ith the Bears taking a needed weekend off and the lingering hangover (literally as well as figuratively) stemming from an upset loss in Morgantown, Baylor fans didn't have a lot to tune in for this week. Only three games were on tap with minimal intrigue. Depending on the results of the games, I might consider burning a couch in my front yard, but then again maybe not...
Texas 0 @ Kansas State (-10) 23
Bill Snyder and the Wildcats continued their decade of domination of UT with a 23-0 shutout in the Little Apple. Texas has been very close to being shutout this year with the biggest threat coming at the hands of Baylor in week 5 but with 2 minutes to play the Horns were able to avoid the ignominy of finishing with a 0 on the scoreboard. Not so against K-State. They held the Horns to 196 total yards and just over 20 minutes of possession. This is the first time since 2004 that the Horns have been shutout and the last time it happened a guy named Adrian Peterson was on the other side of the ball. Texas managed to drive the ball deep into K-State territory only twice all day but came away with no points on either drive. The first was in the second quarter but a penalty and a sack dropped the Horns out of field goal range. The second was in the fourth quarter, but down 16-0 at that point Strong elected to go for it on 4th and 1 and turned the ball over on downs at the K-State 14.
K-State certainly was not on a torrid pace either, notching only 367 yards in total offense. It was a classic Snydercat game plan though - a smothering defensive performance coupled with a stodgy, boring, time eating offense that gained ground in bite size chunks and put some points on the board. The Wildcats had to settle for field goals in the first half but held the ball almost 23 minutes with pounding drives on the ground fueled by Charles Jones and DeMarcus Robinson sprinkled with completed passes from Jake Waters to Tyler Lockett. In their first drive of the game the Snydercats moved the ball 67 yards on 1 pass play and then 8 straight runs. They came away with only 3 points but held the ball for over 6 minutes. Texas only had 72 yards of offense in the first half and was near the end of the first quarter before they were even on the positive side of the ledger.
Kansas State opened up the play book a bit as the game progressed with Waters throwing more but generally speaking it was a workmanlike performance without a lot of flash. Waters finished up with 224 yards passing with Lockett getting 104 of them. On the other side of the ball Tyrone Swoopes passed for only 106 yards and ran for 31.
Kansas State has a tough road stretch ahead but proved that their ranking and position in the conference race are legit.
Texas now is faced with having to win 3 of the next 4 to secure bowl eligibility. Their toughest opponents are at home (WVU and TCU) while they are visitors at their two easier opponents (Tech, OSU). Things are not looking good for the Horns for a post-season berth.
Texas Tech 27 @ TCU (-23) 82
TCU clearly was out to prove a point against the Red Raiders and performed a summary execution in Ft. Worth on Saturday. Neither coach seemed happy after the game with Patterson saying, "I don't think we played well all game," and Coach Bro having not much to say at all, "There are not a lot of words..."
Most observers would disagree heartily with Coach Patterson though as Trevone Boykin set a career passing record at 433 yards and 7 TD passes helping to score the first 68 of TCU's points. TCU's offense was a juggernaut all day and the hapless Tech defense had no answers whatsoever. Matt Joekel did take over for Boykin in the fourth quarter with only a slim 41-point margin at his disposal, but the Frogs were able to score 14 more points under his leadership to pull comfortably ahead at 82-27. The last touchdown was scored at the 59-minute mark and the game was all but over at that point.
Deante Gray had 165 yards receiving and Aaron Green and Trevorris Johnson went over 100 yards rushing for the Frogs who put up their best offensive performance since joining the Big 12.
Tech was able to hang with TCU for the 1st quarter with some big offensive plays. After two touchdown passes from Davis Webb of over 50 yards and a field goal, the Red Raiders were down by only 7 at 24-17. Webb fumbled twice and threw an interception before leaving the game with an injury in the 2nd quarter. After his departure, TCU went on a 30-0 run spanning the 2nd and 3rd quarters and the rout was on. Although Tech did put up 446 yards of offense, the TCU defense locked down the 2nd half and held the normally potent Tech offense to only 7 points.
TCU is playing some outstanding football at this point in the season and is looking like the class of the conference. So much so that they are holding a higher ranking than the team that handed them their only loss. TCU faces WVU and K State in the next two weeks and with victories over those teams will begin to stake a legitimate claim to a CFP spot.
Without Webb or a defense, Tech has a pretty slim chance of winning 3 out of 4 to get bowl eligible.
West Virginia 34 @ Oklahoma State (pick) 10
West Virginia proved that its victory over Baylor was no fluke after a convincing victory over Oklahoma State in Stillwater. The Mountaineers jumped out to 14 point lead in the 1st quarter but by halftime the Pokes had narrowed the score to 14-10. The second half was all ‘Eer though with WVU scoring 20 straight points and pulling away.
Clint Trickett threw for 2 TDs and 238 yards, but his primary target this week was Mario Alford who pulled down 136 yards worth of passes. Wendell Smallwood ran for career high 132 yards in relief of an injured Rushel Shell. Kevin White was a non-factor in the game with only 27 yards receiving and his string of 100 yard receiving games was over.
The Mountaineer defense gave up 300 yards in the first half but was able to control the line of scrimmage in the 2nd half and Smallwood began to take over with clock chewing drives that ended in points. The combination of controlling the line of scrimmage and therefore the clock, led to WVU pulling away. It was a fulfilling victory by the Mountaineer head coach Dana Holgerson, who served as the Pokes Offensive coordinator up until 2010.
West Virginia is going bowling this year by notching their 6th victory and is one of the best 2-loss teams in the country with solid wins and close losses to top teams. They still have a chance to win the Big 12 if a few things go their way.
Oklahoma State is struggling mightily now that it is in the meat of its schedule and the offense is a 4-alarm dumpster fire. The normally prolific scoring machine has put up just 19 points in the last two games with only 1 touchdown. That is not a harbinger for success especially with Baylor, K State and Oklahoma all left on the schedule and all on the road. OSU needs 1 victory to go bowling. The home date against Texas on November 15th is its best shot.
Sunday Morning Quarterback
Baylor was off this week and two of the Big 12 favorites won in convincing fashion and the other won by exacting a level of humiliation rarely seen before in a Big 12 contest (sorry Tech). An unlikely trio of West Virginia, TCU and Kansas State are all the talk of the conference with Baylor and Oklahoma, the preseason favorites, taking a back seat. Oklahoma State is fading fast and Tech and Texas are all but out of the Bowl chase.
The best thing that Baylor can do is to get back on track with a homecoming win against Kansas this week. They will have to do it with a re-worked offensive line but after an extra week of practice this should be doable.
Stay focused and get back to winning, Go Bears, 6-1...