The Big 12 had everything this week. A shootout. A defensive struggle. And two relatively easy 24-point victories. What happened to whom?
Let’s find out!
Oklahoma State 44 @ Kansas 20
It was Homecoming in Lawrence, and after a close first half, the Cowboys pulled away midway through the fourth quarter. At RCT, the result was not unexpected:
Most of us expected a loss so the result isn’t surprising. Still, you can’t help but be disappointed when you get a brief glimpse of hope. KU lead for much of the first half but the wheels quickly came off the bus after halftime. Hope is a bad thing.
Conversely, I assume Cowboys Ride For Free was on fire during the first half, but chilled out as the game wound down. Am I right, CRFF?
Although the final score might indicate an easy victory today in Lawrence, in typical Oklahoma State fashion, this game was anything but.
All in all, its hard to complain about a 24 point victory on the road in the Big 12, but if not for a couple fortunate bounces and big plays by the defense, this game could have been a lot closer.
Texas 21 @ Kansas State 24
Meanwhile, 86 miles west of Lawrence, the Longhorns fell to 1-7 in Manhattan in the Big 12 era. I mean, what?
From Burnt Orange Nation:
Once again, the Texas Longhorns were undisciplined, seemingly unprepared, and squandered opportunities to win an important game, falling 24-21 to the Kansas State Wildcats in another loss in Manhattan.
Texas came up with three turnovers, but failed to score points on any of them and turned banged up Kansas State quarterback Jesse Ertz into a superstar with a game plan that was either clueless or poorly conveyed.
... this was a fitting death knell for the Charlie Strong era at Texas.
Bad teams find ways to lose games.
Texas is a bad team, having lost four of the five games, and there’s only one ultimate culprit — Charlie Strong.
Over at Bring On The Cats, it was business as usual against the Texas Longhorns:
The most startling stat of the game is turnover margin, as Texas had three takeaways to none for K-State. That barely beats out the time of possession disparity, as Texas only had the ball for 21:33 the entire game.
BOTC notes that K-State still has the opportunity for a solid season:
It'll be a stretch, but TCU isn't looking as deadly as usual, Oklahoma State is somewhat sketchy, and obviously Iowa State and Kansas are likely wins. That leaves Baylor, which will probably be a loss, but you can't have everything.
TCU 10 @ West Virginia 34
A competitive game turned into what looked like a blowout after West Virginia held TCU scoreless in the second half.
From Smoking Musket:
This ball game was not the an elegant offensive shootout. WVU held the Horned Frogs to 300 yards of total offense, but only managed to gain 389 themselves. TCU was able to pressure Skyler Howard and produced five sacks for a total loss of 51 yards, but WVU won the turnover battle 3 takeaways to none. This game was won with defense and ball control.
In recent seasons, it has felt most of the time that no WVU lead was safe. The defense has notoriously been exposed by big plays and the offense was always capable of a momentum devastating three and out. Those concerns are not nearly as prominent as of late. A potent rushing attack, and an offense that has shown a proclivity for holding onto the football mean that the Mountaineers are good at taking the air out of the ball, moving the sticks, and bleeding the clock.
Frogs O’ War is not having a fun season so far:
The tackling was bad. The coverage was bad. The ball awareness was bad. It hurts to watch a TCU team play such bad defense.
FOW files this game under shoulda, woulda, coulda:
Who knows how this game plays out if TCU doesn’t turn the ball over twice in the first three minutes of the game. You consider that, plus right when TCU had one more chance to get back in it, Deante Gray fumbled on a kickoff for the second time, and TCU was setting itself up to fail.
Oklahoma 66 @ Texas Tech 59
So, this looked like a fun game to watch - if you like lots and lots (and LOTS) points! This game easily covered the Over (boo) as the teams combined for an NCAA single game record of 1708 yards. Does Oklahoma just suck at defense?
Crimson And Cream Machine explains:
After struggling against West Virginia, I think most people expected the Red Raiders offense to have a better day against OU and its questionable secondary. And a better day would have been fine. No, instead the Red Raiders had a historically great offensive performance, and Tech QB Patrick Mahomes set the all-time NCAA record for all-purpose yards, finishing with 822.
Now, let me just say—was that defensive performance acceptable? Absolutely not. Did Mike have these guys ready to play? Sure didn’t look like it, no. Did he make adjustments? He threw a lot of different guys out there but other than that, no.
Yes, Mike’s cushions and lack of pressure put his defense in a horrible position last night. And the lightning-fast OU offense left them little time to catch their breath. But last night’s failure was an indictment of the players as well as the staff, with poor tackling and bad technique giving the Raiders every 50/50 ball.
So here, I’ll say it: It’s been fun, Mike, and we had some good times together, but you need to go. Take your 10-yard cushions and your 3-4 and go take the Purdue job or something. Because when #SoonerSquad17 gets here, we’ll need a coach who can maximize their talent, and we haven’t seen that from you lately.
Games like this won’t matter when Kansas comes to town. But Baylor and West Virginia have to be licking their chops at the prospect of breaking more records against this woeful Sooners defense.
I know that was a lot, but props to you, dear reader, for slogging through all of that. Finally, let’s check in with Viva The Matadors and see how they’re dealing with everything:
Break the record for most total yards in a game? Check. Throw 88 times in a single game? Check. We didn’t win, but for the most part Patty was back to his old self. He has several uncharacteristic overthrows on long balls that I’m betting he would want back, but it doesn’t help much when your receivers don’t catch the ball. He was making plays with his feet, and his arm. I just wish he wouldn’t have waited til 3rd and long to start moving the ball.
Of course I wish we would have won, but I’m proud of our team for how hard they fought. As I was leaving the game I wasn’t even that mad that we lost, I was too busy dropping my jaw at the absurd amount of offense that was on display.