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Big 12 Football’s Week 6: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

NCAA Football: Oklahoma State at Texas Tech

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 six 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. 

The Good

Texas Tech (Beat Oklahoma State 45-35)

Who in the heck saw this coming? I mean even if you are a Tech fan, did you expect this? QB Jett Duffey had his best game as a Red Raider as he threw for over 400 yards a 4 touchdown passes. The ground game was good and wide out T.J. Vasher had a big game as well. Most importantly for the Texas Tech offense? ZERO turnovers. Now, how about that defense for Texas Tech? After looking clueless against Oklahoma last week, they buckled down more and made plays when they needed them the most. They were able to force five, I repeat five turnovers on the day making Oklahoma State QB Spencer Sanders look like a true freshman. Not to mention, LB Jordyn Brooks who had one of the best linebacker performances that I have seen with 19 tackles. What a win for Matt Wells. Next up for Texas Tech, a trip to Waco to take on undefeated Baylor. 

Oklahoma (Beat Kansas 45-20)

After a little bit of a sleepy start in Lawrence, the Sooners offense didn’t look back in the final three quarters as they outscored the Jayhawks 38-13. QB Jalen Hurts didn’t have his best game out there but he was still efficient in this game throwing for 2 touchdowns and running in 2 more scores. Outside of RB Rhomandre Stevenson (And Jalen Hurts of course) nobody really stood out too much because 13 different players caught a pass and no receiver had more than 40 yards on the day. The football was spread around and even backup QB Tanner Mordecai got some playing time as well. Defensively, the Sooners gave up a long 98-yard drive in the first quarter and after that, they held Kansas scoreless until garbage time. The only surprise in this game for me (Outside the lady knitting in the stands) was that the streak of 600-yard offensive performances is over as the Sooners had a total of 545 on the day. Next up for Oklahoma is a date with Texas at the Cotton Bowl. 

 

Baylor (Beat Kansas State 31-12)

Just like the Oklahoma/Kansas game, this one got off to a snoozing start and the broadcast crew certainly didn’t help keep my focus on the game. Luckily there is a mute button on the remote but that’s a discussion for another time. The offenses in this one struggled as the defenses dominated in the first half as Baylor led 10-3 at the break. The Bears offense would have a little more success in the second half as they went on to outscore the Wildcats 21-9 in the final two quarters. Baylor had some big plays on offense in the second half as they were able to wear down the Kansas State defense as the game went on. Also, it is important to note that QB Charlie Brewer was injured in the fourth quarter and never came back. As of right now, there is still no word on his status. While the Bears made some things happen through the air, it was the ground game and the defense that really made the difference for them. RB John Lovett had two touchdown runs and overall, Baylor averaged over 5 yards a carry so give those big guys up front some credit. On the defensive side of things, the defensive line absolutely dominated. They held Kansas State to just 3.1 yards per carry and were able to sack Skylar Thompson six times in this game. Good defense and a good ground game are a recipe for success on the road and how about Baylor? They now sit at 5-0 and will host Texas Tech next weekend. 1-11 feels like an eternity ago. 

Iowa State (Beat TCU 49-24)

After a bad first half (or first three quarters, I should say) in Waco last weekend, the Cyclones wasted no time finding their beat on offense. QB Brock Purdy was efficient as can be in the game going 19/24 for 247 yards and 4 touchdowns on the day. Not to mention the superb play of wide out Deshaunte Jones who appears to become the number one go to guy for the Cyclones. After a solid offensive and defensive performance in the first half, the Cyclones went into the half leading TCU 21-3. The defense gave up some points in the second half but holding TCU to just 24 points overall is just fine. The Cyclones had 11 drives (Not counting the last drives of each half to chew the clock down) and six of them resulted in touchdowns. What was nice to see was the fact that it didn’t take time for this team to get going offensively. From just about start to finish, the offense kept their foot on the gas pedal and never let up. Next up is a trip to Morgantown to take on the Mountaineers. Also, who cares what color the Cyclones wear? They go the win which is all that matters here. 

Texas (Beat WVU 42-31)

It took Texas a while to get some separation in this game and to be honest it happened because of some WVU turnovers that I will get into when I talk about the Mountaineers. In fact, this was a tight ball game until the fourth quarter when the Longhorns outscored them 21-14 and those two touchdowns given up were late in the game when to game was pretty much sealed already. QB Sam Ehlinger did not have his best performance but he made plays when needed and had four total touchdowns on the day. It was also great to see quarterback turned running back Roschon Johnson have himself a day with 121 yards rushing as he averaged over 5.5 yards per carry. I thought Texas found great ways to run the football and give credit to the offensive line for getting push all game long. Heck, even offensive tackle Samuel Cosmi scored a touchdown on a little trickery. 

While the defense didn’t sack Austin Kendall, they did make some great plays in the secondary as they racked up a total of four picks on the day including a beautiful one-handed pick by D’Shawn Jamison. Morgantown is a tough place to play and for Texas to get away with a win is nothing to overlook. Speaking of overlook, Texas could have easily done that with the Oklahoma game looming, but they didn’t. They came prepared and left with the victory. Next up, is the Cotton Bowl matchup with their arch-rival, Oklahoma. 

 

The Bad

Kansas (Lost 45-20 to Oklahoma)

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Like I mentioned on Twitter, whatever the heck this lady was doing was probably better than the actual game itself.

Anyways, it wasn’t all that bad for Kansas in the first half. They took a 7-0 lead over the Sooners after a beautiful nine play, 98-yard drive that took over five minutes off the clock. In fact, that 7-0 lead to start the game was the first time all season long that Oklahoma trailed in a game. But after that, Kansas would not score again until garbage time in the fourth quarter. Heck, I will give credit to the Jayhawks offense a little bit here. QB Carter Stanley played a clean game throwing for 3 touchdowns and no picks while RB Pooka Williams Jr. did what he could on the ground going for over 100 yards. It was just they could never find their footing again after their first score. The drives stalled out quickly and that’s when the game turned ugly. Defensively, they sold their souls to stop the run game and they got hurt not only in the passing game some but even gave up over 200 yards rushing still. At least they didn’t look as bad as the TCU game than this one and now I just want to know what in the heck the lady made and if she finished her project or not. Anyways, Kansas will have a bye week next weekend. 

West Virginia (Lost 42-31 to Texas)

It wasn’t all bad for the Mountaineers. They were in this game all the way into the fourth quarter. They didn’t try to run the football much which put more pressure on QB Austin Kendall to perform. While Kendall threw for 367 yards and 3 touchdowns, it was his four picks that were extremely costly in this game. In fact, his first two drives in the fourth quarter were picks that Texas was able to capitalize off by scoring two touchdowns. To me, that was a big difference in this ball game was turnovers. Also, WR T.J. Simmons had a good performance as well with 135 yards. Defensively, they let Texas control the game on the ground. Texas held the ball for 36:04 in this game as they rushed for over 200 yards on the day. But still, the offense put the defense in some tough spots late in the game. Who knows what would have happened without the turnovers, but I give credit to this team for putting up a good fight. Next weekend, the Mountaineers will host the Cyclones. 

 

The Ugly

Oklahoma State (Lost 45-35 to Texas Tech)

I understand weird things happen in Lubbock, but I did not see this one coming at all. Oklahoma State got outplayed and out coached in this one. The Cowboys didn’t score a single point in their first nine drives of this game as three drives ended in turnovers, five drives ended in quick punts and one turnover on downs. Oklahoma State didn’t score until there was just 30 seconds left in the first half as they went into the break down 20-7. QB Spencer Sanders looked like a true freshman playing his first road game out there as he had five turnovers in this game (3 picks and 2 fumbles) that put his team in some bad spots. The only real positive for the offense here was RB Chuba Hubbard who rushed for 156 yards and 3 touchdowns.

 The defense like I said had some tough spots to be in, but they made backup quarterback Jett Duffey look like an All-American out there by letting him rip them for over 400 yards and 4 touchdowns. Even though they held Tech to just 2/13 on third down, they gave up too many big plays on first and second down. The Cowboys could never really catch up in this game and it forced their hand on offense a little bit to throw the football more than they would have liked to on the road. This was just a sloppy loss for the Cowboys, and this may have knocked them out of the Big 12 title picture as they now have two losses in Big 12 play and still must play Oklahoma, Baylor and Iowa State. 

TCU (Lost 49-24 to Iowa State)

Another bad loss for TCU. I am not sure where to start but I will start with the offense. This offense had 6 three and outs in this game and put up a measly three points in the first half. Seriously, what is it with TCU and bad first halves this season? QB Max Duggan was awful in the first half and while it was nice to see WR Jalen Reagor get involved more, this team struggled to move the football at times. The run game didn’t work because of the score and the two turnovers certainly didn’t help at all. Heck even backup QB Alex Delton got some snaps in this game. I don’t know what it is, but a change might be necessary at some point at offensive coordinator. Sonny Cumbie has his work cut out for him and you can not have back to back seasons of bad offense or else Gary will find someone else. 

While the offense was bad, the defense wasn’t any better out there. They gave up over 5 yards a carry on the ground and let Brock Purdy go off for four touchdowns on the day. I know the offense didn’t help the defense at all but still, this is not the same Gary Patterson coached defense that we all know. This TCU better get their stuff together or else it is going to be another long season in Fort Worth. I hate to say it, but this looks like a 6-6 team or best case a 7-5 team. 

Kansas State (Lost 31-12)

I didn’t think Kansas State would ever wind up in this ugly column after their 3-0 start, but maybe we have been overrating them a bit. I will start by saying, I can’t really put this one on the defense. They gave up ten points in the first half before they wore down as they had to try and carry this team. Sure, they gave up some big plays but again, I am not going to point at this defense and fault them too much. For the second straight game, this offense has been a disaster. Opponents are stacking up the box and daring Kansas State to throw the football and QB Skylar Thompson just isn’t that guy. If this offense can’t run the football or goes down by two scores, then they are basically screwed in a nutshell. Without WR Malik Knowles, they don’t have any true threats at wide receiver and the offense has as much flavor as a regular bottle of water. Seriously, they didn’t score a touchdown until the fourth quarter and before that, they had just two field goals. The got beat up front and when you are a team who is so heavily reliant on running the football, that is a recipe for disaster and that would perfectly describe their offense right now. Something must change for this Wildcat offense or else they might be staring at a 5-7 or 6-6 record.

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