Tahlequah Daily Press

College Sports

October 31, 2012

Big 12 picture clearing up at midway point

(Continued)

Will West Virginia rebound?

Not long ago, the Mountaineers (5-2) were preseason favorites and quarterback Geno Smith was the Heisman Trophy front-runner. Now, they’re practically afterthoughts.

Dana Holgorsen and Co. had an off week to pick up the pieces and will host fellow Big 12 newcomer TCU on Saturday.

“There was a pretty good sense of urgency last week. The attention to detail tends to pick up when you get beat, if the makeup of your team is what you want it to be,” Holgorsen said.

Holgorsen said he thinks players can forget their fundamentals during the grind of the season and the off week was a good chance to re-focus.

“There’s a whole bunch of good 5-2 football teams out there. Just because we’ve dropped the last two doesn’t mean that we’re a bad football team,” he said.

Who’s playing QB?

While there has been steady play at the top from the likes of Klein, Texas Tech’s Seth Doege and Oklahoma’s Landry Jones, there’s been more shuffling than usual at the quarterback position in the Big 12.

Injuries forced Oklahoma State to replace Wes Lunt with J.W. Walsh and then bring Lunt back last week. TCU went with Trevone Boykin after Casey Pachall was arrested and suspended indefinitely.

And then there were the changes related to effectiveness: Kansas switched from Notre Dame transfer Dayne Crist to Michael Cummings and a run-based attack, and Iowa State started with Steele Jantz, then turned to Jared Barnett and then back to Jantz in time for him to set career-highs with 381 yards passing and five TDs in a win over Baylor.

“He was not doing some things effective enough, and that’s why we made a change at one point this season, but 4-1 as a starter is pretty dang good,” coach Paul Rhoads said. “I think it’s overshadowed by the fact that he had his best game as an Iowa State Cyclone this Saturday night.”

Texas coach Mack Brown announced Monday that he was sticking with David Ash, even after Case McCoy replaced him for the game-winning drive against Kansas.

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