Big 12 defensive player rankings: Week 11

Then-junior running back Charles Jones takes the ball downfield as TCU linebacker Travin Howard (32) and defensive Bryson Henderson (92) approach during the football game between K-State and TCU on Oct. 10, 2015, in Bill Snyder Family Stadium. (File Photo by George Walker | The Collegian)

1. Travin Howard, junior LB, TCU

Week-in and week-out, it’s expected for Howard to have a big day and he did just that in TCU’s blowout of Baylor. The junior had 12 stops on the day and also deflected a pass. He now has 100 tackles on the year, which is 23 more than any other player in the conference.

2. Jordan Sterns, senior S, Oklahoma State

Late in the game, when the Oklahoma State defense needed to come up big, Sterns came through. He led the way for the Cowboys with 12 total tackles, all of which were solo. Sterns is sixth in the Big 12 with 60 tackles on the year.

3. D.J. Reed, sophomore DB, Kansas State

For the second week in a row, Reed has been a playmaker in the Wildcats’ defense. He tied for second on the team with seven tackles against Oklahoma State. Reed also made an athletic interception; his third of the season.

4. Rasul Douglas, senior CB, West Virginia

Douglas may not have came up big in tackles, as he only had four against Kansas. But what Douglas did do was pick off two Jayhawk passes. The two interceptions give him five on the year, which is the most in the conference.

5. Nick Orr, junior S, TCU

Much like Howard, Orr played a crucial part in the Horned Frogs’ lopsided win. Orr had 12 tackles against the Bears. He also deflected a pass, which showed a glimpse of his ball skills, as Orr has four interceptions this year and is tied for second in the conference.

6. Elijah Lee, junior LB, Kansas State

Surprise, surprise, Lee had yet another solid game for Kansas State. He led the Wildcats in tackles on the day with eight. Lee has 77 tackles this year, tied for second in the conference.

7. Malik Jefferson, sophomore LB, Texas

A few weeks ago, Texas was reeling, but since the Longhorns have rattled off two straight wins due in large part to Jefferson’s play. He had eight tackles, including 1.5 sacks against Texas Tech. Jefferson has 55 tackles on the season, putting him in second on the team in tackles.

8. Vincent Taylor, junior DT, Oklahoma State

Taylor may have only had six tackles against K-State, but he made them count. He had one sack on the day and also had three tackles for a loss. His nine tackles for loss on the season is tied for fourth in the conference.

9. Chance Waz, junior S, Baylor

In a game where much didn’t go right for Baylor, Waz’s play definitely was a bright spot. Waz led the Bears with 11 tackles against TCU. Before the game, Waz only had 23 tackles, so an 11-tackle performance was huge for the Bears.

10. Willie Harvey, sophomore LB, Iowa State

Iowa State tried to play spoiler and almost got it done, thanks to Harvey’s play against Oklahoma. Harvey led the Cyclones’ defense with nine tackles, including a sack. He now has 57 tackles on the season.