Player of the game?
West Virginia coach Dana Holgorsen made a surprise selection for the Mountaineers’ player of the game following a blowout victory over Marshall. Instead of presenting the honor to quarterback Geno Smith, who threw for 323 yards, scored five touchdowns and was named the Walter Camp Football Foundation National Offensive Player of the Week, he gave it to Shawne Alston, who rushed for 123 yards and two touchdowns.
When asked about the decision on Monday, Holgorsen said he considered several players for the award, but presented it to Alston because he gained most of his yardage after contact and played his best game in a West Virginia uniform.
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The Mountaineers made quite an impression on the rest of the Big 12 in their first game as a member of the conference. Not only did they destroy Marshall 69-34, they won with style. Smith looked like a Heisman frontrunner, Alston ran the ball with a purpose and West Virginia’s defense looked good until things got out of hand late.
Coming off a 70-point performance in last year’s Orange Bowl, the Mountaineers have established themselves as an offensive powerhouse.
“Those guys had a lot of confidence coming off the bowl game,” Holgorsen said. “I guess it is starting to show.”
Easy game turned hard
When Texas Tech added Texas State to its schedule, it did so thinking it would get two easy victories out of the arrangement. But the Red Raiders might have trouble beating the Bobcats on Saturday. Playing in its first game as a full-fledged member of the Football Bowl Subdivision, Texas State humiliated Houston, 30-13 on the road.
Former Texas A&M coach Dennis Franchione is coaching Texas State, and he will lead his team onto the field in front of what should be a pumped-up crowd in San Marcos this weekend.
“Texas State is going to be a tough game for us,” Texas Tech coach Tommy Tuberville said. “Obviously, it is going to be a big game for them.”
Tuberville said he wasn’t surprised Texas State beat Houston. But the result shocked most. Texas State entered the game as a 35-point underdog and won by 17. Experts believe the Bobcats are the second-largest underdog to ever win a college football game. Stanford was a 41-point underdog when it beat USC under Jim Harbaugh.
Texas Tech opened its season with an easy win over Northwestern State.
“Texas State played well,” Tuberville said. “They played physical, they made big plays and it will be a tough game for us, especially on the road.”
Nick Florence: Baylor’s new quarterback threw for more than 300 yards and four touchdowns in rout of SMU.
KU running backs: Tony Pierson and Taylor Cox both eclipsed the 100-yard rushing mark in Week 1.
Tramaine Thompson: K-State receiver caught a touchdown pass and scored on an 89-yard punt return.
Geno Smith: What’s more impressive than leading West Virginia to 69 points? Completing 32 of 36 passes along the way.
Oklahoma’s punting unit: UTEP scored an early touchdown on the easiest blocked punt you will ever see.
K-State’s secondary: Allowed more than 300 passing yards against Missouri State.
Big 12 opponents: Big 12 teams won their opening games by an average of 33.3 points.
Slow starts: Five Big 12 teams were in close games at halftime last weekend.
What watch, what to avoid
Must-see games: Miami at Kansas State
Worth watching: Iowa State at Iowa, Oklahoma State at Arizona, Texas Tech at Texas State
If there’s nothing better to do: Rice at Kansas, New Mexico at Texas
Avert your eyes: Florida A&M at Oklahoma, Grambling State at TCU
Big 12 Power Rankings
1. West Virginia (1-0) Dropped 69 points on Marshall.
2. Oklahoma (1-0) Struggled with UTEP.
3. Kansas State (1-0) Miami game could be a thriller.
4. Texas (1-0) Wyoming game got out to large audience with Longhorn Network.
5. Oklahoma State (1-0) 84 points is 84 points.
6. TCU (0-0) Horned Frogs make Big 12 debut against Grambling State.
7. Baylor (1-0) QB Nick Florence looked great against SMU.
8. Iowa State (1-0) Strong showing against Tulsa.
9. Texas Tech (1-0) Suddenly, Texas State doesn’t look so easy
10. Kansas (1-0) Running backs shined in opener.