Say hello to the new present! After what feels like a month and a half of gearing up, the Big 12's back-loaded schedule is finally starting to provide some treats for its viewers. This week it was BroTech and OU, next week it's BroTech and Okie Lite. We are about to undergo a five week crash course that should put everyone in their place, so buckle up and hold on! The real fun is just about to begin.
Oklahoma State Cowboys at Iowa State Cyclones (W, 58-27)
Apologies if you caught the first half of this game and thought we were in for an exciting finish. I suppose the finish was exciting, but probably only if you are an Okie Lite fan. As we all know, Okie Lite has been struggling to run the ball this year with their usual efficacy, despite rolling with their running quarterback as the starter. Interestingly enough, in this game, going to the passing QB in Clint Chelf seemed to open up the run game for Desmond Roland, despite the fact that Chelf wasn't very effective when he did try to pass. I don't know how much of that relates to troubles that K-State has sometimes had running the ball with a one-dimensional attack, but it is food for thought. Regardless, Okie Lite rode the run game in the second half to three rushing touchdowns, and that combined with a 54-yard fumble return for a TD to provide the blowout that you see before you.
Stats of note: 219 yards rushing, 26 carries, 4 TDs, 8.4 yards per carry. Desmond Roland had by far the best day of his career, and a long overdue one for Okie Lite fans. This contributed to a 342 yard outing on the ground for OSU as a whole, which is usually enough to win with.
Also of note: ISU was 4-20 on third down, and had to play the second half of this one with their backup quarterback. It was as rough as it sounds.
Even for those of us (me included) who were slowly coming around on the BroTech bandwagon, there was always the underlying suspicion that they'd hit some adversity against a team as talented or better than they were, and proceed to get blown up as they used to when they lost confidence under Tuberville. That didn't happen in this one, although the adversity was certainly there. While the first half of this game was decently interesting, the third quarter is where this one got really exciting. After OU scored a TD on the opening kickoff of the second half to complete a stretch of 21 straight points and make it 21-7, it looked like Tech might be done. A touchdown pass by Davis Webb to Eric Ward made it a seven point game, with a field goal on the next Tech possession cutting the OU led to 4. And then DudeBro made one of my favorite calls - the surprise onside kick. Tech recovered, and three plays later they led 24-21 and looked to be back in control.
Sadly, however, it wasn't to be. OU scored a touchdown in response to go back up
28-21 28-24, and then this game absolutely turned on a tipped pass interception of Davis Webb on the ensuing Tech possession that gave OU the ball back. Punching it in for another touchdown made it a two score game, and this was just that kind of game where you needed to maintain contact with the opposition to be able to win. BroTech got the ball back down 8 with 1:17 to go and a chance to tie, but Davis Webb was sacked and then threw three incomplete passes to essentially end the game.
Stats of note: Four 30+ yard plays for OU, none for Tech. Combine that with 3 turnovers for Tech and only 1 for OU, and you can see how OU won despite being outgained on the day.
Also of note: Or you could also look at the 277 rushing yards (on 5.5 yards per carry) that OU put up, as well. In retrospect, maybe it's more impressive that Tech was in this game than it is that OU won.
Another Baylor game against a highly (or is it lowly, in this context?) inferior opponent, another blowout, and another recap that really isn't that informative. KU doesn't have the horses to play with Baylor, and that was readily apparent well before the start of this game. Although it took Baylor a couple series to work out whatever kinks they showed up with, after that this game was entirely predictable. For their part, KU continued to work true freshman QB Montell Cozart into the offense, but, like last week, it made little difference in terms of the overall product.
Stats of note: Baylor held KU to less than 5 yards per pass attempt and almost 3 yards a carry. When you do that and score 50+ points, I feel very confident in saying you win 100% of the time.
Also of note: Baylor Blowout Checklist: 700+ yards of offense? Check. 30 first downs? Check. 70+ points? Slackers.
Full disclosure: I couldn't watch any of this game. Full disclosure, again: I don't believe I missed anything. Though Casey Pachall made his return for TCU in this game after Trevone Boykin was ineffective on the first two series, it really didn't matter. TCU's offensive problems aren't going to be solved at the quarterback position this year, and definitely not by a quarterback that has missed as much time over the last couple years as Pachall has. On the other hand, Greg Robinson might turn out to be the Newcomer of the Year given the way he has restructured Texas' defense. It may be simpler, but it works, and football fans are some of the greatest pragmatists out there. UT is back to being a contender, especially given how their closing schedule shakes out. Their last three games (OSU, Tech, @Baylor) are going to go a long way towards determining who wins this conference.
Stats of note: TCU quarterbacks: 16-38, 163 yards, 4.3 yards per attempt, 1 INT. I said above that TCU's offensive problems won't be solved at the QB position this year. Now you know why.
Also of note: True freshman QB Tyrone Swoopes got some action in this game, burning his redshirt. Ostensibly that wouldn't make much sense this late in the season, but Ash's availability for the rest of the season (and, sadly, his career) has come in to question, and UT coaches wanted to get Swoopes some burn in case of a Case McCoy injury.
And now, time for the flavor of the week! Baylor has been a prohibitive favorite for a while now, but I'm thinking more and more will be suckered in by Texas' resurgence over the next few weeks. And, of course, K-State still has a chance (I'm saying there's a chance!)...but that's about all it is unless Baylor and UT suffer nosedives late, but not to the same teams.