It was somewhat of a quiet Saturday in the Big 12 this week, as Oklahoma and Kansas had the week off and Texas Tech and TCU did battle earlier in the week. But, with the players that were in action on Saturday, their performances carried weight, not just for the conference, but at a national level overall with 2019 NFL Draft implication.
These were our Big 12 Bullet Points for Week 7.
Grier Struggles Again
Depending on what week it is, West Virginia quarterback Will Grier can either be a hot Heisman candidate or an NFL Draft prospect whose stock is falling out of the sky.
This week it was the latter.
Grier’s 11-for-15, 100-yard, one touchdown and one interception performance for his team resulted in a bad 30-14 loss to Iowa State on Saturday. This loss was also the first of West Virginia’s season.
Grier just did not look right all game. I’m not sure if he was hurt or what — maybe we just hope he was — but Grier could not connect on passes, did not look comfortable reading the Cyclones’ defense, and was making ill-advised throws, one big one in particular that was picked off late in the game when they were trying to find some life.
Grier cannot be doing that. Not just the bad performance numbers, but when the team needed a spark or even just some consistency, Grier failed them.
His team and his stock will drop for it.
As seems to be the case each week, there were some major performances from some of the big-name wide receivers the Big 12 has to offer.
Collin Johnson: Y’all. Collin Johnson is legit. The 6-foot-6, 225-pound Texas wide out had 11 catches for 132 yards and a touchdown against Baylor, which was just another big performance in a big year for him. With his size in mind and his production now following suit, Johnson is proving he’ll be one of the coveted outside receiving weapons to have when draft weekend rolls around.
His draft stock continues to rise up a stacked receiver class.
Hakeem Butler: Speaking of big men doing big things, 6-foot-6 Hakeem Butler was a key catalyst in Iowa State’s big home win over West Virginia. Butler had six catches for 109 yards and a touchdown, which was an average catch rate of 18.2 yards per reception. Butler had a 5-catch, 174-yard performance earlier this year, and he’s showing he can be counted on for a “take over” performance every now and then.
Denzel Mims: Mims’ lack of overall production this season can be put much more on the shoulder of Baylor’s poor quarterback play than it can be on Mims himself. Against Texas, Mims showed up big with 80 yards on three catches, an average of more than 25 yards per catch, one of which went for a touchdown. There aren’t many 6-foot-3 wide receiver who consider themselves to be deep threats, but Mims is showing he is with a 15 yards-per-catch average this season.
David Sills: As you would expect with Grier’s struggles at quarterback, his No. 1 wide receiver at West Virginia, David Sills, didn’t have a great day overall, either. However, Sills did grab a touchdown within his 22 yards and two catches on the day.
Justice (Down) Hill
There were big expectations for Oklahoma State running back Justice Hill after back-to-back 1000-yard season in his freshman and sophomore years. Up until this week, Hill had lived up to those expectations. In each of the games he recorded at least 10 carries, he also recorded over 100 yards.
But, against Kansas State, Hill had just 47 yards on 11 carries. The game was lop-sided, as it ended in a 31-12 victory for the Wildcats, but even when Hill was given the ball, he wasn’t effective. He couldn’t get to the outside and into his open space.
A down game for Hill, but fortunately for him it was the only one he’s had this season.
The Monster In Montgomery
Ever since Oklahoma running back Rodney Anderson went down for the season with an ACL injury, this potential running back class has been searching for a clear-cut RB1 to emerge. There have been a few candidates for the title, such as Alabama’s Damien Harris and Penn State’s Miles Sanders. But there’s another running back in the Big 12 who is trying to keep that RB1 title in house.
That is Iowa State’s David Montgomery, and on Saturday night, he put up his best fight for that crown yet.
In the Cyclones’ 30-14 win, Montgomery had 189 yards on 29 carries with one touchdown. Everywhere you look on that stat line, you can be impressed. First of all, the sheer amount of carries shows Montgomery can be a bell cow. He’s recorded over 20 carries in all but one game this season. Second is the yards. This game was the third straight game in which Montgomery eclipsed the 100-yard rushing mark. And in an unmeasurable trait, Montgomery struggled to get going early on in the game but became the team’s clutch closer as time ran down, including the final long run which sealed the victory and included a juke move that was illegal in 14 states.
That’s dependability in every way.
Power Rankings After Week 7
- West Virginia
- Iowa State
- Texas Tech
- Kansas State
- Oklahoma State