QB Grier gives WVU strong shot Satur­day

Tal­ented ju­nior has thrown for third­most yards in coun­try, 344 per game.

Austin American-Statesman - - SPORTS - Cedric Golden

Go­ing to haz­ard a wild guess that West Vir­ginia’s Will Grier is a step up in com­pe­ti­tion from Kansas’ Carter Stan­ley. Also go­ing to guess that Texas will lose on Satur­day if it plays the same way it did against Jay­hawks. That would set up a pos­si­ble loser-stayshome bowl sweep­stakes with Texas Tech in the reg­u­lar sea­son fi­nale.

Tom Her­man was right not to throw his de­fense un­der the bus af­ter it reg­is­tered three takeaways, in­clud­ing a pick-six, but of par­tic­u­lar in­ter­est was Stan­ley ac­count­ing for 311 yards of of­fense and three touch­downs. Mean­while, Grier com­pleted 27-of-46 passes for 372 yards, four touch­downs and two picks in a 28-23 win in the Lit­tle Ap­ple. Grier has thrown for 34 touch­downs and only 12 in­ter­cep­tions with 3,440 yards, which ranks third in the coun­try.

“He’s along the lines of (Oklahoma’s Baker) May­field and (TCU’s Kenny) Hill in terms of he’s re­ally ac­cu­rate in throw­ing the ball,” Her­man said Mon­day. “He can make you pay with his feet. He’s re­ally good and can re­ally, re­ally play.”

On the bright side, Texas has an op­por­tunis­tic de­fense and the Moun­taineers have been prone to turnovers at times. Grier has thrown seven

in­ter­cep­tions in his last three games. Texas has recorded four in its last three, in­clud­ing a pair re­turned for touch­downs.

When Shaka Smart told us on last week’s On Sec­ond Thought pod­cast that Dy­lan Osetkowski re­minded him of NBA All-Star Dray­mond Green, he wasn’t say­ing the 6-9 trans­fer would one day win NBA De­fen­sive Player of the Year and a pair of league ti­tles.

When asked about the Dray­mond com­par­i­son af­ter last Fri­day’s 105-59 win over North­west­ern State, Osetkowski said, “(It’s) be­ing a guy that can do ev­ery­thing. I’m just try­ing to repli­cate Dray­mond’s tenac­ity and en­thu­si­asm that he plays with. If I can do that on a con­sis­tent ba­sis, it’s go­ing to be huge for our team.”

He’s right. While fresh­man Matt Cole­man learns the ropes as a col­lege point guard, Osetkowski is al­ready com­fort­able run­ning this of­fense. He put up 13 points, 10 re­bounds and an as­sist in 21 min­utes in Fri­day’s 105-59 win over North­west­ern State, giv­ing Shaka Smart an­other op­tion in the pi­lot’s seat one year af­ter two-guards Andrew Jones, Eric Davis, and Ker­win Roach took turns at point.

“Last year, every­one talked about we didn’t have a point guard, which that spot wasn’t a strength for us, but we also didn’t have a ball-han­dling for­ward, which is some­thing that we re­ally like to have the way we play,” Smart said. “So that’s a step in the right di­rec­tion at both of those po­si­tions.”

Thoughts and prayers go out to Mar­quise Good­win, who showed in­cred­i­ble re­solve on Sun­day with an 83-yard TD catch to lead the 49ers to a win over the Giants, San Fran’s first of the sea­son.

It wasn’t the catch that re­vealed Good­win’s in­ner strength, but the tragedy he was play­ing through. Good­win and his wife Mor­gan Snow Good­win, a for­mer Texas track ath­lete, re­vealed their baby boy died due to com­pli­ca­tions from a pre­ma­ture birth at 4 a.m. Sun­day.

“Al­though we are hurt, I am grate­ful for the ex­pe­ri­ence and grate­ful that God blessed me with a wife as coura­geous and re­silient as Mor­gan,” Good­win posted on his In­sta­gram page. “The pain (physi- cally, men­tally, & emo­tion­ally) that she has en­dured is un­be­liev­able.”

Good­win posted a heart­break­ing photo of his hand along that of his son. Be­fore he crossed the goal line, he blew a kiss to the heav­ens. He then went to his knees af­ter scor­ing as team­mates gath­ered around him.

Think­ing of you, Mr. and Mrs. Good­win.

Life with­out Ezekiel El­liott is one thing, but it’s not Dal­las’ big­gest is­sue. All-pro left tackle Ty­ron Smith not play­ing? Gi­gan­tic.

Dal­las is plenty tal­ented enough to win games with Al­fred Morris and Dar­ren McFad­den run­ning be­hind a line that in­cludes Smith. Bet­ter yet, life would be a lot easier for quar­ter­back Dak Prescott, who was sacked eight times Sun­day, six by Fal­cons DE Adrian Clay­born.

The Ea­gles can ba­si­cally win the NFC East at Jerry World on Sun­day night, and if Smith isn’t back soon, Dal­las — a Su­per Bowl con­tender just two weeks ago — will be home for the play­offs.

If Jack­sonville owner Shahid Khan is as smart as I think he is, he’ll pull a Brinks truck up to Kirk Cousins’ drive­way and make him the high­est paid player in foot­ball next sea­son. The Jaguars have one of the league’s best young ros­ters but aren’t go­ing any­where sig­nif­i­cant with Blake Bor­tles.

Most of the pieces are in place — a fran­chise run­ning back in Leonard Four­nette, two great cor­ners in A.J. Bouye and Jalen Ram­sey, and a de­fense that’s one pass rusher away from be­ing top five.

Bring Cousins in and we’ll be watch­ing the Jags in a Su­per Bowl within three sea­sons.

RAY­MOND THOMP­SON / AP

West Vir­ginia quar­ter­back Will Grier has com­pleted 244 of 380 passes, has 34 touch­downs against 12 in­ter­cep­tions, and has been named Big 12 New­comer of the Week five times.

JEFF HAYNES / AP IMAGES FOR PANINI

Fal­cons de­fen­sive end Adrian Clay­born (99) saw Cow­boys quar­ter­back Dak Prescott of­ten Sun­day, sack­ing Prescott six times.

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