Each Saturday, some players are overshadowed by teammates, putting in a critical performance while others end up getting the headlines. We'll aim to shine a light on those overlooked contributors each week in Big 12's unsung heroes.
Here's a look at one unsung hero for each team in Week 6:
Baylor RB Shock Linwood: The junior running back gets overshadowed pretty much every week while Corey Coleman gets accolades for his high-scoring, consistent ways and Seth Russell gets praise for his efficiency. Linwood’s 13 carries for 135 yards and one touchdown against Kansas in Baylor’s 66-7 win were just as important as Coleman or Russell’s production. His nine carries for 111 yards on first downs created a great foundation for Baylor’s offense to build upon.
Kansas QB Ryan Willis: The true freshman held up well for a quarterback making his first collegiate start against the nation’s No. 3 team. Willis finished 20 of 36 for 158 yards and one touchdown, with one interception, in the 66-7 loss to Baylor. It wasn’t a stellar debut but Willis gave the Jayhawks a reason for hope.
Texas defensive line: Five different Longhorns — Naashon Hughes, Malik Jefferson, Poona Ford, Paul Boyette Jr., Hassan Ridgeway — recorded at least half a sack in Texas’ 24-17 win over Oklahoma. Texas finished with six sacks and eight tackles for loss as its defensive front overwhelmed the Sooners’ offensive line.
Oklahoma K/P Austin Seibert: It’s not his fault the Sooners got manhandled. The true freshman has been consistent and productive during his first collegiate season. Seibert put four of his seven punts inside the 20-yard line, with zero touchbacks, and buried his only field goal attempt, a 21-yarder.
Texas Tech RB Justin Stockton: The Red Raiders sophomore had seven carries for 101 yards and one touchdown in Texas Tech’s 66-31 win over Iowa State. His 54-yard touchdown run in the third quarter helped stifle the Cyclones' momentum after they scored 10 straight points to cut Tech’s lead to 38-24 in the middle of the third quarter. Stockton is a good complement to DeAndre Washington in the Red Raider backfield.
Iowa State LB Willie Harvey: The Cyclones redshirt freshman had the best game of his young career: 10 tackles (nine solo), including one for a loss, for in the 66-31 loss to Texas Tech. Harvey is a part of a more athletic linebacker group in Ames, Iowa, including Jarnor Jones and Jordan Harris.
TCU S Derrick Kindred: The Horned Frogs veteran presence got the second half started with a 60-yard interception return for a touchdown, immediately cutting into Kansas State’s 35-17 halftime lead. Kindred’s interception sparked a second half which saw TCU outscore Kansas State 35-10. Kindred added seven solo tackles in the Horned Frogs’ 52-45 win.
Kansas State RB Charles Jones: The Wildcats running back provided a solid one-two punch alongside Joe Hubener. Jones had 13 carries for 75 yards for two touchdowns in the 52-45 loss to TCU. Jones averaged 5.8 yards per carry to lead K-State, and could continue to be a key piece of the offense if he displays that type of explosiveness over the next two months.
Oklahoma State S Tre Flowers: The sophomore is light years ahead of where he was a year ago. He’s been active for the Cowboys defense this season, and Oklahoma State’s 33-26 overtime win over West Virginia was no different. Flowers had 13 tackles (10 solo), two pass breakups and half a tackle for loss including 1.5 tackles and 0.5 tackle for loss in overtime.
West Virginia S Jarrod Harper: Karl Joseph’s replacement held his own in the Mountaineers’ 33-26 loss to Oklahoma State. Harper had six tackles (five solo), two pass breakups and one quarterback hurry after West Virginia lost Joseph, a four-year starter, to an knee injury during the week.