I hear it all the time, “Who has the best conference in college football?” SEC? Big 10? ACC? What about the Pac-12? Very rarely are you going to hear the words “Big 12” coming out of someone’s mouth in that conversation. Whether you do it or not, there are plenty of folks out there who love to bash the Big 12 conference (cough, Paul Finebaum, cough). Week six saw plenty of great and unexpected action. We saw a double OT game, a close game, a blowout and an upset for the ages. As always, there was the good, the bad and the downright ugly.
Texas Tech Rushing Attack (TTU beat KU 65-19)
Maybe it is just me, but I can’t remember the last time Texas Tech rushed for over 300 yards in a game. After a rough week last week against the OSU defense, this Tech rushing attack came back from the dead in a big way on Saturday. RB Justin Stockton took charge and rushed for 161 yards on 15 carries while fellow RB Desmond Nisby rushed for 93 yards and 4 touchdowns. Tre King and Demarcus Felton combined for over 70 yards in garbage time to contribute as well. Look, I know it’s Kansas but still, anytime you can rush for over 300 yards in a game against a Power 5 school is damn impressive in my book. Kudos to the Texas Tech offensive line as well.
Texas QB Sam Ehlinger (Texas beat KSU 40-34 in 2 OT)
After this game, I think we can all agree that Sam Ehlinger must be the quarterback going forward. It is obvious that he has been a key piece that Texas has been missing since the Colt McCoy days. This past weekend he passed for 380 yards and two touchdowns against a very tough Kansas State defense. How much did the Texas offense rely on him? Ehlinger rushed the ball 20 times (14 more than anyone else) and rushed for over 100 yards. What amazes me is that he is a true freshman and the coaching staff is putting the game directly on him and he just keeps delivering week in and week out.
ISU QB Kyle Kempt (ISU beat OU 38-31)
So, a backup Iowa State quarterback earns Big 12 offensive player of the week and beats Oklahoma in Norman for the first time in 27 years? Yeah, he has earned a spot on this list and then some. Kempt was cool, calm and collected on Saturday and not once was the moment too big for him. He went 18/24 and threw for 343 yards with 3 touchdown passes. His performance this past weekend will be something that Cyclone fans will be talking about for generations to come. Seriously, who thought Iowa State could
knock off the Sooners in Norman?
Kansas Defense (Lost 65-19 to Texas Tech)
Honestly, at this point Kansas could very well be in the bad or ugly section of this article every week from here on out. After giving up 288 rushing yards last week to WVU, Kansas takes another step back this past weekend giving up over 300 rushing yards to Texas Tech! That’s right, Texas Tech, an air-raid team. The Jayhawks are giving up an average of over 500 yards a game to opposing offenses and after playing Iowa State this weekend, KU has to play TCU. The Horned Frogs will be licking their chops running Darius Anderson and Kyle Hicks against this poor defense. At some point, defensive coordinator Clint Bowen needs to be held responsible for this abomination that Kansas calls a defense. They have taken about five steps back from last year’s defense.
WVU Interception Call (Lost 31-24 to TCU)
Alright TCU fans, hate me if you want to but I thought West Virginia got absolutely screwed by the Big 12 refs (Nothing new here). There was about three minutes left in the game, TCU was at the WVU 34-yard line and the game was tied at 24. TCU QB Kenny Hill threw a pass towards the sideline and it was picked off by WVU’s Elijah Battle near the pylon. Initially the ruling on the field was an interception. Just about every replay angle that I saw on TV and after the game showed me that the ruling of an interception was correct. The only question the refs had is that if he had possession with a foot inbounds. Go back and watch the replay of that play and you tell me what you think (@DerekDuke25), but you can’t convince me for a second that that call should have been overturned with the evidence from the replay. TCU ended up scoring a few plays later to win the game 31-24.
Oklahoma Defense (Lost 38-31 to ISU)
Alright Sooner fans, it is that time of the year where you yell “Get rid of Mike Stoops.” Well in this case, you may have a point. After struggling against Baylor two weeks ago, the defensive woes continued for the Sooners. Oklahoma did shut down the Iowa State running game (held ISU to 81 rushing yards), but they gave up 368 yards passing and more importantly made some crucial mistakes. In the first half, the defense gave up two third downs on two check downs to ISU RB David Montgomery. Also, ISU had third and goal twice and failed, but got three more chances due to stupid penalties committed by the Sooners. The first one was a PI call and the other one was just downright dumb. LB Obo Okoronkwo decided after getting a stop on third and goal that he would dive on top of a pile after the play was over. ISU then got three more tries and ended up scoring a touchdown.
It got even worse in the second half for the Sooners. Iowa State had third and long at their own two-yard line and were able to convert. Then in the fourth quarter there was another dumb penalty. Six minutes left in the game, all tied at 31. It was second and a mile for the Cyclone offense on their own 20. Oklahoma gets a stop and one of their players gets flagged for an unsportsmanlike conduct for a free first down and chunk of yards. Iowa State ended up scoring on that drive to win the game. This defense gave up 25 points in the second half to a backup quarterback and made bonehead mistakes all game long. Defensive backs Jordan Thomas and Steven Parker got burned on multiple occasions and overall this defense was undisciplined and underachieved.