The Big 12 favorites survived a wild weekend of football, but that doesn’t mean there wasn’t some puckering involved. Oklahoma State and West Virginia were both taken to the wire, while Iowa State got their second win of the season and Oklahoma made light work of Baylor. Here’s some thoughts on this weekend’s games.
Iowa State Defeats Kansas
Kansas jumped out on Iowa State early with a 14-3 lead in the first half, but it wouldn’t hold as Iowa State was perfect in the second half. The Cyclones got the win by scoring on four of their five drives in the second with the fifth being ended by the game clock.
It’s a big win for first-year coach Matt Campbell as he’s gotten his team playing on a higher level in recent weeks, despite it not showing in the record book.
For second-year coach David Beaty, the loss is frustrating. Yet again, Kansas has put up a gritty performance at home just to fall short in the end.
- Park continues to show why he’s now the guy in Ames. He finished 20 of 26 for 205 yards and two touchdowns, although he did give up a pick.
- Lanning continues to be used more as a wildcat QB as he attempted just 4 passes, but carried the ball 5 times. Though, he was held to just 9 yards on the ground as the Kansas defense keyed on the run when he was in the game.
- Lazard lead all receivers with 10 receptions for 120 yards and a touchdown. The Cyclones needs to continue to find way to get him the ball.
- Where is Mike Warren? He touched the ball just three times against the Jayhawks for 17 yards. I’m not sure anyone has fallen off from last season as much as he has.
West Virginia Passes Longhorn Test
The Mountaineers are the Big 12’s last remaining one-loss team, but that was on the line heading into Austin. The Longhorns were surging and running back D’Onta Foreman has proven to be a force few defenses are capable of controlling.
“They give (Foreman) the ball and ride him. We had to stop him and make others make plays. We did that,” West Virginia linebacker Al-Rasheed Benton said after the game.
It came down to the final play, but West Virginia passed the test and will welcome Oklahoma on Saturday in a game that could be for the Big 12 and possibly more.
- West Virginia can be good, near great even, but not elite behind quarterback Skyler Howard. Howard was 21 of 35 for 269 yards and a touchdown against Texas, but gave up three interceptions. Moving forward he has to eliminate the mistakes and be the game manager WVU needs him to be. Let someone else be the hero.
- Credit the WVU defense for holding Foreman to just 167 yards and no touchdowns. That may sound crazy, but when he’s averaged over 295 yards the last two weeks, 167 looks pretty good if you’re WVU.
- Buechele finished the day with 318 yards on 31 of 48 passing, and a touchdown and a pick.
- This loss didn’t seal coach Charlie Strong’s fate. Mostly, because it was already sealed weeks ago. It won’t be long until Texas will be looking for a new head coach, and that search begins and ends with Houston’s Tom Herman.
Oklahoma State Survives Texas Tech
The Cowboys have the Red Raider’s number, but on Saturday Tech gave the Pokes everything they wanted and then some.
Down 10 to start the fourth quarter, the Red Raiders mounted their comeback. Kicker Clayton Hatfield hit a 27-yard field goal to pull Texas Tech within one possession, and an onside kick recovery meant the nation’s leading passer was back in business. However a fumble on the very next play gave the ball right back to Oklahoma State.
Texas Tech’s defense, often ridiculed, stood tall though, and force the Pokes to punt.
With just 6:38 left in the game, the Texas Tech offense went to work, and with the clock run down to 1:44, running back Quinton White Jr. punched the ball into the end zone to pull the Red Raiders within a game-tying extra point. An extra point that failed to make it between the uprights, and Oklahoma State secured the onside kick attempt and with it, the win.
“It hurts, it definitely hurts,” Mahomes said after the game. “We had a lot of chances to win, but they found a way to win, we didn’t. It’s kind of like the whole season. It hurts, but we’re going to go out there and fight. We’ve got two games to get bowl eligible.”
- Mahomes showed why he’s worthy of his hype by evading the Oklahoma State defense and keeping plays alive, but he was out-dueled by quarterback Mason Rudolph. Mahomes finished with 344 yards on 34 of 51 passing and three touchdowns, while Rudolph finished 20 of 28 for 395 yards and two touchdowns of his own.
- Justice Hill continues to show promise for OSU with 126 yards on 18 carries.
- Oklahoma State RB Chris Carson didn’t put up huge numbers, but he came up huge in the red zone when OSU needed him.
- Mahomes spread the ball around to 11 different receivers. Cantrell was his top target with 8 catches, but Giles lead the group with 77 yards on five receptions.
- Rudolph only completed passes to five different receivers, but Washington continued to show why he’s receiving Biletnikoff hype with 158 yards and a touchdown on six receptions.
- You have to wonder just how much fight the Red Raiders have left. With just two wins on the season, this is not how they saw 2016 playing out. Coach Kingsbury is going to have to make major strides next season or his seat will warm up in a hurry.
Oklahoma Keeps Baylor Reeling
The Sooners manhandled Baylor on Saturday and showed that the Bear’s loss to TCU wasn’t a fluke. Baylor’s collapse is more evident by the week, and the loss of quarterback Seth Russell leaves the Bears with little hope of a turnaround.
For Oklahoma it was a nice tune up as they prepare for West Virginia on Saturday, and the Pokes just a couple of weeks later. Baker Mayfield, Samaje Perine, Joe Mixon and Dede Westbrook may be the most potent foursome in the country, and the Oklahoma defense has shown signs of improvement in recent weeks. The Sooners control their own destiny in the Big 12, and they are making it hard to bet against them.
- It absolutely sucks to see a player like Russell, who has overcome significant injury already, to be sidelined for the season once again.
- Major props to the Oklahoma players that took a knee while the training staff attended to Russell, and to those players who shook his hand has he was being carted off the field. The game needs more of that. Not the injury, but the sportsmanship.
- It’s hard to argue that Mayfield hasn’t surpassed Mahomes as the top QB in the conference. He completed 20 passes of his 25 attempts for 300 yards and two touchdowns.
- Hasty ran finished with 75 yards on 19 carries as Shock Linwood was in the dog house this week.
- It’s good to see Perine back in the lineup after battling injury for the last three weeks. He finished with 100 yards on 23 carries.
- Not surprisingly, Mixon lead all rushers with 124 yards on 14 carries.
- Dede Westbrook’s four receptions for 88 yards doesn’t do him justice. Two of his receptions were for touchdowns, including a 40-yard bomb in the third quarter.
- OU’s defense has looked improved, but is the improvement real? Since giving up 59 points and a near mile of offense to the Red Raiders, Oklahoma has faced Kansas, Iowa State and Baylor. Kansas and Iowa State aren’t exactly offensive juggernauts and Baylor is in disarray. We’ll find out this week as they face a mistake-prone Skyler Howard.