Throughout the country, we have seen lots of conferences experience hiccups with their seasons being delayed or postponed and then returning. The Big 12 happened to be one of the groups who opted to take a wait and see approach, which resulted in their season beginning on time. With other conferences returning to somewhat normalcy, it’s been the Big 12 that has remained in the constant spotlight. During Week 3 of the college football season, there were a lot of players who stood out in the conference.
Sam Ehlinger, QB, Texas
For all of the criticism that he’s received about not knowing if he’s even a future player at the position or not, Ehlinger continues to prove his doubters wrong as he engineered the Longhorns to a thrilling 63-56 overtime victory over Texas Tech. It’s not only his ability to win from all platforms as a thrower, he’s showing off his ability to be a runner as well. On Saturday, he finished 27-of-40 for 262 passing yards with five total touchdowns while orchestrating a crucial comeback against an in-state opponent.
JaQuan Bailey, Edge, Iowa State
After a promising 2019 season came to an abrupt halt following a season-ending leg injury, Bailey has picked right back up where he left off following that campaign and was named as Big 12 Defensive Player of the Week. Coming into the game against TCU, he recorded 18.5 career sacks, but following his heroic performance on Saturday, he continued his climb to the mountain top of the record books. In the win, he recorded four tackles for loss and 3.5 sacks, which tied a program record. Coming back from injury, this was the type of performance that he needed to springboard his draft stock moving forward in hopes of getting an invitation to the Reese’s Senior Bowl as well as improving his chances of being an eventual draft pick.
Sam Cosmi, OT, Texas
In one of the most eye-opening games of the weekend, the Longhorns survived against a hungry Texas Tech group that controlled a major portion of the game prior to the team storming back for a victory in overtime. A key piece in the Texas victory was Cosmi, as the left tackle continued to show development in the run game with his savvy, strength, and finishing ability, but the most impressive portion of his performance was his reliability in pass protection. Cosmi displayed a different type of edge when looking to finish off defenders while his feet and body movements remained in sync throughout. With the natural body motions and rhythm to be a Day 1 pass-protector at the next level, he continues to show why some scouts believe that he could be a first-round selection.
Brock Purdy, QB, Iowa State
After a nightmarish start to the season in an upset defeat at the hands of Louisiana-Lafayette, Purdy rebounded nicely against TCU, where he accumulated an efficient 211 passing yards while going 18-of-23. After an outlandish and boneheaded pick-six in the opening moments of the third quarter, he settled in and finished strong. A majority of his passing yards on the day came on gains of 39 and 44 yards. Purdy must continue to show consistency while also displaying much more accuracy down the field. With borderline-average arm strength, a lot of his deficiencies became apparent during the season opener, but he looked much sharper against the Horned Frogs.
Chuba Hubbard, RB, Oklahoma State
It’s been somewhat of a quiet start to the season for Hubbard. He hasn’t racked up explosive yards in bunches like we have been accustomed to seeing, but he had a solid bounce-back game against West Virginia. In a 27-13 victory over the Mountaineers, the senior rusher finished the game with 21 carries for 101 yards and a touchdown. Hubbard’s biggest weaknesses came in the passing game, as he still struggles with his technique as a blocker and also as a hands-catcher out of the backfield.
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