Every Monday, Big 12 coaches answer questions for the Big 12 coaches teleconference. Here are the highlights for Nov. 11.
Assessing the Losses of Johnathan Gray and Chris Whaley
Texas' 47-40 overtime win over West Virginia Saturday didn't come without a cost. The university announced Sunday that running back Johnathan Gray and defensive tackle Chris Whaley would miss the remainder of the season with Achilles and knee injuries, respectively.
"They’re two of our best leaders," head coach Mack Brown said. "They’re tough, emotional. They helped this team grow up and be tougher."
The loss of those two players only adds to what has been an injury-filled season for the Longhorns. Brown added that quarterback David Ash and offensive lineman Josh Cochran would also be out for this week's game against Oklahoma State (H/T Mike Finger of the San Antonio Express-News). Offensive tackle Kennedy Estelle is questionable with a hip injury.
Add in the season-ending injury to linebacker Jordan Hicks and Texas is banged up—almost unbelievably so. Brown has taken his lumps this season, including from us here at the Big 12 blog, but give credit where it's due. The Longhorns are 6-0 since those back-to-back losses in September, even with all the injuries. It doesn't matter who you're playing, that's no easy task.
But the best football teams—Oklahoma State and Baylor—still lie ahead. It will be interesting to see how the Longhorns play over the next few weeks and whether they have the depth to overcome the injuries. Brown mentioned that he plans on having the handful of injured players "travel" with the team for leadership purposes (Texas plays at home against Oklahoma State).
An Update on Lache Seastrunk and Glasco Martin
Speaking of injuries, Baylor suffered a number of them in last Thursday's win over Oklahoma. Wide receiver Tevin Reese is done for the regular season with a dislocated wrist, but other injuries aren't as serious.
Running backs Lache Seastrunk (groin) and Glasco Martin (knee) are day-to-day, according to head coach Art Briles. Offensive lineman Cyril Richardson should also be okay to play against Texas Tech this Saturday in Arlington.
If either Seastrunk or Martin can't go, or are limited, Briles has no problem counting on fellow running back Shock Linwood, who had 182 yards rushing against Oklahoma. "We don't really consider him [Linwood] a No. 3 back," Briles said.
Coachspeak aside, it's hard to disagree too much. Thanks to a number of blowouts, Linwood has seen plenty of game time this season. He's second on the team among running backs in carries (78), yards (625) and touchdowns (seven).
A Startling Stat for Iowa State
It's been a tough season for Iowa State, but head coach Paul Rhoads provided some context for why the Cyclones have been so hard to watch on offense.
"We’ve played nine games, started eight different offensive lines," Rhoads said.
It's hard to get into any sort of offensive rhythm when the O-line is a revolving door. TCU, the latest team to beat Iowa State, would attest to that.
"If there’s one group you can’t get decimated at, it’s offensive line. And we’ve been decimated there," Rhoads continued.
The injuries don't end there. Quarterback Sam Richardson is dealing with thumb and ankle problems, though neither are expected to end his season. "We'll keep playing him," Rhoads said.
West Virginia quarterback Clint Trickett suffered a head injury against Texas and his status is unclear for Saturday's game against Kansas. He'll be non-contact in practice and will be reassessed later this week.
Kansas State defensive end Ryan Mueller had an interesting comment over the weekend. Mueller dedicated Saturday's win over Texas Tech to Matt McKee, a Texas Tech student he apparently despises (H/T Kellis Robinett). The backstory on this is unclear and K-State coach Bill Snyder didn't have any insight on what was going on. It was a harmless, but odd, situation.
Oklahoma coach confirmed that Blake Bell will continue to be the starting quarterback. Bell hasn't played well lately and there's been a growing push to insert season-opener starter Trevor Knight back into that role.
Ben Kercheval is the lead writer for Big 12 football. All quotes and information obtained firsthand unless noted otherwise. You can follow Ben on Twitter @BenKercheval.
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