The Big 12 came into the week with a few intrigues, like why was Oklahoma State only a 2.5-point favorite over Tech? Granted the game was in Lubbock, on Halloween no less, but were the Red Raiders a lot better than their 5-3 record would dictate or was OSU not quite as good as their 7-0 record? Texas was looking at a must win for bowl eligibility against Iowa State in Ames. Texas needed to prove that they were for real. The Frogs were hosting the ‘Eers in Ft. worth in a game that ended West Virginia’s brutal stretch against league elites. A win would put the Mountaineers in a different category in the Big 12 and make them a lock for a bowl. Could they do it?
On to the game summaries -
West Virginia 10 @ TCU (-14) 40
After starting the season 3-0 the Mountaineers were on a roll, but staring down the barrel of a brutal October stretch. That stretch included games against the class of the league, 3 of which are undefeated, 2 of which are AP top 5 teams. TCU closed the door on Thursday night to the ‘Eers taking a victory out of October. The good news for West Virginia? After playing 4 teams that have a combined 18-1 record in Big 12 play, the teams in their next 5 games have a combined 6-19 league record. The Mountaineers still have a solid defense even without Karl Joseph and will notch some wins in the back half of the season.
TCU on the other hand just keeps rolling. Some wins have been prettier than others, and this was one of them. TCU powered to a 17-0 lead in the first quarter and never looked back. Trevone Boykin threw for 3 TDs and ran for another one in one of his best outing of the season. He also did his best Corey Coleman impression and jump juked several West Virginia defenders on scrambles out of the pocket. Josh Doctson caught two TD passes and chipped in 183 yards overall. One of the real stories coming out of this game for TCU is their defense. After multiple questionable outings earlier in the season this unit clicked against the Mountaineers holding them to 327 yards overall. The TCU offense has been good all season but the defense was the question mark. If that question gets answered, then TCU will be a tough out.
One thing that I was surprised at was how long Boykin played in this game. He played the whole game up until TCU’s final offensive series to run out the clock. The game result was clearly decided by the end of the 3rd quarter. The reason that I was surprised was because Boykin’s rushing touchdown came on a QB sweep around the left side to the corner of the endzone. The result of the play was a legal but vicious somersaulting knee tackle into the end-zone. The play happened in the first half when the game was still in question, but after seeing so many quarterbacks go down to injury this season I was just surprised to see the heartbeat of the TCU offense still slinging the ball in garbage time.
My prediction for the West Virginia game next week is that Dana Holgerson will hug Patrick Mahomes on the sidelines and declare him the best player in college football. Holgerson has declared post-game that the Mountaineers played the best player in college football for two weeks running. First with Corey Coleman running through the Mountaineer defense, now with Boykin doing the same. Holgerson actually took it up a notch this week, giving Boykin a high five on the sidelines. A hug would be the logical escalation from that. Be looking for that hug Patrick. Jakeem Grant, you might want to watch out as well.
Oklahoma (-39.5) 62 @ Kansas 7
The Sooners have extended their streak of dominance since their inexplicable loss to Texas. OU has outscored their post-Texas opponents 180-34. The defense is playing great and the offense is dominant. Granted this was against Kansas this week, but OU is still looking strong.
Baker Mayfield threw for 383 yards and 4 TDs against no interceptions. Sterling Shepard had a monster game catching 183 yards worth of passes and one of the TDs. The OU defense held the Jayhawk offense to 35 rushing yards on 36 attempts. The Jayhawks passed for 181 yards giving them 216 yards overall.
The only score that Kansas mustered came on a 1st quarter fumbled punt return by OUs Shepard. Kansas got the ball on the OU 29 and punched it in 6 plays later. That would be the highlight of the night for Kansas.
Oklahoma has really righted the ship after the Red River Rivalry disaster and is now clearly looking like one of the teams to beat in the conference.
Texas (-4.5) 0 @ Iowa State 24
Oh Texas. After a win against a top-10 Oklahoma and a strong follow-up victory against a solid Kansas State team, Texas looked to be gaining some momentum for a bowl run. Not so fast Horn fans… This was a horror show outing for the Longhorns. It might be even worse than the humiliation that they suffered against TCU. At least TCU is a really good team, certainly a whole lot better than Iowa State.
I am a Paul Rhoads fan, but with all due respect, Iowa State has been really struggling this year. To be honest they really didn't play that great against Texas. This game was more about offensive ineptitude by Texas rather than a dominant performance by the Cyclones. Rhoads did make some changes coming into this week on offense. He demoted/fired OC Mark Mangino putting Todd Sturdy in charge of play calling. I also think that starting Joel Lanning at QB over Sam Richardson was a breath of fresh air. Lanning threw for 188 yards and a TD and ran for 64 more. We will see if those moves pay further dividends later in the season but the certainly had a positive impact for this game. Mike Warren had a great game on the ground for the Cyclones as well running for 157 yards. He gashed the Texas front 7 over and over in the game.
Texas fans are back to scratching their heads. It seemed that Jerrod Heard was the QB of the future for the Horns, but he was wearing his invisible man costume for Halloween last night. Heard finished 6-9 passes for 26 yards and an interception. His QBR was 2.4. 2.4! Tyrone Swoopes didn't do much better on the series that he played for Texas. He passed for 59 yards and no interceptions. He was the top rusher for Texas running for 58 yards out of the alternate offensive set that he has been running. The QB substitutions were more liberal in this game than they have been in past weeks really begging the question of whether Texas has 2 starting quarterbacks (i.e. none…).
Charlie, you better wear your best smile and that gilded cowboy hat to the next UT athletic staff meeting.
Oklahoma State (-2.5) 70 @ Texas Tech 53
Talk about a barnburner in Lubbock. The Pokes had to come from behind against the Red Raiders and did so with big offensive plays and a huge special teams performance. Tech also had plenty of big plays as well and Jakeem Grant was untackleable in the first half. This was the highest scoring game in college football this season and accounted for more than 1300 yards of offense. This was a game of 2 halves. Tech started out with a 17-point lead in the first quarter and had all of the momentum. OSU snatched it back in the 2nd half though with some big plays of their own.
To give you an idea, there were 10 plays that covered more than 28 yards in this game. Those plays were as follows:
1st Quarter (OSU 14 – TTU 24)
1. TTU Patrick Mahomes to Justin Stockton – 42 yards for a TD
2. TTU Mahomes to Jakeem Grant – 90 yards to the OSU 7, TD 3 plays later
3. TTU Grant 100 yard kickoff return for TD
2nd Quarter (OSU 28 – TTU 38)
4. OSU Mason Rudolph to Brandon Sheperd – 31 yards for a TD
3rd Quarter (OSU 42 – TTU 38)
5. OSU Jalen McCleskey 67 yard punt return for a TD
6. OSU Raymond Taylor 28 yard run up the middle for a TD
4th Quarter (OSU 70 – TTU 53)
7. OSU JW Walsh 64 yard run up the middle, TD next play
8. OSU James Washington 75 yard rush for TD
9. OSU Walsh to Washington 73 yards for a TD
10. OSU Ramon Richards interception return 58 yards for a TD
The big-play momentum really shifted in this game during the second half. At the beginning it was all Tech. 3 different times in the first half, Tech had a 17-point lead. The Red Raiders owned the first quarter. The Cowboys came back with a vengeance though and started making big play after big play, especially in the 4th quarter. Finishing the game with the momentum ultimately put the game out of reach for Tech.
Speaking of the 4th quarter, there were 6 touchdowns scored, 2 by Tech and 4 by the Cowboys. JW Walsh played at QB for most of the second half after Mason Rudolph started the 3rd quarter slowly. It ended up being a great choice considering the production on the ground and through the air that Walsh contributed. He ran for 80 yards and pass for 167 all in the second part of the 2nd half. Rudolph threw for 285 yards and 2 TDs but was sacked twice and threw an interception. On the receiving side OSUs James Washington caught 4 passes for 200 yards. You read that right, a 50 yard average.
Tech’s Patrick Mahomes threw for 480 yards and 4 TDs but also tossed 2 picks. DeAndre Washington rushed for 95 yards and is now at 932 yards for the season. It was a deflating loss for Tech after being up in the first half, the Red Raiders are still looking for that final win to put them in Bowl eligibility.
Sunday Morning Quarterback
The Bears had a week to rest and prepare for a trip to the little apple to take on Kansas State. The week off came at a great time for Andrew Billings who has been nursing an ankle injury. It also gave Jarrett Stidham an extra few days to get his timing down with the first string offense.
Not much changes in the Big 12 picture after this week. OSU looked a bit shaky at first but won big in the 4th quarter. OU and TCU looked good. Tech is still trying to get its last win for bowl eligibility and West Virginia is facing a much softer second half of the season. Texas is back out of contention with an abominable performance in Ames. Kansas State is right on the edge still needing 3 wins.
Go Bears, 7-0…