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September 6, 2004There were a lot of question to be answered in the first week in the Big 12, and the fans received their share answers. Texas A&M and Baylor still have work to get done, Nebraska will throw, Adrian Peterson is special, Kansas will not be an easy win, and the Big 12 looks as strong as ever. In case you missed any of that, here's a quick look at what happened around the league.
A different breed: Say what you will about keeping a balance of offense in Lincoln, the Bill Callahan is here and that means more air time. The first play of the Bill Callahan era was seven-yard pass from sophomore quarterback Joe Dailey to tight end Matt Herian. Herian tied his single game career high of four catches in the first quarter and finished with seven. Dailey's 218 yards passing are the most ever by a Husker in a season opener, bettering 168 yards by Jerry Tagge against Wake Forest in 1970 and Bobby Newcombe against Louisiana Tech in 1998. There's still work to be done. Despite a 218-yard, four touchdown passing day for Dailey, he currently ranks 10th in the Big 12 for passing efficiency. The reason? Dailey also threw four interceptions.
Tate-d loss: While Texas A&M undoubtedly has one of the most impressive athletes for a quarterback in Reggie McNeal, there isn't one person that hasn't thought about how good Mr. McNeal could be at several other positions. His stats in the Utah loss were not poor, but if you watched the game, something is missing. Meanwhile, a one-time Texas A&M commit, Iowa sophomore quarterback Drew Tate got off to a hot start and led the Hawkeyes over Kent with two touchdown passes. No one will deny that McNeal is the better athlete, and I personally have a difficult time giving Tate any sort of recognition. But, you have to think of what might have been with Tate at quarterback and McNeal - like Tennessee's James Banks -- in a number of other positions.
O-U've got to be kidding: Their were very few lowlights in Oklahoma's 40-24 domination of Bowling Green; who I felt looked better than anticipated. But what were the Sooners thinking to begin the fourth quarter? On the its first drive of the quarter, OU faced third and one on its 29-yard line. Instead off opting for one of the backs that had been running all over the Eagles, OU decided to throw a quick pass out to the right flank. Bowling Green safety Keon Newson read Jason White's pass like Pamela Anderson's latest "fictional" creation, Star : A Novel. Newson, of course, took it back for six, and Longhorn fans everywhere began praying to see their share of that pass on October 9th in Dallas.
Off to the ground races: After the dust cleared, Oklahoma State's Vernand Morency end week one as the Big 12 rushing leader (261 yards). He'll need to end the season there too if the Cowboys hope to finish near the top in the South. OK State's passing game finished 2 of 8 for 23 yards. Morency will have some heavy hitters to compete with for the rushing title. K-State's Darren Sproles (221 yards), Colorado's Bobby Purify (189), and Texas' Cedric Benson (181) each had big nights, and seven others including OU's freshmen sensation Adrian Peterson broke the 100-yard mark.
- Oklahoma's Kejuan Jones held on to his starting position for another week with an impressive game against Bowling Green. Jones rushed for a career-high 148 yards in the opener.
- Texas A&M's Reggie McNeal has a slight edge on Missouri's Brad Smith for the race to 1000/1000 with 210 yards passing and 84 yards rushing. Smith has 233 yards passing and 63 yards rushing. Others in the race: K-State's Dylan Meier (183, 60) and Texas' Vince Young (153, 49).
- Game of the Week: Colorado's 27-24 victory over in-state rival Colorado State was an easy choice. Bobby Purify played inspired ball in the thin air finishing with 189 yards and a touchdown, but it was the final moments that made this game one to remember. With time running out, CSU decided not to stop the clock and run one final play for the win. The toss left was stopped just short of the goal line by CU's J.J. Billingsley, and the second-guessing began on every message board!
Board Bytes: Some select posts from around Rivals.com Big 12 message boards during Week 1 action.
"First, I believe other teams should be responsible for their own score. Second, if someone didn't know that the only offense that Texas Tech has is the passing game, then they didn't scout them very well..." ouhobo at SoonerScoop.com in response to a poster saying Texas Tech coach Mike Leech was classless for trying to score on the final drive of the game up 14.
"I have been waiting for this for a long time ... I have openly bashed Mack for continually having soft teams that failed to come out and smash people in the mouth for an entire game. Well, that finally changed last night, and did it ever. Wow! We looked pissed off at UNT and could have easily scored in the triple digits. Yes, I know that this is North Texas, but we have never truly beaten a team like we did last night." Blue Horn at Orangebloods.com
" ... Red zone offense was atrocious. Quartaro tried to be cute instead of just lining it up and ramming the ball down Tulsa's throat. Three straight spread plays in the shotgun from within the 5 yard line at one point!!!!! AAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHH!!!" JHWKFAN at JayhawkSlant.com
"I guarantee Houston Nutt doesn't bring 35 points in the first half!" nuarkie at HuskersIllustrated.com
"I just ask that no one, for the REST OF THE YEAR, say Aggies will win this game 'bank on it!'" TexasAggie2001 at Websider.com
For more news from around the Big 12 click here. To get join in on the boards, find your home here