After a week’s hiatus, we’re back with a review of What We Learned from Week 3 (What did we learn from Week 2, anyway?). There were a ton of good games to watch, especially if there’s no love lost between you and the ACC.
All in all, every Big 12 team leaves non-conference play with a winning record. Now we really get into the no-escape cage match of the Big 12 gauntlet – but first, let’s review what we saw this past weekend.
1. What Is Even Happening Right Now?
I have more to say on these teams below, but just when we think we know who these teams are, they pull a Week 3 on us. Kansas beat what is – at worst – a mediocre ACC squad by a whopping 24 points. West Virginia rebounds with a three possession win over another team from the coast. Kansas State went into the heart of SEC country and got the dub. And Texas Tech scored 14 points.
2. No One Wants To Play The Wildcats
Which is good, because they have a bye this week. Chris Klieman has so far proven to be more than up to the task of captaining a Power Five FBS squad, giving Kansas State a 3-0 start for the first time since 2015. There might not be a program in the country with more energy and momentum right now than Kansas State.
3. Matt Wells Could Use A Friend
And a quarterback. The Red Raiders had a rough go offensively in Arizona, where the points were almost as scarce a resource as water. That was true for Texas Tech, at least, who put up 411 yards and only two touchdowns against the Wildcats. “Gritty” is the best word I’ve seen so far to describe the Red Raiders under Wells, but it unfortunately didn’t translate into a 3-0 non-conference record.
4. There’s Something In The Corn In Iowa
Which only works for the Cyclones when they play teams outside of their home state. Matt Campbell is 0-4 against Iowa, and the only multiple possession win he’s had against a team from the state came in 2017 when the Cyclones beat Northern Iowa 42-24. Did I mention Campbell has five wins against Top 25 teams from around the rest of the continental United States?
5. There Are No Easy Wins In The Big 12
At least not any you can count on after Saturday. I was ready to let West Virginia and Kansas fight it out for space at the bottom of my power rankings for the rest of the season, but even if those two programs were to go 1-17 in conference play, neither of them is going away easy. You are going to have to bring your A game every week in the Big 12 this year.
6. Will The Real West Virginia Please Stand Up
West Virginia’s fortunes seem to go the way of their offense right now, a lot of which is on the shoulders of Austin Kendall. Despite a rough start, the junior has brought his 2019 quarterback rating up to a 129.9 after his performance against the N.C. State Wolfpack on Saturday. If he continues to improve, Brown’s first year might not be as rocky as everyone thought.
7. Hop On The Chuba Hubbard Train Now
The sophomore has 521 yards on the ground through three games. That means he’s on pace to surpass 2,000 yards this season, which would put him ahead of guys like Hall of Fame running back and Heisman candidate Thurman Thomas (1,767 yards in ’87) in Oklahoma State’s record book. Thomas was pretty good, in case you didn’t know.
8. Oklahoma Remains Good At Offense
Jalen Hurts is currently the second-leading rusher in the Big 12. Not on his team, in the conference. He’s also currently the most efficient passer. Rightfully, he’s in Heisman conversations right now, and the Sooners have yet to face a defense that can slow them down.
9. Max Duggan’s The Guy At TCU
Duggan completed just over a third of his passes against the Boilermakers on Saturday, but the offense overall just operated so much better with the freshman at the helm. A lot of people thought it was only a matter of time before the younger guy got his chance, and it looks like now is his opportunity to shine.
10. Texas Can Play Up To Expectations
The Longhorns have now covered as favorites in two games that they’ve played against lesser competition, and against Rice in Houston, the game wasn’t even close to being close. The Longhorns raced out to a 38-0 lead before pulling their starters in the third quarter. That’s the kind of dominance they used to have in Austin when the burnt orange were winning double-digit games every year.