Oklahoma 59, Iowa State 14
The Sooners looked as dominant as they have all season. The offensive line opened up massive holes for Trevor Knight, Alex Ross and Samaje Perine, who all three rushed for more than 100 yards. Oklahoma combined for more than 500 yards rushing, the best performance in 25 years for the Sooners. Knight contributed six touchdowns (three passing, three rushing) and was named Big 12 offensive player of the week. The performance hopefully signals the return of Sugar Bowl MVP Knight, particularly with Baylor on the horizon. Iowa St, which had been improving week to week this season, turned in one of its worst offensive performances of the season a week scoring 45 on the road at Texas. Sam Richardson completed just 15-of-40 passes for 239 yards and a meaningless 4th quarter touchdown. In contrast, Baylor beat the Cyclones 49-28 and was outscored in the second half of that game. The Sooners were able to dominate the game offensively without receiver Sterling Shepard, who exited the game with an injury following a 46-yard reception and did not return. Early reports are the star receiver will play this weekend vs. Baylor, but Bob Stoops will not confirm. It might be too little too late for the Sooners to play themselves into the College Football Playoffs, but this is the team everyone expected to see this season. They will need to continue this performance the rest of the way.
TCU 31, West Virginia 30
The Horned Frogs became the latest to win a hotly contested game on a late field goal. A few weeks ago, West Virginia knocked off Texas Tech on a last second field goal. That same night, Baylor came back from 21 down to beat TCU on a last second field goal. In an interesting turn of events, West Virginia knocked off Baylor the following week, and had the opportunity to seize control of its Big 12 destiny with a win over TCU. West Virginia entered the fourth quarter with a 30-21 lead, but TCU took advantage of three straight three-and-outs to set up the field goal. After B.J. Catalon scored from 6 yards out to bring TCU within two, TCU forced a three-and-out on West Virginia’s next series. The Horned Frogs moved the ball near midfield, but a failed fourth down conversion put the ball back into the hands of the Mountaineers with a chance to ice the game. Unfortunately, conservative play calling and a stout TCU defensive line prevented the Mountaineers from taking advantage. On the ensuing drive, Trevone Boykin hit Kolby Listenbee for a 40-yard gain, putting TCU within field goal range. Next week couldn’t be any bigger for the Big 12 race with Oklahoma hosting Baylor and Kansas State’s trip to Fort Worth to face the Horned Frogs. The Big 12 will be much more clear after this week.
Baylor 60, Kansas 14
Much like Iowa St, Kansas had been improving throughout the season after a lopsided loss in Durham, NC to the Duke Blue Devils. Since that time, the defense has greatly improved, and the offense increased its point production in four straight games prior to the game vs. Baylor this weekend. The previous two weeks saw the Jayhawks tie Oklahoma St late in the fourth quarter and stay competitive with Texas Tech in Lubbock. The Jayhawks even managed to contain West Virginia for the first half. This past weekend was the unraveling of all they’d accomplished. Baylor scored 60 points for the second time in three games and fourth time this season while holding the Jayhawks to a single score until late in the game. Quarterback Bryce Petty had a pedestrian game, throwing for just 277 yards and three scores, but Devin Chafin and Shock Linwood combined for another 193 yards and three touchdowns for the Bears. Petty hit Corey Coleman for two long touchdowns of 72 and 49 yards, but Kansas can take solace in holding Baylor to four second quarter field goals, all in the redzone. The win sets up this weekend’s monster game between OU and Baylor for a chance at the conference crown. Despite OU’s losses, the two teams don’t appear to be too far apart, but the offensive production from the Bears isn’t an easy task to contain.
Texas 34, Texas Tech 13
All it took for Texas to win this game was knocking out second-string quarterback Patrick Mahomes in the second quarter while trailing 13-10. Tech did not score another point after Vincent Testaverde came in for the injured Mahomes. Obviously depending on your second string quarterback is less than ideal for anyone, but having to call on your third string isn’t a good scenario for anyone. This team is significantly better with Davis Webb under center, but it’s not worth speculating how they would have played with him in. DeAndre Washington provided the only spark for Red Raiders, rushing for 97 yards on 16 carries in the loss. Meanwhile, Texas was able to put together a solid performance on the ground, as well. Malcolm Brown rushed for 116 yards on 22 carries, and Jonathan Gray added 76 yards on 16 carries. Although the performance came against arguably the conference’s worst rush defense, it is something the Longhorns can build on. The loss is Tech’s sixth in its past seven games in a season where nothing has come easy. Tech needs to win out to be bowl eligible, and with Baylor and Oklahoma still on the schedule (both at home), that doesn’t appear likely.
Kansas St 48, Oklahoma St 14
Things continue to roll downhill for the Cowboys. Similar to Tech’s collapse in 2013, the Cowboys started off the season strong, but a combination of youth and inexperience with an increase in competition has proven difficult for Oklahoma State to overcome. That fall continued in Saturday’s blowout loss to the Big 12-leading Wildcats. In the past four contests, the Cowboys have managed just four offensive touchdowns, one defensive and one on special teams. During that same span, they have turned the ball over nine times while forcing only three. Kansas State, the only undefeated team in conference play, is on a tear. The Wildcats defeated Big 12 favorite Oklahoma on the road for the second consecutive time two weeks ago before shutting out Texas a week ago. Since losing to Auburn, Kansas State has won five straight by an average of 24 points. Had it not been for missed field goals and a botched reception, Kansas St would be undefeated and firmly in the College Football Playoff. The Wildcats showed this weekend, and every other weekend, they are for real and shouldn’t be overlooked. Kansas State still has a lot of ground to cover and several chances to prove it deserves a shot at the national title, beginning this weekend at #6 TCU.
How do you think I did? Let me know on Twitter at @ZachKinder.