Big 12 Coaches’ Corner
Every week, the Big 12 coaches hold a conference call with the media. Rattle and Hum Sports points out some of the issues that made the most news:
By KEVIN LONNQUIST
Big 12 Insider
- Texas coach Mack Brown said he won’t know the status of running back Joe Bergeron (shoulder), linebacker Jordan Hicks (hip) and place-kicker Anthony Fera (hamstring) for Saturday’s game at Oklahoma State until Tuesday when he meets with the training staff. Brown said neither of them practiced last week….the Longhorns have committed only one turnover through the first three games. Part of the emphasis on ball security stems from a program that co-offensive coordinator Bryan Harsin has implemented. “It’s a circuit that we put through them every day about ball security,’’ Brown said. “It’s a huge deal. In the 15 years we’ve been here, we’re 75-0 when we win the turnover battle.’’
- Kansas is off this week and coach Charlie Weis will use the time to heal up his team and work on some of the issues that have plagued it. One of them is being able to finish games. The Jayhawks could have been 3-1 going into the bye but let fourth quarter leads against Rice and Northern Illinois get away from them and turn into losses. Opponents have outscored the Jayhawks, 36-13 in the fourth quarter this year.
- Well, Oklahoma coach Bob Stoops was still not in a good mood following his team’s 24-19 home loss to Kansas State. The Sooners saw their national title hopes all but disappear. They are off this week. Turnovers told the story as Kansas State recovered Sooner quarterback Landry Jones’ fumble at the 1-yard line and ran it into the end zone. Then quarterback Blake Bell lost a fumble when the Sooners were at the KSU 1-yard line. “You need to take care of the football,’’ Stoops said. “When you give up a 14-point swing like that, it’s nearly impossible to win.’’
- Oklahoma State coach Mike Gundy said quarterback Wes Lunt (knee) has improved and called recent medical reports, “great”. Gundy said Lunt was out immobilization and would be in a walking boot during school and then go through lighter workouts at practice this week. However, more would be known about Lunt when the players return to practice on Tuesday. If Lunt doesn’t play, the Cowboys will turn to redshirt freshman J.W. Walsh.
- Kansas State punter Ryan Doerr earned conference special teams player of the week as all five of his punts were downed inside Oklahoma’s 20-yard line in the Wildcats’ 24-19 upset win. “To be successful and create field position, the kicking game has to have a dramatic impact,’’ coach Bill Snyder said. “His punts were valuable. We work on [downing the ball] very diligently and he’s been effective. He’s very deserving because it had an impact on the outcome of the game.’’…Kansas State is off this week.
- West Virginia coach Dana Holgorsen anticipates a much more lively atmosphere for Saturday’s inaugural Big 12 game when the Moutaineers host Baylor. Holgorsen and Baylor coach Art Briles coached on the same Texas Tech staff in the early 2000′s. “We know them very well and they know what we do,’’ Holgorsen said. “They’ve never been to Morgantown, but the way they play, I’m sure they won’t be bothered by it.’’
- Texas Tech will face the best defense it will have seen all year when it travels to Ames, IA to play at Iowa State Saturday. Coach Tommy Tuberville talked about Iowa State’s defense led by linebackers A.J. Klein and Jake Knott. “He’s a fundamental coach,’’ Tuberville said of Iowa State coach Paul Rhoads said. “They attack the line of scrimmage. Their linebackers run and do everything right.’’
- Through three games, Baylor quarterback Nick Florence has completed 64.5 percent of his passes for 1,004 yards and 11 touchdowns. He’s also thrown four interceptions but leads the Big 12 in individual total offense (1,163). Has he earned the trust of his coach, Art Briles? “His actions speak louder than my words,’’ Briles said. “We’re getting what we thought we would. He’s done exactly what we’ve asked him to do. We still think there’s more out there.’’
- When told Texas Tech coach Tommy Tuberville thought his running game was the best he’s had in Lubbock, Iowa State coach Paul Rhoads said, “We would agree with that. They tote the ball exceptionally well. It’s also the best offensive line they’ve had. They run north and south and will present a big challenge.’’. Texas Tech is fourth in the conference at 230 rushing yards per game but second in yards per carry at 6.1…Rhoads also said he is hopeful running back Jeff Woody (knee) will play Saturday against the Red Raiders. “I think we’ll have him,’’ Rhoads said.
- TCU has the nation’s longest winning streak at 11. But coach Gary Patterson won’t shield that from his team. “We take that as a positive,’’ Patterson said. “Our seniors are 39-3 so that’s their streak. We also talk about winning at home. A coaches job is to motivate his kids. Some of the goals and records have helped.’’…TCU visits SMU Saturday for the annual battle of the Iron Skillet. SMU was the last team to defeat the Horned Frogs, a 40-33 overtime victory at Amon Carter Stadium, on Oct. 1, 2011.