West Virginia vs. Baylor: As we predicted West Virginia pulled out a victory in what would appear at first glance to be a basketball score. But I wouldn’t get to excited if I was a West Virginia fan, and I’m going to tell you why. West Virginia gave up 700 yards of offense and 63 points to Baylor. Baylor does have a good offense, but that’s more points than Louisiana Monroe, Southern Methodist, or Sam Houston St. allowed Baylor to score. Not taking anything away from those teams, but WVU will face even better offenses than Baylor’s as they get deeper into Big 12 play. On the bright side Gino Smith appears to be a legitimate Heisman contender as he threw for 656 yards, and 8 (that is not a typo) touchdowns! WVU will be able to score on anyone in the country, but the question is can they stop anyone? Their defense will need to step it up if they expect to win big games against elite completion.
Georgia vs. Tennessee: The Volunteers gave Georgia all the can handle totaling nearly 500 yards of offense on what was supposed to be an elite Georgia defense. Tennessee QB Tyler Bray is an excellent signal caller, but Tennessee is not an elite offensive team and are pretty one dimensional on offense. Georgia’s next opponent South Carolina has two legitimate threats in QB Connor Shaw and RB Marcus Lattimore. SC’s ability to run and pass effectively will test Georgia’s defense, and the Dawgs will have to play much better defensively if they hope to win this SEC showdown which has major conference title implications.
Michigan St vs. Ohio State: Leveon Bell was held to under 50 yards rushing, and MSU continued to struggle in the passing game which resulted in a loss to OSU. Dropped balls, bad passes and poor pass protection plagued MSU all day. The Spartan defense made a valiant effort, which kept the Spartans in the game, but Braxton Miller and the OSU offense made big plays when they needed to and moved the ball on the ground very effectively going forward. The question is can the MSU offense break out of its slump? MSU faces several other teams this year with the capability of spreading the defense out and running the ball. If the MSU offensive line and receiving corps cannot get into sync look for the Spartans to have a disappointing season. OSU on the other hand is still undefeated, and so far it’s been a smooth transition for Urban Meyer.
Texas vs. Oklahoma St: It is official- The defense has rested in the Big 12 conference. Texas and Oklahoma St. combined for nearly 1000 yards of offense in this thrilling shootout. Despite outgaining Texas by over 100 yards Oklahoma St. goes home with their second straight defeat. Penalties and an inability to stop Texas on crucial 3rd and 4th down situations ended up costing Oklahoma St. the game. The Cowboys played good enough offensively to win the game. But as the old saying goes defense wins championships…even in the Big 12. The big question we at The Daily Handoff is asking is Texas back? The Longhorns are much improved from back to back disappointing campaigns, but again when we’re talking Big 12 we’re asking the question…DOES ANYONE IN THIS CONFERENCE PLAY DEFENSE? Texas has the athletes to play elite defense, and I expect them to do so going forward. Longhorn fans can get excited because Texas looks to be back on the upswing. Oklahoma St. still has a good program, but they will not join the ranks of the elite until they can start to play consistent defense.
Texas A&M vs. Arkansas: Not that this game was overly relevant in the conference or national scene, but my gosh! We at The Daily Handoff have NEVER seen a total team implosion like the Razorbacks have displayed this year. Arkansas is a team that was touted as a contender for the SEC championship and a dark-horse for the National Championship. After suffering humiliating loss to UL-Monroe and an absolute thrashing from rival Alabama Hog fans were hoping to pick up the pieces of an already disappointing season. Texas A&M was searching for its first Big 12 victory. In what was supposed to be a competitive game Texas A&M gave Arkansas a sound beat down. In yet another embarrassing defensive performance Arkansas allowed Texas A&M and first year quarterback Johnny Manziel to absolutely pick them apart. Manziel threw for 453 yards and the A&M offensive line and RB’s helped with over 200 yards on the ground on their way to dropping 58 on an SEC defense. Tyler Wilson threw for over 300 yards, but had some key turnovers, and didn’t have much help from a Razorbacks squad who literally looks as if they have given up on the season. John L. Smith is of course partly responsible, but at some point you have to question the heart of the players on the field. At some point you have to take some pride in yourselves and the name on the front of your jersey, and just battle. If I was a Razorback fan I would be most disappointed in that aspect. It’s one thing to lose, but it’s a completely different thing to see a team just flat out quit. It is evident that the Arkansas players have just given up this season. I would be very disturbed by this is I was an Arkansas fan. The only question left for Arkansas is whether John L. Smith will last the entire season as the head coach for the Razorbacks. Conversely, A&M fans have every reason to be excited for the future with a new coach, explosive young quarterback, and what looks to be a juggernaut offense in the making.