Week 12 is officially in the books as the Big 12 Conference had yet another exciting weekend. The action started early Saturday morning in Provo and ended Saturday night in Ames. Here are the good, bad, and ugly from Week 12 in the Big 12.
Oklahoma Escaped Provo (Beat BYU 31-24)
By no means did the Sooners play their best football on the road in Provo. After crushing West Virginia a week ago, Oklahoma looked like a completely different team. The defense was gashed in the running game and was fortunate to get a couple of turnovers to change the game. Meanwhile, the offense was a bit confusing at times and Dillon Gabriel ended up getting injured and sat out the entire second half. Luckily for Oklahoma, they had Jackson Arnold ready to go and he made some key throws. I know they won but I felt like Oklahoma played down to their competition here.
West Virginia’s Rushing Attack (Beat Cincinnati 42-21)
How about this West Virginia offense? They ran for a whopping 424 yards on the ground and Garrett Greene rushed for three touchdowns in this game. Freshman Jahiem White also came up big as well with 204 yards and a score. The Mountaineers controlled the game the entire time and dominated the line of scrimmage. Now this team has a chance to win eight games next weekend if they can beat Baylor on the road.
Josh Hoover Put on a Show (TCU beat Baylor 42-17)
Josh Hoover has had his up-and-down-moments this season, but he put on a show on Saturday afternoon against Baylor. Hoover threw for 412 yards and two touchdowns on the day and added another on the ground as well. His favorite target? It was tight end Jared Wiley who went off for 178 yards and two scores. TCU was firing on all cylinders offensively to keep their bowl hopes alive.
Oklahoma State’s Second Half (Beat Houston 43-30)
In the first 28 minutes of this game, Oklahoma State looked lifeless. I thought the UCF may have broken this team for good, but I was wrong. This team went from down 23-9 to 23-19 in the final two minutes of the first half. From there, Ollie Gordon took over as he rushed for 164 yards and three touchdowns. Meanwhile, Brennan Presley had himself a game with 189 yards receiving. Between the run game and the defense in the second half, Oklahoma State was able to pull away with ease. Now they are just one win away from punching their ticket to Jerry World.
Texas Tech is Going Bowling (Beat UCF 24-23)
It was a close battle in Lubbock between Texas Tech and UCF. Both teams made their fair share of mistakes but in the end, the Red Raiders held on. Tahj Brooks was big once again for this offense as he rushed for 182 yards and a touchdown. Brooks now has eight 100-plus yard games this season and he has been the go-to man all season long. Even when this team got down early, they gave the ball to their best player and made the most of it. Congrats Tech, you are going bowling.
Kansas State Wins 15th Straight Sunflower Showdown (Beat Kansas 31-27)
Despite some defensive issues, Kansas State’s offense came in to save the day. Will Howard struggled throwing the football, but his legs helped Kansas State take the lead in the fourth quarter. The Wildcats ran for 166 yards against their rival as DJ Giddens led the way with 102 yards and a score. And as bad as Kansas State’s defense was early on, they were able to lock down Kansas when it mattered most.
Ten Win Texas (Beat Iowa State 26-16)
I must give credit where credit is due because this Texas team showed me something. They are different than the previous teams. While the defense dominated all came long (especially up front), the offense sputtered in the first half as they only scored six points. However, they finally got things going in the second half. Quinn Ewers was more efficient, and the run game took off with CJ Baxter. Despite some things not going their way in the first half, they adjusted and finished the game strong. Texas has now won ten games in the regular season for the first time since 2009 and is a win away from clinching a Big 12 title game berth.
I know the defense had some bad moments in this game, but this team can’t afford to turn the ball over three times and expect to beat a team like Oklahoma. It’s unfortunate because this was the first time all season that BYU was dominant on the ground as they rushed for 217 yards. That was unexpected considering the fact that they were averaging just 90 rushing yards per game coming in. Also, I really like quarterback Jake Retzlaff. He can make some plays outside of the pocket. Now BYU will have to beat Oklahoma State next weekend if they want to go bowling.
Houston Collapsed (Lost 43-30 to Oklahoma State)
I really thought Houston had the chance to pull off a major upset. They dominated the first 28 minutes of the game before Donovan Smith threw a bad interception to give Oklahoma State some life. After ending the first half on a sour note, Houston came out flat in the second half and only scored seven points. Between the turnovers and the ten penalties, it was just too much to play a complete game. I swear that this team finds a way to shoot themselves in the foot time and time again.
UCF Didn’t Play a Full Game (Lost 24-23 to Texas Tech)
The Knights got off to a hot start in this one as they jumped out to a quick 14-0 lead. RJ Harvey scored a pair of touchdowns early before UCF just fell flat for three quarters. They had a missed kick and a blocked extra point that proved to be costly as well. John Rhys Plumlee didn’t have his best day either. Overall, it was a disappointing loss for UCF, but the good news is that they still can become bowl-eligible with a win over Houston next weekend.
Kansas Couldn’t Finish (Lost 31-27 to Kansas State)
This team had Kansas State on the ropes, and they let them escape. Kansas had a 27-16 lead in the fourth quarter and couldn’t finish them off. As disappointing as the loss was, I thought Kansas showed tremendous fight. Being a third-string quarterback, the Jayhawks were able to make some things happen and Devin Neal went off for 138 yards and three touchdowns. It’s just unfortunate that their effort fell short on Saturday, but I will say that this rivalry game is going to be fun to watch as long as Lance Leipold stays in Lawrence.
Iowa State’s (Lost 26-16 to Texas)
The stage was set up perfectly for Iowa State to knock off Texas. Primetime in Ames with a rocking crowd behind them, I mean what more could you ask for? The difference between these two came in the trenches. The Texas defensive line shut down Iowa State’s run game and held them to just nine yards on the ground. That put a lot more pressure on Rocco Becht to make plays with his arm. While Rocco didn’t have a bad game, it was just too much to overcome without the presence of a run game. I thought the defense did a good job holding up for the most part, but Iowa State’s offense outside of a play here and there wasn’t consistent enough to win the game.
Cincinnati (Lost 42-21 to West Virginia)
This game was never close. Cincinnati had no answer for West Virginia’s rushing attack as they gave up over 400 yards on the ground in Morgantown. Meanwhile, the offense didn’t do anything until the fourth quarter in garbage time. There really wasn’t anything positive for Cincinnati in this game but I guess the good news is that they only have one game left and the fans can move on to 2024.
Baylor (Lost 42-17 to TCU)
Much like Cincinnati, there wasn’t much to say here about Baylor. They hung around for two quarters before getting blown out. The offense couldn’t get anything going and the defense made a ton of mistakes. With the loss, this team now falls to 3-7 on the year. In Dave Aranda’s last 15 games, he is 4-11. Ouch.