Pretty easy week of recaps, with only two conference games not involving K-State, and one of those was big enough I'm sure most everyone was watching at least parts of it. Hopefully Baylor has finished changing their underwear, because their season isn't over yet - and neither are their hopes of winning a conference title, though those might be on life-support. On to the recaps!
Kansas Jayhawks at Iowa State Cyclones (L, 0-34)
This game was played on a field of ice with temperatures less than 10 degrees at game-time . For the first quarter that seemed to be a problem for both teams, but after that ISU seemed to adjust while KU just kept on slippin' and slidin'. That lead to a mini-controversy as to whether KU players were provided proper footwear, which just goes to show you that people will look anywhere for an explanation. Suffice to say that I don't think having the wrong set of cleats was the problem for KU, but if it was someone should have probably already lost their job.
Footwear issues aside, this game was won because ISU was able to take advantage of icy conditions to get their wide receivers wide open for long runs after catch, whereas KU was (as usual) forced to depend almost entirely on their run game for offensive production. That worked well for the first quarter, but after that ISU just loaded up on the box and KU was unable to make them pay outside. Jake Heaps was brought in in place of Montel Cozart in the second half, but by that point the Jayhawks looked like they just wanted to go home and Heaps had predictable results trying to air it out (courtesy of some KU drops, of course). I said going into this game that it would be hard to fault Charlie for getting 4 wins with this roster although I was upset by how little development appeared to go along with those 4 wins, but looks like I don't have to worry about him getting too much slack any more. That was an embarrassing performance by KU against a team winless in conference. For ISU's part, they now get to look ahead to their game against WVU and think about ending their own season with a winning streak, a prospect that really has to depress Mountaineer fans.
Stats of note: 15-20, 300 yards passing, 15 yards per attempt, 2 TDs, 1 INT for Grant Rohach. That's Rohach's career high in passing yards and completion percentage, as well as the most passing yards that ISU has had all season. They also ran for 202 yards, which is the most they have run for all season.
Also of note: KU also ran for nearly 200 yards, with a nearly identical yards-per-carry average as ISU (4.6 to 4.7). But when you can't pass, you can't score in modern college football (don't tell Georgia Southern).
Baylor Bears at Oklahoma State (L, 17-49)
Sometimes when you see a blowout score it can mislead you into thinking that the game was a lot closer than the score would indicate. That's not really the case here. While there was a turning point early in the second half that could have potentially kept the game from turning into a blowout, Okie Lite was ready to play and Baylor walked into a den of vipers, and I don't know if Baylor could have done all that much to help themselves given their personnel issues.
That turning point: Game tied at 0, Okie Lite has just gone for it on 4th down and failed, giving Baylor the ball at midfield for their second possession. After advancing the ball with two rushing plays and a pass, Bryce Petty has 3rd and 2 at the Okie Lite 28-yard line. He runs a read option, keeps it, and has a wide-open lane to the endzone. Petty trips over his feet on the way in, going down on the one-yard line. Two plays later, Baylor's third-string runningback (Shock Linwood) fumbles, and Baylor doesn't score a touchdown until the 4th quarter.
We had a discussion on BotC as to whether the moment would ever get too big for Baylor, and I came down on the side of "probably not, but other things might." Now, some might take that turning point as a sign of things being "too big" for them, and I can't argue with you. I just think that Baylor feels a lot better with Lache Seastrunk or Glasco Martin on the goal-line there (note: Linwood also fumbled later in the game with the score 28-3), and probably even better if they had their left tackle Drango in there blocking. Injuries + motivated opponent + night game + frenzied crowd = national title hopes in the dust. Where have I seen that before?
Stats of note: 19-25, 370 yards passing, 14.8 yards per attempt, 3 TDs for Clint Chelf. I brought it up in the Slate, but it's somewhat funny to note that while Chelf only recorded two passing attempts against K-State, the only game in which he didn't make any appearance at all was @WVU. Which, of course, is the only game OSU has lost. Take that game away, and last weekend's game would have been a de facto playoff between two national title contenders. With it there, prepare to hear a lot of talk about how OSU is "deserving" but their one loss is "worse."
Also of note: 28-48, 359 yards, 7.5 yards per attempt, 2 TDs, 0 INTs for Bryce Petty. The efficiency just wasn't there for Petty, as that yards-per-attempt average is his lowest of the season (second only to 7.8 against OU, which also has a stout pass defense). Those 48 attempts are also a career-high, blowing his previous career-high of 32 attempts right out of the water.
Alright, time for the penultimate flavor of the week! As impactful as that Baylor-OSU game was, things are still up in the air so far as conference champions go. Win out, and Okie Lite takes the title. If Baylor and OU win out, then Baylor wins it. If UT wins out and OU wins out, then Texas would be champs. And if OU wins against Okie Lite they can still tie for the conference title with the winner of the UT-Baylor game (or even tie with the winner and the loser). Lots on the line down the stretch!