This was a big weekend for the college football with 3 matchups involving conference leaders in the Big 12, ACC and SEC. The Big 12 was also feeling a bit slighted after putting forward 3 undefeated teams and being placed at 6, 8 and 14 by the college football playoff committee. I am sure that selection committee will have some more rules this week to explain things. The game at the top of the league that would most affect rankings was a battle of undefeateds with TCU facing Oklahoma State in Stillwater.
On to the game summaries -
Texas Tech 26 @ West Virginia (-7.5) 31
Texas Tech opened the season with a big win at Arkansas but had to face TCU and Baylor early. West Virginia also had a front-loaded schedule, facing Okie State, Oklahoma, Baylor and TCU as their first 4 conference opponents. The bottom line for both of these teams was that it was time to prove where they stood in the Big 12 pecking order in Morgantown.
West Virginia decided to establish the run and establish it they did. With a suspect Tech run defense it was the smart play and worked beautifully. Wendell Smallwood gained 163 yards and a TD and Rushel Shell ran for 111 and two scores. Skylar Howard had a pretty weak day only passing for 149 yards and throwing 2 picks.
On the Tech side of the ball, DeAndre Washington shined with 102 yards on the ground and 64 yards receiving out of the backfield. The Mountaineer secondary played a tremendous game though and shut down the potent Tech passing attack, holding Patrick Mahomes to 196 yards through the air.
This game did go back and forth throughout with both teams trading scores to a 17-all tie in the third quarter. Early in the 4th, Tech traded a Field Goal for a Touchdown and that ended up being the deciding factor. The 5-point spread came on a two-point conversion failure late where Tech was trying to pull within 3 points of the Mountaineers.
West Virginia got a much needed victory to stop their slide against the league’s top teams and Tech is left still searching for that elusive 6th victory to get bowl eligible. Both teams have winnable games on their schedule that should allow them to punch through.
I am not sure if Coach Holgerson played the number 1 player in college football this week, but granted I haven’t seen all of his tweets…
TCU (-5.5) 29 @ Oklahoma State 49
I commented probably 25 times this week that having Oklahoma State at 8-0 and ranked 14 by the CFP was a travesty. They had 5 teams with a loss ahead of them. We all knew that this situation would play itself out as the season progressed, but at 8-0 a team in a major conference deserved a sniff at the top 10 for sure. The Cowboys proved their legitimacy though by destroying TCU in Stillwater 49-29. The final score really was much closer than this game was throughout the afternoon to be honest.
The Pokes raced to a 28-9 lead at halftime and then cruised to a 42-16 lead at then end of the 3rd quarter. Mason Rudolph was on fire throughout throwing for a total yardage of 352 yards and 5 TDs. He through TD passes of 48, 50, 12, 82, and 74 yards. It was bombs away in Stillwater, with James Washington catching three of the strikes.
Trevone Boykin had exactly the opposite type of outing. He did rack up 445 yards through the air with a passing and rushing touchdown, but he also threw 4 interceptions, one of which was a pick-six. In the second half he was clearly rattled and was throwing balls in the dirt and over the heads of his receivers. One of his main problems was that Josh Doctson left the game in the 2nd quarter with a wrist injury and didn't return. Doctson is clearly Boykin’s go-to guy and that left a huge void on the field he went to the locker room. Hopefully the injury is not too bad and Doctson can get back on the field.
The win puts the steadily improving Cowboys in the driver’s seat in the Big 12 now with Baylor and Oklahoma having to come to Stillwater for their showdowns.
Iowa State 16 @ Oklahoma (24.5) 52
Iowa State was winning this game after an opening drive field goal and I thought things might get interesting. That didn’t last long tough with Oklahoma scoring 21 unanswered points en route to a 52-16 rout of the Cyclones.
Baker Mayfield passed for 342 yards and 3 scores and Samaje Perine rushed for 95 yards. The Oklahoma offense scored at will with 7 different players scoring TDs.
Joel Lanning passed for 260 yards and a TD in his second start for the Cyclones, but the Sooner defense was too much. Oklahoma has now won 4 straight games and seems to be peaking at the right time after their loss to Texas.
Kansas 20 @ Texas (-28) 59
Texas had a bounce back game against hapless Kansas with Jerrod Heard tossing an 84-yard strike to John Burt on the Horns’ first play from scrimmage. The fireworks weren’t over though with D’Onta Foreman scampering around the left side for 93 yards and score in the third quarter.
Texas had their best offensive outing of the season and leaves just a crack open in the door for a post-season berth. Kansas is looking less and less likely to win another game this season and really didn't have much chance in this one. They turned the ball over 4 times, but otherwise did gain some yardage on the Horn defense especially on the ground.
Its almost time Kansas, you know what I am talking about…
Sunday Morning Quarterback
The Bears had a brilliant debut by quarterback Jarrett Stidham and left the little apple with a solid victory. Oklahoma continued to drive forward and sets up a big match in Waco next week between two of the conference powers. So big in fact that college gameday will be at McClane Stadium.
The conference race took a big shakeup with Oklahoma State trouncing TCU but the bowl picture stays similar.
Go Bears, 8-0…