By Wendell Barnhouse
The Charlie Strong Era started Saturday night with a dominating defensive performance. Texas stuffed and stifled North Texas, 38-7, allowing just 94 total yards.
The feel good aspect of winning the season opener changed as fast as the weather in the Lone Star state. Strong announced Monday that quarterback David Ash complained of headaches and dizziness late Saturday night and the junior won’t play Saturday against BYU.
And senior center Dominic Espinosa, the only returning starter and anchor on the offensive line, will have surgery for a broken bone in his right ankle and is out for the season. He made his 40th career start against UNT before getting hurt. The other four linemen that started the opener have a combined 14 career starts.
“Adversity is going to hit. The challenge of this football team is how well we hit back,” Strong said during his interview session with local media Monday. “We have a football team. We have guys on scholarship. Other guys have to step up. You just have to go play well.
"It's not the end of the world here.”
Strong wouldn’t say that Ash will be out for the rest of the season or that his career is over. Ash missed all but three games last season recovering from concussion symptoms.
Sophomore Tyrone Swoopes will get the start against the Cougars, a team that swamped UT, 40-21, last season by gaining 550 yards, the most UT has ever allowed.
"I'm very confident in Tyrone,” Strong said. “I'm confident in every player on this team. It's all about him now. He needs to grow up."
Iowa State Loses Bundrage
There was more bad news on the injury front in Ames. Iowa State coach Paul Rhoads announced Monday that wide receiver Quenton Bundrage suffered an ACL injury in the first quarter and will lost for the season.
Bundrage, a junior, led the team with 46 receptions for 676 yards and nine touchdowns in 2013. He was injured blocking on a running play. Freshman Allen Lazard, one of the Cyclones’ top recruits, will start in place of Brundrage.
Rhoads said that senior center Tom Farniok, who suffered a sprained knee in the first quarter and missed the rest of the game against North Dakota State, is expected to return for Saturday’s Big 12 opener against Kansas State.
More Injury Updates
Baylor quarterback Bryce Petty is “day to day” according to coach Art Briles. An MRI Monday morning revealed Petty has two cracks in the transverse processes of his back. Translation: bones sticking out from the spine are cracked. The injury is expected to heal on its own. Petty didn’t play in the second half of the Bears’ 45-0 victory over SMU after suffering a bruised back. Senior wide receiver Antwan Goodley played just two series before straining a quad muscle – the same injury he suffered during training camp.
Texas Tech nose tackle Rika Levi is also “day to day.” Coach Kliff Kingsbury said that the knee injury Levi suffered in the opener “wasn't as bad as they first thought." A 6-2, 367-pound JUCO transfer, Levi’s ability to play could be crucial in Saturday’s game at UTEP. The Miners gained 330 yards rushing in a 31-24 victory over New Mexico.
Oklahoma coach Bob Stoops said that second-team quarterback Cody Thomas should be available this week. Thomas missed some practice time last week. Senior Blake Bell, who switched from quarterback to tight end this season, has taken some snaps at QB and could be used at that position if needed.
Clarifying TCU’s Quarterback Situation
TCU coach Gary Patterson didn’t reveal his starting quarterback until game time Saturday Junior Trevone Boykin was the choice and he completed a career-high 29 passes, out of 41 attempts, for 320 yards and two touchdowns in the 48-14 victory against Samford. Senior Matt Joeckel, who was expected to share time with Boykin, didn’t play until the fourth quarter.
Patterson noted Monday that Baylor’s Bryce Petty got banged up and David Ash won’t play against BYU Saturday.
“I think you’ll have to have two quarterbacks in this system if we want to have a chance to win a conference title,” Patterson said. “Watching the ballgames this weekend, there were some quarterbacks who were getting banged up. Right now, feel blessed we have two.”
When asked who the starter would be against Minnesota on Sept. 13, Patterson made it clear. “We do have a starter. That’s Trevone,” he said.
Oklahoma sophomore linebacker Dominique Alexander: "Nobody should be able to run the ball on us. We believe that we do have the best front seven in the country.”
Texas Tech linebacker Sam Equvoen on the Red Raiders’ sloppy play in a 42-35 victory over Central Arkansas: "I felt better about some of the losses we had last year than the win on Saturday. It was a wakeup call."
Iowa State coach Paul Rhoads on facing Kansas State in the Big 12 opener Saturday: "Playing Kansas State is good for our football team. It's the challenge of facing a Big 12 opponent, the challenge of facing a top 20 team. All 12 games are hard. All 12 games count toward the postseason, which is our goal. It provides a great focus for us."
Kansas coach Charlie Weis on Oklahoma State and West Virginia – teams projected to finish in the middle of the standings – losing by a combined 16 points to No. 1 Florida State and No. 2 Alabama: “I don’t think that anybody who is involved with the Big 12 finds that a big surprise. People in other parts of the country think it is a big surprise, but we all know this is a loaded league. You can’t underestimate any competitors in this league.”
* West Virginia quarterback Clint Trickett passed for 365 yards against Alabama. That’s the second-most passing yards allowed by a Nick Saban team behind the 464 that Texas A&M’s Johnny Manziel had last season.
* Good news, bad news: Iowa State coach Paul Rhoads said the Cyclones’ inexperienced defense missed just eight tackles in Saturday’s loss to North Dakota State. The defense, though, gave up two game-breaking scoring runs of 80 and 66 yards. "That's the problem," Rhoads said. "Those guys weren't touched."
* Texas Tech senior wide receiver Bradley Marquez had 10 receptions for 184 yards including touchdown catches of 70 and 27 yards that helped the Red Raiders hang on for a season-opening victory. Offensive coordinator Eric Morris said that Marquez “graded out better than any other wide receiver I have ever graded.”