With another week of high-scoring Big 12 action in the books, these are our picks for offensive and defensive Players of the Week.
Offense: Patrick Mahomes JR QB – Texas Tech
In a good old-fashion Big 12 shootout in Lubbock, players for both Oklahoma and Texas Tech set numerous school, conference and national records. However, no player impressed more than Texas Tech’s talented junior quarterback Patrick Mahomes. In a crushing 66-59 defeat, Mahomes set the NCAA total offense record with 819 total yards and added seven total touchdowns. He also tied the single game passing yards record, held by Washington State’s Connor Halliday, with 734 yards.
With a little over half the season gone, Mahomes is on pace to break the NCAA record for passing yards held by fellow Texas Tech product B.J. Symons. If Mahomes were on even a slightly better team, he would be generating serious Heisman Trophy hype. Unfortunately, Texas Tech’s incompetent defense has resulted in a lackluster 3-4 record for the Red Raiders. With team performance being heavily factored into Heisman voting nowadays, Mahomes likely does not have a serious chance to bring the prestigious award to West Texas.
Defense: Jordan Willis SR DE – Kansas State
As Kansas State was able to continue its dominance of the Texas Longhorns in Manhattan, Jordan Willis led the defensive charge in a low-scoring 24-21 affair. The senior defensive end was productive disrupting the Texas’ offense all day as he recorded seven total tackles with three being for losses. He also added two sacks and a pass defense.
Willis’ play as an edge pass rusher was instrumental in slowing down a much-improved Longhorn offense, that ranks 34th in the country with 477.6 yards per game. His play helped limit freshman Shane Buechele to 222 yards passing, well below his season average. Next week, the Wildcats will travel to Iowa State with a chance to build off their solid week eight performance.