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Joe Dineen, rightfully so, headlines the Midseason All-Big 12 Team

By Cam Mellor
Oct 16, 2018

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Sep 15, 2018; Lawrence, KS, USA; Kansas Jayhawks safety Bryce Torneden (1) celebrates with linebacker Joe Dineen Jr. (29) after recovering a fumble during the first half against the Rutgers Scarlet Knights at Memorial Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

The Big 12 has had their quarterbacks stamped all over the Heisman Trophy lists all season long as Oklahoma QB Kyler Murray has done his best at replacing last year’s winner, Baker Mayfield. While offense takes the center stage in the conference, there have been several standouts on defense as well.

Joe Dineen has put forth an incredible start to his final season at Kansas as the Jayhawks got their first back-to-back wins against Power-5 competition in some time earlier this season.

The PFF Midseason All-Big 12 Team is brought to you by Eckrich, the Official Smoked Sausage of the College Football Playoff.

Headlined by Dineen and one of the Heisman frontrunners in Kyler Murray on offense, here are the Midseason All-Conference players at every position:

Quarterback

Kyler Murray, Oklahoma

2018 Season Grade: 93.2

Second in our Heisman rankings (coming Wednesday), what Murray has done in his first season as a starter in Norman cannot be understated. Sure, they lost to Texas, but his 13.1 yards per attempt are a full 3.2 yards ahead of the next closest quarterback with at least 100 attempts (Will Grier).

Running Back

Trey Sermon, Oklahoma

2018 Season Grade: 86.7

Injuries to the Sooner backfield has pushed Sermon to the forefront of their rushing attack, yet they seemingly haven’t missed a step without Rodney Anderson. Sermon has recorded 11 runs of 10 or more yards and averages a healthy 3.64 yards after contact per rush.

Running Back

Pooka Williams Jr., Kansas

2018 Season Grade: 85.8

A stalwart on our list of top true freshmen, Williams’ debut season for the Jayhawks has been extraordinary. On 72 carries, he’s recorded 556 yards, averaging 7.7 yards per attempt and 4.72 yards after contact per carry.

Wide Receiver

Marquise Brown, Oklahoma

2018 Season Grade: 85.0

Aptly nicknamed ‘Hollywood,’ Brown should be seeing the bright lights of the national limelight as long as he’s on the field this season. On 33 catches, he’s average 10.0 yards after the catch per reception and forced eight missed tackles.

Wide Receiver

Tylan Wallace, Oklahoma State

2018 Season Grade: 84.8

Wallace leads the nation with 14 contested catches this season, hauling in a conference-best 716 yards through the air, averaging 17.6 yards per reception. His 379 yards on deep passes (20-plus yards in the air) are first in the conference as well.

Wide Receiver

Collin Johnson, Texas

Week 7 overall grade: 81.6

Highlight-reel catch after highlight-reel catch, Johnson continues to stand out at Texas. He’s gained a total of 162 yards after the catch this season and forced eight missed tackles and is third in the conference with 260 yards on deep passes.

Tight End

Christoph Henle, Baylor

Week 7 overall grade: 61.8

Henle may not have the receiving prowess of other tight ends in the conference but he does his dirty work blocking for the Bears offense. He has allowed just two pressures as an extra blocker on 54 snaps and holds the third-highest run-blocking grade in the conference among tight ends,

Offensive Tackle

Dalton Risner, Kansas State

Week 7 overall grade: 84.4

Living up to his preseason billing and being named to our Midseason All-American Team, Risner has once again put up strong numbers for the Wildcats. On 227 pass-blocking snaps, he’s allowed just two pressures including not allowing a sack.

Offensive Guard

Jack Anderson, Texas Tech

Week 7 overall grade: 71.4

Anderson has blocked well in both facets for the Red Raiders, allowing just six total pressures on a whopping 307 snaps in pass protection, while holding the conference’s best run-blocking grade among guards.

Center

Paul Stawarz, Texas tech

Week 7 overall grade: 68.3

On 269 snaps in pass protection, Stawarz has allowed just seven hurries, most importantly, holding interior pass-rushers without a sack or hit on Texas Tech quarterbacks.

Offensive Guard

Josh Sills, West Virginia

Week 7 overall grade: 70.1

Sillis is tied with Anderson for top run-blocking grade while he himself has allowed just six total QB pressures on 227 snaps in pass protection.

Offensive Tackle

Lucas Niang, TCU

Week 7 overall grade: 82.1

The second-highest graded tackle in the conference, Niang is right behind Risner in terms of pass-blocking. On 239 snaps in pass protection, he’s allowed just three pressures, not one of those being a sack.

Defense

Edge Defender

L.J. Collier, TCU

Week 7 overall grade: 83.9

Collier has been as solid as you’d expect for the Horned Frogs, not missing a single tackle attempt this season while also bringing in 19 total QB pressures. He’s gotten to the quarterback on eight of those occasions, bringing home four sacks and four hits.

Edge Defender

Jordan Brailford, Oklahoma State

Week 7 overall grade: 76.1

Brailford has been a tackling machine, even if he’s missed eight of his 31 total tackle attempts this season. He’s recorded 19 solo tackles and combining those with his six sacks, is second among Big 12 edge defenders with his 18 total defensive stops.

Interior Defensive Lineman

Daniel Wise, Kansas

Week 7 overall grade: 82.3

Wise plays all across the line for Kansas but sees the majority of his work come from the interior of the defensive line. On his 151 pass-rushing snaps, he’s recorded 12 QB pressures, including four sacks and an additional six defensive stops in run defense.

Interior Defensive Lineman

Trey Carter, Oklahoma State

Week 7 overall grade: 81.1

Carter finds himself third in total QB pressures among interior defensive linemen in the Big 12 with 14, recording three sacks, one QB hit and an additional 10 hurries. He’s recorded a total of 10 defensive stops as well.

Linebacker

Joe Dineen Jr., Kansas

Week 7 overall grade: 88.1

Long since a run-stopping machine, Dineen is poised to record at least 40 defensive stops for the third time in four seasons. Rounding out his game this season, He’s allowed just 44 yards after the catch on 181 snaps in coverage and a career-best 80.4 passer rating on throws into his coverage.

Linebacker

Dakota Allen, Texas Tech

Week 7 overall grade: 83.7

Allen has been dominant for two seasons now since returning to Texas Tech after a stop at East Mississippi Community College (and on Last Chance U, of course). He’s recorded two pass breakups this year while also bringing in 10 pressures on 27 blitzes and been his usual dominant self, racking up 50 tackles by PFF’s accord, and only missing two attempts all season long.

Linebacker

Devin Harper, Oklahoma State

Week 7 overall grade: 81.7

Rotating in the Cowboys defense, Harper has been a valuable asset, recording a total of 14 defensive stops while also bringing in an interception on 11 targets as the primary coverage defender.

Cornerback

Brian Peavy, Iowa State

Week 7 overall grade: 84.3

Peavy could have entered the 2018 NFL Draft and likely heard his name called sooner than later but returned to the Cyclones for another year. Iowa State fans must be happy he has as he’s limited receivers to just two yards after the catch on 18 total targets including four pass breakups as he’s on pace to match his career-year last year in PFF grading.

Cornerback

Duke Shelley, Kansas State

Week 7 overall grade: 84.1

Shelley has already been targeted 53 times this season, allowing 27 receptions and limiting receivers to just 37 yards after the catch. His 11 total plays on the ball are the most in the conference as he’s recorded three interceptions and eight pass breakups.

Safety

Bryce Torneden, Kansas

Week 7 overall grade: 90.1

A force all over the field, Torneden has made the splash plays to turn him into a household name by season’s end. On 12 pass-rushes, he’s brought in four pressures, made 50 total tackles and allowed a passer rating of 52.1 on 11 targets as the primary coverage defender.

Safety

Caden Sterns, Texas

Week 7 overall grade: 81.6

The true freshman has stood out this season, bringing in a conference-high four interceptions among safeties. All told, he’s been targeted in his primary coverage 17 times, allowed six receptions and brought in four interceptions and two additional pass breakups for a 7.1 passer rating against.

Flex Defense

Innis Gaines, TCU

Week 7 overall grade: 84.3

Gaines has been sent on a blitz on 18 snaps, bringing home a sack, a hit and two more hurries. In coverage, he’s limited receivers to just 4.9 yards per catch and a catch no longer than nine yards this year.

 

Second Team

QB – Will Grier, West Virginia
RB – David Montgomery, Iowa State
RB – Justice Hill, Oklahoma State
WR – Lil’Jordan Humphrey, Texas
WR – Hakeem Butler, Iowa State
WR – Ja’Deion High, Texas Tech
TE – Grant Calcaterra, Oklahoma
OT – Colton McKivitiz, West Virginia
OG – Elijah Rodriguez, Texas
C – Creed Humphrey, Oklahoma
OG – Cordel Iwuagwu, TCU
OT – Cody Ford, Oklahoma

Edge – JaQuan Bailey, Iowa State
Edge – Charles Omenihu, Texas
DI – Kenny Bigelow Jr., West Virginia
DI – James Lynch, Baylor
LB – Mike Rose, Iowa State
LB – Terrel Bernard, Baylor
LB – David Long Jr., West Virginia
CB – Jeff Gladney, TCU
CB – Kris Boyd, Texas
S – Greg Eisworth, Iowa State
S – Kendall Adams, Kansas State
FLEX – Mike Lee, Kansas

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