Recognizing the best and brightest from around the Big 12 in Week 9:
RB Desmond Roland, Oklahoma State: Where did this come from? Jeremy Smith has been talked up as the Cowboys’ best back throughout the season, but it was Roland who exploded when given the chance to be the feature man. He rushed for 219 yards and four touchdowns in a win over Iowa State, highlighted by a 58-yard dash for a score in which he eluded a handful of defenders. And if you’re counting at home, Roland’s big day would’ve been worth 45 fantasy points. That ain’t bad.
WR Jalen Saunders, Oklahoma: Big-time players making big-time plays in big-time games. That was Saunders on Saturday. He caught a season-high six passes for 153 yards and two touchdowns in a 38-30 win over Texas Tech, and both scores helped swing this game. His first was a 15-yard score to make it 7-7 in the second, and Saunders followed that up with a 76-yard touchdown to go ahead.
Texas defensive line: The box score says Texas’ defense recorded only two quarterback hurries in its 30-7 win over TCU. But it didn't seem like it. The Longhorns' line of Jackson Jeffcoat, Cedric Reed, Chris Whaley and Malcom Brown is playing at an exceptionally high level right now, just as it did against OU. It combined for five of Texas’ six tackles for loss, Jeffcoat and Whaley recorded sacks, and the Horned Frogs rushed for only 45 yards. More importantly, Casey Pachall had no time to throw on Saturday, as the pressure up front got to him on a constant basis.
RB Shock Linwood, Baylor: Bryce Petty or one of his go-to guys on offense -- Tevin Reese, Lache Seastrunk, etc. -- usually deserve a spot in helmet stickers on a weekly basis. This time we’re going with the Bears’ rising redshirt freshman, who rushed for 106 yards and two scores on only nine carries. Yes, it was against a bad Kansas defense in a blowout. But Linwood merits some attention: He’s the No. 3 back on this roster and yet is also No. 7 in the Big 12 in rushing.
WR Tyler Lockett, Kansas State : What a fourth-quarter finish from K-State after trailing West Virginia 12-7 late in the third quarter. Lockett was a big help in K-State’s 28 unanswered points to knock off WVU, with three touchdown catches and his fourth 100-yard game of the season. His 9-yard score gave the Wildcats the lead back, and from there they never looked back.