The Big 12 presented some crazy action on Saturday for a variety of viewers. From a shootout in Morgantown to a wild finish in Stillwater, the Big 12 was certainly a hot topic in the world of college football.
WEEK 5 REVIEW
(15) TCU 24, SMU 16
TCU won its 12th game in a row and the 91st Battle for the Iron Skillet despite presenting a less than impressive show by their offense and special teams. Thanks to SMU’s poor performance behind Garrett Gilbert (who was 15/40 and threw 5 interceptions), TCU kept its FBS-best win streak alive. I think there should be many questions if TCU can improve from its performance in Dallas when Iowa State comes to town on Saturday.
TEXAS TECH 24, IOWA STATE 13
This matchup in Ames presented two undefeated, relatively untested teams in their Big 12 openers. Texas Tech came away with the win behind 395 yards of total offense and forcing 4 Cyclone turnovers (3 of which were interceptions by Iowa State QB Steele Jantz). I give Iowa State credit; they came close with about seven minutes left in the game. However the 4th Cyclone turnover was a fumble by Jantz in Red Raider territory. If Tech can keep its defense healthy (who held Iowa State to 3.3 yards per play), they should be a dark horse for the Big 12 crown.
(12) TEXAS 41, OKLAHOMA STATE 36
As a rabid West Virginia fan, I got very nervous watching this game. With Texas’ only victories coming against two Mountain West schools and Ole Miss, I didn’t know what to expect from Texas. I was hoping Texas would escape Sillwater with a less than 10 point win, that way they would be more vulnerable against WVU. Turns out I got what I wanted and I feel a little bit better for the game coming on October 6th. Both the Longhorns and the Cowboys had amazing offensive performances. Oklahoma State RB Joseph Randle had a career game with 199 rushing yards and 2 touchdowns. That being said, Texas QB David Ash was the highlight of the night throwing only 7 incompletions in 37 attempts and 304 passing yards with 3 touchdowns. All 3 of those touchdowns went to Longhorn WR Jaxon Shipley, who had 82 receiving yards. Texas should give WVU a serious run for their money.
(9) WEST VIRGINIA 70, (25) BAYLOR 63
Oh my goodness gracious! 1507 yards of total offense between the two teams! 133 points scored between the two as well! It was like the Orange Bowl, but more entertaining! I was at this game and the atmosphere here was electric. The Mountaineer faithful felt fine when WVU was up 56-35 with 5:16 left in the 3rd, but kudos to Baylor for making it a game and generally staying within a touchdown. WVU QB Geno Smith continued to raise talk for his Heisman campaign, by throwing 656 of WVU’s 807 yards. His favorite go-to guys Stedman Bailey and Tavon Austin received for 303 and 215 yards respectively. However, it was WVU WR J.D. Woods who saved the game for the Mountaineers with an unbelievable one-handed grab with about 3 minutes left in the game on 2nd and 10 at their own 25. The Bears put up an amazing effort and took advantage of WVU’s poor pass defense. Seriously, scoring 63 points on a team and losing! WVU must improve on their pass defense if they want to face any chance on Saturday against Texas. Baylor’s WR unit ran all over the Mountaineers. On that point, the combination of Bears QB Nick Florence and WR Terrance Williams should propel Baylor into the Big 12’s top half. They seem to be getting along fine without Heisman Winner Robert Griffin III. It was a wild game and it was a great way to open Big 12 conference play for both schools.
WEEK 6 PREVIEW
This weekend should be exciting for the Big 12. There is one very advertised matchup in Austin, but there are 3 other matchups that the nation is overlooking this weekend.
KANSAS AT (7) KANSAS STATE
Just coming off one of the biggest upsets in school history on the road, 7th-ranked Kansas State cannot let down their amazing play. They knocked off the preseason Big 12 favorite Oklahoma and a sub-par Miami team (who has not lost a game since), but what else do they have? Could they just be pretenders? Probably the best team to catch the Wildcats off guard is Kansas. It would be a phenomenal win for Charlie Weis’ Jayhawks to walk into Manhattan and win the battle of the Sunflower State. Kansas hasn’t shown anyone anything yet. They’re first win came against South Dakota State and has since lost to Rice, TCU, and Northern Illinois. They did give the Horned Frogs a run for their money, maybe it could happen in Manhattan. Crazy things can happen in a rivalry, trust me. I was in Morgantown on December 1, 2007. I know upsets. This game is vital for Kansas State to prove to the Big 12 and the nation that they are a force to be reckoned with.
IOWA STATE AT (15) TCU
2011 Mountain West champion TCU is bringing to Fort Worth their first BCS conference home game since they were in the former SWC back in the mid-90s. The Horned Frogs must improve on their offensive scheme if they want to extend their numerous winning streaks and come away with a win. This might be difficult with the loss of QB Casey Pachall; we know they cannot have another performance like they had against SMU. Iowa State is a serious dark horse Big 12 contender who is coming off a hard fought loss to undefeated Texas Tech. Iowa State must also improve their offensive play. Iowa State QB Steele Jantz has had a less than impressive first month of football passing for as many touchdowns as interceptions. The Horned Frogs, however, were shaky in Lawrence on September 15th for their first ever Big 12 game coming off only winning 20-6. Other than Kansas, TCU has beaten FCS team Grambling State, a middle-of-the-pack Virginia team, and SMU. Iowa State hasn’t beaten anyone really either with wins over Tulsa, a not so impressive Iowa team, and Western Illinois. The winner of this game will set their tone for the rest of the season.
(17) OKLAHOMA AT TEXAS TECH
This is a fantastic game for both of the teams fan bases and anyone who hates Oklahoma (yeah, that’s right Longhorn fans). Oklahoma is a sinking ship with nothing to show for itself. With a 17-point victory over UTEP and dominating FCS foe Florida A&M, This would be the Sooners’ first major win. However, they’ll have to go up against the nation’s top defense in Texas Tech. The Red Raiders took advantage of Iowa State’s offensive miscues last Saturday and held them to only 3.3 yards per play. This is Texas Tech’s first real test (wins over Northwestern State, Texas State, New Mexico, and Iowa State), so the defensive stats should come back down to earth. All in all it is a great opportunity for Texas Tech to show off in the national spotlight or for Oklahoma to rebuild from that Kansas State loss. It should be a great game in Lubbock.
(8) WEST VIRGINIA AT (11) TEXAS
Here we go. The biggest non-SEC game of the week is in Austin. This could not come at a worse time for the Longhorns. One of the best pass offenses in the country coming in and playing a Texas team that just escaped Sillwater with a win. Both defenses are ugly but there is no doubt, WVU can score. I think this will be a lot like WVU-Baylor. Whoever has the ball last will probably be the team who wins. This is a coming out for both WVU QB and Heisman frontrunner Geno Smith and Texas QB David Ash. For Ash, this is opportunity to show how he compares to a better quarterback. For Geno, it will be showing how well he can handle a real team in a hostile environment. This game should be a dandy and could set the winner on the course to the Big 12 crown.
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