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Big 12 Roundup: Of last minute wins and losses

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A very late look at last week in the Big 12

Troy Davis Iowa St

Only six Big 12 teams were in action last week, and thanks to weather delays and cancellations, any potential for fireworks was all wet. Still, it was an interesting if not exactly entertaining experience.

So, without further ado...

Baylor/Oklahoma State

This was the biggest of the conference games this weekend, as Baylor and Oklahoma State battled for a leg up in the Big 12 race.

It was a messy back-and-forth affair, but the Bears led from start-to-finish, ultimately winning 35-24 on this spectacular 89-yard pass from Seth Russell to Chris Platt (video courtesy of BaylorBears.com).

The Cowboys could have made it a closer game, or maybe even pulled off the upset. The Pokes dominated time of possession and Mason Rudolph had a pretty good game. But four fumbles and an interception (FIVE TURNOVERS!) is way too many against a team like Baylor, especially on a day when the Bears offense was firing on all cylinders.

But never mind all that. Boone Pickens has things to say! As far as ol’ Boone is concerned, everyone in the state of Oklahoma can just DIAF, but especially David Boren (“Maybe it’s time for David to retire”) and Mike Gundy (“He’s written some notes about that me that weren’t very complimentary”), who has apparently never gotten along with Pickens (Kirk Bohls, Austin American-Statesman).

When a cranky old man is bankrolling your entire football program, I guess you just keep a dignified silence (Bill Haisten, Tulsa World). This is exactly what Gundy did, because, well...

Iowa State

You guys, Iowa State won a game! A winless season is now impossible, thanks to a 44-10 romp over a desperately overmatched San Jose State team. Matt Campbell has his first win in Ames, and the Cyclones have a new quarterback in Jacob Park.

Park went 15/19 for 165 yards and three touchdowns, while Joel Lanning completed five of eight attempts for 136 yards and two scores. The Cyclones also had almost 200 yards on the ground including 103 yards from Mike Warren.

Maybe it was the offense, maybe it was just the law of average, or maybe, just maybe there was magic in the air?

Lost in the blowout win was a statistic that should give Iowa State fans some pause: the defense gave up over 300 yards to the Spartans who also had more first downs on the day than the Cyclones. The defense was especially prone to the stretch run play, which the Spartans used to good effect, just not nearly as often as necessary.

Still, it was good for Iowa State to get a win under its belt and build some confidence before Baylor comes to town on Saturday. Troy Davis, he of the 2000-yards-but-still-no-Heisman fame, will be honored ahead of his induction into the College Football Hall of Fame (Randy Peterson, Des Moines Register).

(Yes, I’m as surprised as you are that a town that doesn’t actually exist has an actual newspaper!)

If you’ve forgotten Davis, check out this highlight reel, and especially the punt return against Colorado in 1994 around the 1:52 mark.

Oh, you haven’t forgotten Davis? It’s just that he was before your time?

TCU

For some reason known only to those people who bleed that other shade of purple, TCU still thinks of SMU as a rival. Maybe that’s why the Horned Frogs allowed their hated Dallas brethren to take a 3-0 lead. Maybe that’s even why the halftime score was just 6-3 in favor of the Big 12 team.

TCU was not looking good, and this hit on John Diarse (which earned the SMU player a targeting violation and ejection) didn’t help:

But the second half was all TCU. On the first play of the second half, Kenny Hill connected on a 75-yard play with Diarse and the rout was on. The Frogs went on to win 33-3, and claimed the Iron Skillet for the fifth straight time, and for the ninth time in the last decade.

But hey, it’s still a rivalry, right?

West Virginia

The best Big 12 game of Week 4 was probably the contest between West Virginia and BYU. The ‘Eers had built up a comfortable two-score lead in the fourth quarter only to see it disappear behind a furious rally by BYU, mostly because Taysom Hill can do stuff like this:

BYU scored twice in four minutes, and then got the ball back when West Virginia fumbled at the goal line.

It took a late interception by Maurice Fleming to preserve the 35-32 win. As a result, the ‘Eers come into Big 12 play with a perfect 4-0 record, and plenty of confidence too.

The words “Big 12 contender” are being bandied about, and not without reason. The offense is pretty great, and Skyler Howard is playing really well. Against BYU, he was 31/40 for 332 yards and a score and ran for another score. The running game looks salty too.

But the defense and special teams play has not been stellar, throwing some ice water over any serious Big 12 plans, especially as West Virginia plays Kansas State next.

Snyderball goes to Morgantown?