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Athlon hands out some hardware for the opening weekend of college football
The first week of college football action is complete in the Big 12. Here is our look at the week that was.
Team of the Week — Baylor
All 10 Big 12 teams won on the opening weekend, but no team made a statement quite like Baylor. On a national stage, the Bears outlasted TCU, 50–48, in what will likely be one of the most entertaining games of the 2011 season. Led by the dynamic Robert Griffin III, Baylor rolled up 564 yards of total offense against a TCU club that has led the nation in total defense in each of the past three seasons. Baylor, which jumped out to a 7–2 record last season before fading down the stretch, has a chance to be 5–0 when it visits Texas A&M on Oct. 15.
Disappointment of the Week — Kansas State
The Wildcats needed a Collin Klein to Chris Harper 33-yard touchdown with 1:45 remaining in the game to beat FCS foe Eastern Kentucky, 10–7, in Manhattan. The Wildcats were strong on defense (EKU managed only 129 total yards) but struggled to move the ball with consistency all night long. They had 303 total yards and only one of their drives went for more than 50 yards.
Player of the Week — Robert Griffin III, Baylor
Griffin was nearly flawless in the Bears’ memorable win over TCU. The junior completed 21-of-27 passes for 359 yards with five touchdowns and no interceptions. He also rushed for 38 yards and caught one pass — on a crucial third down — for 15 yards. He did commit one costly turnover, a fumble late in the game with Baylor clinging to a two-point lead, but he more than made up for it by leading his team on a seven-play, 46-yard drive that set up the game-winning field goal.
Freshman of the Week — Malcolm Brown, Texas
The nation’s No. 1 running back recruit, according to Athlon Sports, enjoyed a solid debut, rushing for 85 yards on 16 carries in the Longhorns’ 34–9 win over Rice.
Around the Big 12
• Steele Jantz, a junior college transfer, got the start at quarterback in his first game at Iowa State. He was productive on the ground (75 yards and two scores) but struggled throwing the ball. He completed only 18-of–40 for 187 yards with one touchdown and three INTs. Jerome Tiller, who came into the season with three career starts at quarterback, is academically ineligible this season.
• Oklahoma ran an astounding 100 plays from scrimmage — by far the most in the nation — in its 47–14 win over Tulsa. Oklahoma State was next at 87. Dominique Whaley, a walk-on transfer, led the way for OU with 130 yards and four touchdowns on only 18 carries.
• Texas A&M’s running game could be among the best in the nation this season if both Cyrus Gray and Christine Michael remain healthy. In the Aggies’ impressive 46–14 win over SMU Sunday night, Gray led the way with 131 yards on 21 carries while Michael added 85 yards on 14 attempts.
• Missouri scored only 17 points in its Week 1 win over Miami (Ohio). It was the Tigers’ lowest output against a non-conference opponent in the regular season since a 24–14 loss at Troy in September 2004.
• Texas Tech fell behind Texas State 10–0 late in the first quarter but responded by scoring the final 50 points of the game. Seth Doege was efficient in his first start since 2009, completing 23-of-33 for 326 yards with three touchdowns and zero interceptions.
• One year after dropping a 6–3 decision to North Dakota State in its season-opener, Kansas rolled up 42 points in an 18-point win over McNeese State. The Jayhawks rushed for 301 yards, their highest total since gaining 334 in a 2008 win over Northern Colorado.
• Texas beat Rice for the 12th straight time. The Longhorns have scored at least 34 points in all but one of the 12 wins, the exception being an 18–13 win over the Owls in 1999.