Texas rolled Louisiana and Oklahoma escaped Tulane on an opening weekend where most programmes simply took care of business in the BIG XII. There is only one BIG XII loss this week in the BIG XII Week 1 Review. Who was it though? Lets find out.
Kansas fans rushed the field after the Jayhawks’ close win against the FCS South Dakota Coyotes. Good for them. It’s unlikely they will be able to do it again this season. Kansas took a 10-0 lead after a leaping touchdown catch from Lawrence Arnold on a nice out-route. The Coyotes fought back and gained control of the game in the 4th quarter, taking a 14-10 lead. But it was to be Arnold’s day as he came good for a second touchdown reception with 1:12 left on the clock. Jason Bean had a solid day going 17-26 163 & 2 touchdowns along with 54 yards on the ground. It’s nice to see the Jayhawks celebrating after week one. A good start for new HC Lance Leipold.
The TCU Horned Frogs improved to 19-2 in season openers under HC Gary Patterson in a game with a shortened second half. Patterson agreed to play 12 minute second half quarters in what was already a rout by half time. Notably Zach Evans got 5-27-1 after supposedly breaking team rules earlier in the week which many thought would preclude him from this game. QB Max Duggan did his job throwing for 207, 1 TD & 1 INT, dramatically taking his foot off the gas in the second half after being up 35 points at the half. The Horned Frogs did what was expected for a solid opening win.
Baylor played a closer game they would’ve liked against the Texas State Bobcats in San Marcos, Saturday night. JT Woods opened the scoring with a 20 yard pick-six. It was a big day for the Bears’ running backs as Trestan Ebner went for 120 yards on 20 carries and Abram Smith went for 119 and a touchdown on 19 carries. Gerry Bohannon looked ok in his first full start for the Bears. It’s hard to believe that the QB job is completely locked up. Unless Zeno and the rest are miles behind Bohannon in practice. RJ Sneed also had a nice day at WR with 92 yards in a game that the Bears likely learned a lot about their own roster.
The Oklahoma State Cowboys let the Bears hang around in a game that showed us the boys from Stillwater are still loaded at wide receiver. Shane Illingworth started at QB and gave a fine account of himself, passing for 315 yards, 1 TD & 1 INT but the real story of the day was the emergence of Tay Martin who went 6-107-1. We also got to see the Cowboy’s newest talent in Fr WR Jaden Bray who secured a stunning catch on a heavily contested 36 yard throw. The Cowboys took their foot off the gas in the second half and strolled home for the win.
Brock Purdy went 21-26 for 199 yards in the Cyclones 6 point win against the Northern Iowa Panthers. Matt Campbell’s team made it look a lot harder than it should’ve looked. Only being up 13-10 at the half and then only scoring 3 points in the final two quarters. Breece Hall had a quiet game by his standards. Going 23-69-1, whilst Xavier Hutchinson had a nice day at WR. Picking up 88 yards on 7 receptions. It’s safe to say the Cyclones had their eyes firmly set on next week’s huge in-state rivalry game against the Iowa Hawkeyes. Campbell was never going to show much in this one.
The Wildcats fell to the Cardinals in Arlington with a dominant 24-7 victory. All behind gutsy QB Skylar Thompson and electric RB Deuce Vaughn. The Palmyra native QB set the tone on the first of his two rushing touchdowns by bulldozing Stanford CB Kye Blu Kelly to get in the endzone. Vaughn continued in the same vein as he ran the ball down Stanford’s throat all night, picking up 124 yards and an explosive 59 yard touchdown run. WR Phillip Brooks complimented Thompson and Vaughn nicely with 81 yards on just 3 receptions. Chris Kleiman will be happy with a strong win after five straight losses to close 2020.
The West Virginia Mountaineers logged the BIG XII’s only loss of the weekend going down 30 – 28 to BIG 10 team Maryland. Taulia, brother of Dolphins QB Tua, proved too much for WVU’s new look defence with 338 and 3 TDs. Leddie Brown had a good day for the Mountaineers with 17-73-2 but HC Neal Brown won’t be happy with how easily the Terrapins scored on explosive plays. WVU has a lot to improve on before a huge non-conference game against a Virginia Tech team that just dominated projected first round QB, Sam Howell and UNC.
The Red Raiders fought back from a 14 point deficit to beat a tough Cougars team in Houston. Tahj Brooks led Wells’ team to the W with 134 yards and two touchdowns. The Raiders defence shut out the Houston offence for the entire second half. Wells will be very happy at how his team responded to adversity. But he will also be concerned with the slow start. Tyler Shough, transfer from Oregon had a solid first game. Going 17 of 24 for 231 yards and a touchdown with another touchdown on the ground. WR Erik Ezukanma had a huge game with 7-179 featuring a nice 50 yard catch. A slow start but Wells will be very pleased with how individual talent shone through, giving him plenty of cause for optimism.
New HC Steve Sarkisian will be a very happy man this Sunday morning as his Longhorns dominated a very strong Ragin Cajuns team in DKR. Bijan Robinson was too much for Napier’s defence as he rushed for 102 yards and a score on the ground, and 73 yards and a score through the air. Hudson Card showed us why he won the job with 224 yards and two touchdowns, plus a rushing score also. Jordan Whittington emerged as Card’s likely WR1 notching 113-1 on just 7 receptions. Whilst Casey Thompson got some playing time in what was likely a bid from Sark to keep him from transferring. A good day at the office for the Longhorns against a very good team that knocked off Iowa State in the 2020 opener.
Oklahoma can count themselves lucky after escaping with a 5 point win. Against a Tulane team that had to play their home opener in Norman due to Hurricane Ida. The Green Wave took the Sooners all the way to the wire. Demonstrating why we should all still have some question marks about that Alex Grinch defence. After being up by 23 at the half OU’s offence misfired dramatically in the second half. Projected first round pick QB Spencer Rattler threw for 304 and a score but also had two interceptions in a game where he admitted they needed to be “sharper”.
Kennedy Brooks had a nice game on the ground with 87 yards and a score. Whilst WR Marvin Mims notched 117 yards on just 5 receptions. The Sooners clearly checked out after the half. Something Lincoln Riley will want to beat out of them before bigger games later in the season.
– Jake @dynastybrit