College Sports

September 1, 2014

Close losses give Big 12 source of pride

Oklahoma State, West Virginia were expected to take it on the chin.

The job of coach requires not only one to wear many hats, but also many faces.

So on the outside, Big 12 football coaches predictably said better-than-expected performances by Oklahoma State and West Virginia were a source of pride for their coalition of peers.

On the inside there had to be a little anguish seeing one team picked fifth in the conference play the No. 1-ranked team in the nation to the wire and the other, picked eighth, play the No. 2 team competitively into the fourth quarter.

“All these teams are better than people gave them credit for,” Oklahoma coach Bob Stoops said during Monday’s conference call with Big 12 coaches. “It doesn’t surprise me. These are good football teams with a lot of good football players on them.”

Big 12 coaches discovered a couple of things about Oklahoma State in the Cowboys’ 37-31 loss to Florida State on Saturday.

The Cowboys’ defense and junior-college transfer running back Tyreek Hill have big-play capability.

Oklahoma State’s defense harassed Heisman winner Jameis Winston on a number of occasions and intercepted two of his passes.

Hill’s athleticism and sprinter’s speed affected the game. He had more than 100 yards running and receiving and put the Cowboys in good shape as returner.

“He’s the fastest player I’ve ever seen live,” coach Mike Gundy said of the Georgia native. “I don’t know if we can keep from overworking him. We have a certain number of players give us a chance to win games.

“We’re aware of trying to protect him. We have to take advantage of the players we have to win.”

West Virginia coach Dana Holgerson said though disappointed, his team was in a good place after a 33-23 loss to Alabama.

“We felt like we could play with those guys,” Holgerson said. “We had ample opportunities to make plays in critical situations.”

Why it’s difficult to gauge whether those games serve as an accurate indicator for each team’s respective prospects is the amount of time each had to prepare. Both had the entire summer to put together a game plan instead of the standard couple of days.

“Once we got up and going and realized they could play with the speed Florida State brought to the table, they were much better,” said Gundy, whose team came back from down 17-0. “They should be able to establish a certain amount of confidence.”

Petty day-to-day

Baylor quarterback Bryce Petty is day-to-day with two cracks in the transfer processes of his back, school officials confirmed Monday.

The discovery was made after a Monday morning MRI showed that bones sticking out from the spine were cracked, a spokesman told

Petty said he has pain but expects to play this week against Northwestern State. The injury is expected to heal on its own.

He was hit from behind on his first run Sunday night against SMU early in the first quarter. Petty was visibly gimpy the rest of the half but continued to play.

Wide receiver Antwan Goodley (quadriceps) is also day-to-day.

Tech problems

Texas Tech came out flat in a hard-fought 42-35 victory over Central Arkansas in the season opener in Lubbock.

Coach Kliff Kingsbury said he took responsibility for his team perhaps overlooking the Bears.

The Red Raiders, who a season ago were last in the Big 12 in turnover margin and ninth in penalties, were a minus-2 in the former and had 15 penalties for 114 yards.

“We won’t be a very good football team if that trend continues,” Kingsbury said.

Cyclones tumble

Iowa State ranked last in the Big 12 against the run while going 3-9 in 2013 and gave up 302 yards rushing in a 34-14 loss to North Dakota State on Saturday.

“We’ve got to do a better job of getting off blocks and getting to the ball carrier,” said coach Paul Rhoads, who also said he expected center Tom Farniok (twisted knee) to play in the Cyclones’ Big 12 opener Saturday against Kansas State.

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