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 seven 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 TCU, Oklahoma State, Kansas and Kansas State were off.
Oklahoma (Beat Texas 34-27)
It certainly wasn’t the prettiest first half of offensive football in the Lincoln Riley era. QB Jalen Hurts had two costly turnovers in the first half as the Sooners had a 10-3 halftime lead. Speaking of a 10-3 lead at half, HOW ABOUT THAT OKLAHOMA DEFENSE? Holding Texas to just three points and 88 total yards of offense in the first half. Things got a little more interesting in the second half, but Oklahoma made plays when they needed to on offense. Jalen Hurts found CeeDee Lamb for three touchdowns on the day and he is still probably out in the Cotton Bowl dragging Texas defenders on his way to the endzone. Lamb finished the day with 171 receiving yards and 3 touchdowns as he cemented his place in this rivalry’s history. While Jalen Hurts made some mistakes in the first half, he finished strong in the second half by taking care of the football and making plays. We can keep talking about the offense, but this game was about the Sooners defense. They held Texas to just 100 rushing yards on the day and gave Sam Ehlinger fits all game long sacking him nine times. It appears that defensive coordinator Alex Grinch is worth every penny and the Sooners look like a serious playoff contender as the Golden Hat makes its way back to Norman, Oklahoma.
Baylor (Beat Texas Tech 33-30 in 2 OT)
What a wild crazy finish, after a 6-3 game at halftime, we finally saw some offensive action. At halftime, I really wanted to get to Waco and start digging out those Big 12 logos on the field and paint them with Big Ten logos because that first half was an eye sore to watch. QB Charlie Brewer threw three picks in this game after coming in not throwing a single interception all season long. Although his passing wasn’t at his best, he did manage to rush for three scores with his legs which proved to be crucial. It wasn’t pretty by any means, but Baylor just made enough plays to get the job done on both sides of the ball. The Bears defense gave up over 500 yards on the day and had ten total penalties. It seemed like the Bears did everything they could to lose this game but again, they did just enough to escape by in double overtime. I’ll get more into the officiating on this game on the Texas Tech side of things but what is important here is that Baylor is 6-0 on the season.
Iowa State (Beat West Virginia 38-14)
I must give credit to the Iowa State defense here. Even down a few starters, they dominated this game. I know Austin Kendall left the game early due to an injury, but they essentially gave up just one touchdown on the day since West Virginia’s other score come from a bobbled pass turned pick six. Even with the score tied at 14, the defense held the Mountaineers scoreless in the second half and to just 44-yards of offense. They absolutely dominated this game on the road to set the tone. Offensively, it was an odd day for the Cyclones. They were a little out of sorts in the first half including that bobbled pick six, but I will look past that due to what this offense did after that. Freshman running back Breece Hall had his signature game rushing for 132 yards and 3 touchdowns and just as I thought Johnnie Lang would be the go-to back for this offense, Breece stole the show. Also, it was weird to see wide out Deshaunte Jones not make a catch. He played and was targeted just once I believe. Anyways, thanks to good performances by Breece Hall, Brock Purdy and La’Michael Pettway, the Cyclones were able to outscore the Mountaineers 24-0 in the second half.
Texas (Lost 34-27 to Oklahoma)
Yikes, this was a bad game for Texas. The offense was bad outside of a couple runs by RB Roschon Johnson and how about this Texas offensive line. They ran their mouth all week long about how Oklahoma was not that great on the defensive front and they got absolutely dominated for a tune of nine sacks. The run game wasn’t there, and neither was the pass protection. The Sooners made the Texas offense look average and they were by far the more physical team on Saturday. As for the Texas defense, they bent like hell, but they didn’t break as much as they could have. They held Oklahoma to just ten points in the first half and were able to force a few key turnovers to keep the Longhorns in this game. I don’t think the defense was terrible by any means but what is interesting moving forward is going to be the health of this secondary and the tackling which was awful. Those things are going to needed to be addressed if Texas wants to reach the Big 12 title game. Overall, the Sooners wanted it more and they were the better team by far. Texas is lucky that Oklahoma didn’t make this look worse on the scoreboard.
Texas Tech (Lost 33-30 to Baylor in 2 OT)
I really hate to put Texas Tech in my bad column because I respect the hell out of this football team. Down their starting quarterback, they have tailored this offense to become an offense that tries to manage a football game and let their defense keep them in ball games. That’s not easy to do but give credit to head coach Matt Wells for making the most out of the situation. However, despite some mistakes by QB Jett Duffey, the offense still managed to put up over 500 yards on the day. They gave the Baylor defense all they could handle through the air and on the ground as RB SaRodorick Thompson rushed for 153 yards and 2 touchdowns including the late score to take the lead with a minute and a half left in regulation. It was sloppy on both sides at times and unfortunately for both teams, the refs didn’t help. Of course, I must mention the phantom “illegal snap” penalty that was thrown in overtime as the Baylor center snapped the ball against his leg as Tech recovered the ball. Instead, a late flag was thrown for the “illegal snap” and Baylor was able to keep the ball and score. If you ask me, that should have been Red Raider ball with an opportunity to win the game on the other end of the field. However, it didn’t shake out like that and I feel bad for Matt Wells who deserves one heck of an explanation from the Big 12 on Monday for that botched call. If you are a Texas Tech fan, don’t hang your head about this. Tech played their butt off and just came up short.
West Virginia (Lost 38-14 to Iowa State)
Boy, this is one game you would like to forget if you are a Mountaineer fan. QB Austin Kendall got hurt on the first Mountaineer drive of the game and that forced backup QB Jack Allison to finish the game. Allison was only able to put together one scoring drive the entire game as the other score came by way of a pick six. The run game was nonexistent rushing for 41 yards averaging just 1.5 yards per carry while Allison wasn’t bad, but he just didn’t make any big plays. Like I mentioned earlier, the Mountaineers were only able to muster 44-yards of offense in the second half as they got outscored 24-0 in the final two quarters after being tied at halftime. There isn’t much more to say about West Virginia and I must wonder how long will Austin Kendall be out? I hate to say it, but a bowl game seems like a longshot for this team now.
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