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Big 12 Roundup | Baylor Demolishes West Virginia; Oklahoma and Oklahoma St. Get Tough Wins

Baylor rolls West Virginia, while Oklahoma gets a tough win against TCU and Oklahoma St. edges Kansas St.

Wesley Hitt

It seems like the most exciting game happened on Thursday night, but the TCU/Oklahoma wasn't bad as was the Kansas St./Oklahoma St. game. So it definitely seems like that Baylor is just rolling, and they go to Kansas St. where I'm guessing Bill Snyder is # insert reference to wizardry here #. I don't know if it will help, although K-State looks to have chosen their quarterback. I'm still not sold on the Baylor defense, but it may not matter if they just keep scoring 70.

Oklahoma had a nice win and TCU continues to make me think that they are an okay team, probably in the top half of the Big 12, but their record may not reflect that. I won't try to write that much about Texas/Iowa St. as you all did a great job of hashing that out on Friday. Let's get to it.

Our Daily Bears (Baylor Bears)
What Happened: West Virginia 42, Baylor 73
Up Next: @ Kansas St.
The final margin of victory did bother me, however. I know Briles said in the post-game that he didn't care about basically anything that happened after halftime, when Baylor had 617 yards and a 56-14 lead, and that we were playing backups and backups to backups. Because I'm a fan and inherently irrational, I do care. I took some heat about it on twitter last night, most of it deserved, but I don't like Baylor shutting things down so early and allowing WVU to make the score more respectable than it otherwise should have been. I want everyone who didn't watch this game to know the story: that Baylor blew WVU out and it was never close. Because they did and it wasn't. I don't like that Holgorsen kicked an onside kick down 30+ with ~2:30 to go in the game, because doing so has nothing to do with winning and everything to do with making the score look better. I have this terrible feeling that someone, somewhere is going to make an argument against Baylor based on the fact that we gave up 42 points to West Virginia, when even saying that disregards everything that actually happened in that game. (Link)

Wide Right & Natty Lite (Iowa St. Cyclones)
What Happened: Texas 31, Iowa St. 30
Up Next: @ Texas Tech
While it's easy to focus solely on the officiating blunders and the loss, let's all take a step back and compare the team you just watched spill their guts on the field tonight to the complete garbage that we saw against Northern Iowa, and it's hard not to be impressed with the progress they've made. Quenton Bundrage is proving to be possibly the best receiver Iowa State has had since Todd Blythe, putting up yet another monster game on the strength of the longest touchdown reception in Iowa State history, while Aaron Wimberly made it back to back 100 yard games, the first time that feat has been accomplished at Iowa State since 2010. Sam Richardson looked to be his old dual threat self tonight, throwing for 262 yards and tacking on an additional 83 yards on the ground. (Link)

Rock Chalk Talk (Kansas Jayhawks)
What Happened: Texas Tech 54, Kansas 16
Up Next: @ TCU
There's more I'm sure but I'm also pretty sure the point got across. As soon as the 2nd quarter started, everything went to hell in a handbasket. At some point sooner or later, it has to be acknowledged that it's not just a lack of talent screwing things up. Something else is factoring in to this equation. How do you go from gaining 104 yards in your first two drives to gaining 36 yards over the next quarter and a half? That's EIGHT freaking possessions. 36 yards. ONE first down gained during those eight drives possessions. It's not just that plays weren't successful, it's the approach as well. In the first quarter while leading 10-0, Kansas forces Tech to punt and gets a good return by Embree. First down gains 9 yards on a pass to Rodriguez Coleman. On 2nd and 1, Heaps hurries a throw to the flats and it bounces at the feet of Brandon Bourbon. On 3rd and 1, Charlie Weis brought in Michael Cummings as he had earlier in the game showing an option look. This was the first thing I questioned in the game because it's a perfect time to take a chance downfield. Cummings had not attempted a pass yet. Field position isn't a huge factor. Run a quick play action and see if something opens up. Instead, we run the ball just like everyone expects. Not only do we run the ball, we run a play that has James Sims starting on the right of Cummings and taking a handoff for an outside zone run on the left. James Sims is a tremendous north/south runner, why call a play that forces him to run east/west when we only need a yard? (Link)

Bring On The Cats (Kansas St. Wildcats)
What Happened: Kansas St. 29, Oklahoma St. 33
Up Next: Baylor
If there's a problem with the offense, it's that it was all Sams today. He directly accounted for 299 of K-State's 336 yards of offense; that's all but SEVEN yards after taking into account John Hubert's 30 rushing yards. That's a problem, even though Sams carried the team to 144 rushing yards. Torell Miller, amusingly, had a fantastic game; he snagged four clutch catches for 35 yards and a touchdown after being rightly derided for weeks due to his inability to catch a pass. Glenn Gronkowski only had one touch on the day, but it was a 65-yard scamper on a beautiful play fake from Sams; Kyle Klein also announced his appearance, notching his first three career receptions. And of course, Curry Sexton was Curry Sexton. The defense also stood pretty firm for a change -- until Oklahoma State's penultimate possession, when the maligned unit reverted to form, unable to stop anything at all. With the exception of one incompletion on first-and-goal, every play the Cowboys ran on the drive resulted in a first down; OSU went 75 yards on six plays in only 1:56 to retake the lead. Other than that, the defense did a pretty good job of forcing Oklahoma State to settle for field goals, including on OSU's final drive to hold the Cowboys to a field goal which gave the Cats a chance to win. Too bad it didn't work out. (Link)

Crimson and Cream Machine (Oklahoma Sooners)
What Happened: TCU 17, Oklahoma 20
Up Next: Texas
The once pass happy/finesse offense run by the Oklahoma Sooners has given way to a more physical brand of football that pounds a defense into submission. We witnessed it last weekend when the Sooners traveled to South Bend to play Notre Dame and we saw it repeat itself on Owen field against TCU on Saturday night. The passing game will never disappear from Norman but, in a growing trend this season, Oklahoma attempted more rushing plays than they did passing. We've already talked at length this season that its due mostly to the added dimension of a running quarterback but its also due to a new mentality that has led to a more physical brand of football. In seasons past when the Sooners were limited in the passing game it almost always spelled doom. Now they'll just line up and run over you if they can't pass over you and that's exactly what we saw play out on the field Saturday night. (Link)

Cowboys Ride For Free (Oklahoma St. Cowboys)
What Happened: Kansas St. 29, Oklahoma St. 33#
Up Next: Bye
Many of you would clammer for Walsh to be benched, but I'm telling you, after watching back all three of these games, J.W. is a very minor part of the problem. He has plenty of arm strength, and his accuracy is good enough, but his timing is not so hot. His biggest flaws are being late with his throws, and not being able to hit the receivers running horizontally. His "touch" is also inconsistent, as we saw against West Virginia where he horribly underthrew Tracy Moore, but later overthrew Seales with a slightly longer ball. His arm is not going to carry this offense because he can't make all the throws, but he can make more than enough to move this team if our OC will give him the throws he can make. He is extremely good at hitting the seam routes and has become pretty good with the quick slants and out routes. But where's the excuse for not going deep? We have a QB that can throw the ball at least 40-50 yards downfield, and supposedly a bevy of talented wide outs, but I'm pretty sure OSU has NOT taken more than 2 chances in any one of the games cited here. As for running the ball, the Cowboys best plays have come from the 2 back set with a jet sweep motion or the diamond formation (there's another tease). Why OSU doesn't run 80% of it's offense through these two sets is beyond me. With two tough, straight line RB's there are way too many horizontal "sweeps" that take WAY too long to develop. I really don't like running too many plays that allow the defenders to "attack" the formation. I much prefer for the offense to move "downhill" and get the ball to, and past, the line of scrimmage as quickly as possible. Making the defense move sideways or backwards is your best chance for success. (Link)

Burnt Orange Nation (Texas Longhorns)
What Happened: Texas 31, Iowa St. 30
Up Next: Oklahoma
ckening. Hey, at least there's something that isn't hollow. There should be a booth review of personal foul penalties like this, because Mike Davis absolutely deserved to be ejected from this game and deserves to be suspended next weekend against Oklahoma for this cheap shot that fortunately didn't cause anything significant damage. If the Big 12 doesn't do, Mack Brown needs to, because there's no way that Davis deserves to play in the Cotton Bowl after that. And made Davis still being on the field to pick up the crucial first pass interference and catch another pass on the final drive rather hollow. Cheap like a dingy, flea-ridden motel. At the end, when the Longhorns defense had to stiffen, to show some violent souls to those who might remember this team, it did just enough to force a game-saving field goal. So, there was that. Insert cliches about rising to the challenge. And there was just enough of that signature Case McCoy magic left, just like Texas A&M to close the conference rivalry and a similarly hollow victory against Kansas last season, which may not have saved Mack Brown's job, but it certainly didn't hurt. (Link)

Barking Carnival (Texas Longhorns)
What Happened: Texas 31, Iowa St. 30
Up Next: Oklahoma
It was a game that more or less defined the Case McCoy Experience. He got off to a nice early start, as yet another allegedly well-coached team ignored the Case Rules and let him throw a series of easy comebacks and hitches against soft coverage. A hideous first-quarter floater into double coverage should absolutely have been picked off, but dropped INTs are part and parcel of Case's legend. His best trait, intermediate accuracy over the middle of the field, came into play on some nice throws to Jaxon Shipley. His worst trait, a dire lack of pocket awareness, popped up when he got taken down on an absolute no-feel sack in the second quarter. His most enduring trait, blind-ass luck, came to the fore on an end-of-half Flail Mary that was hauled in by a leaping John Harris to stake Texas to a halftime lead. But the game would be decided by a new and unexpected trait, one that could come to eclipse all others in the Case McCoy legend. The ability to summon an ungodly number of completely unnecessary pass interference penalties from the defense. (Link)

Frogs O War (TCU Horned Frogs)
What Happened: TCU 17, Oklahoma 20
Up Next: Kansas
A game that in many ways was indistinguishable from the previous TCU losses. Let's run through the check list and see how many boxes we tick, shall we? Less than 20 carries for the running backs? Check. Miserable first half?Check. Multiple false start and delay of game penalties? Check. Bonehead play by Brandon Carter? Check. Solid defensive performance apart from a couple of plays with broken tackles that cost the Frogs dearly? Check. Backbreaking turnovers? No? HOORAY, PROGRESS! I thought going into this one that it would be difficult for TCU to win without winning the turnover margin, but I didn't expect a defensive performance of the magnitude that we saw tonight- the Frogs were fantastic in almost every phase, covering well, getting consistent(!) pressure on Oklahoma's Blake Bell and stuffing the run game repeatedly (except when it mattered most). The lone issue was the lack of turnovers forced from the Big 12's leading turnover producing defense, and with the offense producing perhaps the worst first half in Big 12 history that wasn't going to be enough. Somehow in the second half the offense came awake (again, starting with the running game) to make the game close, but they just couldn't close the gap, despite some big momentum changers like a pooch kick that the Frogs recovered. There were two sequences that ended up costing the Frogs the game- Brennan Clay bouncing out of his running lane and racing up the field for a 73 yard touchdown that almost doubled OU's rushing total for that point, and the TCU drive that followed. (Link)

The Smoking Musket (West Virginia Mountaineers)
What Happened: West Virginia 42, Baylor 73
Up Next: Bye.
Before even attempting to understand a beat-down that will occupy a unique place in Mountaineer lore, it must be first acknowledged that this has a lot more to do with the team across the field than the one we write about on this site. The Baylor Bears are a well-oiled blitzkrieg of murderous efficiency that leaves sorrow, sadness and tired referees in its path. WVU was not the first team to be embarrassed by Baylor and they certainly won't be the last. They are amazing, they are fantastic, and credit must be given. I say this to underscore the point I want to express here - this is not the end of the world for WVU. This isn't even the end of the season. This is a Mountaineer team that will win more games in the Big 12 and might possibly make a bowl. This is not a conference teeming with talent and WVU already has the 3 best teams they'll play in the Big 12 behind them. The sun will come up tomorrow. I'm going to purposefully stay away from delving too deeply into the stats from tonight because I just don't think they matter. Baylor is a very unique problem in that their style and personnel magnify problems and make them appear much worse than they are, so wringing hands over them is a pointless exercise. If you want to do that go read Casazza or someone else. (Link)