A lot of blowouts by Big 12 Conference teams Saturday led to a lot of big statistical days. Missouri’s senior quarterback Brad Smith’s numbers stood out the most.
The Big 12 Conference named Smith its offensive player of the week for the first week of the season Monday. In Missouri’s 44-17 win against Arkansas State, Smith completed 29-of-37 throws for 317 yards and a career-high four touchdowns passing. He also ran for 95 yards on 12 carries, all with playing just six plays in the game’s final 20 minutes.
“I don’t think there’s any player that was more excited about getting going than Brad,” MU coach Gary Pinkel said. “It’s only one game, but certainly I think he ran the offense very well out there.”
Smith was named conference player of the week for the fifth time in his career. Nebraska linebacker Bo Ruud was the defensive player of the week after making half a sack, forcing a fumble and returning an interception for a touchdown in the Huskers’ win against Maine. Colorado kicker Mason Crosby, who kicked field goals of 48 and 47 yards in the final three minutes of the Buffaloes’ win against Colorado State, was special teams player of the week.
REPLAY PLAYS WELL: Nebraska coach Bill Callahan was one of the staunchest proponents of instant replay in the Big 12. He still is, even after five plays were reviewed in the Cornhuskers’ season opener.
There were eight Big 12 home games in which instant replay was used for the first time over the weekend. There were seven reviews, the five at Nebraska and one each in the Texas and Oklahoma games.
“They were possession calls and boundary calls and things of that nature. I think it was well done,” Callahan said Monday during the Big 12 coaches conference call. “The calls were well-represented and logically thought out before they pulled the trigger and asked for a replay. What occurred was valid, was logistical.”
Two calls were overturned Saturday in Nebraska’s 25-7 victory over Maine. An interception by Maine’s Daren Stone was ruled good after initially ruled an incomplete pass, and replay officials also overturned a reception by Nebraska’s Terrence Nunn.
Texas and Oklahoma benefited from replays, though they didn’t affect the final outcome.
In the Longhorns’ 60-3 victory over Louisiana-Lafayette, the Ragin’ Cajuns quarterback was ruled to have crossed the line of scrimmage. Instead of a completed pass, there was a penalty and a loss of down after the replay.
“The only time it was used, they got it right,” said coach Mack Brown, who at first wasn’t sure what was being reviewed.
Officials at the Oklahoma game used a replay to determine that a Sooners punt didn’t break the plane of the end zone. That put TCU inside the 1 rather than the 20 to start a possession, but the Frogs still won 17-10 in the biggest upset of the opening weekend.
“Even if it goes against us, I told (the official), I thought it was fair,” Oklahoma coach Bob Stoops said.
Under the Big 12 instant replay rule, coaches can’t ask for a review. Stoops was surprised that another play, in which he thought the Sooners had caused a fumble, wasn’t looked at by officials.
Baylor got its first experience with instant replay in its opener at SMU, a member of Conference USA that is using a system similar to the Big 12. The Bears recovered a fumble after an SMU kick returner was stripped of the ball, and the replay upheld the turnover.
“In that case, it would have worked against us if they had reversed the call,” Baylor coach Guy Morriss said. “I’m in favor of replay, and anything to help officials get it right. But I’m sure we will be disappointed on the sideline at times, and there will be plays that go against us.”
The seven reviews in the Big 12 home games took an average of just 1 minute, 45 seconds each. As long as the calls are right, the coaches won’t have a problem with the system.
“We’re all in an agreement,” Iowa State coach Dan McCarney said. “Anything we can do to make sure we get calls right and give players the opportunity win football games, I’m all for it.”
- Kansas State’s game Saturday at Marshall will begin at 9:30 a.m., the earliest kickoff coach Bill Snyder can recall. But he’s not planning any changes in his players’ routine this week.
“We’re not going to make any major issues out of it,” he said. “No matter what the time, they look forward to that chance to play.”
- In hindsight, Texas A&M should have tried a 2-point conversion with 9:22 left at Clemson. Instead, the Aggies kicked the extra point to lead 24-22, and then lost on a field goal with two seconds left.
“In retrospect, we certainly didn’t make the right decision,” coach Dennis Franchione said. `There was a lot of time left in the game, and we were moving the ball well. We felt there were more points to score, and we ended up running just three more plays.”
- Texas Tech didn’t play last weekend, but the players didn’t sit around watching other games. They instead went through practice and film sessions Saturday, the end of a normal game week schedule, without the game.
- Senior quarterback Joel Klatt gives Colorado coach Gary Barnett plenty of comfort, even when down by 11 points in the fourth quarter.
“You just operate without the emotion of the game at that point,” Barnett said. “When you play the game without emotion, you don’t have to worry about anybody getting rattled.”
Colorado came back to beat Colorado State 31-28 in the opener.