Football

Runnin’ Down a Dream: Week 13 in the Big 12

My Week 12 Game of the Week was #16 Iowa State @ #15 Texas. The Cyclones struggled to get anything going offensively especially with David Montgomery out in the first half. The Longhorns regained some of their earlier season defensive prowess sacking Iowa State quarterbacks 6 times and getting 5 hurries as well.

Week 13 Game of the Week:

#6 Oklahoma @ #9 West Virginia

The Sooners and Mountaineers are playing for a spot in the Big 12 Championship Game and are sure to put their quarterbacks’ abilities to the test, not defensively, just to keep up with each other. This should be a true shootout in every sense of the word and there are Heisman finalist implications on the line for Will Grier and Kyler Murray. It’s going to be a wild and wooly one in Morgantown, definitely the game to watch this weekend in the Big 12.

KEITH’S PICK RECORD

Week 1 Week 2 Week 3 Week 4 Week 5 Week 6 Week 7 Week 8 Week 9 Week 10 Week
11
Week 12

7-2

9-1

4-4

5-1

4-1

2-2

4-0

2-0

2-3

3-2

4-1

2-3

Season Total: 49-20

#15 Texas @ Kansas

                              

Last Week: Texas (8-3, 6-2) took down the Iowa State Cyclones in Austin 24-10. The defense defined the game for Texas allowing 3, 0, 0, 7 through the four quarters of the game. Same Ehlinger went 12/15 for 137 yards and 1 touchdown through the air. He chipped in another 32 yards and a touchdown on 8 carries before exiting in the second quarter after a hard hit. Shane Buechele entered in relief going 10/10 for 89 yards and a touchdown as well. Longhorn running backs combined for 144 yards on 26 carries, doing enough to keep the Cyclones honest but not scoring a touchdown.
Kansas (3-8, 1-7) dropped a game to Oklahoma in Norman 55-40 despite a strong offensive performance. Kansas proved once again that Oklahoma’s defense is laughably bad. Pooka Williams went off with 252 yards rushing and 2 touchdowns on 15 carries, an average of 16.8 yards per carry. Williams also threw a 9-yard touchdown to Jeremiah Booker. Kansas kept up their turnover-forcing ways snagging an interception and a Kennedy Brooks fumble as well. The Jayhawk defense was no match for Kyler Murray and the OU offense giving up 272 yards through the air and another 294 on the ground.
Date & Time: Friday, November 23 @ 11:00 a.m.
Location: David Booth Kansas Memorial Stadium, Lawrence, KS
Television: FS1
Line: Texas -15
All-Time Record: UT 14-0-3 KU
Overview & Breakdown:

Texas could lose to Kansas, I mean we’ve been here before. The Longhorns were on a skid that they broke defeating Texas Tech in Lubbock. But aside from a losing slump, they’ve been on a defensive slump as well. The Longhorns started the season with strong defensive performances but had fallen off until out defending the Cyclones Saturday. Iowa State came in with a strong defense and a solid season with Brock Purdy under center, but the ‘Horns shut them down the majority of the game. Texas allowed Iowa State only 210 total yards on the day, snagged an interception, and forced two fumbles (one recovered). The Longhorns offense also did what it takes despite quarterback injury issues.
Biggest Question: Will Sam Ehlinger be ready to go? Ehlinger has been battling nagging injuries. Credit to his toughness for continuing to play but he appears to be getting reinjured week by week. Shane Buechele was 10/10 in relief last week but the unknowns will be difficult for Texas to manage.
Kansas now has two head coaches, and they’re both Les Miles. The grass eater was announced in a terrible press conference this week and he’s just as weird and terrible with words as always. So at the very least, it should be fun to watch. I’m definitely expecting more disaster fun than I am Herm Edwards fun.
Biggest Question: Can the Jayhawks be Oklahoma’s best friend? If Kansas wins the Sooners will lock in a spot in the Big 12 Championship Game. OU can secure the same with a win over West Virginia but this way would be much easier.
My Pick: I’ll take the Longhorns in this one. I don’t think David Beatty will go out with a bang. I imagine the Longhorn defense will bring more heat to bear than the Sooners did and Pooka Williams will come back down to earth.

#6 Oklahoma @ #9 West Virginia
GAME OF THE WEEK

                              

Last Week: Oklahoma (10-1, 7-1) the Sooners outlasted Kansas in Norman winning 55-40 behind a big late quarter effort by Kyler Murray who went 21/32 for 272 yards, 2 touchdowns, and an interception. Murray also added 99 yards and 3 touchdowns on 8 carries on the ground. The Sooners ground game rumbled all day with Kennedy Brooks rushing for 171 yards and 2 touchdowns on 25 carries. The OU defense allowed 524 yards of offense by Kansas, the Jayhawks’ second highest total of the season (544 against Rutgers) and their highest yards per play average of 8.2. Most notably, the Sooners allowed 348 yards rushing, 252 of those to Pooka Williams.
West Virginia (8-2, 6-2) dropped a shootout in Stillwater 45-41 on a Taylor Cornelius touchdown pass to Tylan Wallace with 42 seconds remaining. The Mountaineers carried a 31-14 lead into halftime but the Cowboys battled back. Will Grier ran for a touchdown on fourth down in the fourth quarter giving the ‘Eers a 41-31 lead, but Taylor Cornelius ran for a score of his own and the Cowboys defense got a stop that put them in a position to win. Grier finished the day 27/48 for 364 yards and 2 touchdowns and he added a touchdown on the ground as well. The West Virginia rushing attack added 189 yards and 3 touchdowns with 148 and 2 touchdowns coming from Kennedy McCoy.
Date & Time: Friday, November 23 @ 7:00 p.m.
Location: Mountaineer Field at Milan Puskar Stadium, Morgantown, WV
Television: ESPN
Line: OU -1.5
All-Time Record: OU 8-0-2 WVU
Overview & Breakdown: Oklahoma is in a position to clinch a position in the Big 12 Championship Game with a win in Morgantown. Kyler Murray is making a strong case for the Heisman and is oddly playing under the radar due to the incredible play of Alabama’s Tua Tagavailoa.  The Sooner defense continues to be abysmal. Their offense is #1 in S&P+ and they are #5 overall, but their defense is #77 in the country. The wins are even more impressive considering that they are winning true shootouts over and over again.
Biggest Question: Can the Sooners stop anyone? I’m tempted to say it doesn’t matter, but it really does. Kyler Murray is impressive, but the Sooners have only won a single true shootout, against Oklahoma State in Bedlam. They lost a shootout to the Longhorns, and while they did beat the Red Raiders, they were losing the shootout until Alan Bowman went down. The fact that the Kansas game was that high scoring is proof enough that this defense is useless.
West Virginia has the ability to win this game. Their offense, when firing, can win the shootout that is sure to occur in Morgantown. When Will Grier is on and he has a running game finding success on the ground, they are extremely hard to stop. Hats off to the Cowboys for overcoming two early interceptions to ultimately win that game. Their resurgent offense has been a surprise as well. West Virginia also brings a top 10 offense and their defense S&P+ is #65. I think we’re going to see offensive fireworks abound (shocking).
Biggest Question: Which Will Grier will we see? Grier has had some down games, and he’s also thrown 8 interceptions, but only 2 in the last five Big 12 games. If Grier is on and the West Virginia running game gets rolling I think this could end up being a fun one.
My Pick: Both of these teams are fighting for position in the Big 12 Championship Game. I know the entire world is expecting a shootout, and I think we’ll get one. I’m going to take the Mountaineers in this one. I think Grier will throw at will and his impressive receivers will run wild. I also think we’ll see some mistakes from Kyler Murray that will ultimately cost the Sooners.

Oklahoma State @ TCU

                              

Last Week:  Oklahoma State (6-5, 3-5) gained bowl eligibility with a victory in Stillwater over West Virginia 45-41. The Cowboys trailed 31-14 at halftime but a Taylor Cornelius touchdown run and Cowboy defensive stop brought OSU back from the brink. They won the game on a Taylor Cornelius touchdown pass to Tylan Wallace with 42 seconds remaining. Cornelius finished the day 30/46 for 338 yards, 5 touchdowns, and 2 interceptions. He also added 106 yards and a touchdown on 13 carries. The Cowboys were without leading rusher Justice Hill who was held out with a rib injury, but Chuba Hubbard stepped in and rumbled to 134 yards on 26 carries to pick up the slack.
TCU (5-6, 3-5) defeated the Baylor Bears 16-9 in the least interesting game of the day. Both teams barely managed 300 yards of offense and the play of the game was a blocked punt. Sloppy play marked the day with 4 total fumbles and an interception, all recovered by the Horned Frogs. Quarterback Michael Collins went down early Grayson Muehlstein stepped in for the Horned Frogs finishing 11/15 for 137 yards and 1 touchdown and chipped in 10 yards on 10 carries.
Date & Time: Saturday, November 24 @ 7:00 p.m.
Location: Amon G. Carter Stadium, Ft. Worth, TX
Television: FOX
Line: Oklahoma State -5
All-Time Record: OSU 15-2-11 TCU
Overview & Breakdown: OSU is bowl eligible and it appears that Corn Dog has figured out how to be a D1 quarterback and his team how learned how to play with him at the helm. Two weeks ago the Cowboys lost Bedlam on a failed 2-point conversion from Cornelius to Tylan Wallace, that connection was made against West Virginia to win the game and the Bushland, TX native took a step forward. The Cowboy’s defense isn’t stopping anyone and because this is the Big 12 and shootouts should be a tracked stat, they are 2-3 in shootouts this season defeating Texas and West Virginia but losing to Iowa State, Baylor, and Oklahoma.
Biggest Question: How will Cornelius perform against the TCU defense? The Horned Frogs have been absolutely decimated by injury, but their Gary Patterson defense is still salty. They have the ability to shut offenses down even in their current state.
TCU is starting to make me sad. At this point, they’ve lost about 1/4 of their football team to injury. It’s not even funny at this point, it’s just sad to watch them limping along like a dog with a wounded paw trying to keep moving forward but knowing it’ll never reach its destination. TCU comes into this game with bowl eligibility on the line but a huge question mark at quarterback. Michael Collins (no not the astronaut or the Irish revolutionary) went down with an injury pressing 5th-year senior Grayson Muehlstein into service. Muehlstein has waited his entire college career for this opportunity and I’m sure he’ll be looking to make the most of it.
Biggest Question: Who is Muehlstein’s backup? As unlucky as TCU has been this season (I sense a strength and conditioning shakeup coming) it’s a fair question to wonder who will take snaps if he goes down. Much like Texas Tech, only two walk-ons remain to fill that role.
My Pick: I’m going to take the Cowboys here. I like feel-good stories of teams overcoming adversity to get bowl eligible but I don’t ever feel good about the Horned Frogs, of course, I don’t like Oklahoma State much either. I just think TCU is too depleted to keep up with the resurgent OSU offense.

Texas Tech vs. Baylor

                             

Last Week:  Texas Tech (5-6, 3-5) lost one of its worst games in recent memory to the Kansas State Wildcats in Manhattan 21-6. Jett Duffey went 19/27 for 150 yards and 1 interception. McClane Carter saw action as well going 0/3 for 0 yards, a lost fumble, 3 almost interceptions. The Red Raider offense managed only 181 yards on the day and the only two bright spots were an Adrian Frye interception in the end zone that was negated by a Jett Duffey turnover and Clayton Hatfield going 2/2.
Baylor (5-6, 3-5) lost a sloppy game against the TCU Horned Frogs in Fort Worth 16-9. Both teams barely managed 300 yards of offense and the play of the game was a blocked punt. Sloppy play marked the day with 4 total fumbles and an interception, all recovered by the Horned Frogs. Quarterback Charlie Brewer 14/29 for 163 yards and an interception and was the second-leading rusher with 54 yards and the Bears’ lone touchdown on 18 carries.
Date & Time: Saturday, November 24 @ 11:00 a.m.
Location:  AT&T Stadium, Arlington, TX
Television: FS1
Line: Texas Tech -6
All-Time Record: TTU 38-1-37 BU
Overview & Breakdown: Texas Tech has pissed everyone off. The injury challenges at quarterback with McClane Carter going down in week one with a high ankle sprain, Alan Bowman suffering and then reinjuring a collapsed lung, and now Jett Duffey has been playing hurt after suffering an injury against Texas is no longer an excuse. The Red Raiders played undisciplined, uninspired, sloppy football on Saturday and it didn’t go unnoticed by the Red Raider faithful. The natives have already been restless in year six of a Kliff Kingsbury era defined by late-season slides, excessive penalties, and disappointment. Texas Tech fans have been fairly understanding this season about the frustrating injuries, but a four-game Big 12 losing streak and the sub-par product on the field may have sealed Kingsbury’s fate.
Biggest Question: Who will be taking snaps? Tech’s depth chart is basically down to two walk-ons: Scout Team quarterback Colt Garrett from Roosevelt High School in Lubbock or record-breaking Levelland Lobo product Nick Gerber. My money is on Garrett, who has thrown one college pass, a dime to Erik Ezukanma against Lamar. So his college stat line is 1/1 for 44 yards and 1 touchdown, a passer rating of 799.6.
Baylor has made an impressive turnaround in Matt Rhule’s second season after going 1-11 in 2017 and like Texas Tech, they are playing for bowl eligibility, a positive for this team at this point in a rebuild. The Bears aren’t coming to the table with anything exceptional. Their offense is ranked #90 in S&P+ (Off: 62, Def: 94) but they have found ways to win in close shootoutish games over Kansas State and Oklahoma State and were close to upsetting Texas in Austin. The Bears are ranked below 100 in 13 NCAA stat categories but they continue to find ways to be competitive.
Biggest Question: Do the Bears need to do anything to win? Texas Tech has been taking care of the winning for their opponents in the second half of the season. How much help will they give the Bears?
My Pick: 
I have no more faith to give, I think the Bears take this one in Arlington and the Kliff Kingsbury era comes to end with a giant mouth fart.

Kansas State @ #16 Iowa State

                             

Last Week:  Kansas State (5-6, 3-5) beat the Red Raiders in Manhattan 21-6 by showing up and allowing the Red Raiders to do nothing to win. Skylar Thompson went 17/26 for 213 yards, 1 touchdown, and 1 interception. Alex Barnes led the rushing attack with 136 yards on 32 carries. The Wildcats covered up two fumbles, snagged an interception, and forced a safety on a blocked punt.
Iowa State (6-4, 5-3) dropped a much-heralded matchup in Austin with the Longhorns 24-10. The Cyclones had won five Big 12 games in a row for the first time in their history but couldn’t get it done against the Longhorns. Brock Purdy finished the day 10/23 for 130 yards and 1 interception and the Cyclones only combined for 62 rushing yards overall. Running back David Montgomery was suspended for the first half after throwing a punch in the previous week. His absence saw Brock Purdy pounded with a relentless attack with no other rushing option and the Cyclones crumbled in their biggest Big 12 game in years. The Longhorns finished the day with 6 sacks and 5 quarterback hurries.
Date & Time: Saturday, November 24 @ 6:00 p.m.
Location:  Jack Trice Stadium, Ames, IA.
Television: FS1
Line: Iowa State -13.5
All-Time Record: KSU 48-4-49 ISU
Overview & Breakdown: Kansas State seemed on the brink of ending the Bill Snyder era (part deux) with a resounding thud, then they beat the Red Raiders. The Kansas State offense looked like world-beaters against the Texas Tech defense completing passes downfield almost at will. I’m not convinced the Wildcats have found a new offensive prowess, I think the Red Raiders found it for them. As with any program on the outs with a legendary coach, stories have begun filtering out of Manhattan about odd behavior by Bill Snyder signifying him being out of touch with players and coaches.
Biggest Question: How bad do the Wildcats want it? KState has a chance to gain bowl eligibility and potentially give Bill Snyder a chance to leave on his own terms, but the test they’re facing is a much different animal.
Iowa State didn’t look like themselves against the Longhorns. The Cyclones were one-dimensional thanks to the selfishness of David Montgomery in the previous week. With Montgomery back in the backfield for the full game, I expect the Cyclones to regain their footing offensively. Also, the Cyclone defense has fallen off a little bit in recent weeks, but they are still probably the top defense in the conference and have the ability to shut offenses down, holding them far below season averages. The Wildcats have not found offensive consistency this season and the Cyclone front seven should find success getting pressure on Skylar Thompson.
Biggest Question: Will Brock Purdy find his swagger again? The freshman quarterback struggled under the Texas rush, but that was due more to David Montgomery’s absence. I’d expect the entire offense to regain their production against the Wildcats.
My Pick: I’m taking the Cyclones here to wrap up a pretty strong Big 12 campaign and go bowling.

 

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