On to Texas Tech news. The Longhorns are up next and I really didn't realize that Texas Tech and Texas have identical records. The difference is that Texas Tech's conference wins are against Iowa St., West Virginia and TCU. Texas' conference wins are against Oklahoma St., Baylor and Kansas. I think that's interesting. In any event, the LAJ has their five key developments from the Kansas St. game and LAJ's Don Williams writes about the growing pains for the Texas Tech defense.
Our Daily Bears (Baylor Bears): I thought I was disappointed in this team after last week's loss to Texas. I didn't even know what disappointment was. 2012 has been an absolute disaster for our football team, and tonight epitomized exactly how bad things could get. 2011 is lost. The Year of the Bear is dead. Tonight, we saw the first true dropoff from 2011 in an offense that actually contributed far more to the loss than the defense, which obviously had its own struggles. When we needed points we couldn't get them. When we had a chance to keep the game close in the first half and third quarter we couldn't do it. Losing to Iowa State was 100% a team effort. (Link)
Wide Right & Natty Lite (Iowa St. Cyclones): yardage (381) and touchdowns (5) while also setting the school record for completions with 36. Jantz was helped by playing the incredibly porous Baylor defense, but was on the money with his throws most of the day, driving in some passes into tight windows with accuracy. Jarvis West was the big beneficiary of Steele's new-found marksmanship, finishing with 7 catches for 99 yards and 3 touchdowns. The Jake Knott injury saga took another turn early Saturday morning as reports indicated that he would try to play through his shoulder injury. The toughest linebacker in the country finished with 11 tackles while playing the entire game. He and Paul Rhoads commented post game that he is now day to day as he manages the pain. (Link)
Rock Chalk Talk (Kansas Jayhawks): The game started out somewhat ominously. The Kansas offense stalled, the Texas running game marched down and put a quick seven points on the board. From the outset it looked like this was going to be another tough game for the Jayhawks. Then everything flipped. The Kansas defense tightened down and the Kansas running game took control. Led by junior James Sims the Jayhawks walked into halftime with a 14-7 lead and Kansas was playing exactly the way they needed to if they were going to snap their Big 12 losing streak against the Longhorns in Lawrence on Saturday. In the process of this rebuilding project Kansas has had games they couldn't close, they've had games where they were buried early, but this one did have a different feel. The Jayhawks were playing with confidence well into the second half. The only problem is that the offensive production took a hit and the defense was forced to shoulder most of the load. (Link)
Bring On The Cats (Kansas St. Wildcats): It started exactly as we had feared. Texas Tech drove down the field for an opening touchdown, then stuffed the K-State rushing attack and forced a punt. The Red Raiders had the ball with good field position and a chance to take an early 14-0 lead. But K-State's defense held and the teams traded body shots the rest of the first half. In the second quarter, K-State finally realized that it would be difficult to run against Tech on first down when the Red Raiders had eight or nine guys within five yards of the line of scrimmage. At that point, Collin Klein opened it up, completing several big passes on first down. With Texas Tech suddenly off balance, K-State took a 13-10 halftime lead. It was all Wildcats after halftime. Three third-quarter touchdowns gave K-State a 34-17 lead, and it was all over but the shouting. But the Wildcats weren't done, tacking on another three touchdowns in the final stanza to notch a 55-24 lead. It should be noted that Tech's last score, which gave them the most points scored on K-State this season, came in garbage time against the Wildcats' second- and third-string players. (Link)
Crimson and Cream Machine (Oklahoma Sooners): The Notre Dame defense drew all the headlines prior to Saturday night's kickoff and rightfully so as they certainly lived up to their billing. However, the Oklahoma defense was playing as well as just about anyone coming into this 'epic showdown' as it was being billed in the media. Saturday night, one defense lived up to the hype while one came up short much too often. I doubt I have to clarify for you which was which. We said going into the game that the Oklahoma defense would have to do several specific things if the Sooners were to come out victorious. (1) Win the turnover battle, (2) shutdown the Irish run game, and (3) don't let Everett Golson extend the play and/or beat you with his legs. Fail, fail, and fail. (Link)
Cowboys Ride For Free (Oklahoma St. Cowboys): On a day where Weeden Jr struggled to find a rhythm and Joseph Randle kept valiantly running into a brick wall, the Cowboy defense held the day, harassing TCU's budding freshman QB and stuffing the Horned Frogs rushing attack, paving the way for a 36-14 victory in Stillwater. For those who would call for Bill Young's head, guess what? The defense did exactly what he talked about...contain Boynkin before rushing him. Boynkin was never able to utilize his mobility (his longest rush was 7 yards), and was bottled up equally between the zone reads and scrambles. For a defense that had performed admirably, but got questioned (by me, among others) for doing so against subpar offensives, the front 7 once again showed why they are one of the better groups in the conference. The secondary, while not overly spectacular, were better in coverage with the exception of the poor play on TCU's only offensive TD (EXCEPT FOR GILBERT...more on that later). (Link)
Burn Orange Nation (Texas Longhorns): Case McCoy led Texas on a game-winning drive uncannily similar to the one David Ash put together in Stillwater, and the Longhorns survived an upset bid by the Jayhawks with a 21-17 win. This game had the feel of Texas' ugly loss at Missouri last year, and it very nearly went that way today, with Kansas outplaying the Longhorns for much of the game, but this time Texas won't have to pay for it in the standings. That's about the best that can be said at this point, but at the end of the day, a win is always, always welcome. I'm happy for the players, who didn't quit, and found a way to come back in the 4th. (Link)
Frogs O War (TCU Horned Frogs): TCU failed to capitalize on its early success. Two possessions in Okie State territory on each side of the Olabode interception of Lunt resulted in no points, as the Frogs went backwards after recovering a fumble on a kickoff return. Think the game turns out differently if TCU's lead was 21-0 or 20-0? Absolutely. As it was, the offense found rhythm about twice in the game, once with Boykin working the outside routes to man of the match Ladarius Brown and once driving late, only to be taken out of rhythm by a false start penalty (a persistent issue this season). The frogs did a decent job on Joseph Randle in the first half, and indeed in the secondary as well- the issues in the second half seemed to come as the Frogs started to attempt to rip the ball before securing the tackle, as again and again contact in the backfield turned into consistent gains of three, four or six yards. It's hard to fault the D for wanting to try and swing momentum in a single play though, as the TCU offense had a miserable second half. Boykin completed just over half of his passes, but was plagued by miscommunication as receivers broke one way only to see the ball sail over their heads the other way. What makes matters worse though is that it looks like Boykin may have injured his knee on the second to last Frog series of the game, and if that turns out to be a serious injury it would be a safe wager to close the book on this season. (Link)
The Smoking Musket (West Virginia Mountaineers): Bye.