Piling up the points

Coaches say talented quarterbacks behind recent scoring binges.
Tuesday, October 21, 2003 | 12:00 a.m. CDT; updated 1:28 p.m. CDT, Tuesday, July 22, 2008

These days, Big 12 Conference football scores are starting to look more like basketball scores.

The scoring outburst came to a head Saturday when Oklahoma State beat Texas Tech 51-49, and the game didn’t go to overtime.

The league’s outstanding quarterbacks are garnering much of the credit for the high scoring. Oklahoma State coach Les Miles said he hasn’t seen a league with more impressive quarterbacks. Iowa State coach Dan McCarney agrees.

“The league is just loaded with tremendous offenses and quarterbacks,” McCarney said. “That’s one of the many reasons you’re seeing a lot of points being scored.”

Missouri coach Gary Pinkel gives some of the credit to the quarterbacks, but he said changes in coaching philosophies over the past 10 years have also contributed.

“I think it’s because they’re throwing the football,” Pinkel said. “It used to be kind of a national philosophy that you ran the ball. A lot of people know how to throw the ball well, now. I think that’s the difference.”

STATE OF FRUSTRATION: Baylor coach Guy Morriss reached a new level of frustration after back-to-back losses to Texas A&M and Kansas. The nature of the Bears’ most recent loss amplified Morriss’ frustration.

“It’s very frustrating that we’re losing ball games because of things like penalties,” Morriss said. “We’re not going to take the field and have the best athletes every time, but for us to shoot ourselves in the foot with all these penalties and turnovers. … It’s got to stop.”

The Bears had 11 penalties for 99 yards and an interception in a 28-21 loss at Kansas.

“It would be nice if we could get from the hotel to the stadium this week without a personal foul, or an interception, or something,” Morriss said.

NO PLACE LIKE HOME: In Big 12 play, the home team has won 15 of 17 games. Only Oklahoma and Texas have earned conference road wins, both against Iowa State.

“You see it at every level,” Morriss said. “It’s hard to travel. First of all, you have so many distractions. I think that takes kids out of their rhythm. We try to do everything as routinely as we possibly can.”

Kansas State coach Bill Snyder, whose team lost two straight road games before winning at home Saturday, said the especially evident home-field advantage might have something to do with coincidence.

“It probably has an awful lot to do with the teams that are playing each other,” Snyder said. “But I think it’s probably accurate that there’s a home-field advantage to a certain degree.”

AWARDS AND RECORDS: Oklahoma punt returner Antonio Perkins, Nebraska linebacker Barrett Ruud and Oklahoma State tailback Tatum Bell are the Big 12 Players of the Week.

Perkins earned Special Teams Player of the Week, returning five punts for 121 yards, including a 69-yard touchdown, against Missouri.

“Antonio Perkins was his usual great self, returning punts and making great plays,” Oklahoma coach Bob Stoops said.

Perkins’ touchdown return gave him seven in his career and four this season; both totals tied NCAA Division I-A records.

Bell, the Offensive Player of the Week, rushed for 238 yards on 28 carries and three touchdowns against Texas Tech.

“I think Tatum’s very deserving,” Miles said.

Ruud, the Defensive Player of the Week, made 10 tackles, forced a fumble and returned an interception for a touchdown.

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