Every game in the Big 12 this week was decided by a touchdown or less. With all of the action going on, let’s get right into it!
TCU 24 @ Kansas 23
So close for the Jayhawks. Things couldn’t have gone much worse for KU early, but KU hung in and took a 23-14 lead into the fourth quarter. At RCT, we’re left wondering if it’s yet another aberration in a long season of misery, or if KU is really getting better under David Beaty:
This loss falls squarely on David Beaty. He was too conservative, playing for field goals late (of which Kansas missed 3). There was also a questionable decision to punt on 4th-and-1 from near midfield early in the game. And don't even get me started on his third-down playcalling.
The perspective over at Frogs O War seems to concur with what RCT was thinking. The headline read:
Frogs almost croack, but Jayhawks bail them out. Three missed KU field goals were the real difference.
They also seem to be blaming their coach, but not calling him out by name:
This game was pretty much an unmitigated disaster, any way you look at it. TCU’s defense forced four turnovers, but the offense could only muster up seven points off of them. Kenny Hill had four turnovers, the offensive line was a disaster, undisciplined play cost them yards, and Kyle Hicks didn’t get the ball enough.
Texas Tech 38 @ Kansas State 44
K-State scored on offense, defense, and special teams, and the Wildcats had a 13-point lead with 1:56 to play, but this game came down to a Hail Mary play as time expired. Unfortunately, Texas Tech couldn’t quite pull it off.
Despite the number of points allowed, Viva the Matadors was encouraged by what they saw:
This defense looked highly improved. After weeks of moaning about the same old defense this week David Gibbs’ crew stepped up in a big way. K-State was given a short field on three possessions and the defense only gave up one touchdown.
Tech only allowed three offensive touchdowns and three times held the opposition to three points in the red zone.
At least VTM has a good read on Manhattan, KS:
Manhattan, Kansas: a place where weird things happen. A place where the tourist attractions include a flat expanse of land and an insect zoo. It’s a place where the football stadium is named after the team’s active head coach. Lastly it’s a place where sometimes football doesn’t make sense.
Bring on the Cats took a look at the game, shrugged their shoulders, and moved on:
Jesse Ertz was better, but this defense was considerably worse than last week.
Ertz was... well. He was 10/20 for only 104 yards in the air against a really awful defense. He did run 83 yards on 10 carries, so there’s that. Jones had 128 yards on the night, and both had a touchdown. And that was really all the offensive production: 335 yards resulted in only 30 points for the offense.
Did this game tell us anything about who K-State really is this year?
So, what did we learn?
Absolutely nothing we didn't already know.
Texas 40 vs Oklahoma 45
Oklahoma opened up a 15-point lead early in the third quarter, but couldn’t put the Longhorns away. Surprisingly, I’m seeing some level-headed comments over at Burnt Orange Nation:
Despite the defensive struggles, Texas was in the game until the end and even though Strong now has almost no margin for error, the ‘Horns are close.
The defense has been to blame for people now calling for Strong’s job, and understandably so—it has been historically bad recently. As a coach that built his name with elite defenses at Florida at Louisville, I get why people expect much more—I expect much more.
If Strong manages only two or three more wins with two being over Iowa State (1-5) and Kansas (1-4), then we have a much different conversation at the end of the season. But four of Texas’ seven remaining games are at home, including the two meeting with ranked opponents in Baylor and West Virginia. Let’s give Charlie Strong an opportunity to finish what he started, at least this season, before calling for his head.
Obviously, Crimson and Cream Machine was happy with the victory:
There are lots of things to feel good about after this game. Sure, OU will have to do a better job of protecting the ball and executing its gameplan. But that’s a much easier fix than, say, learning from scratch to defend the pass. The Big 12 is still OU’s for the taking.
Iowa State 31 @ Oklahoma State 38
Iowa State had a 31-14 lead late in the third quarter, but OSU closed out the game with 24 straight points to come back and ruin the Cyclones’ fun.
WRNL is getting tired of moral victories already:
We hate to sit here every week and claim moral victories. The positives are that Iowa State is getting better and showing that they can compete in the Big 12. Now it’s a matter of the team coming together and playing four full quarters.
... nothing in the universe ever changes and Iowa State fans are forever resigned to 3-9 seasons and losing winnable games and broken hearts.
Cowboys Ride for Free was, obviously, happy with the comeback:
No matter how hard they may have tried, the demons of Central Michigan would not return to Stillwater today, and the Pokes can hang their beautiful orange chrome helmets on a valiant comeback, and another conference win.
This is a huge win. I know it’s Iowa State, but I talked about it on our pregame show that the season hinges on this game. I have a feeling that we will be saying that for the rest of the season, but it’s true. By winning this game, OSU rolls into the bye week having righted the ship (ever-so-slightly), and then they go on the road to KU, host West Virginia at home, and then on the road at KState. That’s a manageable schedule, but you can’t look ahead to it until you take care of the business at hand, and that’s what Oklahoma State did today.