Big 12 defensive player rankings: Week 12


1. Jordan Evans, senior LB, Oklahoma

Evans was a big force in the Sooners’ 21-point win over Baylor. Evans led the team with nine total tackles and also had a pair of sacks, the only two for the OU defense. On top of that, Evans had two interceptions, which he returned for a total of 32 yards.

2. Justin Phillips, sophomore LB, Oklahoma State

In a game where little defense was played, Phillips had himself a solid game. Phillips netted 14 tackles, which tied for the conference lead last week. Phillips didn’t stop there, as he also added a sack to his resume. The young linebacker will play a big part in the Cowboys’ Big 12 title hopes.

3. Justin Arndt, senior LB, West Virginia

Arndt was all over the field for the Mountaineers against the Texas Longhorns. The senior had 12 tackles, including 11 solo tackles. Arndt also had a sack and a deflected pass on the day. Arndt leads West Virginia with 58 tackles this season.

4. K.J. Smith, junior DE, Baylor

Smith provided Baylor’s defense with pressure on Oklahoma junior quarterback Baker Mayfield. Smith had 1.5 sacks on the day, making him a presence in Mayfield’s mind. Smith also provided support against the run, collecting 10 tackles against the Sooners.

5. Jordan Williams, freshman LB, Baylor

Along with Smith, Williams did all he could to keep Baylor in the game. The freshman linebacker had 14 stops on the day, which led the team. Williams also collected a tackle-for-loss. The one-two punch of Smith and Williams did all it could to try and keep the Sooner offense at bay.

6. Dylan Haines, senior S, Texas

Haines might not have been a force against the run, only having two tackles against West Virginia, but made a presence in the passing game picking off two senior quarterback Skyler Howard passes. The two interceptions gives Haines four on the year, tying him for second in the Big 12.

7. Malcolm Roach, freshman LB, Texas

Haines wasn’t the only Longhorn to have himself a big day, as Roach made multiple plays in the running game. The freshman had seven tackles on the day, a sack and three tackles-for-loss.

8. Rasul Douglas, senior CB, West Virginia

Week-in and week-out, Douglas always finds a way to make a play on the ball. Douglas picked off yet another pass, his sixth of season, which is the top mark in the Big 12. If that wasn’t enough, he also had nine tackles, tying for third on the team.

9. Orion Stewart, senior S, Baylor

Stewart is the third Baylor defender to make the list, which just goes to show how lethal Oklahoma’s offense really is. Stewart had nine tackles, which was third most on the team only behind Smith and Williams. The senior also picked up an interception, which is his fifth of the year, ranking second in the conference.

10. Fish Smithson, senior S, Kansas

The Jayhawks squandered its most winnable conference game of the year, but Smithson tried everything he could to keep his team from going winless in the conference. The senior had six tackles on the day including the team’s only interception.