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 eight in the Big 12.
Kansas State (Beat Texas Tech 25-24)
Kansas State had an awful start to the game, faling behind 14-0 early. You couldn’t script a worse way to start the game for them and even at halftime, they were down by two scores. But for some reason or another, they found themselves in the second half outscoring Texas Tech 15-0 on their way to a 25-24 win in Lubbock. The defense shut Texas Tech down completely and even had a safety to help out on the scoreboard. It wasn’t pretty by any means, but Kansas State found a way to win on the road and stay in bowl contention. Chris Klieman needed a win and he got one.
Iowa State (Beat Oklahoma State 24-21)
I’ll start by giving some credit to the defense because they played one hell of a game. They shut down the Oklahoma State rushing attack as they allowed just 3.3 yards per rush. They forced Spencer Sanders to throw the football and while he did a good job, Iowa State defensive sack specialist Will McDonald IV took over the game late to help seal the 24-21 win over the Cowboys.
Offensively, I said this last week, but Brock Purdy is playing the best football of his career. Oklahoma State sold out to stop the run and Purdy put together a magical performance going 27/33 for 307 yards and 2 touchdown passes. His favorite target was Xavier Hutchinson who despite getting a touchdown called back, still had a great game with 2 touchdowns and 125 yards receiving. Want to hear a crazy stat? In Brock Purdy’s last three games, he has thrown for a total of 760 passing yards, 7 passing touchdowns and as thrown zero interceptions while completing 82.3% of his passes. He is playing at an elite level, and it is because of Brocktober. It is real, folks.
West Virginia (Beat TCU 29-17)
Welcome back to the win column West Virginia. It’s been awhile, but it’s good to see you here. The defense played excellent and despite TCU scoring 17 points, only 10 of those were allowed by the defense. No matter how many yards they allowed, when you give up just 10 points, that’s worth complementing. That defense deserves a ton of credit, and they were able to get some key turnovers as well to help the offense.
Speaking of the offense, it was one of the few times this year where I saw the run game takeover. Leddie Brown is an all-conference caliber running back and against TCU, he ran for over 100 yards and had 3 rushing scores. The Mountaineers came to Fort Worth, played great defense, and ran the football. That is a set up for success playing on the road and they were able to get a big win to help save their bowl hopes.
Oklahoma (Beat Kansas 35-23)
This is the first time I put a team that won in the bad category, but I couldn’t help myself here. Oklahoma was a 38-point favorite in Lawrence on Saturday and the score here doesn’t tell the story. The Sooners were down 10-0 at halftime and were getting embarrassed by a bad Kansas team. It was the first-time being shutout at halftime since 2014 and the Sooners had just 78 yards of offense.
Luckily, they were able to wake up on offense in the second half scoring 35 points. The ground game got going and it was able to help Caleb Williams get going as well. Also, without that heads up play on fourth down, this could have ended up going the wrong way for Oklahoma. As for the defense, missed tackles were once again a big issue and they failed throughout the game to slow down the Kansas offense giving up over 400 yards. This is not the defense I was expecting at this point in the season, but the Sooners are 8-0 for the first time since 2004.
Kansas (Lost 35-23 to Oklahoma)
It’s not often that Kansas is on the bad list due to the fact that they are in the ugly column every weekend. However, this Saturday was different because they showed some fight against a top five team in the country. They had a shocking 10-0 lead at halftime, and it was their largest lead against an FBS team this season.
Unfortunately, the second half didn’t go their way as they were outscored 35-13. Kansas would outgain Oklahoma 412-398 but just couldn’t keep up their first half effort in the final two quarters. I thought quarterback Jason Bean played his best conference game and running back Devin Neal had a good day with 100 yards on the ground. At the end of the day, they fell short, but I am going to give Lance Leipold a tip of the cap for the effort. That Kansas team had some fight in them.
Oklahoma State (Lost 24-21 to Iowa State)
I don’t often give credit to teams following a loss, but I have a lot of respect for this Oklahoma State team. Their defensive effort was there, and they just fell a little bit short at the end of the game on a controversial fourth down call. Iowa State shut down their run game and forced Spencer Sanders to throw the football and he actually did quite well. Sanders didn’t turn the football over and threw for three passing scores, which may be one of his best passing performances in his career. If there was a big critique of the offense it was on third down as the Cowboys converted on just 20% of their third down plays. While this is their first loss of the year, Oklahoma State still controls their own destiny if they win out.
Texas Tech (Lost 25-24 to Kansas State)
How in the world did Texas Tech lose this game? They had a 14-0 lead in the blink of an eye, and it slowly crumbled away. Even at halftime, Tech had a 14-point lead and then went scoreless in the second half. For once I thought the Texas Tech defense wasn’t that bad, but it was the offense that deserves most of the blame. After scoring 24 points in the first half, Texas Tech had a total of four drives in the second half. In those four drives, the Red Raiders had a safety, a punt and turned it over on downs twice. 115 yards of offense in the second half wasn’t going to cut it and, in the end, their offensive woes cost them the game. Texas Tech may still be 5-3 after the loss, but when you look at the rest of their schedule, I have a hard time seeing them winning another game this season.
TCU (Lost 29-17 to West Virginia)
I am not even sure what to say about this team and program anymore. The offense in this game was pathetic, scoring just 10 of their 17 points. Defensively, this team can’t stop the run at all. They have the second worst run defense in the Big 12 and they let West Virginia run on them for over 200 yards. Before the game on Saturday, West Virginia had the worst rushing offense in the conference and TCU struggled to stop them on the ground. The excuses are starting to run out in Fort Worth and now for the fourth year in a row, TCU is on a path to mediocrity. The Horned Frogs are now 3-4 after the loss and in their last 31 conference games, they have a 13-18 record. Is it time for a change at TCU? We can’t call the conversation crazy anymore.