Tabs on the Enemy - Week 1

JW Walsh has Oklahoma State as frontrunners of the Big 12. - Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

Keep your friends close, and your enemies closer.

It's one thing to predict a 12-0 season for our Horns following the offense's record setting performance or another 7-5 downer following the offense's struggles through 28 minutes...but it's something entirely different to base those predictions based on who the Horns will be playing against. With that in mind, let's take a tour from Morgantown to Provo and get an idea of what everyone is doing.

Big 12 Rank Team (AP Rank) Win-Loss Last Week This Week
1 Baylor 1-0 W vs. Wofford vs. Buffalo
1 Oklahoma (16) 1-0 W vs. Louisiana - Monroe vs. West Virginia
1 Oklahoma State (13) 1-0 W vs. Mississippi State @ UTSA
1 Texas (15) 1-0 W vs. NMSU @ BYU
1 Texas Tech 1-0 W @ SMU vs. SFA
1 West Virginia 1-0 W vs. William & Mary @ Oklahoma
7 Kansas 0-0 BYE vs. South Dakota
8 Iowa State 0-1 L vs. Northern Iowa vs. Iowa
8 Kansas State 0-1 L vs. North Dakota State vs. UL- Lafayette
8 TCU (20) 0-1 L vs. LSU vs. Southeast Louisiana


Baylor

1 2 3 4 F
Wofford 0 0 3 0 3
Baylor 28 10 28 3 69

Baylor, in the midst of unprecedented recruiting success and riding the wave of being among the premier offensive teams in the country, put up 692 yards of total offense and 69 points against overmatched Wofford in the 2013 opener. New QB Bryce Petty, following the success of Bear QBs Robert Griffin III and Nick Florence, opened with 312 yards and 2 TDs on 24 passes, and Heisman hopeful Lache Seastrunk added 111 yards on the ground and 2 TDs on 11 carries.

SB Nation's Our Daily Bears thinks Baylor may have been the most impressive team in the conference...

What can you say after a game like this? Baylor scored 28 in a quarter twice, once with backups playing a good deal. The defense pitched a near shutout, allowing only 3 points through the entire game in what has to be the most impressive performances by the Bears in some time. Wofford is a good team. Tonight, Baylor made them look like they were not. It's hard to imagine, but I actually did our entire program a disservice by limiting the prediction thread to Baylor + 30. We ended up winning by 66.

This weekend's Big 12 games aren't done yet, and TCU has a chance to shake things up considerably, but it's hard for me to imagine how Baylor isn't considered at least the second-most impressive team in the conference this week (the first being, potentially, TCU).


Oklahoma

1 2 3 4 F
Louisiana - Monroe 0 0 0 0 0
Oklahoma 0 13 21 0 34

The Oklahoma defense did its part silencing offseason critics, holding a solid UL - Monroe offense that returned several starters and stud QB Kolton Browning to 0 points and 166 yards on 61 plays. Redshirt freshman QB Trevor Knight, after beating out experienced option Blake Bell for the starting spot, struggled in the passing game, putting up a 11-28 for 86 yards, 3 TDs and 1 INT line. However, he was a catalyst for the running game that posted 305 yards on 50 carries, getting 103 yards on 13 carries himself.

SB Nation's Crimson and Cream Machine likes the change in offensive philosophy, but wants to see more from the passing game...

Knight also needs to take advantage of every pass as well because it only makes him all the more dangerous on the ground. Hopefully it was just jitters but there were far too many swing passes that went into the ground, balls batted down at the line of scrimmage and open receivers missed badly. Its okay to get excited about his mobility and play making ability but he has a long way to go in the area of improvement in the passing game. Granted in this new era of Sooner football the pass is just one aspect of the quarterback's game with running being the other. That said, its going to take a lot more than 86-passing yards to be in position to win a Big Twelve championship.


Oklahoma State

1 2 3 4 F
Mississippi State 3 0 0 0 3
Oklahoma State 0 7 7 7 21

The Cowboys have made a name for themselves for their prolific offenses, but it was their defense that led them to notch a win over the SEC West's Mississippi State Bulldogs. Forcing 2 turnovers and a 2-16 third down conversion helped Oklahoma State hold Dan Mullen's offense to 2 points on the game, and gave the Cowboy offense enough time to get clicking under back-up QB JW Walsh, whose legs led the way to a 135 yard passing and 125 yard rushing performance. Walsh looks to be the starter moving forward.

SB Nation's Cowboys Ride For Free summarized the defense's performance...

While Yurcich and company were busy working up the courage to throw the ball down the field (if we never see another screen pass until conference play, we might be ok with that), the Cowboys' defense slammed the door shut on an offense geared to cram it down their throat. OSU's defense forced 7 consecutive scoreless drives (6 punts, 1 TOD), only one of which went more than 5 plays with 4 three and outs. Two possessions resulted in negative yardage. Of the 3 long drives that ventured deep into OSU territory, the results were FG-MFG-INT. Barnett, Castleman and Company were regularly in the backfied and otherwise occupied blockers to allow the LB's to run free. The secondary was generally on point, and most completions were met immediately by a tackler.

Texas Tech

1 2 3 4 F
Texas Tech 3 10 7 21 41
SMU 3 6 7 7 23

Texas Tech started the Kliff Kingsbury era off on less than ideal terms: with presumed starter Michael Brewer sidelined with back trouble, walk-on true freshman Baker Mayfield was called upon to lead the Red Raiders against June Jones and SMU. Mayfield responded with a 413 yards and 4 TDs performance worthy of the Texas Tech Air Raid.

SB Nation's Viva the Matadors has some thoughts on Mayfield...

Just something to think about in the course of looking back at this game. Given what little you know about both Garrett Gilbert and Baker Mayfield, which one would you rather have for the rest of the season. Mayfield averaged almost 7 yards an attempt, threw some dangerous throws in the firls half, but really figured things out in the second half. I think the upside is there for Mayfield. He's got some things that he has to correct, especially going over the middle of the field. He's got to pick and choose when that's appropriate, but that takes time. Experience.

Let's focus on some of the good things. On the Marquez touchdown, Mayfield goes over the top with a defender playing zone coverage to take away something just over the middle, but Mayfield knows he can't just go over the middle because of that defender, so he puts the ball on the outside and sideline shoulder of Marquez. TDRR.

With the Grant touchdown, it's really a fantastic play that allows Grant to just use his speed to run to the corner with the wide reciever just pretty much stopping his route to allow Grant to have one-on-one coverage. Mayfield just tosses it where only Grant can run out the pass or it's incomplete.

West Virginia

1 2 3 4 F
William & Mary 7 10 0 0 17
West Virginia 7 0 10 7 24

In what can only be described as the least impressive victory in the Big 12 this week, West Virginia squeaked one out against the Tribe. With new QB Paul Millard finding his footing, Houston transfer Charles Sims led the way on the ground with 23 carries, 120 yards, and 1 TD.

SB Nation's Smoking Musket with thoughts on Millard and Sims...

Round one of the quarterback battle seems to have gone to Millard, but he was far from impressive, finishing 19/25 for 238 yards, 1 TD and 1 fumble. Trickett failed to complete a pass in two series.

Charles Sims on the other hand was everything promised and more with 120 yards on 23 carries. He didn't break off any long runs, but kept drives moving as he was continually able to churn out 6 or 7 yard runs.


Kansas

Kansas football spared us from watching them opened with a bye, giving Charlie Weis one more week to prep his pile of crap roster loaded with JUCO talent for the season.

Iowa State

1 2 3 4 F
Northern Iowa 7 14 0 7 28
Iowa State 7 7 6 0 20

The Iowa State offense struggled to convert opportunities, and the defense had trouble stopping Northern Iowa's David Johnson, who picked up 199 yards and 2 TDs on the ground with 2 more TDs through the air.

SB Nation's Wide Right & Natty Lite with what went wrong...

The offense looked better than the defense, but was still unable to generate touchdowns on consecutive goal to gos in the second half, and was once again guilty of some odd playcalls. To top it off, center Tom Farniok left the game with a serious injury, though early reports indicate that it is NOT his ACL.

Kansas State

1 2 3 4 F
North Dakota State 7 0 10 7 24
Kansas State 0 7 14 0 21

If you schedule an FCS team, you probably don't want to schedule the defending FCS champs. The Kansas State offense struggled to put points on the board, but gave up an 18 play, 80 yard, 8:30 long TD drive late in the 4th quarter to lose the game.

SB Nation's Bring on the Cats on where the game was lost...

The true difference in the game was in the trenches. The Bison offensive lineman won battle after battle and repeatedly opened gaping holes for Sam Ojuri and John Crockett. The North Dakota State defensive line also had a lot of success. The pressure that flushed Waters out of the pocket for his first interception was brought by rushing three lineman and dropping Mike Hardie back to spy. When the protection broke down (which was fast) Hardie came up and applied the pressure that forced the throw. Both Bison lines performed extremely well.

TCU

1 2 3 4 F
LSU 6 10 14 7 37
TCU 3 7 7 10 27

In what was easily the toughest draw of the week, TCU fell short against the LSU Tigers. The offense struggled to produce, managing 259 yards on 54 plays while playing both QBs Casey Pachall and Trevone Boykin. RB BJ Catalon added a 100 yard kickoff return TD to help the effort, but it was not enough. The LSU offense was able to convert 13 of 19 3rd down opportunities, and ran 80 plays for 448 yards on the night.

SB Nation's Frogs O' War with the QB situation and other offensive thoughts...

On offense, another sentence I didn't expect to write (especially so early in the season) springs immediately to mind: Trevone Boykin was by far the better quarterback tonight. I don't think I've been a "hater" when it comes to Boykin's abilities, but to see him make so many good decisions in the second half after Casey struggled in every phase of the game in the first half was an absolute shock. Boykin should be the starter against SE Lousiana and Texas Tech without a doubt to me, and that's coming from a guy who was privately hoping that getting Boykin some snaps wouldn't disrupt Casey's rhythm. As it was, Casey made more bad throws than good ones tonight, including a bad interception that led to LSU's first touchdown and he's going to be getting backup snaps against SE Louisiana to try and build his confidence back up. For the running backs, they put together a solid effort against a freakish LSU front and both James and Catalon had good moments that make me feel good about the unit going forward. Apart from two false starts by Halapoulivaati Vaitai, the TCU O-line held up admirably against a strong LSU unit. This is the best defense the Frogs will see all season by a mile, and TCU acquitted themselves well.

***

For bonus coverage of Texas upcoming opponents, check out SB Nation blogs Vanquish the Foe (BYU dropped their opener to Virginia in a rainy affair) and Red Cup Rebellion (Ole Miss dropped Vanderbilt in a thrilling opening night contest).

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