Compared to this upcoming weekend, Week 2 did not offer much in the way of marquee games. Only Oklahoma, Iowa State, and Kansas State faced off against Power 5 teams, and only Oklahoma walked away a winner from those three games. Week 3 will likely be able to paint a more clear picture of the season to come, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t things to be learned from this past weekend.
Here are a few takeaways from Week 2
IT MIGHT BE A LONG SEASON FOR TEXAS
It’s tough to pile on a team after they win, but for anyone who watched the Longhorns struggle to put away Tulsa this past weekend, it makes perfect sense. After losing to Maryland last weekend, Texas was only able to meat Tulsa by a touchdown. Not to mention that the Tulsa kicker missed three field goals on the day.
Despite Texas’ recruiting classes consistently being in the Top 25 (and typically closer to the Top 10), the offense doesn’t seem to have any difference makers. The defense plays well, and credit to defensive coordinator Todd Orlando for that, but to be successful in the Big 12 you need an offense that can score.
The next stretch of four games will determine this season for Texas. In the next four weeks the Longhorns will play USC, TCU, Kansas State, and Oklahoma. Based off of what we have seen through two weeks, Texas could easily be sitting at 2-4 heading into the back half of the season.
Tom Herman needs to figure out which buttons to start pressing to get this team playing to the level that they should be playing at.
OKLAHOMA’S RUNNING GAME TOOK A HIT
In the worst news of the weekend, running back Rodney Anderson suffered a season-ending injury. This is the third season ending injury that Anderson has sustained in his career at Oklahoma. Anderson was easily the most accomplished back in this Oklahoma backfield, and while there are plenty of other quality backs at Oklahoma, none of them can offer the complete skill set that Anderson did.
Anderson was one of the rare do-it-all backs in the Big 12, and even the country, who excelled not only in the running game, but also as a pass blocker, and as a receiver. Without him in the backfield, the Sooners will have to rely on more of a committee of backs to fill the hole that Anderson leaves.
Expect Trey Sermon to get a bulk of the carries moving forward. Oklahoma has enough talent to survive losing a talent like Anderson, but don’t expect their rushing attack to keep humming quite as smooth.
WILL GRIER IS ON A MISSION
Preseason Heisman campaigns always make me raise an eyebrow. If a player is truly deserving of the award then his play on the field will show it. So, when West Virginia launched their website for Will Grier’s Heisman campaign, I was dubious of how this season would actually go for Grier.
Two weeks in and it is clear that Grier is going to be putting up video game numbers on a weekly basis if the defense allows him to. Even then with the talent Grier has, and the weapons around him, there might not be anything the defense can do to slow him down.
Through two weeks Grier is averaging just over 380 yards per game passing, and has thrown nine touchdowns to his one interceptions. Maybe most impressive though is that Grier is completing almost 77% of his passes this season. Grier is on pace to throw for over 4,500 yards and 50 touchdowns.
Without a question those number would be good enough to keep him in, if not at the very front, of the Heisman race. One hiccup in Grier’s quest for the Heisman is this weekend’s cancelled game against North Carolina State. If it doesn’t get rescheduled, that will be one less game for Grier to pad his stats, and who knows how that might impact his chase for the Heisman.