A couple of upsets have thrown the Big 12 into chaos, so let’s just get into it!
The Red River Showdown
For three quarters the Longhorns gave the Sooners everything they wanted and more, and led 45-24 going into the fourth quarter. And then the Sooner’s offense came alive as Kyler Murray led them to 21 fourth-quarter points to tie the game with just 2:38 left on the clock.
That was all the Longhorns needed though as the comeback was too little, too late. Sam Ehlinger led Texas down the field, and Cameron “The Kicker” Dicker put through a 40-yard attempt with just 9 seconds remaining to give Tom Herman is first win over Lincoln Riley and the Sooners.
So the question after this one is, are the Longhorns back? They are 5-1 with three top 25 wins, so ya, they appear to be back.
Kansas at West Virginia
Coach Dana Holgorsen may be regretting his comments during his press conference earlier in the week. The Jayhawks lead the country in turnover margin, and as West Virginia prepared for Kansas, Holgorsen was asked what he made of the fact that eight different Kansas players have an interception this season. Before the question could even be completed though, Holgorsen interrupted with “that’s the Rutger’s factor”.
Holgorsen might be giving them a bit more credit this week. The Jayhawks picked off Heisman contender Will Grier three times, and all three times in the red zone.
Interceptions weren’t the Moutaineer’s only problem on the day. Bad snaps, penalties, and a fumble also contributed to a day that felt like West Virginia couldn’t get out of their own way. It wasn’t always pretty, but the Mountaineers got it done against the Jayhawks, and that’s all that matters.
“We’ll take our sloppy win, and home.” Holgorsen said after the game.
Iowa State at Oklahoma State
It has been a tough start to the season for the Cyclones, but you wouldn’t know that to see them play in Stillwater. Third string quarterback Brock Purdy replaced Zeb Noland pretty early into the game, and by the time the clock ticked down to zero, everyone was left scratching their head on why Purdy hasn’t been the Iowa State starter this whole time.
The freshman looked like a season veteran by keeping plays alive with his legs and making reads that gutted the Cowboy’s secondary. He completed 18 of his 23 passes for 318 yards and four touchdowns to just one pick. Also, in the absence of star running back David Montgomery, he was also the Cyclone’s leading rusher. He racked up 84 yards and another touchdown on 19 carries. Was Saturday a case of the Pokes being unprepared against a quarterback they had seen zero tape on, or was this Purdy’s coming out party?
My guess, it was a bit of both. We see it every season, where a backup quarterback comes in and slashes a defense on the ground. A mobile quarterback is tough to plan for regardless, let alone to make adjustments against when you haven’t seen any tape on him and don’t know what his tendencies are. That said, Purdy was throwing dimes. I don’t remember a bad throw, and you can be prepared as much as you want, there’s little a defense can do against that kind of accuracy. Especially, when you have Tarique Milton and Hakeem Butler to throw to.
As for the Pokes, it was another sloppy game. Ignoring the defensive woes, ignoring Taylor Cornelius’ inability to feel the pressure, ignoring an absolutely trash offensive line, penalties killed the Pokes. The Cowboys were flagged 9 times for 87 yards. As Gundy said after the game, that’s twice as much as you would like to see.
Though Oklahoma State kept trying to make things interesting, Iowa State always had an answer and the Cyclones grabbed their first conference win of the season.
Kansas State at Baylor
The basement picture of the Big 12 is coming a little more into focus. It looked like it just wasn’t going to be the Bear’s day as kicker Connor Martin missed three field goals and an extra point, leaving 10 points on the field. Ten points could have been the difference maker in a back and forth game, but Martin was clutch when Baylor needed him.
I think coach Matt Rhule would be lying if he said he wasn’t nervous trotting Martin on the field with just eight seconds left on the clock to attempt the game winning kick, but Rhule stuck by his kicker, and the confidence paid off. Martin drilled the 29-yarder, and the Bears improved to 4-2 on the season.
Charlie Brewer had another decent day and continues to be the conference’s most underrated quarterback. He completed 30 of his 44 pass attempts and racked up 296 yards and touchdown to one interception. He was also clutch late in the game. After Kansas State tied the game at 34 with a little over four minutes left, Brewer lead the Bears down the field to put Martin within range to win the game before it went to overtime.
As for Kansas State, Bill Snyder continues to play musical chairs with his quarterbacks as Skylar Thompson started against Baylor after being benched earlier in the year in favor of Alex Delton. Thompson completed 17 of his 26 passes for 149 yards and a touchdown. The only problem is that two of those completions where to guys in green.
Both picks gave the Bears the ball on the right side of the field, but the second pick especially hurt. With 8:32 left in the fourth quarter, in a game that was tied at 27, Christian Morgan made the interception that set up the Bears on the Wildcat’s 33-yard line. Baylor had a 34-27 lead four plays later, and as we know, the rest is history.