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). It was a wild and whacky weekend in the Big 12. I do not think there is any other way to put it. So, let’s get started, shall we?
Kansas State (Beat Oklahoma 38-35)
Well I do not know how it happened again but give credit to head coach Chris Klieman for beating Oklahoma two years in a row. At the half, Kansas State was down 21-7 before outscoring the Sooners 31-14 in the second half and scoring 24 unanswered points to win the game. And how about the offense? After racking up just 98 yards in the first half, they end the game with 400 yards of offense. That is a night and day difference and give some credit to the Kansas State defense keeping the Sooners in check in the second half to make the comeback possible. Plus, while the ground game was not there for Kansas State with just 66 rushing yards, Skylar Thompson went 18/25 for 334 yards and 4 total touchdowns. He was without a doubt, the MVP for Kansas State on Saturday.
Oklahoma State (Beat West Virginia 27-13)
It was not a pretty start on offense, but it was enough to win with this Oklahoma State defense that has been fantastic so far this season. The Cowboys defense allowed just 13 points and held West Virginia to 68 rushing yards. The two turnovers helped and so did the five sacks for the defense. Fortunately, this defense helped carry this team to a victory. The offense still needs some work as they continue to work out some of the inconsistencies breaking in freshman quarterback Shane Illingworth. After scoring 20 points in the second quarter, the Cowboys only scored one more touchdown that came in the fourth quarter with under two minutes left to play. But it was nice to see the ground game get going with Chuba Hubbard and LD Brown even though Chuba fumbled twice.
Iowa State (Beat TCU 37-34)
Even though the offense started off slow, the Cyclones were able to put up 16 points in the second quarter. But the focus for the offense was all about the run game as Breece Hall rushed for 155 yards and 3 touchdowns on the day. Overall, Iowa State rushed for over 200 yards against a good TCU defense and it felt like the 2019 matchup between these two teams. And even though Brock Purdy had one of the ugliest pass attempts I have ever seen; he did not play all that bad on Saturday. Yes, the defense had six sacks, but it was not ideal giving up 400 yards through the air against TCU. This was a much-needed win for the Cyclones. By the way, JaQuan Bailey is back folks and is looking like a defensive player of the year.
Texas (Beat Texas Tech 63-56 in OT)
Let me start by saying this, this defense belongs in the trash. They do not deserve the Texas offense nor does the special teams outside of Dicker the kicker. The defense gave up 441 yards of offense and 49 points due to one of the Tech scores coming off a muffed punt by Texas. And not to mention, the tackling was about as poor as I have seen over the years. Now with that said, Sam Ehlinger and this offense was good. Ehlinger tossed 5 touchdown passes and Joshua Moore caught three of those. And the ground game was solid racking up 214 yards averaging 4.5 yards per carry. So, I must give credit to the offensive line as well. But what a crazy finish. Texas was down 56-41 with 3:13 left to play and found a way to win on the road. Like I said in my recap of this game, it was not pretty at all, but Texas somehow won this ugly game. Tom Herman, your job is safe. For now.
Baylor (Beat Kansas 47-14)
I am just going to label this game as the Trestan Ebner game. Ebner becomes the first player in Big 12 history to have 1 rushing touchdown, 1 receiving touchdown and 2 kick returns for a touchdown in the same game. With Trestan Ebner’s spectacular performance, the Bears offense did not have to do much through the air with Charlie Brewer. However, the ground game was highly effective racking up over 200 yards on the day. And as for the defense, sure they gave up some yards but giving up 14 points against Kansas is fine. Overall, it was a good opening debut for Baylor.
TCU (Lost 37-34 to Iowa State)
Nothing against backup quarterback Matthew Downing but he just was not getting the job done for TCU. Max Duggan came in early in the third quarter and while it was not always pretty, he made things interesting for TCU. And to me, he looked like he made some improvement from a year ago as he went 16/19 for 241 yards and 3 passing touchdowns in the second half. But Duggan had little help from the run game (just 99 rushing yards on 44 carries) and the pass protection was not very good at all. Maybe things would be different if he had played in the first half, but it was not a good day for the TCU defense as they gave up over 200 yards on the ground and 37 points.
West Virginia (Lost 27-13 to Oklahoma State)
I did not think the defense played that badly. Outside of the second quarter, I thought the defense played fine. Really it was just that long touchdown run by LD Brown that hurt them but really it was the offense who disappointed me. The Mountaineers offense only found the endzone once thanks to a Jarret Doege 70-yard touchdown pass to Winston Wright Jr. but outside of that, the offense was disappointing. The ground game was pathetic as they averaged just 1.6 yards per carry on 42 carries and Doege was sacked five times with one of those sacks resulting in a fumble for an Oklahoma State touchdown. Don’t get me wrong, Oklahoma State has a good defense, but I wanted to see more from the Mountaineers offense.
Texas Tech Texas Tech (Lost 63-56 to Texas)
Ok Texas Tech fans, it is going to be ok and I hope you got this game out of your system after you read this. The defense is hot garbage. There is no dancing around it. This is classic 2010’s Texas Tech defense. You know, the one that never shows up and gets their team into shootouts? Yeah, this is that kind of defense as Texas was scoring at will at times. The special teams were hit and miss. They get a score from a muffed punt but get a punt blocked for a score.
As for the offense, there were some things I liked. Alan Bowman shook some rust off in the first half throwing two picks and really played better in the second half as he finished the day with 325 yards and 5 touchdown passes. I tried telling people that Tech has weapons at wide receiver with T.J. Vasher, Erik Ezukanma and KeSean Carter and they used those weapons on Saturday. The ground game still needs some improvement as SaRodorick Thompson’s 75-yard touchdown run was most Tech’s 116 rushing yards on the day. Of course, being up 56-41 with 3:13 to play and losing is perhaps one of the worst blown games I have ever witnessed in college football. I will finish with this. Tech can hang points on the board, but they will give up just as many if not more.
Oklahoma (Lost 38-35 to Kansas State)
It really was a tale of two halves for the Sooners. Even though Spencer Rattler threw two picks in the first half, the offense still was able to put up 21 points as Rattler tossed three touchdown passes in the first half with one going to Drake Stoops and the other two going to rising star Marvin Mims. And the defense played well allowing just 98 yards and 7 points in the first two quarters to give the Sooners a 21-7 first half lead.
Then the game went south but not until late into the third quarter. Oklahoma scored on two rushing touchdowns in the third quarter and found themselves up 35-14 with 2:46 left in the third quarter. From there, Oklahoma got outscored 24-0 to end the game. Between the penalties on offense, the turnovers, and the poor defensive play, it was just too much for Oklahoma to keep that lead they had. The defense allowed 302 yards in the second half and Kansas State had a field day through the air while allowing Skylar Thompson to hurt them in the red zone with his legs. Oklahoma had Kansas State where they wanted them and failed to finish the game. Kansas State made adjustments that I am not quite sure Oklahoma ever made in the second half.
Kansas (Lost 47-14 to Baylor)
Well, Kansas went up 7-0 early but as you can tell, that did not last long. The special teams were disastrous giving up two kick returns for a score. The defense allowed Baylor to run for over 200 yards and the offense looked like it was lost at times. The Jayhawk started freshman Jalon Daniel and like most true freshman, he played like a true freshman in his first start. He went 19/33 for 159 yards and no touchdowns. I guess if there was any bright spot it was running back Pooka Williams Jr. who rushed for 76-yards and two scores. Outside of that, this looks like an 0-10 season for Kansas. Sorry to be so negative but it is true.
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