Welcome to week 13 in the Big 12 Conference. With only 3 games on the docket it was a slower than normal weekend for Big 12 fans. Clearly Baylor at OSU was the big game this week with it being a matchup of top 10s and with College Game Day in Stillwater. Oklahoma and Kansas State offered a great undercard earlier in the day and Iowa State and Kansas were duking it out to see who would end up at the bottom of the Big 12 Power Rankings. Only three games, but one of them was really, really big…
Oklahoma 41 @ Kansas State 31
Oklahoma and Kansas State came into this game with the Cats on a 4 game winning streak and the Sooners trying to give coach Stoops his 158th Sooner victory to pass Barry Switzer for the all time mark at OU. Both teams showed their mettle and it was a hard fought game from the beginning. Oklahoma won the 4th quarter and ended up proving that they were the better team on the day, pulling out a great win in the Little Apple.
Trevor Knight got the start over a still-injured Blake Bell and drove the Oklahoma offense to a touchdown on their first possession with a mix of rushing and passing. After an interception on their next series, the Oklahoma offense began to dedicate themselves to the run almost exclusively. Their next drive after the interception went 14 plays and 98 yards all on the ground, with Brennan Clay and Trevor Knight gaining the majority of the yardage. Up 14-0 in the second quarter and with all of the momentum, the Sooners were looking like cruising to a blow-out victory.
Jake Waters and Tyler Lockett begged to differ. KSU scored 14 points on their next 7 plays from scrimmage. Both scores were long passes (48 yards and 30 yards) from Waters to Lockett and the Cats were right back in it at 14 all.
With 5:26 to play in the first half though Brennan Clay took a run 64 yards to put Oklahoma back on top 21-14. 26 seconds after that Waters hooked up with Lockett yet again, this time for a 90 yard score to bring the game even at 21. It was an interesting change in role for the Kansas State offense. Their 3 touchdowns were all through the air, all long plays, and all less than two minutes. This was far from the grind it out style that the Snydercats are known for.
With a field goal to end the half, OU took a 24-21 lead into halftime. After trading 3rd quarter field goals and several punts, the margin remained at 3, 27-24 in favor of the Sooners. On their first series of the fourth quarter a special teams play proved the spark for the Sooners. Standing in his own endzone, Mike Krause kicked a punt into the wind that netted a whopping 30 yards. The return on the play was also 30 yards leaving the original line of scrimmage unchanged, the Kansas State 3. Brennan Clay took it over the line on the first play of the ensuing drive.
A Zack Sanchez pick 6 on the next series off of a Waters pass put the Sooners up 41 to 24 and they never looked back. After a late TD from Kansas State the final in Manhattan ended up 41-31.
Bottom line, OU proved that they are a very strong 2-loss team with a tough win on the road and Kansas State proved that it is no fluke that they are in a bowl.
Kansas 0 at Iowa State 34
After a week in the rarefied air of the winner’s circle and a goal post tossed into Potter’s Lake, Kansas came crashing down to earth and resumed their spot in the Big 12 cellar. This was the coldest game ever played in Jack Trice Stadium with the mercury reading 8 degrees at kickoff and steadily dropping throughout the game.
It didn't matter to the Cyclones though. They grabbed control early and never took their foot off of the gas. Grant Rohach had a career day throwing for 300 yards and 2 touchdowns while Kansas was never able to get anything going offensively. Shontrelle Johnson was the leading rusher for the Cyclones with 84 yards and a touchdown on the ground. James White also scored a rushing TD for ISU.
With a 10-0 lead at halftime, Iowa State used a big 3rd quarter to put the game out of reach and ultimately finished up with a 34-0 shutout. Paul Rhoads was lucky in that he did avoid a Gatorade bath. All of the coolers had frozen by the end of the game.
Sunday Monday Morning Quarterback
There is no joy in Mudville tonight Baylor fans. The Bears were soundly defeated by the Cowboys in Stillwater. Baylor now finds itself on the outside looking in, a position that they have not been in all year. Right beside us, also looking in? Texas. Now rather than having another championship game on the schedule the Bears have another tough match just to preserve conference positioning.
The only good thing that happened in other Big 12 action was that OU won and hopefully will have some confidence going into their Bedlam match on December 7th. As much as I hate to say it - Boomer Sooner! It could be much worse, at least we do not have to cheer for Aggie.
Back to this weekend though, Oklahoma State deserves a ton of credit for pulling off this game. Their defensive scheme befuddled our offensive juggernaut all night. We dared Clint Chelf to burn us in the secondary and that is exactly what he did. We also had some plain old bad luck, which is hard to recover from against a top notch opponent. A fumble on the 6 inch line (not all due to bad luck) and a touchdown saving tackle by the turf monster two plays earlier really turned the momentum early on. A fumble return for a touchdown late added insult to injury.
But take heart Baylor fans, this was a bad game in the midst of a great season. Only 6 times in 108 years has Baylor had 9 victories or more in a season and we still have 3 games to play to increase that total. I also want to point out that OSU is darn good. They had one inexplicable collapse early in the season, but they were the preseason pick to win the Big 12 for a reason. Although I am miserable about losing this game and feel like the Bears didn't show up, there is no shame when you lose on the road in a sold-out hostile environment against a top-10 opponent. Just ask Bob Stoops.
So at this point lets stop worrying about what could have been, and lets focus on beating TCU and Texas in the upcoming weeks. We are still going to go to a great bowl game, we are still going to open up our beautiful new stadium next year, we still have the best coaching staff in the country, and the future is still very bright.
Keep your heads up Bears, 9-1