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The Big 12 Sunday Morning Quarterback - Week 8

The weekly rundown of happenings in the Big 12 and how it affects your Baylor Bears. Complete with game analysis, bowl predictions and conference observations.

Ray Carlin-USA TODAY Sports

It was a rainy day for most of the Big 12 in Week 8 with soggy matchups in Waco and Austin with the Bears vs Cyclones and Horns vs Wildcats. Oklahoma State hosted the Jayhawks and Tech was in Norman to try and pull off an upset.

Before going any further we need to put in a word of support for the the families affected at the Oklahoma State homecoming parade tragedy. 4 were killed and several others critically injured when a car crashed into the crowd of parade watchers. Our thoughts and prayers are with the Oklahoma State family as it mourns today.

We also saw Seth Russell sustain a neck injury. Injuries like that are always scary, let’s hope that it is not too serious and that he makes a full and speedy recovery. We are pulling for you Seth.

On to the game summaries -

Kansas State 9 vs. Texas (-6.5) 23

Texas started this game with a heavy dose of rain-induced running game and never varied from that strategy. Their first 13 plays from scrimmage were all runs split between Jonathan Gray, Jerrod Heard and Tyrone Swoopes. The opening drive resulted in a field goal. The Horns scored TDs on their next two possessions and built a 16 – 0 lead on 30 rushes against only 4 pass attempts. They went for two after their second touchdown and were not successful in getting it. The followed that up with an onside kick which they recovered but were unable to capitalize on.

Texas’s defense was looking much stronger in this game and is starting to live up to expectations. They held Kansas State scoreless until late in the first half when the Wildcats were able to put together a 78-yard TD drive. They also went for two and failed leaving the score 16-6.

In the second half it was a defensive struggle with neither team mounting a drive of substance until late. Given a short field after an interception, Tyrone Swoopes made runs of 13, 29 and 10 yards to score a touchdown with 1:15 left in the game and close the door on a Kansas State comeback.

It is the first time that Kansas State has lost 4 games in a row since 2005. After starting the season 3-0 and seemingly a lock for a bowl, the Cats have been backsliding. Granted they have played some tougher competition in the league, but they still have Baylor on the schedule and a tougher road to 6 wins that it looked 4 weeks ago.

The Horns are quietly improving and with a win over the Cats are looking like bowl contenders now. The dual system of quarterbacks with Heard as the starter and Swoopes as the short-yardage, specialty guy seems to be working, but the Longhorn offense is still a fair distance from being dominant. If the offense improves and the defense starts to settle in, this could be a dangerous team down the stretch.

Texas Tech 27 @ Oklahoma (-14) 63

The Sooners used a hard-nose running attack to upend the Red Raiders in Norman 63 - 27. The defense was also especially good, holding the Tech offensive machine to one of its lowest outputs of the season.

After putting up only 420 yards in his previous 6 games, Samaje Perine went off against a vulnerable Tech run defense and recorded his best outing of the season at 201 yards and 4 TDs. It was only a matter of time before the Sooner running game got going and after having been very pass-heavy in the new Air Raid offensive scheme. Joe Mixon also ran for 154 yards and 2 TDs. Baker Mayfield had a solid outing against his former team throwing for 212 yards, 2 TDs and an interception.

In his worst outing of the season by far, Tech’s Patrick Mahomes threw 4 picks against only 1 touchdown. His passing yardage was a season low 233 yards. DeAndre Washington was also held below 100 yards.

Even with the struggles that Tech had, they were in this game late in the 2nd quarter. OU sprinted to a 21-3 lead early in the 2nd on 2 Mixon TDs and a Perine TD and it seemed that the game would be over, but the Red Raiders fought back. The scored 14 unanswered on a Mahomes touchdown pass and a Washington TD run. At 21-17 it was anyone’s ball game. Tech had already had to weather 3 of the 4 interceptions at this point and were still in it.

The Sooners went on a 35-10 run though starting right at the end of the first half and it was game over. The Sooner defense made adjustments at halftime and started to shut down Tech’s high-flying offense and the running game of OU continued to pick on the front seven of Tech.

Oklahoma has now outscored opponents 118-27 since their embarrassing defeat in the Red River Rivalry. They are starting to click at exactly the right time in the season.

Kansas 10 @ Oklahoma State (-34.5) 58

Oklahoma State endured tragedy at their homecoming parade before the game, but the football team played through it in administering a 58-10 beat down to the 0-7 Kansas Jayhawks.

The Poke offense looked sharp early with Mason Rudolph running the show and JW Walsh coming in for short yardage situations. Walsh scored 3 touchdowns in this game all from within the 5 yard line. Kansas punted on its first 5 possessions with one of the punts being blocked and returned for a touchdown. The snap was high and the punter had to scramble backwards to corral it. As he was running to try and make something happen, he attempted a quick punt right into the chest of Miketavious Jones who scooped up the blocked punt and took it into the end zone. 20 minutes into the game it was OSU 28 Kansas 0. Although Kansas did score 10 points in the second quarter, the game was never close. The Cowboys poured it on from all aspects of the game and made a solid statement about their conference ranking.

Kansas continues to struggle with freshman Ryan Willis at the helm who threw two interceptions against OSU. Kansas will be heavy underdogs for the rest of the season and unless a miracle happens, they will finish the season 0-12.

OSU still has Baylor, TCU and OU on their schedule so they are yet to be fully tested, but they are starting to play to their preseason expectations. They certainly have the talent to challenge for the league championship and will get to make their case on the field.

Sunday Morning Quarterback

The Bears jumped out to a 35-0 lead against Iowa State in heavy rain and then for some reason shifted into neutral and coasting to the finish at 45-27. The big story of this game is the neck injury to Seth Russell. From what I understand there are a very wide range of injuries like this. They could result in everything from a couple of weeks out to season ending surgery. We will know more on Monday when Seth sees a specialist.

His backup is true freshman Jarrett Stidham. Let’s remember though that Stidham isn’t your typical true freshman. He is the first 5-star athlete ever to come to Baylor. He also enrolled early so that he could go through spring ball last year. He already has thrown for 6 TDs and run for 1 this year in mop-up duty. So he has some experience. Thankfully the Bears have an open week this week before visiting Kansas State for a Thursday night showdown.

Bottom line is that Baylor has a solid but inexperienced QB and a dazzling array of specialists for him to work with. Hopefully Andrew Billings will be back for Kansas State and the defense will get a bump as well. We certainly wish Seth Russell the best for a speedy recovery.

Go Bears, 7-0…

bowls week 8