wyoming 10
  • Final Score:  Texas 34 Wyoming 7


Comment: Texas got off to a slow start, falling behind 7-6, but responded with two quick TD's and held Wyoming in check after halftime.  The Longhorns opened up the playbook after being fairly conservative in the opener against Rice.  Garrett Gilbert threw for 222 yards.


Louisiana Tech @ Texas A&M

  • Game time: 6:00
  • TV: None
  • Sirius Channel 129
  • The Spread: Texas A&M – 20


The Lowdown: Louisiana Tech has a new coach at the helm this season after Derek Dooley left to take the head coaching job at Tennessee. Their new man is Sonny Dykes who spent the past three seasons as the offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach at Arizona. Tony Franklin is La Tech’s offensive coordinator and they’ll be running a wide open spread attack made famous by Mike Leach at Texas Tech. The offense got off to a rather slow start in the opener, a 20-6 win over Grambling. Tech was kept out of the end zone in the second half and finished the game with 336 yards of offense.

COLLEGE STATION, TX - NOVEMBER 26: Quarterback Jerrod Johnson #1 of the Texas A&M Aggies looks to throw the ball downfield to an open receiver against the Texas Longhorns in the second half at Kyle Field on November 26, 2009 in College Station, Texas. The Longhorns defeated the Aggies 49-39. (Photo by Aaron M. Sprecher/Getty Images)

Texas A&M cruised in their opener against Stephen F. Austin, as expected. The question mark for the Aggies remains the play of the defense. They were good in the opener against SFA, but we really won’t know exactly how that side of the ball is shaping up until the Aggies get into Big 12 play.

Louisiana Tech, What to Watch For: Tech seems to be unsettled at the quarterback position heading into College Station. Ross Jenkins started against Grambling but was replaced by Colby Cameron in the second half. And this was after senior Steven Ensminger was named the starter early in camp but didn’t even make it until the first game and Jenkins got the start. Against A&M, Cameron has been given the starting nod but for now it looks like a game of musical chairs at the position.  All three could see action on Saturday.

Texas A&M, What to Watch For: Take your pick here. It will be tough for Tech to contain all the Aggies on offense. If they take out one part of TAMU’s offense, they’ll get hit with another. Tech’s defense looked good against Grambling, but I’d expect Jerrod Johnson to have his way with the La Tech secondary assuming his offensive line is able to give him ample time in the backfield..

As I mentioned in the opener, A&M’s defense won’t likely face its first big test until Big 12 play. But this game could provide some more insight as to where the Aggies are at defensively. Tech will attempt to spread the field and test the A&M secondary but with the uncertainty at quarterback, this could easier said than done.

Final Take: The Bulldogs will be anything but a pushover for the Aggies in week two. I expect A&M to come out pounding it with running backs Christine Michael and Cyrus Gray early on and finish it off the Johnson doing his thing through the air. A&M 42 Louisiana Tech 17.


  • The Line:  Texas A&M -20
  • Predicted Score:  Texas A&M 42  Louisiana Tech 17
  • Final Score:  Texas A&M 48  Louisiana Tech 16


Comment: After fumbling five times in the first half, the Aggies found their grove outscoring La Tech 27-6 in the second half.  As expected, the offense looked good again (without the fumbles at least) and the revamped A&M defense had its second solid week to open the season.


Texas Tech @ New Mexico

  • Game time: 7:00
  • TV: The Mountain Network
  • Sirius Channel 126
  • The Spread: Texas Tech -24


The Lowdown: Texas Tech got off on the right foot to open the Tommy Tuberville era with a 35-27 win over SMU. It looked the Air Raid offense was in full force with Tech passing for 359 yards and rushing for only 72. The Red Raiders look to make it two in a row over New Mexico after beating them 48-28 in Lubbock last season.

Meanwhile, New Mexico got taken to the woodshed against Oregon falling 72-0. The Lobos were down 59-0 at halftime, turned the ball over five times for the game, and gave up two punt returns for touchdowns. The stat sheet is almost hard to believe; 720 yards for Oregon, 107 for New Mexico. I’ll leave it at that.

AUSTIN, TX - SEPTEMBER 19:  Wide receiver Lyle Leong #19 of the Texas Tech Red Raiders makes a touchdown pass reception against Chykie Brown #8 of the Texas Longhorns at Darrell K Royal-Texas Memorial Stadium on September 19, 2009 in Austin, Texas.  (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)

New Mexico, What to Watch For: The Lobos will be looking for any sort of improvement against Tech after the disaster in Eugene last weekend. New Mexico surely isn’t that bad and they hope to prove it on Saturday. They played 16 players who were seeing their first college action and will be looking to make a big jump, heck any jump, from week one to week two.

Sophomore quarterback B.R. Holbrook will get the start again, the second of his career. It will be interesting to see what the drubbing last week did to the psyche of the Lobos. Getting out of the gate quickly will be important. If things go bad early, Tech isn’t likely to take its foot off the gas and things could easily spiral out of control once again for the Lobos.

Texas Tech, What to Watch For: Tuberville said throughout fall camp he wants to become more balanced on offense. Against SMU, Tech passed for 359 yards while rushing for only 72. I’d be surprised if we don’t see offensive coordinator Neal Brown try to get running backs Baron Batch and Eric Stephens involved more early. But at the same time, Tech is going to take whatever they can get against the Lobo defense and if that’s doing it through the air, then that’s what they’ll do.

Keep an eye on the Taylor Potts and Lyle Leong tandem. The duo grew up together and that familiarity was evident against SMU as Leong hauled in 11 catches for 142 yards and three scores, part of Potts 359 yard passing day.

Final Take: It’s hard to imagine this one being close. New Mexico should hope the Red Raiders are looking ahead to next’s week conference opener against Texas. New Mexico will be much better at home than they were in Eugene, but Tech should have its way on Saturday night. Texas Tech 45 New Mexico 10.


  • The Line:  Texas Tech -24
  • Predicted Score:  Texas Tech 45 NewMexico 10
  • Final Score:  Texas Tech 52 New Mexico 17


Comment: Texas Tech was helped by two blocked kicks and 16 New Mexico penalties in cruising to the win.  The Lobos were able, however, to throw for 323 yards against the Tech defense.  The Red Raiders can now turn their attention to the showdown with Texas next Saturday night.

(Slideshow photo complements of Lance McCord)

Last modified on Saturday, 25 September 2010 12:45
Jay Beck

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