Football

Against the Wind: Week 6 in the Big 12

My Week 5 Game of the Week was West Virginia @ Texas Tech. I don’t want to talk any more about it, read more here in the Week 5 Awards.

Week 6 Game of the Week:

#19 Texas vs. #7 Oklahoma
I chose this as the game of the week because of history and tradition. I think Oklahoma is going to roll and expose the Longhorns, but crazy things happen in the Cotton Bowl in October. The rest of the league has bottom feeders playing high flyers and then a pillow fight, so this is also a process of elimination pick. This could certainly be looked at as a trap game for the Sooners because rivalry games are always difficult to pick (El Assico anyone?). Whoever you root for, seeing the side by side colors splitting a historic stadium, at the Texas State Fair, at the beginning of Fall, immediately after College Gameday ends makes for a nice start to a football Saturday.

KEITH’S PICK RECORD

 

Week 1

Week 2

Week 3

Week 4

Week 5

Baylor

@OU

Iowa State

N/A

@TCU

Kansas

@BU

Kansas State

@WVU

Oklahoma

@ISU

Oklahoma State

@KU

TCU

@UT

Texas

@KSU

Texas Tech

@OSU

West Virginia

N/A

@TTU

Totals

7-2

9-1

4-4

5-1

4-1

Season Total: 29-9

Kansas State @ Baylor

                              

Last Week: Kansas State (2-3, 0-2) The Wildcats fell at home to the Texas Longhorns 19-14, Texas’s first win in Manhattan since 2002. The Wildcats offense was totally inept until swapping out quarterbacks after halftime going with their normal starter Skylar Thompson. After a halfback pass, Texas running back Tre Watson had more passing yards (21) than KState in the first half. Texas’s 80 yards in penalties in the first half also outpaced the entire Wildcat offense. Kansas State finished the game going 11/25 for 110 yards, spreading the ball to only three receivers. KState rushers combined for only a 2.7 yard per carry average gaining 107 yards on 39 carries with 2 touchdowns.
Baylor (3-2, 1-1) lost on the road to the Oklahoma Sooners 66-33 in Norman. Charlie Brewer played almost the full game for the Bears going 38/60 for 400 yards and 2 touchdowns. Six Baylor rushers combined for 38 rushes for only 77 yards (2 yards per carry) but still scored 2 touchdowns on the ground. Baylor spread the ball around to 9 receivers, led by Denzel Mimms with 11 catches for 114 yards and 1 touchdown. Jalen Hurd was a close second with 9 catches for 104 yards and a touchdown of his own.
Date & Time: Saturday, October 6, 2:30 p.m.
Location: McClane Stadium, Waco, TX
Television: FS1
Line: Baylor -4.5
All-Time Record: KState 9-0-6 Baylor
Overview & Breakdown:

Kansas State is painful to watch right now. They are incredibly bad on offense and it’s honestly pretty cringe-worthy. They are now three spots behind Kansas in S&P+ rankings at #100 and their offensive S&P+ is ranked at #116. The Wildcats simply don’t look like a Bill Snyder coached team. They have no offense and against Texas put their best drive together with a backup quarterback. They also gave up a 90-yard punt return for a touchdown to the Longhorns as well. I’m confused by Snyder and I think people are starting to question his decision-making. Apparently, without consulting his assistant coaches he unilaterally started Alex Delton at quarterback, which ended up being a terrible decision. When Skyler Thompson came back in after halftime the Wildcats found a rhythm and scored 14 unanswered points but still fell short.
Biggest Question: Can the Wildcats throw for a touchdown? KState simply doesn’t have a stable of running backs capable of carrying this team, so they have to find a rhythm and move the ball more effectively through the air if they want any chance of salvaging their season.
Baylor has somehow convinced the country that they are “off to a pretty good start.” How have people forgotten they’ve played no one? The Bears are still a mess, and I’m not convinced that head coach Matt Rhule doesn’t hate his team. It seems like every quote sounds like he’s twisting the knife in an open wound, “I think our guys saw what a championship-caliber team does.” I mean I get it, but is there anything positive you can give your guys? They’re playing pretty hard and coming back from a season you led them to a 1-11 record. 
Biggest Question: Can Baylor get the running game going? The Bears need to find an answer at running back and find a way to get things rolling on the ground. It may not be a big factor this week, but balancing the offense is certainly something they’ll want to have going for them later in conference play.
My Pick: Oh look, a pillow fight. I think Vegas is giving the Wildcat defense some props for holding down the mightily backity, back, back Longhorns, but I think they’re overrated and the numbers are skewed just because Ehlinger didn’t throw an interception again. I like Baylor to put up big offensive numbers against this KState team.

Iowa State @ #25 Oklahoma State

                              

Last Week: Iowa State (1-3, 0-2) lost a close one on the road at TCU 17-14. Backup quarterback Zeb Noland was held to 14/28 for 79 yards and 1 touchdown. Noland also accounted for the Cyclones’ only turnover on the day when he coughed up a fumble on a sack that was returned 47 yards for a touchdown. Somehow Noland still managed to spread 79 yards passing out to 9 receivers. David Montgomery accounted for most of Iowa State’s rushing yardage with 101 yards and 1 touchdown on 21 carries.
Oklahoma State (4-1, 1-1) brought the Cowboy show to Lawrence and took down the Kansas Jayhawks 48-28, bouncing back from a whippin’ at the hands of the Red Raiders in Stillwater the week before. Xerox U The Cowboys leaned heavily on Justice Hill who rushed 31 times for 189 of their 256 yards rushing and 1 touchdown. Quarterback Taylor Cornelius went 15/20 for 312 yards, 4 touchdowns, and 1 interception. Cornelius connected on some deep balls and wouldn’t have an incompletion until the Cowboys’ third drive of the game. Oklahoma State’s Landon Wolf and Tylan Wallace were both over 100 yards receiving. Wolf gained 116 yards and 1 touchdown on 6 receptions and Wallace had 4 receptions for 104 yards and 1 touchdown.
Date & Time: Saturday, October 6, @ 2:30 p.m.
Location: T. Boone Pickens Stadium, Stillwater, OK
Television: ESPN2
Line: Oklahoma State -11
All-Time Record: ISU 18-3-31 OSU
Overview & Breakdown: Iowa State is on the struggle-bus. I really thought early in the season that they were going to make a statement offensively behind the leadership of senior quarterback Kyle Kempt. But Kempt is still out injured and the Cyclone offense has been anemic at best. Zeb Noland’s 79 yards passing isn’t going to get it done against almost any of the Big 12’s offenses. Shawn Robinson did everything he could to keep Iowa State in the game throwing one of his signature interceptions and coughing up a fumble as well. David Montgomery is a good running back, but the Cyclones offense is a liability right now, despite strong defensive performances. The Iowa State defense is ranked #33 in the country and combined for 76 tackles against TCU along with 1 sack, 9 tackles for loss, 4 passes defended, and 1 quarterback hurry.
Biggest Question: Is this going to get any better? The Cyclones face Oklahoma State this week, followed by West Virginia and Texas Tech before facing the up and down Jayhawks. The Cyclones will probably be 1-6 going into the Kansas game, that’s going to be a tough pill to swallow and playing for pride doesn’t exactly motivate teams or fans.
Oklahoma State responded to a loss at home with a strong bounce-back win, even if it was against a mediocre opponent. They’re not a bad team, their game against Kansas demonstrates that Taylor Cornelius’s shortcomings can be managed and that Justice Hill is still a very good running back. I’m curious to see this Cowboy offense against what is a pretty good Iowa State defense. Oklahoma State boasts the 6th ranked offense nationally and will certainly test the Cyclone defense.
Biggest Question: Can the Cowboys’ offense produce against a good defense? Kansas is certainly no more of a test than Oklahoma State’s non-conference slate. Iowa State will penetrate and very well could negate the production of Justice Hill by getting into the backfield. How the Cowboys respond to that kind of pressure could be the deciding factor.
My Pick: I like the Cowboys in this game. Despite my hatred for the school, I think Mike Gundy is a capable and experienced coach. He’ll have them ready for this game after the Texas Tech wakeup call and they should stretch the Cyclone defense to breaking. Iowa State won’t be able to keep up offensively.

Kansas @ #9 West Virginia

                              

Last Week:  Kansas (2-3, 0-2) lost at home to the Oklahoma State Cowboys 48-28. They were shut out in the first quarter and weren’t able to overcome the deficit against the rolling Cowboys offense. Kansas quarterback Carter Stanley went 24/32 for 247 yards and 3 touchdowns. Freshman Pooka Williams led the way rushing with 13 carries for 97 yards and 1 touchdown and chipped in another 60 yards on 6 receptions as well.
West Virginia (4-0, 2-0) had to earn their stripes against a furious Texas Tech comeback in Lubbock led by third-string quarterback Jett Duffey. Ultimately, the Mountaineers came out on top 42-34. After West Virginia took a 35-10 halftime lead the Red Raider defense shut out Heisman candidate Will Grier and the Mountaineer offense in the second half. The ‘Eers only touchdown came in the fourth quarter on a pick-six that effectively slammed the door on Tech’s comeback bid. Will Grier went 27/41 for 371 yards and 3 touchdowns. Grier’s favorite target was Marcus Simms who had 9 receptions for 138 yards and 1 touchdown including a long of 45 yards.
Date & Time: Saturday, October 6, 11:00 a.m.
Location: Mountaineer Field at Milan Puskar Stadium, Morgantown, WV
Television: ESPN2
Line: West Virginia -28.5
All-Time Record: KU 1-0-6 WVU
Overview & Breakdown: Kansas is not a full-on dumpster fire, but they’re not close to good. Their offense did look relatively good last week against the Cowboys but they just couldn’t keep up with the onslaught, particularly from Justice Hill. Now the rushing game for West Virginia isn’t as strong, but Will Grier and his receivers more than make up for that with their ability to drop deep bombs on a secondary.
Biggest Question: Can Kansas win the turnover battle? Believe it or not, Kansas does lead the nation in a couple of categories, those having to do with turnover margin. The Jayhawks snagged one interception against Oklahoma State. If they can get back to their turnover-creating ways against the Mountaineers things could get closer than we think.
West Virginia was a team of two halves. Red Raider fans have been talking about their own team’s dichotomy since Saturday, but the Mountaineers feel the same. They jumped out to a 28-7 lead after the first quarter and led 35-10 at halftime. But then something changed. The Red Raider defense began getting stops and Tech finally started scoring, suddenly it was a one-score game with enough time left to do something. Soon after, Jett Duffey threw an ill-advised pass with a safety in underneath coverage and the door was slammed on Tech. But West Virginia was not far from a tie ballgame and looking a comeback drive or overtime on the road in the face.
Biggest Question: Can West Virginia slam the door? I know Dana Holgorsen was very unhappy with his team’s inability to score in the second half and his defense letting Tech claw back into it. Will history repeat itself against Kansas?
My Pick: Yeah – no. The ‘Eers are going to smoke the Jayhawks. Kansas is going to be outmatched defensively and Will Grier should drop several beauties over the top of the secondary, but I do think Kansas will keep it competitive for close to a half.

#19 Texas vs. #7 Oklahoma
Game of the Week

                             

Last Week:  Texas (4-1, 2-0) went to Manhattan, KS and beat the Kansas State Wildcats on the road for the first time since 2002. It wasn’t a pretty win, but the Longhorns took down the Wildcats 19-14. Sam Ehlinger didn’t throw an interception! He went 29/36 for 207 yards and 1 touchdown. He was also the Longhorns’ second-leading rusher with 8 rushes for 26 yards. Texas walked into halftime with a 19-0 lead but allowed the Wildcats to claw back with a touchdown in the final two quarters while being shut out. D’Shawn Johnson kicked off the UT scoring in the first quarter with a 90-yard punt return for a touchdown. Texas rushers combined for 29 carries for 111 yards on the day while the defense held the Wildcats to 217 yards of combined offense.
Oklahoma (5-0, 2-0) bounced back from an overtime win over Army in Norman with a 66-33 win over the Baylor Bears. Kyler Murray went 17/21 for 432 yards and 6 touchdowns. He also chipped in 10 rushes for 45 yards and another touchdown (of course he did). Two Sooner receivers accumulated over 100 yards. Marquise Brown had 5 receptions for 132 yards and 2 touchdowns with a 50 yard long. CeeDee Lamb had 3 receptions for 101 yards and a touchdown with a long of 86 yards. Oklahoma went into halftime up 28-9 and did not take their foot off of the gas.
Date & Time: Saturday, September 29 @ 11:00 a.m.
Location:  The Cotton Bowl, Dallas, TX
Television: FOX
Line: Oklahoma -7.5
All-Time Record: Texas 61-5-46 OU
Overview & Breakdown: Texas is still finding themselves as a team, and by that I mean they are totally overrated. The Longhorns are ranked below 100 in 9 statistical categories, including being almost last in Red Zone Offense. We all know that they’re ranked so high because they’re back! Amirite? I don’t think the Longhorns have as much to offer as the pollsters want to believe. The biggest thing UT has going for them in this game is the Oklahoma defense.
Biggest Question: Can Sam Ehlinger get back to his interception-throwing ways? If there’s one thing Sam Ehlinger excels at it’s giving the football to the other team in highlight reel plays. He’s really fallen down on his duties the past few weeks and it’s about time he gets back on track. There’s no one better than Ehlinger at throwing late-game picks that ice his team’s chances to win.
Oklahoma is an exceptional offensive team. Kyler Murray is a no-joke Heisman candidate that is already worth over $6 million thanks to the Oakland A’s and the Major League Baseball Draft. While they don’t lead multiple categories like other teams, they have the ability and the playmakers to score at will and to do it lightning fast. They are stocked with athletes and their winning tradition hasn’t been in a decade-long slump like their opponent. In their win over Baylor, the Sooners big plays were unbelievable. The OU offense had 9 touchdowns and averaged 36 yards per touchdown. The Sooners only scored 2 touchdowns from the red zone, the rest were chunk plays.
Biggest Question: What will the Oklahoma defense be doing? Sometimes it appears the Sooner defense goes on team building activities doing trust falls and such rather than playing football. I ragged on Mike Stoops early in the season but now I’m just going to make fun of them. The Sooners are the #6 S&P+ team overall with the #1 offense but the #62 defense. Sooner or later (SWIDT?) their defensive woes will bite them – like if they play Army again.
My Pick: I like the Sooners in this one, I don’t think Texas has the weapons to keep up with Kyler Murray and his offensive weapons, but, crazy things happen in the Red River Rivalry.

 

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