Another week has come in gone in the Big 12 Conference. After another great Saturday of games, there is always plenty to discuss and the race for the conference title is in full swing as we push through the season. Here is the good, the bad, and ugly from Week 9 in the Big 12.
TCU (Beat West Virginia 41-31)
The Horned Frogs struggled defensively and got into a little bit of a shootout, but they still found a way to win. Max Duggan threw for 341 yards and 3 touchdowns while Kendre Miller led the rushing attack with 120 yards and a score. Every time West Virginia scored, TCU’s offense would respond in a big way. You can say whatever you want about this team, but they are now 8-0 on the season and I hope the College Football Playoff Committee shows them some respect when the first rankings come out.
Oklahoma (Beat Iowa State 27-13)
It wasn’t always pretty but Oklahoma got their first conference road win of the season. Dillon Gabriel struggled but luckily the run game was working for the offense. The Sooners rushed for 182 yards led by Eric Gray who rushed for 101 yards and a score. However, the most impressive thing for Oklahoma was their defense. For the first time in a long time, they looked competitive on that side of the ball, and they were able to get three turnovers.
Kansas State (Beat Oklahoma State 48-0)
Every single thing Kansas State did against Oklahoma State was good. From the offense scoring a ton of points and the defense pitching a shutout, it was all smooth sailing for the Wildcats on Saturday afternoon. Even without Adrian Martinez, Will Howard stepped in and threw for 296 yards and four touchdowns. Meanwhile Deuce Vaughn got the job done on the ground rushing for 158 yards. It was also great to see Malik Knowles and Kade Warner get involved in the passing game as they combined for 210 yards and two touchdowns. I didn’t see this coming at all but give credit to Kansas State for dominating a good Oklahoma State team. This ended up being their largest victory over a Big 12 opponent since 2010 when they beat Kansas 59-7.
Baylor (Beat Texas Tech 45-17)
Forget about Blake Shapen because this was all about the run game for Baylor in a 45-17 win. Last week against Kansas I felt like the got away from the run game at times and it nearly cost them. But against Texas Tech, this offense ran the football 59 times for a total of 231 yards. Richard Reese was the star of the game as he rushed for 148 yards and three touchdowns. Between the ground attack and the defense getting five turnovers, that is what helped Baylor get the big win on the road. With the victory, Baylor keeps their Big 12 title hopes alive.
West Virginia (Lost 41-31 to TCU)
West Virginia may have lost the game, but they looked like a completely different team against TCU. Last week against Texas Tech, they looked pathetic as they got blown out. On Saturday, they kept up with TCU as the offense found some life. CJ Donaldson had a good game on the ground and JT Daniels looked much better than he did a week ago. However, the problem with this team is defensively. They have given up 38 or more points in all five of their Big 12 games this season.
Iowa State (Lost 27-13 to Oklahoma)
I feel like a broken record at this point when I talk about Iowa State. Their defense will continue to keep them in games, but their offense continues to struggle. Even after looking decent against Texas and coming off a bye week, this offense took steps back instead of taking steps forward. The run game is still non-existent which isn’t helping out Hunter Dekkers at all. Right now, Dekkers is rattled and is trying to make too much happen. He threw three interceptions against Oklahoma and while one was certainly questionable the other two were downright bad. Honestly it is a shame that this defense has to play with this offense because they deserve so much better. With the loss, Iowa State falls to 3-5 and 0-5 in Big 12 play.
Oklahoma State (Lost 48-0 to Kansas State)
There is always at least one team in my ugly column, but this was by far the worst performance by a Big 12 team this season. Oklahoma State did nothing, and I mean NOTHING good in this game. Spencer Sanders was terrible; the run game was useless, and the defense couldn’t stop Kansas State at all. Sanders ended up getting hurt late in the game and backup Gunnar Gundy took over. Despite the change, the offense still couldn’t do anything and take a look at this pre-snap video with Gunnar Gundy at quarterback.
This ended up being the worst loss in the Mike Gundy era and I am truly baffled at the performance of this team on Saturday. The question is, will they bounce back?
Texas Tech (Lost 45-17 to Baylor)
Despite Baylor scoring 45 points, I am not going to blame this 45-17 loss to the Bears on the defense. I am putting this on the offense and the coaching staff for their poor performance. Behren Morton got the start, and he struggled in the first half. He finally found his rhythm in the second half putting together back-to-back touchdown drives. Then out of nowhere, he was benched for Donovan Smith who quickly threw an interception. After Smith got his turn, Morton went back in and turned the ball over again. Once that happened the coaching staff put Tyler Shough in the game and his very first pass since the season opener ended up being a pick six to help seal the deal for Baylor. I know Morton threw a few picks in the game, but I don’t understand benching a quarterback who led them to back-to-back scoring drives. It didn’t make sense to me during the game, and it doesn’t make sense after the game either.