Week four in the Big 12 has concluded and the results include two thrilling, or heartbreaking depending on what side you were on, finishes, two definitive wins, but one disappointing loss.
Oklahoma State 30 – Texas 27
The Longhorns were looking to get this season back on track after a tough loss to Cal last week. The offense for Texas was not spectacular, but did enough to give Longhorn fans hope. Jerrod Heard went 9/17 for 119 and added another 48 on the ground and Texas overall rushed for 171 yards, but it was the Texas defense that stepped up in the game. They forced three turnovers and were able to pressure both OSU QBs.
For OSU fans, the performance by Mason Rudolph was disappointing for a quarterback that had very high expectations for the season. Rudolph turned the ball over three times and was eventually replaced by J.W. Walsh.
Despite the less than stellar play of OSU, they survived Austin with a win, thanks to another mistake by the Texas special teams. As the game wound down, Texas punter Michael Dickson dropped the snap at his own 10 yard line and managed to get a punt off that only traveled 10 yards. OSU kicker Ben Grogan was able to nail a 40 yard field goal with six seconds remaining to allow the Cowboys to narrowly escape Austin with a win and leave the Longhorn faithful heartbroken again. Questions remain for both teams, but there are signs of life on both sides of the ball for the Longhorns as Charlie Strong continues his rebuilding efforts. Possible quarterback instability may be on the horizon at OSU as each team looks ahead to week 5. Check out a full game recap at
TCU 55 – Texas Tech 52
This one was hyped as a contest between a Tech team trending in the right direction looking to upset the number three team in the country and it lived up to the hype as it took an improbable catch by Aaron Green on TCU’s final possession to win the game.
The Tech defense held TCU to a 4th and goal with 29 seconds to play and Tech leading 52-48. Boykin fired for Josh Doctson in the end zone, but the ball was tipped. Somehow, Aaron Green found the ball and caught it with no more than a big toe in the field of play, but that was enough and heart rates in Lubbock are still coming down. Tech had the ball again with 23 seconds remaining, but was unable to score again after a valiant series of laterals as time expired.
The Tech defense allowed 750 yards and was clearly outmatched in some areas. Josh Doctson seemingly caught the ball at will and racked up 267 yards receiving, but they kept receivers in front of them and made some critical stops. The offense continued to perform well, even with a somewhat hobbled Patrick Mahomes. Tech employed a much more balanced attack and Deandre Washington rushed the ball for 188 yards. TCU controlled time of possession, total yards, and eventually, the final score, but committed 10 penalties for 110 yards.
TCU survived Lubbock with a win, but they did not look like the 3rd ranked team in the country and if they are to still have a chance at the playoff, will have to reduce the mental mistakes and self-inflicted wounds that were prominent in this game.
For Tech, though a disappointing loss, this game is yet another sign for Red Raider nation that this program is turning a corner and trending back toward relevance.
Rutgers 27 – Kansas 14
The woes continued for the Jayhawks as they suffered their 34th straight loss on the road, falling to the Scarlet Knights on Saturday. Kansas could not get anything going on offense as Rutgers held the Jayhawks to just 64 yards on the ground and 278 yards receiving.
This Rutgers squad was a depleted unit, with their head coach and top receiver suspended, but still managed to do enough against a KU defense that still needs to allow fewer big plays and reduce the average yards allowed per play if they are to climb out of their current occupancy of last place in the Big 12. Kansas will get another chance to get the first win for head coach David Beaty as they take on Iowa State next week.
West Virginia 45 – Maryland 6
West Virginia won in emphatic fashion against the Terrapins and made a strong case as maybe the most complete team in all phases in the Big 12. The Mountaineers rushed for 304 yards, passed for 297, and held the Terps to 326 total yards.
Skyler Howard was again efficient, the running game was working, but possibly the most impressive aspect of this Mountaineer unit was the defense, which forced five interceptions and Karl Joseph continued to make his name as a premier defensive back in the country. West Virginia made an emphatic statement against Maryland, but will have a much tougher test next week as they begin conference play in Norman.
Baylor 70 – Rice 17
The Baylor Bears continued to roll as they managed to score 70 points and decimate the Owls on Saturday at McLane Stadium. The offense was an efficient machine and racked up 793 total yards of offense. Seth Russell tossed six touchdown passes, three to Corey Coleman alone, but also completing passes to nine other receivers.
BU was impressive against a completely outmatched Rice squad. The BU defense held Rice to 246 total yards, but will have a much more difficult task when it will meet the high-powered Texas Tech offense.
Another concern for Art Briles still has to be penalties committed, as the Bears were flagged 14 times. Those kind of numbers can cost games as competition improves, but Baylor took care of business, displayed the offensive firepower, and blew out Rice in this one, with conference play beginning next week.
As conference play continues next week, it looks like almost all of the teams are potentially contenders and/or beatable and it should be an exciting week 5 in the Big 12.