2013 Big 12 Spring Preview - Ok State to WVU
TCU DE Devante Fields
TCU DE Devante Fields
CollegeFootballNews.com
Posted Mar 8, 2013


The 2013 CFN Big 12 (Oklahoma State to West Virginia)- Spring Preview, Lookaheads & Analysis.

2013 Big 12 Spring Preview   

Oklahoma State to WVU

 
2013 Big 12 Spring Preview
- CFN 2013 Big 12 Spring Preview - Baylor to Oklahoma 
- 2013 Big 12 Pre-Preseason Rankings - No. 1-5
- 2013 Big 12 Pre-Preseason Rankings - No. 6-10
- 2013 Big 12 Composite Schedule & Weekly Rankings
- 2013 Big 12 Schedule Analysis - Baylor to Oklahoma
- 2013 Big 12 Schedule Analysis - OSU to West Virginia
 
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Oklahoma State
Start: March 11, Spring Game: April 20

Why To Be Excited ... 2012 was the rebuilding year, and it was still excellent. While the bar was set higher than 8-5 after coming within a whisper of playing for the 2011 national title, it was a young team that lost a few tough battles while keeping the offense playing at a ridiculously high level. The receiving corps should be fantastic with Josh Stewart looking more and more like a burgeoning star, and the pass protection should be solid with the return of Parker Graham and Daniel Koenig on the outside. The defense that was so maddeningly inconsistent has a nice building block in the middle to work around in tackles James Castleman and Calvin Barnett

Why To Be Grouchy ... The quarterback situation will be the talk of the offseason, but the defensive side needs to generate more of a pass rush after losing ends Nigel Nicholas, Cooper Bassett and Ryan Robinson. While Tyler Johnson is an up-and-coming factor, he’s a bit undersized and needs to be a part of a rotation. Getting into the backfield wasn’t a problem for the Cowboys throughout the season, but hitting the quarterback on a regular basis was an issue. The less the linebackers have to do to get to the passer, and the less the defensive tackles have to focus on collapsing the pocket, the better.

What Needs Working On ... The quarterback situation needs to be settled as soon as humanly possible so everything can start to mesh with new offensive coordinator Mike Yurcich. Part of the plan behind going with then-true freshman Wes Lunt was that he’d develop into the job as his first year went on, but instead he got hurt and the next man in kept producing. On the positive side, there’s no wrong answer after Lunt, Clint Chelf and J.W. Walsh all did a terrific job of moving the offense. Walsh provides more of a rushing threat, but Lunt and Chelf to a bit more of what Mike Gundy wants. There’s a reason Lunt was anointed as the main man to start last season – he has the biggest upside and the best pure passing skills – but if he wants to be the star of the Oklahoma State offensive juggernaut over the next three seasons, he has to make it happen this spring.

Texas
Start: February 21, Spring Game: March 31

Why To Be Excited ... Enough is enough. Texas has the right mix of urgency, talent and experience to be back in the hunt for really big things once again. Considering the skill and athleticism across the board, this was one of the nation’s most underachieving teams despite the not-that-bad 9-4 record, but now there really aren’t any excuses. Ten starters return on offense with great depth, tons of speed and lots of young playmakers maturing at the right time. Major Applewhite is changing things up to a spread attack that should take advantage of the experience and the talent, but it’s going to take the entire offseason to make it all work effectively. Once the thing gets humming, look out. The focus will be on the offense this offseason, but eight starters return to a defense that led the Big 12 in sacks and tackles for loss. However …

Why To Be Grouchy ... Will the Longhorn defensive front be stronger, or will it get pounded on by anyone who decides to step up and bang away? Tackle Brandon Moore took off early to the NFL, and Alex Okafor is gone off the outside, but everyone else is back up front with the youth movement at the twos looking to step up. Texas gave up an unTexas-like 192 rushing yards per game and 29 scores on the year despite a who’s who of prep stars loading up the front seven and future NFL starter Kenny Vaccaro at safety. TCU, Kansas State and Oregon State combined for ten touchdown runs over the final three games. There’s plenty of work to do.

What Needs Working On ... The attitude. Again, everything is in place to not only have a great season, but to win the national title. Last year’s team was loaded with underclassmen still trying to figure out what they were doing, but now there shouldn’t be a weakness or an excuse if everything works like it’s supposed to. Oklahoma and Kansas State are rebuilding, Oklahoma State doesn’t have the same level of talent, and no one else in the league has the skill or experience the Longhorns do; anything less than at least a Big 12 title would be a miserable failure. The entitled team full players who came to Texas expecting more has to come out ticked off at the world while demanding nothing less than something special.

TCU
Start: February 21, Spring Finish: April 6

Why To Be Excited ... The defense more than held its own in the first year in the big leagues, finishing first in the Big 12 in total defense, second in scoring defense and first against the run. Nine starters are back only losing linebacker Kenny Cain and end Stansly Maponga, and everything else is in place to have an even stronger season in the defensive backfield with all five starters returning including playmaking corner Jason Verrett and big-hitting safety Sam Carter. With Devonte Fields back on the outside to try improving his role as one of the nation’s top pass rushers, this should be one hellacious group when everything is working right. Offensively, as good as Trevone Boykin was at times, the quarterback situation should be even stronger with the return of Casey Pachall from his off-the-field issues.

Why To Be Grouchy ... The offensive line that was hit-or-miss last season gets back three starters, but it loses anchor and quarterback James Fry at center and top-blocking right guard Blaize Foltz. There’s talent returning at receiver, but leading target Josh Boyce left early for the NFL and Skye Dawson is also done. The bigger overall issue might be the schedule, and while the team should be better after going 7-6 last season, it’s going to be tough to improve too much with LSU to kick off the season in Arlington and with road trips to Texas Tech, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State and Kansas State to deal with. Considering Texas should be far better, getting to eight wins is going to be a fight.

What Needs Working On ... The running game has to be better and the mistakes have to stop. Turnover margin wasn’t a problem for the Horned Frogs thanks to a defense that came up with huge plays time and again, but there was a fumbling problem giving the ball away 17 times to go along with the 12 picks from the quarterbacks. It never seemed like anyone in the crowded backfield could stay healthy, and now Matthew Tucker and Aundre Dean are done. Aaron Green has a world of talent, but he has to prove he can actually play after transferring from Nebraska, and B.J. Catalon and Waymon James should be ready to be a bigger part of the attack.

Texas Tech
Start: March 24, Spring Game: April 20

Why To Be Excited ... Kliff. The Red Raider faithful never took to Tommy Tuberville and many are still ticked off that Mike Leach is doing his thing in Washington State. Now the program has one of its guys at the helm and ready to show what he can do. Kliff Kingsbury knows Red Raider football, and while the passing game was just fine last year finishing second in the nation, it wasn’t the devastating attack that made defenses quake. Kingsbury will get a grace period, but the hope is there that the astronomical numbers and the fun will all return. However, with eight starters back on defense, the league’s second best defense in yards allowed will likely shine early on. However …

Why To Be Grouchy ... The Spinal Tap drummer situation at defensive coordinator continues with Matt Wallerstedt the fifth coach to give the gig a shot in the last five years. The front seven might return intact, but all-star safety Cody Davis is gone along with fellow safety D.J. Johnson and corner Eugene Neboh. There might be an adjustment period for an offense that loses three starters including LaAdrian Waddle and Terry McDaniel on the outside and Deveric Gallington in the middle. While several of the top targets are back, leading receiver Darrin Moore is gone along with Tyson Williams and quarterback Seth Doege. Michael Brewer has a little bit of experience, but he’s only 6-1 and around 185 pounds; he’s not quite the big bomber the Red Raider offense is used to.

What Needs Working On ... Wallerstedt’s first job is to generate a pass rush and to get his defense to come up with more big plays. There weren’t enough hits on the quarterback, and it proved costly time and again in key spots. Overall the pass defense was fantastic, allowing a mere 192 yards per game, but the better passing teams other than West Virginia had few problems moving the ball. In the eight wins, Tech generated 15 sacks. In the five losses it came up with a grand total of three. That went hand-in-hand with the turnover issue, recovering a mere three fumbles with none over the final six games of the year. The secondary picked off just eight passes, and overall the D came up with just one takeaway – a key interception against Minnesota – in the last six games.

West Virginia
Start: March 10, Spring Game: April 20

Why To Be Excited ... The defense was bad, and head coach Dana Holgorsen is aware of the problem. There might be some massive personnel losses on offense, but it’ll all work itself out with Paul Millard and Ford Childress each good enough to step up for quarterback Geno Smith and produce, but the defense is still a major question mark after being ripped to shreds time and again, finishing up with an embarrassing performance in the loss to Syracuse in the Pinstripe. It all has to start with more toughness up front, and while run defense wasn’t too big of a statistical problem, the front line wasn’t effective enough. Tackle Shaq Rowell and end Will Clarke are back at their respective jobs, linebacker Isaiah Brue and Jared Barber return, and leading tackler Karl Joseph is back in the secondary.

Why To Be Grouchy ... Where are all the playmakers? Forgetting that the triggerman is gone, the Mountaineers have to find skill guys to help out the new starting quarterback and running back Andrew Buie. Stedman Bailey left early for the NFL, running back/receiver Tavon Austin is gone and third-leading receiver J.D. Woods has to be replaced. Throw in Ivan McCartney, and 298 of the team’s 378 catches and 41 of the 44 touchdown grabs have taken off. Don’t dismiss the loss of three starters in the offensive interior with center Joe Madsen and guards Josh Jenkins and Jeff Braun gone.

What Needs Working On ... The team has to stop allowing so many big plays, getting burned time and again by anyone who attempted to throw the ball a few yards down the field. Navy went to a bowl game, and so did Baylor. Those were the only two bowl teams worse at stopping offenses on third downs than West Virginia, whose defense couldn’t seem to get off the field. The offense was so potent and so efficient that time of possession didn’t seem to matter, but it actually did holding on to the ball for a mere 28:38 per game – the D sometimes didn’t get enough time to catch its breath. On the season, the defense allowed fewer than 300 yards just once – the blowout win over Kansas.

2013 Big 12 Spring Preview
- CFN 2013 Big 12 Spring Preview - Baylor to Oklahoma 
- 2013 Big 12 Pre-Preseason Rankings - No. 1-5
- 2013 Big 12 Pre-Preseason Rankings - No. 6-10
- 2013 Big 12 Composite Schedule & Weekly Rankings
- 2013 Big 12 Schedule Analysis - Baylor to Oklahoma
- 2013 Big 12 Schedule Analysis - OSU to West Virginia