The first week of college football was an injury-filled one for Big 12 teams.
The biggest news came out of Austin, where Texas coach Charlie Strong announced that quarterback David Ash will miss the Longhorns’ game against BYU this week due to a concussion. Sophomore Tyrone Swoopes will get his first start at quarterback.
Ash played in just three games last season due to concussions. Strong said that Ash’s family and medical staff will need to consider if he’ll continue playing.
It gets worse, as starting center Dominic Espinosa — UT's most experienced lineman — suffered a broken ankle and will miss the rest of the season. It’s even worse news for UT considering the slate of games the Longhorns have coming up: BYU, No. 7 UCLA, a brief reprieve against Kansas, then No. 10 Baylor and No. 4 Oklahoma.
“Adversity is going to hit. The challenge of this football team is how well we hit back,” Strong said Monday. “We have a football team. We have guys on scholarship. Other guys have to step up. You just have to go play well.
“It's not the end of the world here.”
Ash guided UT to a 38-7 win over North Texas in the Longhorns’ season opener on Saturday, passing for 190 yards and a touchdown. Swoopes did not attempt a pass against North Texas, and has thrown just 13 passes in his brief career.
IOWA STATE LOSES BUNDAGE FOR SEASON
Iowa State’s injury list is just as concerning for the Cyclones’ chances of staying competitive in the Big 12 this season.
The Cyclones found out Monday that receiver Quenton Bundage will miss the rest of the 2014 season with a torn ACL. The redshirt junior, who led ISU in catches (48), receiving yards (676) and touchdown receptions (nine) in 2013, injured himself on the Cyclones’ first offensive drive of their 34-14 loss to North Dakota State on Saturday.
ISU coach Paul Rhoads said center Tom Farniok stands a good chance of playing this week against Kansas State. Farniok left the game with a knee injury one drive after Bundage went down.
North Dakota State took down a Big 12 opponent in its opener for the second consecutive season. In Week 2, Iowa State gets the Big 12 team NDSU beat last season – Kansas State.
"It's the challenge of facing a Big 12 opponent, the challenge of facing a top 20 team,” Rhoads said. “All 12 games are hard. All 12 games count toward the postseason, which is our goal.”
BAYLOR’S PETTY ‘DAY-TO-DAY’
Baylor coach Art Briles said quarterback Bryce Petty (back) is day-to-day after exiting early in the Bears’ season opener against SMU on Sunday.
Petty didn’t return after halftime, and reports from multiple reports Monday said the Heisman candidate suffered two cracks in the transfer processes of his back.
With Petty out, Briles went to redshirt sophomore Seth Russell in the second half of the 45-0 win.
“It was just OK for him,” Briles said of Russell’s performance. “He can do a lot better, he can be a lot more urgent with his demeanor and handling of the football. He’s a guy that can spark and make plays for you.”
Briles also said that All-American receiver Antwan Goodley is day-to-day with a quad injury he re-aggravated early in the game. Goodley did not record a reception against SMU.
QUESTION OF THE DAY
Oklahoma State and West Virginia lost by a combined 16 points to Florida State and Alabama, the respective Nos. 1 and 2 teams in the country.
Strong showing, indeed. What does OSU’s effort against Florida State and WVU’s against Alabama say about the strength of the Big 12 Conference this season?
Texas coach Charlie Strong: “It’s so hard to blow a team out. Those are two really good football teams. Oklahoma State and West Virginia, they’re well-coached. It says a lot about the strength of this conference and, honestly, the players.”
Kansas coach Charlie Weis: “I would have been surprised in an opener those two teams getting blown out. Mike (Gundy) and Dana (Holgorsen) did a really good job of getting their teams ready to go. I don’t think anyone that’s involved with the Big 12 finds that as a big surprise. We all know this is a loaded league, and you can’t underestimate any team in this league.”
OU coach Bob Stoops: “All these teams are better than people gave them credit for. It doesn’t surprise me. I’m very away that both those teams and many in this league are good football teams with a lot of good football players on them.”
OSU coach Mike Gundy: “Obviously I don’t see every game, but it looks like the Big 12 is going to be fairly strong this year. Not that it’s easy to identify how the teams will be just by seeing scores, but it looks like everybody played pretty well.”
Kansas State coach Bill Snyder: “The teams at the top of the conference right now indicate what we all know – there’s good strength to our conference.”
West Virginia coach Dana Holgorsen: “I can’t speak for Mike Gundy, but I would imagine his answer would be similar. We’re disappointed we weren’t able to pull the game out. Both had a chance to win the game in the fourth quarter and came up a little bit short. ... I’ve been a part of this conference for about 15 years and the health of the conference is as good as it ever has been. We have teams that can compete on a national level regardless of who we play. ... The skill in Big 12 is as good as any skill that exists in college football.”
QUOTE OF THE DAY
“We did a poor job as a coaching staff. Great atmosphere, great student section; we just didn’t show up. I’m sure we’re leading the country in penalties. We won’t be a very good football team if that trend continues.” — Texas Tech coach Kliff Kingsbury, none too happy with the Red Raiders’ performance in a 42-35 win over Central Arkansas.
Turner still suspended: Strong says senior safety Josh Turner remains suspended and will not play against BYU. Along with OL Desmond Harrison and WR Daje Johnson, the former Millwood standout missed the first game against North Texas due to violation of team rules. Harrison will return for BYU. … Lockett scores, sits: Tulsa Washington product Tyler Lockett only had one catch — a 9-yard touchdown reception — in Kansas State’s 55-16 win over Stephen F. Austin. After opening the scoring, Lockett — who said he was healthy — didn’t play much in the blowout. Snyder’s reason, per the Topeka Courier-Journal: “Because I didn't want him to.” Lockett’s reaction? “It was more of a coaching decision, and you've got to respect whatever happens.” Awards announced Tuesday: The Big 12’s Player of the Week awards on offense, defense and special teams will be announced Tuesday. The conference pushed back the announcement a day due to Baylor playing Sunday.