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By Adam Barnes &
Robert Griffin, QB. In Baylor’s 41-13 loss to
Wake Forest, Griffin showed flashes of greatness after coming on for
starter Kirby Freeman, with an especially dazzling run down the
sidelines in the second quarter. However, he also showed that he was a
true freshman in his first game in college, with several miscues that
led to Wake Forest scores. Griffin should get a chance to shine this
week against Northwestern State, in a good chance to get the first win
of the Art Briles era.
Sam Bradford, QB. Bradford looked comfortable
in the new no-huddle offense, completing his first eight passes against
UT-Chattanooga. This week, the Sooners get a little sterner test in
Brian Kelly’s Bearcats, who have nothing to lose coming into Norman on
– Dez Bryant, WR. Bryant has the potential to
be a big play wide receiver, and may have a breakout year this year. He
is tall, fast, and has great hands. He should have an opportunity to
shine against Kevin Sumlin’s Houston Cougars. The Cowboys lost to the
Cougars last time they played in 2006, so Bryant, Zac Robinson, and
company will be trying to prove a point in this game.
Vondrell McGee, RB. In Texas’s 52-10 drubbing, it
was Colt McCoy who led the Longhorns in rushing with 103 yards. Mack
Brown does not want this trend to continue. Going into the Sun Bowl
against a UTEP team that got annihilated at Buffalo in Game 1 would be a
good time to establish the ground game and it appears McGee is the guy
to be the featured back.
Texas A&M –
Stephen McGee, QB. McGee didn’t look at all
like the poised fifth year senior he is in an inexplicable loss at Kyle
Field to Arkansas State, missing several throws and having two passes
intercepted. He needs to rebound against an attacking New Mexico
defense this week or the calls for heralded sophomore Jerrod Johnson to
step in will only get louder.
Texas Tech –
Jamar Wall, CB. Texas Tech struggled more
than expected with FCS member Eastern Washington. The defense again
looked inconsistent, as has been the story throughout Mike Leach’s
tenure. Chris Ault’s pistol offense should give Wall and his defensive
backfield mates a sterner test this week and Reno is not an easy place
Maclin – Maclin and the Tigers face off against SE Missouri this
week. Maclin injured his ankle during the game and had only 2 yds.
on 3 carries and 31 yds. receiving. Despite the potential ankle
problem expect big production from Maclin.
Reesing – The Jayhawks host a La. Tech team that defeated SEC
member Miss. St. and will be a much more daunting task than Florida
Int. was in week one. The search for a feature back isn’t settled…
and may not be this entire year… leaving Reesing with the task of
leading as the constant for the offense.
Lucky – The Big XII leading rusher from ’07 had only 43 yds. on
the ground against W. Michigan last week. Yes, I know all about Joe
Ganz (see my Players to Watch in Week 1), but Lucky will have to be
a threat at some point in order for the Huskers to win the north.
Playing San Jose St. this week (whose reputation precedes them)
Lucky should be able to pick his yardage and get his legs ready for
that all of a sudden not so exciting game against Va. Tech game in
Entire Buff Defense – All parties involved in the making of
Colorado’s schedule this year ought to be drawn and quartered. This
week the Buffs will prepare for E. Washington… in between their win
over their in state rival and national beasts WEST VIRGINIA and
FLORIDA ST.! Not only are the opponents tough, but the timing is
ridiculous. The Buff D had better not sleep on E. Wash. in
preparation for the Mountaineers or Seminoles. While it isn’t as
sexy of a match-up the Eagles didn’t exactly lay down on Texas Tech
in week one.
Keithen Valentine – Continuing with the tradition of playing a
powerhouse non-conf. schedule (whose weakness has admittedly spread
like a virus though the Big XII), K-St. will prepare for Montana St.
this week. Last week’s game against
Southlake Carroll… oops
N. Texas gave us a look at Keithen Valentine, the Mississippi Delta
CC transfer, who scored a TD on his first run for the Wildcats from
4 yds. out. His success in week one should translate into more
carries in against Montana St.
Iowa St.: Jason
Harris & Alexander Robinson – Harris and Robinson rushed for 78
and 74 yds. respectively against S. Dakota St. in their opener.
Kent St. will provide for more of a test for the Cyclones and the
running back duo. It will be interesting to see the competition not
only between these two, but 3rd team RB Jason Scales from
now until the annual beating of their in-state rival Iowa.
Manuel Johnson – Coming into the season many thought that the
Oklahoma receiving corps would be a question mark. Many
underestimated Manny. His 9 catches for 120 yards in against
Chattanooga will add to the lengthy list of headaches that the
Cincinnati defense will have to prepare for this week.
Colt McCoy – I chose Colt McCoy and the Texas offensive line as
players to watch for week one. I don’t know if it’s against the
rules… but I’m taking McCoy again. Why? 24 of 29 for 222 yds. 3 TDs
and no picks. Oops, that didn’t include his 12 carries for 103 yds.
and another TD on the ground. This week, he leads the Longhorns to
El Paso to face a UTEP team that gave up 484 yds. and 42 points… TO
BUFFALO! Oh crap.
Graham Harrell – 6,432 yards. That’s Harrell’s pace for passing
yards in 2008. That’s based on only one game… and it was against an
FCS team… so he won’t keep it up… right? I’m not betting against
him. Nevada at home will pose more of a defensive threat to the Red
Raiders than any of their other non-conf’s. However, I’m not
convinced that Harrell, Leach, and Co. gave the Wolf Pack an
accurate depiction of the pain to come in their 49-24 win over E.
Dez Bryant – Two words. Jump ball. If Houston plans on playing
a man defense against OSU this week they had better take a look at
the Cowboys opener against Wash. St. Bryant embarrassed the Cougar
secondary on a series of jump balls that reduced their corners to
playing the “Intentional Pass Interference” defense. Houston’s DBs
are taller but if the ball’s in the air… my money’s on Bryant.
Stephen McGee – New Mexico won’t be as big of a challenge for
the Aggies as Arkansas St. was (ouch), but the game isn’t at Kyle
Field. Stephen McGee will have to shake off his performance in the
opener and rally the troops. What McGee lacks in talent is made up
for in leadership… and A&M needs a leader right now. He will be the
player to watch this week and the rest of the season as the Aggies
will probably go only as far as he takes them.
Griffin – If you watched the Bear’s opener against Wake Forrest,
you don’t need to read on. Robert Griffin is (not is going to
be…but IS) special. That is something that isn’t said very
often about Baylor freshman. If he is protected and stays healthy
then Griffin will thrive in Art Briles system. Baylor plays
Northwestern St. in week two… and I can’t believe I’m saying it… but
Griffin makes me want to see it.