Athlon recaps the Week 3 action in the Big 12.
Week 3 featured a pedestrian slate of games in the Big 12. TCU-Kansas was the only conference game, while Texas easily handled Ole Miss on the road and Texas Tech, Iowa State and Oklahoma State cruised to victories. The Horned Frogs were victorious in their first Big 12 game, but the Jayhawks showed signs of progress in defeat.
Big 12 Post-Week 3 Offensive Player of the Year Standings
1. Geno Smith, QB, West Virginia – Smith has been unstoppable through the first two games, tossing just as many touchdowns (9) as incompletions (9).
2. Collin Klein, QB, Kansas State – Klein continues to be a one-man wrecking crew, recording nine touchdowns and 819 yards through the first two weeks.
3. Joseph Randle, RB, Oklahoma State – Randle has three 100-yard efforts to open the season and has caught nine passes for 77 yards.
Big 12 Post-Week 3 Defensive Player of the Year Standings
1. Arthur Brown, LB, Kansas State – Brown shook off a leg injury in the win over North Texas to record 13 tackles. Through three weeks, he has 28 tackles and one sack.
2. Jackson Jeffcoat, DE, Texas – Jeffcoat recorded only one tackle but also picked up his second sack of the season against Ole Miss.
3. Isaiah Bruce, LB, West Virginia – The competition hasn’t been great, but it’s hard to ignore Bruce’s performance through the first two games. He has 25 tackles, three tackles for a loss and one fumble recovery so far this year.
Big 12 Post-Week 3 Coach of the Year Standings
1. Paul Rhoads, Iowa State - Rhoads has led Iowa State to back-to-back 3-0 starts and won’t be an easy out in Big 12 play.
2. Bill Snyder, Kansas State – The Wildcats are 3-0 but largely untested. Kansas State opens Big 12 play against Oklahoma this Saturday.
3. Dana Holgorsen, West Virginia – Behind quarterback Geno Smith and receivers Stedman Bailey and Tavon Austin, the Mountaineers’ offense has been unstoppable through the first two games of 2012.
Post-Week 3 Power Rankings
1. Oklahoma (2-0, 0-0 Big 12)
Last Week: 1
Week 3 Result: Did not play
The Sooners did not play in Week 2 and will return to action in Week 4 against Kansas State. Oklahoma has a strange schedule over the next couple of weeks, as it hosts the Wildcats, then has another bye week before playing at Texas Tech on Oct. 6. The Sooners have defeated Kansas State five times in a row, including a 58-17 victory in Manhattan last season.
Next Game: Kansas State
2. Texas (3-0, 0-0 Big 12)
Last Week: 2
Week 3 Result: Beat Ole Miss 66-31
While it wasn’t a conference road test, traveling to Oxford to play Ole Miss was a key game for Texas. The Longhorns surprisingly gave up 31 points to the Rebels but were never in any danger of losing. Quarterback David Ash turned in a solid performance, throwing for 326 yards and four touchdowns. The ground attack punished Ole Miss for 350 yards on 54 attempts. Texas has a bye week to prepare for its Big 12 opener against Oklahoma State. The Longhorns will have to take a wait-and-see approach on preparing for the Cowboys offense, as starting quarterback Wes Lunt was injured in the win over Louisiana-Lafayette.
Next Game: at Oklahoma State (Sept. 29)
3. West Virginia (2-0, 0-0 Big 12)
Last Week: 3
Week 3 Result: Beat James Madison 42-12
The Mountaineers hold steady in the power rankings after cruising to an easy 42-12 victory over FCS opponent James Madison. Quarterback Geno Smith was nearly flawless, completing 34 of 39 passes for 411 yards and five touchdowns. With Matt Barkley’s performance against Stanford, Smith has to be considered the frontrunner to win the Heisman after three weeks. Receivers Stedman Bailey and Tavon Austin each went over 100 yards and caught double-digit passes. As expected West Virginia’s defense had a much better performance than it had in Week 1, as the Dukes’ only touchdown came with less than a minute remaining.
Next Game: Maryland
4. TCU (2-0, 1-0 Big 12)
Last Week: 4
Week 3 Result: Beat Kansas 20-6
The Horned Frogs capped a historic weekend with a 20-6 win over Kansas in their first Big 12 game. TCU easily outgained the Jayhawks (507 to 379) but it was far from a complete performance. The Horned Frogs had four turnovers and went 2 of 9 on third-down conversions. Quarterback Casey Pachall passed for 335 yards, with Brandon Carter his preferred target (eight receptions, 141 yards and two scores). TCU’s defense had question marks about its back seven coming into the year, and Kansas quarterback Dayne Crist threw for 303 yards. Although it wasn’t a perfect effort for Gary Patterson’s team, it’s a good way to start life in the Big 12.
Next Game: Virginia
5. Kansas State (3-0, 0-0 Big 12)
Last Week: 5
Week 3 Result: Beat North Texas 35-21
Bill Snyder wasn’t particularly pleased with his team after Saturday’s 35-21 win over North Texas. However, the Wildcats are 3-0 and have made it through the first three weeks without a major injury. Kansas State allowed the Mean Green to hang around, largely due to the strong performance of quarterback Derek Thompson (25 of 28, 208 yards). The defense struggled with missed tackles, while the offense had two turnovers and running back John Hubert never got on track (38 yards, 12 attempts). Kansas State opens Big 12 play in Week 4 with a huge test at Oklahoma.
Next Game: at Oklahoma
6. Oklahoma State (2-1, 0-0 Big 12)
Last Week: 6
Week 3 Result: Beat Louisiana-Lafayette 65-24
Despite losing quarterback Wes Lunt on the first series of the game, the Cowboys rolled to an easy 65-24 victory over Louisiana-Lafayette. Lunt suffered a knee injury and did not return. His long-term status is uncertain, but Oklahoma State has a bye week before playing Texas on Sept. 29. With Lunt sidelined, J.W. Walsh shined, throwing for 347 yards and adding 73 yards on the ground. Running back Joseph Randle was solid as usual, rushing for 105 yards and two touchdowns on 21 attempts. Oklahoma State’s defense held the Ragin’ Cajuns without a point in the first half, before allowing 24 in the final two quarters. Lunt’s injured knee will be watched closely over the next two weeks, but if he can’t go, Walsh is more than capable of leading the Cowboys to a win over the Longhorns.
Next Game: Texas (Sept. 29)
7. Baylor (2-0, 0-0 Big 12)
Last Week: 7
Week 3 Result: Beat Sam Houston State 48-23
One of the biggest surprises from the Big 12's Week 3 action was Sam Houston State leading Baylor 20-10 at halftime. However, the Bears took control in the second half and won 48-23. Quarterback Nick Florence was solid, throwing for 312 yards and three touchdowns, while also adding a 60-yard rush. As expected, Baylor’s offense stepped up in the second half, but the defense held the Bearkats to just three points in the final two quarters. The Bears have a short week to prepare for a trip to Louisiana-Monroe on Friday night, before playing at West Virginia to open Big 12 play.
Next Game: at Louisiana-Monroe (Friday)
8. Iowa State (3-0, 0-0 Big 12)
Last Week: 8
Week 3 Result: Beat Western Illinois 37-3
The Cyclones are 3-0 in back-to-back seasons for the first time since 2000-01. Iowa State dominated Western Illinois on Saturday, jumping out to a 21-0 lead at halftime and cruising to a 37-3 win. The Cyclones got a strong performance from quarterback Steele Jantz (19 of 26 for 209 yards and three touchdowns), while the defense allowed only 178 total yards. Iowa State is halfway to bowl eligibility thanks to its 3-0 start, but the schedule is only going to get tougher the rest of the way with only Big 12 opponents.
Next Game: Texas Tech (Sept. 29)
9. Texas Tech (3-0, 0-0 Big 12)
Last Week: 9
Week 3 Result: Beat New Mexico 49-14
The Red Raiders haven’t had to sweat much through the first three weeks of the season and cruised to an easy 49-14 win over New Mexico. Quarterback Seth Doege was sharp, throwing for 340 yards and six touchdowns, while the offense had three players rush for at least 60 yards. The defense was a concern going into the year but has played well so far. Texas Tech allowed 30 points through the first three games and ranks second nationally in total defense. The competition is going to get better, but the first three weeks are a good sign for Texas Tech.
Next Game: at Iowa State
10. Kansas (1-2, 0-1 Big 12)
Last Week: 10
Week 3 Result: Lost to TCU 20-6
A week after a disappointing loss to Rice, the Jayhawks dropped their Big 12 opener to TCU. Although Kansas has not won a Big 12 game since Nov. 6, 2010, it didn’t fade late and had chances to pull closer. The Jayhawks defense forced four turnovers but allowed quarterback Casey Pachall to throw for 335 yards. Quarterback Dayne Crist matched Pachall with a 300-yard effort, but the Jayhawks’ offense was unable to capitalize off TCU’s four turnovers. Kansas’ offense will get an extra weapon back this week, as running back James Sims will return from a three-game suspension.
Next Game: at Northern Illinois
by Steven Lassan
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