Best and worst of the Big 12: Week 15
That was a whole lot of fun to close the season on Saturday. Here are my highlights and lowlights.
Best offensive performance: Bryce Petty, QB, Baylor. Antwan Goodley is very deserving, too, but Petty controlled this game and never made a mistake that could let Texas back into the game in the second half. He got into a rhythm late and helped Baylor gain some distance from Texas with a pair of third-quarter scoring drives. He finished with 287 yards and two scores on 21-of-37 passing to cap a runaway campaign for the Big 12 Offensive Player of the Year award.
Best offensive performance in a loss: Desmond Roland, RB, Oklahoma State. Roland was probably better than Petty, but he was slowed down in the second half and OSU didn’t get a win. He had 144 yards and two scores on 21 carries, not including a 75-yard touchdown run on the game’s first play that was erased by a holding penalty.
Best defensive performance: K.J. Morton, CB, Baylor. Morton picked off Case McCoy down the field in the first quarter, and sealed the game with an interception late in the fourth quarter. I’m going to pretend Ahmad Dixon didn’t get flagged for a phantom unsportsmanlike conduct penalty and give Morton the touchdown there. He broke up two more passes and had three tackles. It’s always fun being the guy to official cue up the party in a stadium.
Best play: Michael Hunnicutt and Grant Bothun, Oklahoma. Words cannot express how much I love this play call and the execution. It may have been an option play, but this looked like schoolyard football at its best. The Sooners faked what would have been a 25-yard field goal and Bothun found Hunnicutt, who got laid out by the OSU defense but crossed the plane first to give OU a game-tying touchdown late in the third quarter. Gutsy call from Big Game Bob.
Worst play: Justin Gilbert, CB, Oklahoma State. I love Gilbert’s game, and he might be the nation’s best corner, but I have no idea how he dropped what would have been a game-winning interception late. It wasn’t an effort issue, and perhaps “worst” play is unfair here, but he looked like he had a solid grip on the ball before landing on the ground jarred it loose. Considering how the game ended, it’s hard not to draw a comparison to Texas safety Blake Gideon’s drop against Texas Tech back in that infamous game in 2008. Is Blake Bell to Jalen Saunders the new Harrell to Crabtree? They certainly grabbed a spot in Big 12 lore, even if it’s nowhere near as prominent.
Worst sportsmanship: Oklahoma State fans. Hey, I don’t really care how much OU players were celebrating and taunting OSU fans right behind the sideline. Don’t throw “snowballs” (iceballs is more accurate) and don’t try to trip players on the field. Yes, I’m talking to you, OSU cheerleader. Come on. Be better than that.
Best scene: Who doesn’t love seeing faith and a dream realized? You must have a heart of stone if you didn’t get a little emotional seeing tears running down Art Briles’ face on the podium accepting the Big 12 title trophy.
Best postgame interview props: Hey, Ahmad Dixon’s just a huge fan of Tex-Mex food. Well played, sir.
Ahmad Dixon brought props. pic.twitter.com/TEAJPV1FiU
— Craig Smoak (@CraigSmoak) December 8, 2013
Best quote: Ahmad Dixon. “The dream became reality.” That says about all you need to know about this season in Waco and across the Big 12.