Baylor Bears

Big 12 Football Week 7: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

NCAA Football: Iowa State at Texas

Another week has come in gone in the Big 12 Conference. After another great Saturday of games (plus a Thursday match up), there is always plenty to discuss. The race for the conference title is in full swing as push through the season. Here is the good, the bad, and ugly from Week 7 in the Big 12.

The Good

West Virginia (Beat Baylor 43-40)

I didn’t see this one coming but kudos to West Virginia for beating Baylor on Thursday night. Obviously, the offense carried the team, but the defense deserves a little credit too. They had a scoop and score and blocked an extra point to get two points of their own. The stars of the game were running back Tony Mathis Jr. and wide receiver Kaden Prather. Tony ran the football extremely well as he had 163 yards and two touchdowns while Prather caught eight passes for 109 yards and a score. Also, give some credit to the offensive line who did an excellent job against a good Baylor front. This was a HUGE win for Neal Brown and should be one that temporarily cools his seat. Could this be the game that turns things around for West Virginia? We will find out soon enough.

 

Oklahoma (Beat Kansas 52-42)

At this point it didn’t matter what the defense did on Saturday as long as this team got back into the win column which they did, beating Kansas 52-42. Having Dillon Gabriel back at quarterback was a huge boost that the offense needed to score all those points. Gabriel finished the day throwing for over 400 yards and had three total touchdowns. It was also great to see the run game get going again with Eric Gray who had a monster game with 176 yards and two scores. While the run game was working, so was Marvin Mims and Brayden Willis who combined for 208 receiving yards. The defense still needs to improve, and I will say that if Dillon Gabriel didn’t play in this game, Oklahoma wouldn’t have won. His health is going to be crucial for this team moving forward.

Texas (Beat Iowa State 24-21)

It wasn’t the best-looking win for Texas over Iowa State, but sometimes winning can be a bit ugly. Quinn Ewers had his up and down moments and thankfully he was able to connect with Xavier Worthy a couple times in key situations. It also helped that Bijan Robinson was more involved as he got 28 carries on the day and ran for 135 yards. The key for Texas was that final scoring drive as the offense put together a big 11-play 75-yard drive when they were down 21-17 in the fourth quarter. After the drive, the defense was able to get a stop to heal seal the deal.

 

TCU (Beat Oklahoma State 43-40)

What a win and what a comeback for TCU over Oklahoma State. They had a rough first half as they found themselves down 24-13 but they flipped a switch in the second half. The offense finally got going in the fourth quarter thanks to the connection between Max Duggan and Quentin Johnston who had another huge game with 180 receiving yards. As good as Max Duggan was late; Kendre Miller was equally as impressive and ended up punching in the game winning score in the second overtime. Much like the Texas win, it wasn’t all sunshine for four quarters, but they found a way to get the job done against a really good football team. With the win, TCU moves to 6-0 on the year and 3-0 in conference play. The question now should be is TCU the best team in the Big 12? We will find out next week when they play Kansas State.

The Bad

Baylor (Lost 43-40 to West Virginia)

It’s hard to blame the offense for Baylor’s loss to West Virginia when they score 40 points. I know there was a drop off when Blake Shapen went out (which was a dirty hit by the way), and Kyron Drones did some nice things except for that final drive. However, the defense for Baylor was jaw dropping because they haven’t played that poorly in a long time. In the last two weeks, Baylor has given up over 30 points. Prior to that, they haven’t given up over 30 points since the 2020 season. This defense gave up 500 yards of offense and let West Virginia go 7 for 13 on third down. Baylor did everything needed to get beat on the road and that is exactly what happened on Thursday night.

 

Iowa State (Lost 24-21 to Texas)

Obviously since the Cyclones lost to Texas, they aren’t in the good portion of this article but there were some positive takeaways from the game. The offense finally showed up after a two-week disappearing act and two out of their three scoring drives went over ten plays which was rare to see. Jaylin Noel had his breakout game and Xavier Hutching put up some big numbers but had a crucial drop. The run game still needs works but overall, the offense looked a lot better.

Now comes the painful part. The Hunter Dekkers fumble was an interesting call to say the least. Prior to that fumble, Xavier Hutchinson dropped a wide-open pass. I have no idea if Iowa State would have ended up scoring or not, but the drop and the fumble played a big part in the game. With that said, I am completely clueless when it comes to the targeting rule, and sometimes the referees are too. Maybe a different crew calls that hit differently but I honestly don’t know. I would like more consistency across the board when it comes to targeting calls.

Oklahoma State (Lost 43-40 to TCU)

How did Oklahoma State lose this game? They were up 14-0 in the blink of an eye and even had a double-digit halftime lead. I know exactly what happened because the offense put it in cruise control instead of putting their foot on the gas pedal. Oklahoma State’s offense got extremely conservative in the second half and then all of a sudden, the defense broke down in the fourth quarter and overtime. The offense scored just six points in the final two quarters (before overtime) after putting up 24 in the first two. I know Spencer Sanders didn’t have his best performance, but I put this loss on the coaching staff more than I do the players. When you are up on the road against a ranked team, you can’t let up and you still need to be aggressive. Oklahoma State went from trying to win the game in the first half to trying not to lose the game in the second half.

 

The Ugly

Kansas (Lost 52-42 to Oklahoma)

Before we get into the ugly part, I do need to give credit to the Kansas offense, despite the 52-42 loss to Oklahoma. Once again without star quarterback Jalon Daniels, Jason Bean did a nice job filling in. The offense did what they could to try and win the game. With that said, the defense was flat out embarrassing. How did they give up 52 points and 701 yards of offense? That is inexcusable and defensive coordinator Brian Borland should be embarrassed for the performance his defense had. They couldn’t get off the field and they had no chance at stopping Oklahoma. I had my doubts about this defense holding up earlier in the year and now this defense is on the verge of a full-on collapse. This team is going to have a tough time winning more games with this defense because they will have to score at least 40 to have a chance.

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