The sixth week of the college football season came and went and it caused a lot of change in the Big 12. West Virginia is now the conference’s highest ranked team at sixth in the country after an ugly win versus Kansas. Texas is back after an incredible three-point win over rival Oklahoma, and putting them right back in the conference race. Iowa State got their offense going in a much-needed way with a huge road win against the struggling Oklahoma State Cowboys. Baylor continued to overachieve and won a close game on the road against the now mediocre Kansas State Wildcats. Texas Tech and TCU got to watch all of that from their couches – and I’m sure they noticed all of the good, bad, and ugly from week six.
The Cyclone’s Freshman Quarterback – Iowa State’s offense turned the corner last week behind the play of freshman quarterback Brock Purdy, who took over for Zeb Noland after one drive in the first quarter. Elite running back David Montgomery did not play, but that didn’t stop the Cyclones from scoring 48 points on the road in Stillwater. Purdy threw for 318 yards and four touchdowns, while adding 84 yards and a score on the ground as well.
Purdy was in control of the whole game, and will most certainly be the guy from here on out. Iowa State hit season highs in almost every offensive stat including a team total 465 yards. The Cyclones struggled to put up points all year, but found a rhythm in this game, and they hope to keep that up for the rest of the year. The Cyclones are now one game under .500 at 2-3, and host the sixth ranked Mountaineers in Ames this weekend.
Texas Has A Quarterback – Sam Ehinger and the Texas Longhorns now control their own destiny in the Big 12 race. Texas already has wins over TCU and OU, and has West Virginia at home in early November. Right now, that’s the only ranked team Texas will have to face the rest of the way, and they have already knocked off three ranked teams; the two previously mentioned as well as USC.
Sam Ehlinger played the best football of his life against the Sooners, leading the Longhorns offense to 48 points and a three-point, and program changing victory. Ehlinger is now one yard short of 1500 on the year, and has done everything he can to lead this Texas team. He was about as much of a dual threat QB has Kyler Murray was last week, and beat him at his own game. Texas might not be back to their National Champions stature, but as of right now a trip to the conference championship game goes through Austin.
We See You Baylor – Baylor has quietly had a nice start to the year. No one expected too much out of Waco this year as they continue the rebuild, but Baylor is now 4-2 on the season, and has started conference play with a 2-1 Big 12 record. Baylor suffered an embarrassing loss to Duke earlier this season, and was spanked by Oklahoma, but have had the benefit of getting both Kansas teams in the conference’s first three weeks. Baylor hasn’t had a big win yet, but they are building confidence and momentum, and has two upcoming games at 9th-ranked Texas and at 6th-ranked West Virginia for a chance to get a signature upset.
Charlie Brewer has also been underrated this season. He has thrown for over 1500 yards all ready and is doing a good job of limiting turnovers. With a run game that has three running backs averaging over five yards per carry, the Baylor Bears have the usual good offense that we’ve come accustomed to seeing in Waco.
Oklahoma’s Playoff Chances – Oklahoma’s playoff chances are not where they were a week ago. After a disheartening loss to their rival Texas Longhorns, the Sooners are already facing the common “Is the resume nice enough to sustain the one loss?”. This is all being brought up heading into week seven!
Not to mention, the Sooners still have Texas Tech and Oklahoma State on the schedule, who are both capable of pulling the upset, along with the Big 12’s new favorite, West Virginia.
Oklahoma has the Heisman caliber QB in Kyler Murray, but it’s been the defense that has let them down. That led to the firing of Mike Stoops this week after Texas dropped 48 on the Sooners. In theory, a one-loss and Big 12 Conference Champion Oklahoma should get in the CFB playoff, but right now Oklahoma needs to focus on making sure they’re just a one-loss team.
Will Grier’s Heisman Chances – Will Grier’s Heisman odds dropped a lot after his performance against Kansas. It was sloppy, and included three red zone interceptions. Forget the 332 yards and four touchdowns. Against teams not named Kansas, a performance like that can lose the game. Grier’s stats are certainly Heisman worthy (1819 yards and 18 touchdowns in just five games), but he needs to cut down on the interceptions and more importantly, needs to keep winning. A Mountaineer team this good only comes once in a while and it would be a shame for Grier to try to force some stat padding throws and cost West Virginia a game.
The Cowboys – And we aren’t just talking about Pistol Pete’s big head. Oklahoma State continues to muddle through Big 12 play. The Cowboys started the season with a 3-0 start, including a big win over Boise State. However, they followed that with back-to-back home losses against un-ranked teams in Texas Tech and Iowa State. They are now 1-2 in conference play and still have not faced the meat of their schedule, yet.
The problems are everywhere too. After a strong start from the defense, the Cowboys gave up 41 points to the Red Raiders, 28 points to the Jayhawks, and 48 points to the Cyclones. The two bookends of that list were both struggling on offense prior to facing Oklahoma State. The Cowboys need to figure out things quick, before this once promising season becomes a wash.
On the offensive side of the ball, the pass protection is nearly non-existent, and someone needs to get quarterback Taylor Cornelius into concussion protocol, because he can’t seem to remember that. Iowa State dropped him in the back field seven times on Saturday as Cornelius kept waiting on the deep route to open up.
However, it’s not just the units on the field that are struggling. Those with headsets on Saturdays aren’t doing much better. Despite both Texas Tech and Iowa State ramping up pressure against the Cowboys struggling line, screens, quick slants, and throws to the halfback in the flat — the kinds of things that burn an over-aggressive defense — have been nearly non-existent in the Poke’s play calling.
The Cowboys have plenty to get cleaned up if they want to salvage the season, and we haven’t even addressed their 25 penalties over the last three games…