It was another wild weekend in the Big 12 from the off-field news to the on-field play. There was plenty of excitement on Saturday and I will break it all down here for you as I share the good, bad, and ugly from week five in the Big 12.
Texas (Beat TCU 32-27)
The game was really about one man, and that man was none other than running back Bijan Robinson. Casey Thompson did not have his best day by any means, but it did not matter because Bijan put the offense on his back and rushed for over 200 yards once again with two touchdowns. When the Longhorns needed a first down, Bijan churned his legs forward and carried defenders for some tough yards. I said it in my thoughts after the game, but Bijan Robinson need to be in the Heisman conversation. Texas struggled to capitalize on turnovers but luckily, they did enough on offense to win the game. Is this team for real? Right now, I would say they belong in the conference title conversation.
Texas Tech (Beat West Virginia 23-20)
I did not see this win for Texas Tech coming especially going to Morgantown. The Red Raiders had one heck of a first half as they led 17-0 going into the break. Offensively, Henry Colombi was playing well, and the defense was aggressive shutting down West Virginia. The game turned in the third quarter, but despite the game being tied, Texas Tech found a way late in the game to put together a game clinching drive as Jonathan Garibay drilled a 32-yard field goal with 18 seconds left. It was a gritty win for Texas Tech, and I loved the way they bounced back especially on defense.
Oklahoma (Beat Kansas State 37-31)
Oklahoma had a big bounce back game on offense. All the talk was about Spencer Rattler and the offense going in and the Sooners responded as they had a total of eight possessions (not counting the final one with 1:20 left) and they scored on seven of those possessions. I thought Spencer was efficient and the run game helped out with Kennedy Brooks. If there was one complaint I would have it would be the penalties. Oklahoma had nine penalties for 85 yards and if they can clean that up and as well as the third down defense then this team should be just fine going forward.
Oklahoma State (Beat Baylor 24-14)
Spencer Sanders did not have his best day, but when you have Tay Martin and Jaylen Warren on your side, good things can happen. Pair that with a great defense and you can do some damage. Tay Martin and Jaylen Warren combined for a total of 235 yards and two touchdowns and Sanders legs added another 76 rushing yards. If not for the turnovers this game would have been well in hand for the Cowboys. Defensively this team is on another level. Outside of one long touchdown run, this defense completely shut down the Baylor offense. All I know is that Oklahoma State is 5-0 and they are a serious Big 12 title contender after Saturday.
Iowa State (Beat Kansas 59-7)
Did I learn anything about Iowa State after this game? Not really, but I was a little impressed to see the Cyclones have a 28-0 lead in the first quarter. Brock Purdy had four touchdown passes and even backup Hunter Dekkers had a nice 41-yard touchdown run. Breece Hall also added 123 yards and two scores and it was nice to see Iowa State keep their foot on the gas pedal and not look back. Plenty of backups got playing time here which is always good because young guys need the reps, and it was good that the special teams had a bounce back week as well.
TCU (Lost to Texas 32-27)
For the second week in a row, this defense makes me scratch my head. They gave up 350 rushing yards against SMU and Gary Patterson knew that Texas was coming to Fort Worth to run the football yet the could not stop Bijan Robinson. Texas rushed for over 5 yards per carry as the Frogs looked clueless on how to stop the run. Offensively, I am confused as well. Why did Max Duggan have more carries (16) than Zach Evans (15)? Duggan had 33 rushing yards while Evans ran for 113 yards averaging 7.5 yards per carry. Clean up the defense and start handing the ball off to Zach Evans.
Kansas State (Lost to Oklahoma 37-31)
While it was great to get Skylar Thompson back at quarterback, he is going to need some help from his defense. Kansas State did a nice job early on to limit the possessions in this game but when your defense gives up a score on basically every drive, then it puts a ton of pressure on the offense. Thompson threw for over 300 yards and 3 scores, but the run game was really a non-factor for this offense. Also, one of these receivers is going to have to step up. Deuce Vaughn is not only the best running back, but he is also the best receiver on this team. There were a few drops in this game and Kansas State needs to address that. I like that Skylar Thompson is back, but I don’t like the way this defense is trending.
Baylor (Lost to Oklahoma State 24-14)
I did not like the way Baylor looked on Saturday night in Stillwater. It was not the team I saw a week ago against Iowa State. The offense was bad and outside of one long touchdown run by Abram Smith, they basically did nothing. Gerry Bohanon never looked comfortable, and they went 3 of 15 on third down. Also, they were gifted three turnovers and failed to do anything with that. While the defense got the turnovers, I thought they did not have their best night either giving up over 200 yards on the ground. Perhaps the biggest issue was the penalties. Baylor had nine penalties against Iowa State last weekend, and they had nine once again on Saturday.
West Virginia (Lost to Texas Tech 23-20)
I don’t think the defense had much to do with this loss at all. The finger pointing should all go towards the offense in this game. West Virginia failed to score a single point in the first half and had just 109 yards of offense in the first two quarters. Quarterback Jarret Doege had just 42 passing yards and had a fumble during that time as the offense was stagnant. To my surprise, Neal Brown brought Doege back out and while he did have a nice third quarter, he dropped off once again in the fourth quarter. I have said it before, but West Virginia has a good defense, and they have some nice weapons on offense, but it is the quarterback position that has been holding this program back. Maybe it is time to give Garrett Greene the reins to this offense and move towards the future. Also, one stat I did not know is that after this loss, Neal Brown is 0-3 against Texas Tech.
Kansas (Lost to Iowa State 59-7)
I don’t really have much to say here at all. The Jayhawks were down 28-0 after the first quarter and it was basically over from there. Later in the game Kansas faced a ton of backups and yet they still managed to only score seven points. I am sure I have said it before, but I would be shocked if Kansas did not go 1-11 this year.
The Big 12 Refs
I felt like they were a big problem this weekend. I know they are an issue during most weekends but this one was bad. The Texas/TCU turned into a flag throwing contest with over 15 penalties and then we had the Oklahoma/Kansas State replay debacle along with plenty of flags in that game. I also watched the Baylor/Oklahoma State game and there were a few head scratching moments as well from the officiating crew.