Oklahoma State, Baylor impress in opening week

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Photo Credit: The Associated Press

With the first weekend of college football in the books, one thing is clear — the Big 12 has shown it is good, really good. The conference collectively went 9-0, with TCU on a bye-week. Some teams were more impressive than others, but make no doubt about it: the Big 12 is loaded.

• If there were any kinks to work out for Oklahoma State following the Brandon Weeden/Justin Blackmon era, they seem to have been worked out in the offseason. The Cowboys shut out Savannah State 84-0 Saturday night, scoring on their first five possessions in the first quarter. Lousy FCS opponent aside, it’s apparent true freshman quarterback Wes Lunt is capable of running head coach Mike Gundy’s spread offense. This Saturday at Arizona may prove to be a little more difficult for the Cowboys.

• Oklahoma State receiver Tracy Moore has been readmitted to the program following his suspension for legal troubles. Moore is the Cowboys top-returning receiver from 2011 (672 yards, 4 touchdowns). Moore was also demoted to special teams for the Fiesta Bowl last January for bad behavior in practice.

• South of Stillwater in Norman, Oklahoma, the Sooners are coming off a 24-7 victory over Texas-El Paso last Saturday night. While Oklahoma came away with the win, many are left questioning the Sooners’ top ranking as the game was closer than the score shows. Quarterback Landry Jones was not in sync with any of his receivers except Kenny Stills and although Jones passed for 222 yards and two touchdowns, many of his throws were off target, with a couple of near-interceptions. He was also sacked three times. To compare, he was sacked only 10 times last season. The Sooners have one more chance to tune up their offense this weekend versus Florida A&M before Kansas State comes to town in a few weeks.

• TCU’s second-leading receiver last season, Skye Dawson, will miss the opener against Grambling State because of a violation against institutional policy, head coach Gary Patterson announced Tuesday. As a junior in 2011, Dawson hauled in 45 passes for 500 yards and also returned 12 punts.

• West Virginia quarterback Geno Smith was regarded as a preseason Heisman candidate, and after last Saturday he might be the frontrunner for the trophy. Smith threw for 323 yards and four touchdowns — with an 89 percent completion rating — and rushed for 65 yards adding one more score. Smith should only pad those stats on Sept. 15 versus James Madison. However, this is the same James Madison that went into Blacksburg two years ago and defeated Virginia Tech.

• Who needs RG3? Not Baylor (on Sunday night at least). The Bears defeated former Texas quarterback Garrett Gilbert’s Southern Methodist Mustangs, 59-24. Robert Griffin III’s replacement, Nick Florence, passed for 341 yards and four touchdowns proving the Baylor program is still a force to reckon with.

• Former Kansas tight end A.J. Steward, a graduate assistant with the Rice Owls, will be coaching against the Jayhawks on Saturday, just one season after playing for Rock Chalk.

• Texas Tech faces Texas State this weekend in San Marcos, coming off a 44-6 victory over Northwestern State. However Texas State might not be the tune-up game fans expect them to be. The Bobcats upset Houston last Saturday, 30-13, prompting the first-year Cougars offensive coordinator Mike Nesbitt to resign.

• Iowa State punter Kirby Van Der Kamp was named the Big 12 special teams player of the week after dropping five punts inside Tulsa’s 15-yard line. Cyclones running back Shontrelle Johnson recorded a career-high 120 rushing yards in his first game back from neck surgery.

• Kansas State offensive lineman Nick Puetz extended his streak of consecutive starts to 13 games when he started against Missouri State. Puetz was sidelined during the opener after suffering a foot injury and will miss an idefinite amount of time.