I hear it all the time, “Who has the best conference in college football?” SEC? Big 10? ACC? What about the Pac-12? Very rarely are you going to hear the words “Big 12” coming out of someone’s mouth in that conversation. Whether you do it or not, there are plenty of folks out there who love to bash the Big 12 conference (cough, Paul Finebaum, cough). Week four has come and gone and in the Big 12, there is never just a normal weekend and that once again proved to be true this past weekend. From good games, to eye sores, there was some good, some bad and some downright ugly. Keep in mind that Oklahoma, Texas Tech and Kansas State were off this weekend.
Iowa State (Beat ULM 72-20)
As you can see by the score, this was a complete blowout. Iowa State left no doubt here and didn’t play down to their competition at all. Outside of QB Brock Purdy’s first pass attempt (which was an interception), he finished his day going with 510 total yards and 6 touchdowns (3 rushing and 3 passing). That was good enough to break Seneca Wallace’s record and oh by the way, Brock did it in just three quarters of play. Wide outs Tarique Milton and Deshaunte Jones had great days as they both went over 100 yards. There isn’t much else to say about this game outside of Iowa State dominating it. I thought the offense finally found their rhythm and there was no question about the play calling and offensive flow. Next weekend, the Cyclones will get their first taste of Big 12 play as they take on Baylor down in Waco. I’ll be there.
West Virginia (Beat Kansas 29-24)
I’ll be the bad guy and say that this wasn’t that entertaining of a game. There was plenty of sloppy football and at times, this game felt like it was in slow motion. However, the Mountaineers went on the road and got the win. WVU QB Austin Kendall didn’t have his best day but the run game was the difference for the Mountaineers. They rushed for a total of 192 yards on the day and Martell Pettaway found the endzone twice. In fact, West Virginia rushed the football 48 times controlling the clock for a whopping 37 minutes and 41 seconds. Defensively, West Virginia was solid in the first half as they forced Kansas to punt five times and four out of those five drives were three and outs. In the second half, they bended and broke a time or two but overall, giving up 24 on the road isn’t the end of the world. Enjoy the win.
Baylor (Beat Rice 21-13)
This game probably should have gone into my bad column, but you know my rule is if you win, then you will always find your team in my good graces. But for Baylor, it was sloppy. Defensively, Baylor was fine as they held the Owls to just 242 total yards and 13 points. The offensive line was the issue here, but two fumbles and a missed field goal didn’t help either. The Bears offense only scored one touchdown in the first quarter before finally settling in a little bit as they took a 21-3 lead at the half. Then in the second half, Baylor failed to score again at all as they stayed stuck at 21 points. Baylor had four drives in the second half (not including the last drive to run out the clock) and three of those ended in quick punts while the other was a fumble. The run game never got going and it was a sloppy win for Baylor but at 3-0, they remain perfect on the season. Next up is Iowa State at home.
Texas (Beat Oklahoma State 36-30)
Finally, the Oklahoma State curse is over! After four straight losses and five straight home losses against the Cowboys, Tom Herman and company finally got rid of those demons. QB Sam Ehlinger had another great day going 20/28 for 281 yards 4 touchdowns while RB Keaontay Ingram went for 114 yards on the ground. Texas did a good job averaging five yards a carry and give credit to the offensive line for making holes. The defense was suspect in the second quarter but in the second half, they gave up just 10 points and if you are a Texas fan, you can live with that. The Longhorns tried to give this game away at times (2 muffed punts) but at the end of the day, they broke the streak. Also, luckily for Texas, they have a bye week before heading to Morgantown in a couple weeks. They need it due to the 98 injuries they had in this game.
Kansas (Lost 29-24 to West Virginia)
It certainly wasn’t a pretty first half for the Jayhawks offense as they only were able to score once thanks to a Carter Stanley touchdown pass to Kwamie Lassiter. Kansas had seven offensive possessions in the first half and five of them resulted in three and outs while another one was a fumble. Kansas was then able to put together two scoring drives to start the second half but on the third drive Carter Stanley threw an interception. While the offense scored again, it was the defense that started to break in the second half as they wore down. Like I mentioned earlier, WVU controlled this game by running the ball 48 times and dominated the time of possession. Also, two turnovers didn’t help their cause either. While I could point a finger at the defense, the offense didn’t do much to help them out in the first half as they started to get gassed. While the Jayhawks lost, at least they looked like they belonged on the same field with another Big 12 team and didn’t get blown out. They showed up and how about wide receiver Andrew Parchment? He continues his good run as he put together another 100-yard day and had two scores.
Oklahoma State (Lost 36-30 to Texas)
Although he threw two picks, Spencer Sanders was very magician like in this game. He made some big plays with his arm and how about his ability to take off and run? His running back, Chuba Hubbard had more than twice as many carries as he did yet he still went over 100 yards on the ground. If not for Spencer Sanders running abilities, Oklahoma State wouldn’t have made it this close of a game. The Cowboys had some interesting short yardage calls and what in the world was that fake field goal call? You take a delay of game penalty and then run a fake? The fake was so bad I questioned as to why the offense didn’t just stay out there. I would have much rather seen Spencer Sanders with the ball in his hands. Texas averaged five yards a carry against the Cowboys defense and while they had a couple fourth down stops, I still need to see a lot more improvement from this defense. Oklahoma State didn’t have a bad game by any means but between some of the mistakes and missed opportunities had to leave a little bit of a bad taste in your mouth if you are an Oklahoma State fan. The struggles continue for the Cowboys in Big 12 openers as they now have lost four straight conference openers. Now that’s out of the way, it’s time to prepare for Kansas State.
TCU (Lost 41-38 to SMU)
I wrote about this already on the site but boy was this an ugly loss. Maybe SMU is good, but TCU should win this game ten out of ten times. I have said before that defense will only carry you so far in the Big 12 and eventually you will have to throw the football. That’s exactly what SMU made TCU do. The Ponies went up early and never looked back. In fact, at the half SMU was up 31-17 and TCU QB Max Duggan completed just ONE pass in the first half. That’s not going to cut it. Sure, the TCU run game was good with Darius Anderson going off (161 yards and 2 touchdowns) but when Max Duggan was forced to throw the football, he struggled completing less than 50% of his passes. Although he did find his game in the fourth quarter, it was already too late for TCU. They had a shot at the end and couldn’t do anything with it. The defense collapsed and the offense tried but it was just too little too late for TCU. It was ugly all around and there was no excuse for losing to SMU at home.
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