Perhaps I should apologize for talking up this back-loaded Big 12 schedule, as there was really only one notable game in the conference this week, and it didn't end up being the close result we were hoping for. Still, we're starting to figure out who is ready for primetime, and some just aren't quite there yet (sorry, Dudebro!).
Writing recaps for KU games is just as futile as trying to right recaps for Baylor games - everyone knows why the game turned out the way it did, and in this case the statistics aren't even as cool to look at, except in a kind of morbid fashion. For their part, KU actually managed decent offensive production (for them), averaging 7.2 yards per pass. That may not sound great, but it's their highest average of the season. However, they were unable to get anything consistent going on the ground with their ineffective offensive line, and even two Case McCoy interceptions couldn't help them make this a close game. UT probably wishes they could have won this by a larger margin, but they avoided injury and got the W, and unfortunately that's really all that matters when you play Kansas.
Stats of note: Jake Heaps completed over 50% of his passes (52.4%, to be exact) for only the second time all season.
Also of note: Case McCoy was 20-29 for less than 200 yards and two interceptions. Some people had been giving voice to the claim that since McCoy was playing so well Ash wouldn't be the starter even if he was able to come back, but I'm just not seeing it. McCoy is still undoubtedly the weakest link on that team.
The most "exciting" game of the week, and I don't know if I could bring myself to watch more than 10 minutes of it. Which is a shame, because despite both of these teams' current reputations for mediocre football, this one was probably the closest thing to a barn-burner that either of these teams will be involved in this year. TCU led in the first half, 17-3, before WVU ripped off 24 straight points (a 31-yard TD run by Charles Sims, two TD passes from Clint Trickett, and a field goal) over three quarters to lead 27-17 with 7 minutes left in the 4th. TCU scored on a Casey Pachall TD pass to David Porter with 3 minutes left, and then Jaden Oberkrom hit a 45-yarder with less than 20 seconds left to tie the game and send it to overtime. That's where the fun ended. In overtime, TCU lost 6 yards on their first play, had an incomplete pass, and then a personal foul penalty. One more incompletion set up a 62-yarder, which Oberkrom miraculously hi--- no, he didn't. He missed it. Obviously. WVU proceeded to kick TCU right in the nuts a field goal on their overtime possession, winning the game.
Stats of note: 40-58, 394 yards, 3 TDs, 2 INTs. While he did throw those two picks and WVU at this point has the worst secondary in the conference, Casey Pachall provided some hope for TCU fans holding out for offensive improvement this season. One of those interceptions was on the first play from scrimmage for TCU, so he really did have a pretty effective game after that. Unfortunately, Pachall threw his first touchdown pass of the season in this game, and it is week 10.
Also of note: Both teams exceeded 400 yards of offense in this one, which I probably would not have bet on going into the matchup.
Oklahoma State Cowboys at Texas Tech Red Raiders (W, 52-34)
Ah, the big Kahuna. I was more excited for this matchup than I was for the OU-Tech game last week, pretty much because I thought we'd be getting that game this week. Unfortunately, it wasn't to be, except for the first half. That first half, though! OSU scored the game's first three touchdowns, and you could tell that the Lubbock crowd was starting to worry that they had seen something like this before (Hint). But that was under TT, and KK possesses much more alliterative power! Tech proceeded to score 24 of the next 31 points (aided greatly by a Clint Chelf pick-six), and was able to go into half only down 24-28.
Sorry to say, but the really fun part of the game was over at this point. You would have thought they learned their lesson after giving up 21 to Okie Lite in the 1st quarter, but Tech proceeded to give up another 21 to OSU in the third in the form of three scoring runs - a 3-yard run by Desmond Roland, and a 67-yard run and an 8-yard run by Chelf(!). You are welcome to guess how Okie Lite proceeded to win this game (hint: it doesn't involve much passing). For Tech's part, they were able to score one TD in the third to make it 42-31, but OSU responded with that 8-yard run by Chelf to go up 49-31, and that was pretty much all she wrote.
Stats of note: 55 rushes, 281 yards, 5.1 yards per rush, 5 rushing TDs. The Okie Lite rushing attack was the difference in the game, especially in the second half. That's a bad sign for the rest of the conference, as an OSU with an offensive identity is much more dangerous than the OSU we've been watching all season to this point.
Also of note: 45-71(!) for Davis Webb. Ignore the rest of the passing stats (they were merely okay). I feel like KK can use those 71 attempts just as effectively as a recruiting tool for whoever he tries to target in their next recruiting class. Come to Tech, throw it 71 times as a freshman!
And now, time for the flavor of the week! Baylor will undoubtedly remain on top, but it's becoming more and more clear that there are three or possibly four true contenders for the conference title, and they all are going to start playing each other down the stretch. Going to be a fun ride!