02 Sep

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Around the Big 12

By Steve Lansdale

For the second year in a row, the Texas Longhorns were upset by Maryland. But what about the rest of the Big 12?

TCU 55, Southern 7
The Frogs piled up 499 yards of exceptionally well balanced offense: 264 through the air, and 235 on the ground. Shawn Robinson was exceptional at quarterback running for 45 yards on just two carries, reaching the end zone both times, and completing 17 of 24 passes (70.8 percent) for 182 yards, three touchdowns and no interceptions. The TCU defense was typically stingy, allowing Southern just 185 total yards (101 passing, 84 rushing) and just nine first downs in the game.

"We did what we needed to do,” head coach Gary Patterson said, “but we're going to have to play a lot better starting with this week (against SMU)."

Oklahoma 63, Florida Atlantic 14
Quarterback Kyler Murray, a.k.a. “the guy replacing Baker Mayfield,” completed 9 of 11 passes for 209 yards and a pair of touchdowns. Rodney Anderson rushed for 100 yards and two touchdowns … on just five carries. FAU actually won the time of possession battle, 30:45 to 29:15, but that just underscores how quickly the Sooners were able to score.

“It’s like I told them in there – after the first game, everybody wants to come to these conclusions about what you are and what you aren’t. Did we learn something today? Yes. I think we’ve got some quality guys,” OU head coach Lincoln Riley said. “Now, after that, we’ve got so much left to go, so much left to get better at. It’s a long, long season, and so this is a great start – nothing more than that, nothing less than that.”

Ole Miss 47, Texas Tech 27
The Red Raiders surrendered 449 yards of total offense in their opener, including 336 passing yards and a pair of passing touchdowns by Ole Miss quarterback Jordan Ta’amu and 204 rushing yards and a pair of scores by running back Scottie Phillips. Da’Leon Ward ran for 90 yards and a pair of scores, and Alan Bowman threw for 273 yards and another score to lead the Tech offense.

“He played in a similar offense in high school and understands our concepts — getting the ball out quick, making quick decisions,” head coach Kliff Kingsbury said about the decision to play true freshman quarterback Alan Bowman. I felt like — like I said, as the game was going, that’s what we needed: somebody who’s not going to hold on to the football, make quick decisions and get it to our receivers, so that’s why we went with him.”

West Virginia 40, Tennessee 14
WVU quarterback Will Grier threw for 429 yards and five touchdowns as the Mountaineers routed the Volunteers. David Sills led the receivers with seven catches for 140 yards and a pair of touchdowns.

"This was a complete win with a pretty solid score for us against an SEC program," WVU head coach Dana Holgorsen said.

Nicholls 26, Kansas 23
Quarterback Peyton Bender threw for 187 yards and a pair of touchdown passes, but it wasn’t enough as Kansas dropped its opener to FCS Nicholls … at home. Linebacker Joe Dineen, Jr., and defensive tackle Daniel Wise combined for 25 tackles for the Jayhawks in the loss.

“The sun is going to come up tomorrow, and this team is going to continue to work towards the goals that they have set,” KU head coach David Beaty said. “We knew coming in (Nicholls) was a good football team — we knew that. We knew it was going to take every single thing we got, plus overtime, maybe six, seven, eight quarters if it was going to take that, and it came to fruition. We knew that they were going to be very, very difficult to handle with the way that they max number the box in the run game, and you've got to hit some play action behind them to be able to loose them up, and I thought we did it at times. We didn't do it enough. We've just got to get better in that area.”

Kansas State 27, South Dakota 24
Isaiah Zuber returned a punt 85 yards for a touchdown in the fourth quarter, and kicker Blake Lynch converted all four field goal attempts in his career debut to lead Kansas State past South Dakota. Running back Alex Barnes led the offense with 103 yards on the ground.

"By and large, we played pretty well on special teams and made some major plays on special teams," K-State head coach Bill Snyder said. "We would be far less of a football program without the success that we've had with special teams."

Baylor 55, Abilene Christian 27
John Lovett ran for 115 yards and three touchdowns, and JaMycal Hasty added 102 yards on the ground and a pair of scores, and quarterbacks Jalan McClendon and Charlie Brewer combined for 311 passing yards to lead the Bears over Abilene Christian. Brewer, who stood out as a freshman last season, and McClendon, who transferred from North Carolina State, rotated series.

“… It wasn't a perfect game,” Baylor head coach Matt Rhule said. “We have a lot we have to correct, as you guys all know. But I thought we saw a lot of flashes. And for one night our guys can go out there and enjoy a win. Most importantly, they can enjoy a win at home.”

Iowa State vs. South Dakota State: cancelled
Just 4:05 into the season opener for each team, lightning forced a weather that lasted more than two hours before the game was officially cancelled. There are no plans to reschedule.