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 11 in the Big 12.
West Virginia (Beat Oklahoma 23-20)
West Virginia doesn’t find themselves on my good side of the list very often, but they earned it on Saturday after a win against Oklahoma. Quarterback JT Daniels was benched for Garrett Greene and that move helped the Mountaineers find a spark on offense. Greene isn’t the most polished passer, but he can make plays with his legs as he rushed for a team high 119 yards and two scores. Anytime this offense needed a first down, he was able to pick it up and helped set up the winning score late in the game. As the offense found life, the defense did an excellent job on third down holding Oklahoma to go just 1/11 on third down. The offense made plays when they needed to, and the defense got off the field. This ended up being the first time West Virginia beat Oklahoma since joining the Big 12 and I have no doubt in my mind that Neal Brown needs to start Garrett Greene next week against Kansas State.
Oklahoma State (Beat Iowa State 20-14)
Shout out to the defense who played much better in this game compared to their last two where they gave up a total of 85 points. Derek Mason’s defense got five takeaways against Iowa State which helped win the game. However, the reason Oklahoma State truly won this game was because of Spencer Sanders who helped save the day. Gunnar Gundy got the start in this game and outside of the big 83-yard touchdown pass, he didn’t do much as he went just 4/11 for 20 yards and two picks. Finally late in the third quarter, we got to see Sanders and in just his second drive, he led Oklahoma State to the end zone. Without the help of Sanders, Oklahoma State wouldn’t have won this game. My only question is what took him so long to come in? If he was healthy enough to play, then he should have come in sooner or started the game.
Texas Tech (Beat Kansas 43-28)
While it was nice to see Tyler Shough back in action for Texas Tech, it was even better to see that ground game get going for the offense. The Red Raiders rushed for a whopping 264 yards against Kansas as they averaged 5.5 yards per carry. Shough didn’t need to do a ton with his arm as Texas Tech ran the ball 48 times. It’s clear that the staff wanted to establish the run game and they did just that. Defensively, they buckled down in the second half after giving up 21 points and 341 yards in the first half. The game really slowed down in the final two quarters thanks to the run game and the defense getting some stops.
Kansas State (Beat Baylor 31-3)
If there was a team who made a statement on Saturday it was the Kansas State Wildcats. The defense was lights out as they held Baylor to just three points. Even with Adrian Martinez going down early, Will Howard stepped in and did a fantastic job as he threw three touchdown passes on the evening. Deuce Vaughn had a good game and so did Ben Sinnott who led the team with 89 receiving yards. As much as I respect Adrian Martinez this team has a different feel to it when Will Howard is the quarterback. I believe that Howard should be the guy moving forward as Kansas State looks to win out to get to the Big 12 title game.
TCU (Beat Texas 17-10)
TCU didn’t impress many people with their offense on the national stage, but did you see their defense? They held Bijan Robinson to just 29 rushing yards on 12 carries. That defense also held Texas to go just 1/13 on third down and held them to under 200 yards. Where are the people who say the Big 12 doesn’t play defense now? They are awfully quiet. And don’t let the ten points fool you, the lone Texas touchdown came from a scoop and score late in the game which means the defense didn’t give up a single touchdown. Thanks to the defense and Kendre Miller’s rushing performance, TCU was able to get the win down in Austin and move to 10-0. Not only are the Horned Frogs unbeaten but they also clinched a spot in the Big 12 title game with the win.
Oklahoma (Lost 23-20 to West Virginia)
The defense had trouble slowing down the rushing attack of Garrett Greene but this game falls on the offense and the coaching staff. Dillon Gabriel missed a ton of throws on Saturday, and I can’t even imagine what this offense would look like without running back Eric Gray. The talented running back finished his day with over 200 yards rushing. To me, Gray isn’t a main feature of the offense because he is the offense. Also, I was a little surprised to see the Sooners send out kicker Zach Schmit on their final offensive drive. It was a fourth and three from the West Virginia 29-yard line. The weather was nasty, and a 46-yard kick isn’t easy even in perfect conditions. Somehow, this team is finding ways to lose games instead of winning them.
Kansas (Lost 43-28 to Texas Tech)
Kansas kept up with Texas Tech in the first half and that was about it. The defense gave up a lot in the first two quarters, but the offense managed to put up 21 points and nearly 350 yards at halftime. Unfortunately, they fell apart in the second half. The offense went cold, and the defense continued to struggle against the run as they gave up 264 rushing yards. If you can’t stop the run, then you are going to be in trouble and that is what happened to Kansas in Lubbock on Saturday night.
Iowa State (Lost 20-14 to Oklahoma State)
Forget about the score here because this game was ugly to watch if you are an Iowa State fan. Of course, the defense did everything they could to win the game but once again the offense let them down. Iowa State had FIVE turnovers. I don’t care what the defense does because you can’t turn the ball over five times and expect to win the game. Hunter Dekkers looked bad, the run game was non-existent, and the offensive line took three steps back against Oklahoma State. Not to mention, the bad drop by Jaylin Noel late in the game. I have seen a lot of bad offense this season in the Big 12 but this was one of the worst offensive performances I have seen so far.
Baylor (Lost 31-3 to Kansas State)
This was supposed to be a great game for Baylor. It was a night game at McLane Stadium and the stage was set for the Bears to get the job done. Instead, they pulled a complete no show. The defense didn’t have their best performance, but it was the offense who looked completely lost. Blake Shapen struggled, and the run game wasn’t going to work due to the score. This offense lacks a playmaker at receiver like they have had in years past. They don’t have a Denzel Mims or a Tyquan Thornton to take over a game and it has showed in the passing game. This was by far one of their worst performances in the last two years and now they are on the outside looking in when it comes to the Big 12 title race.
Texas (Lost 17-10 to TCU)
I will give the defense credit for holding a good TCU offense to under 20 points. With that out of the way, what happened to this offense? Bijan Robinson was a non-factor rushing for just 29 yards and Quinn Ewers seems to be getting worse by the week. He continued to miss open receivers and didn’t look very good at all. Texas had a big opportunity on Saturday night and the offense looked completely clueless out there. The Longhorns aren’t completely out of the Big 12 title picture just yet, but they will need to win out and get some help which won’t likely happen.