Last week in the Big 12 saw a big win in Knoxville by the Sooners, a promising start by Jerrod Heard for Texas and a full slate of early season blowouts, including Memphis over Kansas. Week 3 had Baylor, West Virginia and Kansas on vacation and a couple of lesser in-state rivalries taking place in Oklahoma and Texas. North of the Red River, the "there has never been a hurricane of any color on the great plains" rivalry between Tulsa and Oklahoma took place in Norman and TCU and SMU fought for the iron skillet in Ft. Worth. Tech took on Arkansas in Fayetteville, hoping to continue to put the brakes on SEC dominance and in an intriguing matchup the Cal Golden Bears visited Austin as 6.5 point favorites over the Horns. Texas likely will not be favored again until Halloween and that is a scary thought for Horns fans. One more week until league play…
On to the game summaries -
Tulsa 38 @ Oklahoma (-30.5) 52
Baker Mayfield had a huge day in this cross-state showdown passing for 487 yards and 4 touchdowns and running for 85 yards and 2 more. Samaje Perine also got into the swing of the offense by running for 152 yards. Sterling Shepard had 144 yards of catches and Mark Andrews hauled in 2 TDs through the air. At 773 yards of total offense, it was the 4th best Sooner offensive showing in school history. Mayfield’s production was the best single game effort in Sooner history.
Tulsa’s offense under the tutelage of new head coach and former Baylor offensive coordinator Phil Montgomery was no slouch either, hanging 38 points on the Oklahoma defense and racking up over 600 yards of total offense. The Tulsa defense on the other hand, looked sloppy with missed tackles and broken coverages leading to big plays.
The Hurricanes did hang with Oklahoma though and late in the 3rd quarter it was a 7-point game. The Sooners were just too tough though and finished strong with 14 points late to take a 21-point, 4th quarter lead and effectively end the threat. OU, particularly Baker Mayfield and the offense, is starting to fire on all cylinders and is looking like a strong contender in the Big 12 race.
La Tech 33 @ Kansas State (-9.5) 39
Kansas State needed 3 overtime periods to dispatch a pesky Louisiana Tech team in the little apple. K State took an early 6-0 lead but the Bulldogs fought back and took a 10-6 lead into halftime. La Tech lead this game for long stretches and won the statistical battle as well. They outgained the Cats 451 yards to 355, had more first downs, but unfortunately had more turnovers as well and that would contribute to the loss significantly.
With the game tied at 20 late in the 4th quarter the Bulldogs got the ball on their own 25-yard line with a chance to drive and win the game. Instead, a fumble by the Dogs at their own 30 gave the Cats an opportunity to take the lead with a field goal at 23-20. Tech had new life though after getting the ball with only 1:16 on the clock but needing to drive the length of the field with no timeouts. Drive the field is exactly what they did and kicked a tying field goal as time expired.
The teams traded a touchdowns and field goals in overtimes one and two but the Cats were able to close it out in the third extra period. It is tough enough to win on the road as an under-Bulldog and even harder in overtime, but La Tech almost pulled it off. Credit to the Snydercats for hanging tough. They don't ask you how, they ask you how many. The Cats are 3-0.
UT San Antonio 14 @ Oklahoma State (-24.5) 69
The Oklahoma State Cowboys finally lived up to expectations in a comprehensive win over a previously overachieving UT San Antonio team. The Roadrunners certainly helped the Poke cause by turning the ball over an uncharacteristic 7 times. The Cowboys capitalized on them all, scoring a whopping 45 points off of the 5 fumbles and 2 interceptions committed by UTSA.
Mason Rudolph was sharp at 280 yards through the air and 2 touchdowns, but the running game was the major change that the Cowboys were looking for in this week 3 matchup. Chris Carson had over 100 yards and 2 TDs and Raymond Taylor and Rennie Childs both had ground TDs as well.
Even with the extreme charity afforded them by the San Antonians, OSU looked strong and is starting to cement their position near the top of the mid-tier of the league.
Texas Tech 35 @ Arkansas (-12) 24
The SEC took another body blow with the now free-falling Arkansas Razorbacks losing to the Texas Tech Red Raiders in Fayetteville. The Red Raiders never trailed in this one after taking a 7-0 lead on their first possession. The Hogs tied it up 3 different times in the game but never took a lead.
Patrick Mahomes continued to perform and completed just under 90% of his passes for 243 yards but also had 2 interceptions. He ran for 2 TDs and 58 yards. DeAndre Washington continued his quest to be a 1,000 yard rusher again and gained 75 yards on just 11 carries. One of the highlights of the game was a pitch back pass from Mahomes to Jakeem Grant to Reginald Davis that covered 72 yards for a touchdown behind a befuddled Hog secondary.
The Tech defense still allowed 24 points on 424 yards but on the road, in a hostile stadium, playing an SEC team that was beaten by Toledo last week and looking for blood, that is not too bad. The whole situation smacks of overachieving Toledo and Tech squads and a hugely overrated Hogs team. Tech is now ranked 33rd in the "others receiving votes" category and is starting to pick up some momentum. Arkansas dropped from 18th in the nation and a trendy CFP pick to wondering if they can make a bowl.
Also, if you didn't catch Coach Bro’s postgame comments about Coach Bielma getting his ass kicked, they are worth a look.
Cal (-6.5) 45 @ Texas 44
Texas lost a heart-breaker in Austin on a last minute missed point after try, but Horns fans have a lot to be happy about after this game. Well maybe not happy, but at least slightly less miserable.
Jerrod Heard was brilliant passing for 364 yards and running for 163 yards and 3 touchdowns. He did have 1 interception but drove the offense to their highest point total since taking on Iowa State almost a year ago. The Texas defense let Cal run wild as well allowing 45 points and 548 yards.
The game got off to a great start for the Horns. After falling back by 7 early, the Horns reeled off 24 points to take a 24-14 lead late in the second quarter. Cal scored 10 points in the last 40 seconds of the half though to tie it with a late field goal coming off of a Jerrod Heard interception.
The 3rd quarter was all Golden Bear with 3 touchdowns including a Khalfani Muhammad 74-yard scamper. Going into the 4th quarter, this game appeared to be over. Cal had scored 34 unanswered points and was in firm control.
The Horns were not giving up though, scoring 20 points of their own, two on runs by Jerrod Heard of 13 yards and 45 yards. The second of those runs came with only 1:11 left in the game. It seemed destined for overtime, but Nick Rose, of 70-yard field goal twitter fame, pushed the PAT wide right. Cal escaped Austin and the Horns were left shaking their heads. To be honest, it is not fair to hang a loss on a poor kicker that has a small mental lapse at the end of big game. Texas could have won the other 59 minutes of the game and it wouldn't have mattered. But such is the plight of the kicker – hero or goat. This week, unfortunately for Nick Rose, Goat…
Charlie Strong at least got a little relief when Horn AD Steve Patterson got fired earlier in the week. The result is that Strong now can’t get fired by Patterson any time soon. With a brutal 4-game stretch that includes 3 ranked teams in a row, the Horns could easily find themselves 1-6 before heading to Ames on Halloween to take on the Cyclones so the pressure is still on for Strong. If the season plays out as it has so far, Texas will probably only be favored in that game and the Kansas game and will have to find 3 more wins somewhere else in the league to reach a bowl. Even in defeat, this game was a big step in the right direction, but there is some tough sledding left to do in Austin.
SMU 37 @ TCU (-37) 56
The iron skillet rivalry supposedly started in the 1940’s with SMU fans frying frog legs at a TCU pre-game gathering in an iron skillet. People were offended, heated words were exchanged, and the skillet became the symbolic icon of the rivalry. That skillet was up for grabs this weekend with the Ponies traveling to Amon Carter to take on the Frogs in the annual metroplex grudge match. I am not sure if it will fit a pony leg or not, but the skillet stayed in Ft. Worth to be used at the whim of the Horned Frogs. SMU battled and proved that their showings against Baylor and UNT were not flukes. They were leading the game early and they were within 5 points late in an extremely valiant effort. They hung 37 points and 503 yards on the Frog defense, the most points given up by TCU since a game last season that Baylor fans remember fondly.
Trevone Boykin was back to his phenomenal, statistic beating self, accounting for 6 TDs (5 through the air and 1 on the ground) and over 500 combined yards. Josh Doctson hauled in 2 TD passes including a circus catch near the end of the game to put it out of reach of for the Ponies. The Frog offensive attack had several big plays and put up over 700 yards total.
The Frog defense sustained another loss with Cornerback Ranthony Texada suffering a season-ending knee injury in the first half of the game. That makes 6 starters down for the D, 5 to injury and 1 on leave from the team.
The game showed 3 things. 1.) The TCU defense after losing so many starters to injury or defection is expectedly not as salty. 2.) SMU is pretty darn good and will very likely be a bowl team this year. Hear hear Chad Morris. 3.) Trevone Boykin is impossible to contain and could carry this team on his shoulders if needed. Think back to RG3’s Heisman year. Dynamic scrambler, high scoring offense, great receivers, not so good defense. TCU’s defense is better even with the injuries than Baylor’s was back then, so the Frogs aren’t going anywhere.
Next week against Tech should be a very interesting game.
Iowa State 23 @ Toledo (-7.5) 30
The most exciting game of the year for the Cyclones is their next one. They are hosting Kansas on October 3rd and it will be their best chance for a win for the rest of the season.
After getting beaten by Arkansas-killer Toledo in double overtime this week, the Cyclones don't have much else to look forward to. They have pulled some Big 12 upsets in the past so that is not out of the question, but it might be a tall order this year.
The Cyclones outgained the Rockets 481 yards to 309 but just couldn't score enough points to put this one away. Their best chance at a win was on the last play of the game but Cole Netten missed a 32-yarder for the win. Don't feel bad Cole, if you want to talk to someone that is really bummed out, give Nick Rose a call.
Sunday Morning Quarterback
The Bears were off this week but the Big 12 had a great showing anyway. OU, OSU, and Tech all looked extremely sharp in victory. Particularly Tech going to Fayetteville and beating Arky. TCU while severely tested on defense by upstart SMU, looked great on offense behind Trevone Boykin. With TCU’s defensive misfortunes and OU, OSU, Tech, and WVU all looking formidable, the league is starting to look more and more like a toss-up. Even at 1-2, Texas has found its quarterback of the future and can be dangerous to any of the higher ranked conference opponents that choose to overlook them.
Until a game result says otherwise, Baylor still has a legitimate claim to being the top team in the league, with that status being severely tested on October 3rd in Jerry World against the Red Raiders. This is shaping up to be a very interesting and exciting season.
Go Bears, 2-0…