Oklahoma State 24, @ Central Michigan 13
The Cowboys opened up Big 12 play on Thursday on the road in Mt. Pleasant, MI (a place KU will visit in 2018). The ‘Pokes started off pretty sluggish, but pulled away in the second half. What did Cowboys Ride for Free think?
We've said all along that the offensive line would be something watch. There was a lot that wasn't watchable.
Pass protection was actually decent, as Rudolph generally had enough time to do his thing. The Reindeer had a respectable game, going 22/33 for 266, TD, and no turnovers. The talented WR's were ok but fairly underwhelming, with Ateman, Lacey, and Sheperd all dropping catchable balls.
These struggles were exacerbated by some mystery play calling. Yes, it was a win, but it was frustrating, and it definitely caused a number of us to regurgitate some of the kool-aid we've been drinking.
Baylor 56, @ SMU 21
The Ponies hung with Baylor for a half, only down 28-21 when the third quarter opened. But then Baylor figured out whatever was ailing them at halftime, and cruised the rest of the way. From Our Daily Bears:
SMU ran the ball 24 times on first down versus just 9 passes. Baylor, 14 vs. 19. I don't know if we were attempting to get Seth comfortable or what, but that's not the ratio I expected. We heard a lot of talk after the Cotton Bowl about Kendall Briles' tendencies as a play-caller, and I still think two games is far too little to draw definitive conclusions, but that's something to watch.
TCU 23, @ Minnesota 17
Minnesota couldn't do anything against the Frogs in the first half offensively, but then got it going and gave TCU a game. On to Frogs O War:
TCU's offense looked very sloppy tonight, and certainly did not meet the expectations set during the offseason. Boykin went 26 for 42, throwing for 246 yards with a TD and Int, while rushing for 92 and another TD on the ground. While his stats looked okay, he had both Nixon and Porter wide open in the endzone and overthrew both of them on two separate plays (Nixon by about 5 yards).
Texas Tech 59, vs Sam Houston State 45
SHSU scored a boatload of points on the Red Raiders, a score I was definitely surprised by. I'm really curious to see what Viva The Matadors has to say:
That was a hard game to watch. I will try and be as fair and rational as possible but I am a bit deflated after watching us struggle mightily versus an FCS school outside of a nice third quarter. It is going to take more than one quarter to beat every other team on the schedule outside of maybe Kansas.
The defense HAS to improve. They played well at times and turned the Bearkats over four times but got gashed for over 600 yards. SHS average 6.9 yards/rush. Those stats can't be acceptable to anyone in the locker room.
This team is still sloppy. Beyond the penalties, there were plenty drops, more missed tackles than I can count and bad plays at the wrong time. Kingsbury can preach from the podium about the discipline, but actions speak louder than words and I am not seeing it.
Oklahoma 41, vs Akron 3
The Sooners faced an overmatched opponent in the visiting Zips of Akron. As I'm sure anyone with a pulse expected, the Sooners closed out this one early and easily. From Crimson and Cream Machine:
It's hard to not see what he (Baker Mayfield) did on the field and immediately be excited about the future. Baker was efficient, made the right reads and in the end set a record for the most passing yards for a QB making his first start for the Sooners. Not bad, but the best part of Baker tonight was ZERO. Zero interceptions that is. The upgrade at QB from last season to this season is already VERY apparent.
Kansas State 34, vs South Dakota 0
KSU played the bad team from South Dakota and had no trouble at all. Even though K-State obviously has other things on their minds, they played well enough to shut out their opponent. I was surprisingly able to find a comment not defending the band's actions. From Bring On The Cats:
Following an injury to Jesse Ertz (we'll get to that in a minute) Joe Hubener took over and looked poised as he commanded the offense to a 34 point burst. However, a number of dropped passes, including one by a WIDE open Kody Cook early in the third quarter, hampered the offense. With the receivers struggling at times to create seperation from the defensive backs, it is imperative they catch the ball when open. If not, this team's offense will struggle against Big 12 competition.
Notre Dame 38, vs Texas 3
Yowza. Blowout city. Let's get right to Burnt Orange Nation:
There was pass after pass after pass from Notre Dame quarterback Malik Zaire finding open receiver after open receiver sitting in massive holes in the ineffective Texas zone defense.
Throw in poor tackling by senior linebacker Peter Jinkens, mix that around with a complete lack of a pass rush, complete and consistent breakdowns in zone coverage, and the result was near-complete domination by the Notre Dame offense.
By the end of the third quarter, the Texas quarterbacks were 5-of-14 for 78, with 48 of those yards coming on a Swoopes bomb to freshman wide receiver John Burt, about the only highlight for either to that point. But Swoopes was too often inaccurate, following up that beautiful throw by missing sophomore wide receiver Armanti Foreman on a crossing route that should have been a relatively easy completion.
Swoopes didn't turn the ball over or look quite as beaten as he did late last season, there just wasn't much that he could do most of the time with little time in the pocket. The problem is that when he did have time, his accuracy didn't look much better. Yet, somewhat inexplicably, Heard remained on the sidelines, even as Swoopes finished 7-of-22 for 93 yards.
Iowa State 31, vs Northern Iowa 7
Northern Iowa is ranked higher than South Dakota State. I honestly fully expected the Panthers to get (yet another) win in Ames. Alas, it was not to be. Wide Right and Natty Lite had it covered:
Player of the game honors would probably go to Dale Pierson. His interception in the second quarter helped spark the Cyclones as they rattled off 31 unanswered points to blow out the Panthers. The senior also added three sacks and proved to be a handful for the UNI O-line all game long.
West Virginia 44, vs Georgia Southern 0
The Mountaineers seemingly had a cakewalk win over Georgia Southern. Overall, Smoking Musket was pleased, but not necessarily impressed:
Skyler Howard is sporadic. I'm not sure if it was his nerves, but Howard's throws were all over the place in the first half. He seemed to have settled down in the second half, but let's hope this isn't a recurring theme this season. Howard was pulled early in the fourth quarter and finished 16/25 for 359 yards and 2 touchdowns.
Karl Joseph is a bad, bad man. Joseph had three interceptions in the 3rd quarter, which makes him the first player to have three interceptions in a game since 1994 when Vann Washington did it against Louisiana Tech. Oh, and he also had a fumble recovery in the first half.