Big 12 Football: Best Individual Performances from the 2013-14 Season

Ben Kercheval@@BenKerchevalCollege Football Lead WriterJanuary 9, 2014

NEW ORLEANS, LA - JANUARY 02:  Trevor Knight #9 of the Oklahoma Sooners celebrates after defeating the Alabama Crimson Tide 45-31 during the Allstate Sugar Bowl at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome on January 2, 2014 in New Orleans, Louisiana.  (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)
Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

With a full seven months and some change between now and the start of next college football season, there's a lot of time for reflection.

Might as well reflect on some of the best individual performances in the Big 12 from the 2013-14 season, then.

From Iowa State quarterback Grant Rohach leading the Cyclones in a come-from-behind victory against West Virginia to walk-on Baker Mayfield's first game as Texas Tech's starting quarterback against SMU, there were plenty of memorable moments. 

It's tough to narrow down the list of individual efforts when there were so many good ones, but here are 10 of the best performances from the 2013-14 season. 


Oklahoma Quarterback Trevor Knight vs. Alabama (Sugar Bowl) 

Where was this guy all year? Because the quarterback who threw for 348 yards and four touchdowns against Alabama in a 45-31 Sugar Bowl win was most definitely not the same one who started the season completing 39 percent of his passes against Louisiana-Monroe. 

Knight played possessed against the Tide, dropping dimes downfield and throwing lasers in the intermediate passing game. Alabama's cornerbacks may not be as good as they have been in years past, but still, this was Knight's best performance of the season by a country mile. 

What's more is that Knight, once thought of as only a running quarterback, had just seven yards on five attempts. He beat Alabama entirely with his arm. 


Texas Tech Tight End Jace Amaro vs. Oklahoma State (Nov. 2) 

LUBBOCK, TX - NOVEMBER 2: Jace Amaro #22 of the Texas Tech Red Raiders runs away from the Oklahoma State Cowboy defense during game action on November 2, 2013 at AT&T Jones Stadium in Lubbock, Texas. Oklahoma State won the game 52-34. (Photo by John Weast
John Weast/Getty Images

Texas Tech's Jace Amaro led the Big 12 with 1,352 receiving yards—as a tight end. From October to early November, he had four straight games of at least eight receptions for at least 100 yards. The final game in that streak came in a 52-34 loss to Oklahoma State. 

Still, Amaro was a force with 15 catches for 174 yards and a touchdown. Oklahoma State had talent on defense this year with the likes of defensive back Justin Gilbert and linebacker Caleb Lavey. To slice through that group as easily as Amaro did is a testament to what a matchup nightmare he is. 

Amaro has declared for the NFL draft, and he's going to make some pro franchise very happy. 


Baylor Quarterback Bryce Petty vs. Oklahoma (Nov. 7)

This was the game that Baylor, as a program, had been waiting for: the chance to knock off perennial power Oklahoma on national TV to take a firm grip in the Big 12 standings. 

The Bears seized the moment, beating Oklahoma 41-12. Petty only completed 50 percent of his passes, but he accounted for 249 total yards and five touchdowns: three passing and two rushing. 

With receiver Tevin Reese and running backs Lache Seastrunk and Glasco Martin out with injuries, Petty stepped up as the game's MVP. 


Oklahoma State Cornerback Justin Gilbert vs. Texas (Nov. 16)

Oklahoma State had a comfortable 21-10 lead on Texas with under 30 seconds remaining in the first half. Then, Longhorns quarterback Case McCoy made an ill-advised pass, one of many on the day, and Gilbert took advantage.

Gilbert undercut his receiver's route and picked off McCoy, going 43 the yards the other way for a score that put the Pokes up 28-10 on the 'Horns. The look on Texas head coach Mack Brown's face? Priceless. 

Via SB Nation

Gilbert finished the day with two interceptions and nine tackles.  


Kansas State Wide Receiver Tyler Lockett vs. Oklahoma (Nov. 23)

Lockett didn't lead the Big 12 in receiving yards, but you'd be hard-pressed to find anyone better than him. The junior was a crisp route runner and made circus catches all year long. 

But his best performance came on Nov. 23 against Oklahoma when he hauled in 12 catches for 278 yards, most of which came in the first half, and three touchdowns. 

Simply put, the Sooners couldn't put enough defensive backs into coverage to contain him. It seemed like every chance K-State quarterback Jake Waters had, he was looking downfield for Lockett. Oklahoma won 41-31, but it was as entertaining a game as there was in the conference all season. 


Texas Defensive End Jackson Jeffcoat vs. Texas Tech (Nov. 28) 

The Big 12 Defensive Player of the Year was a nightmare for Texas Tech's offense during Texas' 41-16 win on Thanksgiving night.

Jeffcoat recorded 10 tackles, a good number for any player, but it was his three sacks that made him a difference maker.  There are some questions about whether Jeffcoat can be more than just an elite pass-rusher at the next level, but he was playing on another level that night. 


TCU Cornerback Jason Verrett vs. Baylor (Nov. 30)

Verrett's performance in a 41-38 loss to the Bears can be tough to measure since he only had one tackle and two pass breakups. 

Nov 30, 2013; Fort Worth, TX, USA; TCU Horned Frogs cornerback Jason Verrett (2) watches the Baylor Bears celebrate their win at Amon G. Carter Stadium. The Bears defeated the Horned Frogs 41-38. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports
Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

But, consider this: Verrett allowed Bears receiver Antwan Goodley to catch just one pass for 12 yards. One. And Goodley finished with more receiving yards (1,339) than any other wide receiver in the Big 12. 

There were a lot of reasons TCU lost to Baylor, just as there were many reasons the Horned Frogs finished 4-8. Verrett was not the root cause of any of those struggles. 


Kansas Running Back James Sims vs. West Virginia (Nov. 16)

Recording 211 yards and three touchdowns is a nice way to help your team break a 27-game conference losing streak. That's exactly what Kansas running back James Sims did in a 31-19 win over West Virginia. 

Sims, who had been a workhorse for the Jayhawks, finished the regular season with a conference-best 1,110 yards. Sims' 22 carries were a career high, and the 211 yards were a season high. Sims never won many games in Lawrence, but that will go down as perhaps his best college performance. 


Oklahoma State Quarterback Clint Chelf vs. Baylor (Nov. 23)

Baylor's Bryce Petty, the top quarterback in the conference, was out-dueled once this regular season. That was at the hands of Oklahoma State's Clint Chelf. 

In a 49-17 win over the Bears on a freezing November night, Chelf had the game of his career with 370 yards passing and three touchdowns, plus another rushing touchdown. 

Chelf always battled with consistency issues, but on that night, no one played better than he did.


Texas Linebacker Steve Edmond vs. West Virginia (Nov. 9)

Texas' 47-40 overtime win over West Virginia in Morgantown will go down as one of the most exciting games of the season in the Big 12.

But it ended thanks to Longhorns linebacker Steve Edmond, who grabbed the game-sealing interception in the end zone.

Texas' defense was far from stout that night, giving up 399 yards, but Edmond was superb with 12 tackles and a pair of quarterback hurries. When the game was on the line, Edmond stepped up big time. 



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