Oklahoma came into this week looking to bounce back from a humiliating defeat at the hands of interstate archrival Texas and Tech’s high-octane offense was in Lawrence taking on the Jayhawks. In the prime-time TV slot, TCU was in Ames to take on a desperate Cyclone squad. Baylor hosted 2014 spoilers West Virginia and the Horns and Pokes were on vacation with the Horns mourning the loss of one of their own. Bevo XIV, the Texas mascot since 2005, died on Thursday of cancer. I was genuinely saddened to hear the news given the iconic status of the Longhorn to the Big 12. I am sure that he will be replaced by the time that Texas rolls into Waco later in the season though.
On to the game summaries -
Texas Tech (-31) 30 vs. Kansas 20
In an unexpectedly close game, the Red Raiders escaped Lawrence with a 10-point victory. It took 3 missed field goals by Kansas and a Red Raider pick-six to make it happen; otherwise, the Jayhawks could have notched their first win of the season. Neither team was sharp, with the Jayhawks giving up 3 turnovers and the Red Raiders giving up 2.
The game seemed to be going as planned with Tech taking a 20-0 lead by halftime on a DeAndre Washington 1-yard dive and a Patrick Mahomes 45-yard strike to Reginald Davis. Kansas missed 3 field goals and fumbled one drive away, all in the first half. Tech’s offense just couldn’t seem to click, though, even with a 3-score lead. There was the feeling that the Red Raider offense was about to break out, but it never did.
The second half opened with a Tech punt, a Kansas fumble by QB Ryan Willis on a sack, and a Tech missed field goal. More sloppy play, but Kansas was hanging in there. Kansas took over at the Tech 31 after the missed field goal and put together their best drive of the game and drove 69 yards for a touchdown. Ryan Willis powered the drive with high-percentage passes to his receiving corps. In a microcosm of how the Jayhawk season is going, the PAT was no good. Even with that miss though, at 20-6 early in the 3rd, there was hope for Kansas.
Tech added a field goal later in the quarter and took a 23-6 lead into the 4th. It would be the last points scored by the Tech offense. The Jayhawks kept fighting back and scored on a 25-yard strike from Willis to Tre’ Parmalee and a Taylor Cox run to pull within 3 at 23-20. The normally explosive Tech offense was as flat as the West Texas landscape in the 4th quarter. At 4 minutes left in the game Willis threw a pick six to Tech’s Jah’Shawn Johnson to seal the win for the Red Raiders.
For Tech, Mahomes had a downright pedestrian performance by his standards, with 359 passing yards, 1 TD and 1 interception. DeAndre Washington had a strong rushing performance with 152 yards. It was the lowest offensive output for the Red Raiders all season, but a win is a win, especially on the road. Le’Raven Clark, all Big-12 offensive lineman, did get into the scoring action, though, on a trick 2-point conversion.
It just goes to show that in this league any given day can generate an unexpected result. This was almost one of those days.
Oklahoma (-4.5) 55 @ Kansas State 0
To say that Bob Stoops and his Sooner squad wanted to make a statement in this game is a bit of an understatement. The Sooners came out firing on all cylinders and wanted to prove to their detractors in Austin that they are still a force in the Big 12. Baker Mayfield threw 5 TD passes in the first half alone, and the Sooners absolutely destroyed the Wildcats. It was the first time that Kansas State had been shut out at home since 1991 and was one of their worst losses in program history.
The Cats only had 110 yards of offense and turned the ball over three times. Joe Hubener started the game at QB for the Cats but threw 2 picks before being replaced by Kody Cook. Cook played at receiver in the first half and also threw an interception as the replacement QB.
There is really not much more to say about this game given how one-sided it was. It was clear that Oklahoma is talented, dangerous, and deserving of a national top-20 ranking. It is also clear that despite the scares that Kansas State gave to TCU and Oklahoma State, they are not the quite as strong as it appeared when they were 3-0.
Bob Stoops and the Oklahoma Sooners are back, and if they play like they did against the Snydercats, they are going to be a hard out for the rest of the conference.
TCU (-20.5) 45 @ Iowa State 21
This game started as a barnburner with both teams trading touchdowns early. In fact, 6 of the first 8 possessions resulted in touchdowns and a tie 21-21 score. The surprising thing about the start was Iowa State. The Cyclones looked sharp and aggressive and took the TCU defense to task. After the game, Gary Patterson said that the TCU defense was the worst in college football in the first quarter. This of course had a lot to do with the Iowa State offense, but no need to split hairs. On the offensive side of the ball, TCU was TCU, making big plays and having receivers that were just outjumping and outfighting defenders to the ball. Trevone Boykin also turned in another outstanding performance both with his feet and his arm and took the Frogs on his back through big stretches of the game.
The Cyclones actually led the game 21-14 in the second quarter, and even after 10 points scored by the Frogs, this game was very much in question in the third quarter. Ultimately, the superior athletes of TCU, particularly on the offensive side of the ball, allowed the Frogs to pull away. The defense also stiffened, holding Iowa State scoreless in the final 3 quarters, even without the services of safety Denzel Johnson, who was ejected for targeting.
TCU’s Trevone Boykin finished the game with 436 yards through the air and 4 touchdowns. He also added a touchdown on the ground and rushed for 74 yards. Josh Doctson had a big night with 190 yards on 10 catches and 2 touchdowns. Sam Richardson had a solid night for the Cyclones--251 yards through the air, 147 of which going to Allan Lazard.
The Frogs did have some injury scares with Doctson going down with a hip injury and KaVontae Turpin leaving the game for good with what appeared to be a concussion. Doctson returned later in the game, and both are expected to play after the bye week that TCU has upcoming.
Sunday Morning Quarterback
The Bears took care of business in a big way against West Virginia this week in Waco and showed a couple of things for the first time. The first was a play book that was much more complex and had a much heavier dose of Seth Russell running the ball. I have to think there is still a lot of gas left in the Kendal Briles play-calling tank, though. I think we will continue to see more and more new plays as the games continue to get tougher. Speaking of Russell, he was awesome, turning in an RG3-esque performance with 540 overall yards (380 passing, 160 rushing) and 6 touchdowns. He has the highest passer rating in the country by a mile. Corey Coleman decided to play not as a human, but rather as a human-looking werewolf. He was unstoppable on the edge for Baylor, averaging 20 yards a catch. Defenders had trouble even touching him in space much less tackling him. There were at lease 4 jocks lying on the field after Coleman juked defenders out of them. Coleman also set the Baylor single season TD reception record at 16, taking the record away from NFL star Kendall Wright. Kendall needed a whole season to get his record, Coleman needed only 6 games.
The secondary gave up a long touchdown early, and the special teams allowed a kickoff return for a TD at the end of the game, but generally both played well.
From a conference perspective, not much changes. Baylor is still playing the best football in the league with TCU right on their heels. Even after a slow start in Ames, the Frogs got things going and put the game out of reach in the second half. Oklahoma made a big statement and is trying to prove that that the game against Texas was a rivalry-aberration, not a true measure of their team. They razed a Kansas State team that took TCU and Oklahoma State to the absolute wire, both undefeated and both sitting at the top of the Big 12 standings. Tech is just below that group of 4 teams but can still be dangerous even after a relatively poor showing against Kansas. Kansas State and West Virginia both are sitting at 3-3 and will have some challenges to get to a bowl game but with Kansas and Iowa State both on the remaining schedule they should have a great shot at it.
Go Bears, 6-0 and bowling…