Welcome back to “What We Learned”, the series where I explain one thing we learned about each team in the Big 12 previous week’s games. The teams are ordered based on record, so if your team is talked about first it’s not because I hate them, it’s because they’re bad and deserve to be shunned.
IOWA STATE (1-6)
Iowa State scored all six of their points in the first fifteen minutes, then Texas stepped up on defense and took control of the game as it continued on. Iowa State only had 280 yards on the game, and for the most part, their offense was completely stagnant. The Cyclones upset magic we had seen in the last two games finally run out, at least this week, as Texas looked significantly better for 3 of the 4 quarters. Iowa State’s next chance at an upset will come in two weeks, when Kansas State comes to town.
Well, it was fun while it lasted. Kansas was clobbered on Saturday by one of the best teams in the conference, as Baylor smacked the Jayhawks around to the tune of a 49-7 dredging. The Jayhawks had a whopping 5 turnovers, and their inability to hold on to the ball was a huge contributor to Baylor winning by as much as they did, because those 5 turnovers led to 21 Baylor points.
Kansas had just a sliver over 200 total yards, and struggled to keep Seth Russell out of the endzone, be it in the air or on the ground, as he had two scores in both categories. Ryan Willis completed 10 of his 19 attempts for just 89 yards and 3 interceptions before being replaced by Carter Stanley, who went 3/8 for 45 yards, and another pick. I still think Kansas will win at least one more game this year, and I’ll be picking the Jayhawks in week 11 when they host Iowa State.
Texas finally halted their three game losing skid Saturday as they toppled Iowa State 27-6. It wasn’t pretty, and they struggled early on, but a 21 point 3rd quarter helped the Longhorns pull away. D’Onta Foreman had a great game, running for 136 yards and a score, while freshman gun-slinger Shane Buechele threw for nearly 300 yards and 2 scores. The defense looked much improved this week, surrendering just six points and holding the Cyclones under 300 yards. Texas faces a far better opponent this week, as they’ll travel to Manhattan to face the talented Wildcat defense.
TEXAS TECH (3-3)
Texas Tech was the lesser team than West Virginia on Saturday. They struggled to do much on offense against a solid West Virginia defense, and reaffirmed the general feeling held by fans and media that Patrick Mahomes is not 100%, a sentiment echoed by Kliff Kingsbury at his Monday press conference. Mahomes still played well despite his injury, throwing for over 300 yards and a score.
Mahomes was not the problem on Saturday. On 27 rushes, Texas Tech had 34 total rushing yards. That won’t cut it, and it certainly hurts the passing game. The defense also allowed over 600 yards and forced zero turnovers against the Mountaineer offense. Texas Tech has a long way to go, and they need to adjust the running game, while completely revamping the defense if Kliff Kingsbury wants to be employed in Lubbock next year.
KANSAS STATE (3-3)
Saturday’s loss to Oklahoma was a disappointing one for Kansas State. They had a chance to showcase their defense and prove they can compete against a top team in the conference, and they fell short on all fronts. They allowed over 500 yards and 38 points to the surging Sooners. The Kansas State offense was surprisingly competent, putting up 17 points, but allowing 4 touchdowns to Baker Mayfield, 2 of which went to his favorite target, Dede Westbrook, completely voided the offensive performance from the Wildcats as useless. Kansas State will get another chance to prove their strength this coming week as they’ll host the enigmatic Texas Longhorns.
TCU had a bye this week. They take on West Virginia this Saturday.
OKLAHOMA STATE (4-2)
Oklahoma State had a bye this week. They travel to Lawrence on Saturday.
Oklahoma took care of Kansas State and their stingy defense on Saturday, even without Samaje Perine, as the star running back went down with a hamstring injury early on and will miss at least 2 weeks. Joe Mixon stepped up and filled in for Perine nicely though, running for 88 yards, and while he didn’t score on the ground, he threw for a score on a 26 yard pass to Dede Westbrook, one of three touchdown grabs for the star senior receiver. Baker Mayfield threw an additional 4 touchdowns on 25 completions, as he accounted for 346 of Oklahoma’s 510 yards on the day. Oklahoma’s defense will be tested greatly this weekend as they travel to Lubbock to face Patrick Mahomes and the Red Raiders.
WEST VIRGINIA (5-0)
West Virginia is finally being recognized for the stellar season they’re having so far, as they were moved from 20th to 12th in the AP poll, and while a win over Texas Tech may not be reasonable cause for a jump that large, West Virginia deserves to be where they are right now. They’ve quietly been the second best team in the Big 12 all year, and while I expect their undefeated streak will end at the hands of Oklahoma State in two weeks, their current run is very impressive. Dana Holgorsen is coaching for his job this year, and if the Mountaineers can stay at the form they’ve been at, Holgorsen will be back next year.
Fresh off a 49-7 shellacking of Kansas, Baylor is looking very good. They’re 6-0 heading into their second bye week in three weeks, and they sit at 9th in the AP poll. They’ve been on a roll for the whole year, and they’ll need to continue hitting their stride as they head into the brunt of their schedule,with TCU, Oklahoma, and West Virginia coming up as the season continues on. It’s unlikely that Baylor will be capable of getting out of those three match-ups unscathed, and their undefeated season will likely come to an end against one of those opponents, although a team like Kansas State could sneak up on them too.