September 1, 2008

Big 12 Recap: OU cruises, A&M upset

Week one of the 2008 college football season is now officially in the books, and the Big 12 Conference certainly had its share of surprises. Here's a quick recap of how all of the Big 12 teams faired in the season openers.



Last week: defeated Colorado State 38-17

Rundown: The Buffaloes got a huge boost from their special teams, as kickoff returner Josh Smith racked up 189 all-purpose yards highlighted by a 93-yard kickoff return for a touchdown in the second quarter. The game also saw the debut of freshman running back Darrell Scott, who was billed by many as the No. 1 high school player in the nation last year. Scott finished with a respectable 54 yards on 11 carries with a touchdown.


Last week: defeated South Dakota State 44-17

Rundown: Quarterback Austen Arnaud threw for a touchdown and ran for another to help guide the Cyclones to a 27-point win, the largest margin of victory under head coach Gene Chizik. Sophomore quarterback and Omaha North product Phillip Bates also saw some playing time in the victory, as he finished 5-of-8 passing for 61 yards and a 14-yard touchdown pass in the second quarter. It was a nice win, but things should get a little more interesting next week when the Cyclones host Kent State, who beat them at home last year 23-14.


Last week: defeated Florida International 40-10

Rundown: In front of a record crowd of more than 52,000, Kansas picked up where it left lost last year with a game that was over by halftime. The Jayhawks used a 23-point second quarter to pull away with their first victory, led by quarterback Todd Reesing 256 passing yards and three touchdowns. Receiver Dezmon Briscoe was the recipient of all three of Reesing's touchdown passes.


Last week: defeated North Texas 45-6

Rundown: Kansas State got things off to a good start, as quarterback Josh Freeman threw for three touchdown passes and ran for two more scores in the victory. The Wildcats cruised from the very beginning, as they scored on six of their first seven possessions and held the Mean Green to only 205 yards of total offense. KSU gets another tough challenge next week when Montana State comes to town, but should get a bit more of a test in Week 3 when it travels to Louisville.


Last week: defeated No. 20 Illinois 52-42

Rundown: The No. 6 Tigers' offense shined it one of the biggest games of the weekend, as Heisman Trophy candidate quarterback Chase Daniel threw for 323 yards and three touchdowns and All-American receiver Jeremy Maclin accounted for 206 all-purpose yards with a 99-yard kickoff return for a score. Maclin left the game early with a foot injury, and his status for next weekend's game against Southeast Missouri State is questionable. Combined, Illinois and Missouri scored 92 points and 1,081 total yards.


Last week: defeated Western Michigan 47-24

Rundown: The Bo Pelini era started off with a bang, as the Huskers jumped all over Western Michigan early. Quarterback Joe Ganz thre for more than 350 yards with four touchdowns, but had two second-half interceptions. Nebraska's pass defense was somewhat of a concern, as the Broncos finished with nearly 350 yards through the air.



Last week: lost to No. 23 Wake Forest 41-13

Rundown: First-year head coach Art Briles got a rough welcome to Baylor football, as Wake Forest came into Waco and beat up the Bears from the very start. Baylor managed just 250 yards of total offense, and didn't get its first touchdown until the fourth quarter on a 5-yard run by quarterback Robert Griffen.


Last week: defeated Chattanooga 57-2

Rundown: Oklahoma showed why it is considered the class of the Big 12, as the No. 4 Sooners led 50-0 at halftime before finally calling off the dogs in the second half. Had it not been for an hour-long thunderstorm delay right before halftime, the score could've been even worse, as OU scored on its first seven possessions of the game before the delay. Running back Chris Brown rushed for three touchdowns, while DeMarco Murray rand for 126 yards and two scores.


Last week: defeated Washington State 39-13

Rundown: Oklahoma State picked up a nice win on the road against a Pac 10 team to open the season. While the Cowboys' offense was anything but sharp, their defense dominated the Cougars, holding them to just 196 total yards and just 82 yards passing. Running back Kendall Hunter led the way with 107 yards rushing and two touchdowns.


Last week: defeated Florida Atlantic 52-10

Rundown: Quarterback Colt McCoy got knocked around a bit on three late-hit penalties by Florida Atlantic, but the No. 11 Longhorns were able to keep their cool and cruise to big win. McCoy finished with 222 passing yards and three touchdowns and also ran for a game-high 103 yards and a score. Defensively, Texas held the Owls to just 37 rushing yards and forced two turnovers.


Last week: lost to Arkansas State 18-14

Rundown: The biggest shock of the week came when A&M lost its season opener, at home, to an Arkansas State team that had won just 16 games since 2005. In Mike Sherman's head coaching debut, the Aggies committed four turnovers and did not score after halftime, allowing the Red Wolves to chip away at a 14-3 lead and eventually win the game with three fourth-quarter field goals. Running back Mike Goodson was the only bright spot with 124 yards and two touchdowns, but it was little to keep College Station, Texas, from falling into panic mode.


Last week: defeated Eastern Washington 49-24

Rundown: As expected, quarterback Graham Harrell put up huge numbers in the passing game, but the No. 12 Red Raiders were far from their perfect in the victory. Harrell finished with 536 passing yards with three touchdowns and ran for another, but Tech was admittedly sloppy on both sides of the ball. The Red Raiders committed a staggering 18 penalties for 169 yards to go along with a pair of turnovers.

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