Football

Born to be Wild: Week 10 in the Big 12

My Week 9 Game of the Week was

Texas Tech @ Iowa State

The Red Raiders went into the unfriendly confines of Jack Trice Stadium in Ames, IA and fell to the Iowa State Cyclones 40-31. Texas Tech freshman quarterback Alan Bowman had an uncharacteristically difficult game going 32/56 for 323 yards, 1 touchdown, and 3 interceptions. Bowman also added 4 yards and a touchdown on 9 carries. One of Bowman’s interceptions was a pick-six, additionally, Bowman fumbled a snap on the TTU 12-yard line and retreated from pressure into the end zone with the game tied at 31 late in the fourth quarter. Bowman threw the ball away but was charged with intentional grounding and a safety. The Red Raiders opened the game with a touchdown recovery by Thomas Leggett off of a blocked punt. They also recovered a fumble in the Cyclone end zone and continually harassed Brock Purdy throughout the day. Unfortunately, the Red Raider defense and special teams could not overcome offensive miscues.

Week 10 Game of the Week:

#7 Oklahoma @ Texas Tech

Finally, a blackout night game in The Jones! The Sooners are coming to town riding the impressive talents of quarterback Kyler Murray, and counting on those talents to overcome their unimpressive defense. If the Red Raiders can show up and execute their offense at the levels seen against Houston and/or Oklahoma State then this could become quite the shootout. The Red Raiders seem to have the edge on the Sooners in specific defensive categories, but the Sooners arguably have more big play ability from their stable of playmakers. This will either be one for the ages, or a disappointing evening – we shall see.

There’s been a little confusion in the comments about this chart so I’ve decided to change it up. Rather than track every game here, which I’m running out to space for anyway, I’ll just track the weekly record and overall season record. 

KEITH’S PICK RECORD

 

Week 1 Week 2 Week 3 Week 4 Week 5 Week 6 Week 7 Week 8 Week 9

Total

7-2

9-1

4-4

5-1

4-1

2-2

4-0

2-0

2-3

Season Total: 39-14

Oklahoma State @ Baylor

                              

Last Week: Oklahoma State (5-3, 2-3) made a statement win against the all the way back to the promised land Texas Longhorns, defeating the King of Backness 38-35 in Stillwater. Taylor Cornelius had the game of his life going 23/34 for 321 yards, 3 touchdowns, and no interceptions. He also chipped in 23 yards and 2 touchdowns on 12 carries. Cowboy running backs Justice Hill and Chuba Hubbard combined for 172 yards rushing on 32 carries. Oklahoma State outscored the ‘Horns 31-14 in the first half and the deficit proved too much to overcome. Tylan Wallace was impressive for the Cowboys gaining 222 yards and 2 touchdowns on 10 catches.
Baylor (4-4, 2-3) traveled to Morgantown where they fell to the West Virginia Mountaineers 58-14, a score that doesn’t fully denote the domination over the Bears, who trailed 41-0 at halftime. The Bears only managed 287 combined yards of offense on the day (the lowest allowed by West Virginia this season) while allowing West Virginia 568 yards, their fourth game of the season over 500 yards. No Baylor receiver or rusher gained more than 38 yards on the day and starting quarterback Charlie Brewer threw three interceptions and was pulled in the second quarter for Jalan McClendon. The two finished the day 17/29 for 205 yards, no touchdowns, and 3 interceptions.
Date & Time: Saturday, November 3, 11:00 a.m.
Location: McClane Stadium, Waco, TX
Television: FS1
Line: Oklahoma State -8
All-Time Record: OSU 20-0-16 BU
Overview & Breakdown:

Oklahoma State hasn’t gained anyone’s faith with a line this short against the Baylor Bears. Taylor Cornelius has been catching the ire of the local Cowboy faithful with many questioning his status as a starter. His game against Texas was far beyond any performance he has put together this season and oddsmakers are obviously not convinced he will repeat it. This was the Cowboys’ fourth straight win over Texas and the seventh in their last nine meetings. The Cowboys often get up for the Longhorns but even in this victory, the Pokes’ deficiencies were still apparent. They were up at some point early in all of their three losses this season. While they pulled it out in the end, the Cowboys missed two field goals down the stretch and scored fewer than 10 points in the second half for the fourth time this season.
Biggest Question: Will the Cowboys be able to maintain momentum? Can Cornelius continue to play at the level he displayed against the Longhorns and execute the offense as needed? On the road in the Big 12, even in Waco at 11 a.m., is never an easy task. The Cowboys will need to execute, even if the Bears are not great.
Baylor seemed to be trending slowly upward but they were absolutely demolished by the Mountaineers in Morgantown. West Virginia and Will Grier wasted no time bouncing back and proving their first loss of the season suffered in Ames at the hands of the Cyclones was the exception, not the Rhule (see what I did there?). The Bears have never found a solid answer at quarterback. Charlie Brewer plays up and down and continues to be susceptible to pressure and interceptions, pressure which the Bears cannot protect him from. Jalan McClendon has also proven mostly ineffective in leading the offense at a level necessary for Big 12 play.
Biggest Question: Will the Bears lose their third conference game in a row? I think the answer to this question is probably yes. The Bears aren’t going to be able to answer these questions mid-season. Head coach Matt Rhule will need recruiting and seasons of growth before we see the Bears trending upwards toward any sort of elite play. This season will be better than last, but not the new trend.
My Pick: I like the Cowboys on the road in this one. I think they’ll come out firing with something to continue to prove after their big win in Stillwater. I don’t see the Bears with the defensive capability to stop the Cowboys if they are firing on all cylinders. Baylor also doesn’t have the offensive playmaking or consistency to put enough points up on the board to keep up.

#24 Iowa State @ Kansas

                              

Last Week: Iowa State (4-3, 3-2) defeated a sloppy Texas Tech team in Ames 40-31, capitalizing on 3 Alan Bowman interceptions and a late safety to give the Cyclones a two-point lead. Freshman quarterback Brock Purdy went 13/27 for 250 yards and 2 touchdowns and running back David Montgomery rumbled to 125 yards and 2 touchdowns on 33 carries. Wide receiver Hakeem Butler led the way with 4 receptions for 148 yards and 1 touchdown. The Cyclones held the Red Raider rushing attack to only 30 yards and 1 touchdown on 24 carries, an average of 1.4 yards per carry. 
Kansas (3-5, 1-4) 
the Jayhawks earned their first conference win of 2018 defeating the embattled TCU Horned Frogs 27-26 in Lawrence. The Jayhawks marched a 75-yard touchdown drive in the first but the Horned Frog defense shut them down allowing on 14 yards from their until halftime. Quarterback Peyton Bender went 19/29 for 249 yards and 2 touchdowns. Pooka Williams was held to only 33 yards rushing on 11 carries but chipped in 7 receptions for 102 yards and 2 touchdowns to make up the difference. The Jayhawks’ winning touchdown came on a pass to Williams in 6:13 to go. But Michael Collins led the Horned Frogs down to first-and-goal at the 9-yard line. Darius Anderson fumbled and replay awarded the ball to the Jayhawks. Bender ultimately gave up a safety to expend all but one second off the clock and the Jayhawks smothered a squib kick to seal the victory.
Date & Time: Saturday, November 3, @ 11:00 a.m.
Location: David Booth Kansas Memorial Stadium, Lawrence, KS
Television: Fox Sports KC
Line: Iowa State -14.5
All-Time Record: ISU 41-6-50 KU
Overview & Breakdown: Iowa State showed up to play and Texas Tech struggled throughout the day. The Red Raider offense couldn’t get out of the way of the rest of the team negating strong defensive and special teams play with turnovers and an inability to move the ball when necessary. The Cyclones defense deserves credit for limiting the Red Raider rushing attack to its lowest total of the season. Freshman quarterback Brock Purdy is an impressive young talent and a big-bodied athlete with a shifty running style.
Biggest Question: Have the Cyclones turned a corner with Purdy taking snaps? Brock Purdy has been good, but he wasn’t exceptional against Texas Tech, being held to a quarterback rating of 53. With Kansas’s turnover-producing defense Purdy could be in for a long day if they’re not executing their offense with precision. 
Kansas 
is obviously an improved team over others we’ve seen under David Beatty, in fact, they broke a 38-game October losing streak, having not won in the month since the 2009 season. The Jayhawks continue to lead the nation in turnovers and at this point, it’s becoming clear they’ve been well-coached to coax the ball out of the hands of ball carriers. That being said, the TCU team they defeated has been decimated by injury and scandal. Shawn Robinson is out for the season, they’re only starting one week one starter in the secondary at this point, and their most electric player has been dismissed from the team. 
Biggest Question: Can Kansas continue to play up to their opponents? The Jayhawks still don’t have a good team. They struggle to get Pooka Williams the rushing yards he’s capable of getting due to offensive line play. I applaud them for getting the ball into their playmaker’s hands, but you can’t count on Williams to do everything.
My Pick: I’ve got to take the Cyclones in this one. The Jayhawks are playing with house money at this point and I can’t see their luck holding out for a second week in a row. I don’t think the Cyclones are world-beaters but they’ll take confidence from a Texas Tech win on the road into Lawrence and cover against the Jayhawks.

Kansas State @ TCU

                             

Last Week:  Kansas State (3-5, 1-4) lost to the Oklahoma Sooners in Norman 51-14. The Wildcats were held to 245 total yards of offense while the Sooners moved the ball at will with 702 yards of offense on the day. Quarterback Skylar Thompson went 13/21 for 108 yards and was the leading rusher with 54 yards and 1 touchdown on 7 carries. Despite completely dominating the KState offense, the Sooners defense only hurried Thompson twice and never recorded a sack. Additionally, the top two Sooner tacklers only combined for 14 tackles on the day.
TCU (3-5, 1-4) The Horned Frogs dropped a Big 12 road game in Lawrence to the Kansas Jayhawks 27-26. The Frogs’ new starting quarterback Michael Collins went 23/33 for 351 yards, 1 touchdown, and 1 interception. Collins also chipped in 33 yards rushing and 2 touchdowns on 10 carries. The Horned Frogs had an opportunity to win after the Jayhawks took the lead with 6:13 remaining, but after driving 75 yards to a first-and-goal at the 9-yard line, running back Darius Anderson fumbled the ball and Kansas was ultimately awarded the recovery after video review.
Date & Time: Saturday, November 3, 2:30 p.m.
Location: Amon G. Carter Stadium, Ft. Worth, TX
Television: FS1
Line: TCU -8.5
All-Time Record: KSU 5-0-6 TCU
Overview & Breakdown: Kansas State relies on the legs of Alex Barnes to provide the majority of their offensive production and he was held to 28 yards on 13 carries against Oklahoma. It’s no secret now that keying in on stopping Barnes is the best way to limit KState’s production. Skylar Thompson doesn’t have the skill or any other offensive weapons to utilize. Barnes rushed for 250 yards in a narrow loss to Baylor and 181 yards in a victory over Oklahoma State. If the Wildcats can get Barnes rolling, there’s no doubt this could be an opportunity for a road win.
Biggest Question: Which Wildcat team will we see in Fort Worth? When Kansas State can get their offense working exactly as they need it to, they can find success moving the football. They have to find just enough passing efficiency to keep the defense honest and then Alex Barnes pounds it down their opponent’s throat.
TCU has the #48 rush defense in the nation and they have been decimated by injury. To compare, Oklahoma State’s rush defense is currently #41 and they were ranked #23 when they allowed 181 yards to Alex Barnes. The Horned Frogs are now only starting one week one starter in their secondary. They have also lost quarterback Shawn Robinson to season-ending surgery and last week dismissed Kevontae Turpin from their team. Turpin was the most electric player on the TCU squad and one of the tops in the Big 12. It will be impressive if we see TCU win another game this season after they’ve already dropped three in a row.
Biggest Question: Who is the next man up? With so many holes to fill in the depth chart, Gary Patterson has his work cut out for him trying to salvage this season. This is a program that has been competitive for a long time, and they will bounce back, but I don’t think it’ll be this season.
My Pick: I’m going to take the Wildcats on the road. I think TCU is really that down. The crowd at Amon G. Carter doesn’t provide any atmosphere or advantage and I think the Wizard is poised to steal another one from a down and out squad.

#7 Oklahoma @ Texas Tech

                             

Last Week:  Oklahoma (7-1, 4-1) whipped up on the Kansas State Wildcats 51-14 in Norman last week. Kyler Murray went 19/24 for 352 yards and 3 touchdowns and added another 46 yards and 1 touchdown on 5 carries. The Wildcats were never close and faced a halftime deficit of 34-7. On the day, Sooner rushers combined for 322 yards and 3 touchdowns on 39 carries, achieving their most balanced performance since their season opener against Florida Atlantic. The Sooners whipped their weight in Wildcats holding them to only 245 combined yards of offense on the day. Despite this total domination, the Sooners defense never sacked Thompson, only hurried him twice, and never forced an interception.
Texas Tech (5-3, 3-2) went into the unfriendly confines of Jack Trice Stadium in Ames, IA and fell to the Iowa State Cyclones 40-31. Texas Tech freshman quarterback Alan Bowman had an uncharacteristically difficult game going 32/56 for 323 yards, 1 touchdown, and 3 interceptions. Bowman also added 4 yards and a touchdown on 9 carries. One of Bowman’s interceptions was a pick-six, additionally, Bowman fumbled a snap on the TTU 12-yard line and retreated from pressure into the end zone with the game tied at 31 late in the fourth quarter. Bowman threw the ball away but was charged with intentional grounding and a safety. The Red Raiders opened the game with a touchdown recovery by Thomas Leggett off of a blocked punt. They also recovered a fumble in the Cyclone end zone and continually harassed Brock Purdy throughout the day. Unfortunately, the Red Raider defense and special teams could not overcome offensive miscues.
Date & Time: Saturday, November 3 @ 7:00 p.m.
Location:  Jones AT&T Stadium, Lubbock, TX
Television: ABC
Line: Oklahoma -13.5
All-Time Record: OU 19-0-6 TTU
Overview & Breakdown: Oklahoma has been prolific on offense this season behind the Heisman-level play of quarterback Kyler Murray. Murray is top five in the nation in multiple offensive categories and is #6 nationally in total offense. Conversely, Oklahoma is #59 in total defense and most importantly, #126 in red zone defense. Defensive coordinator Mike Stoops was fired a couple of weeks ago and replaced by Ruffin McNeill. Red Raiders are familiar with McNeill and his passionate style of coaching as a player’s coach, but he’s not a miracle worker. The Sooners are just deficient after years of defensive mismanagement.
Biggest Question: Can the Sooners defense stop the Red Raider offense? Texas Tech brings the #7 total offense into this game and the #3 passing offense, the Sooner defense is no match for what Texas Tech can do, that is if they come ready to do it at a high level.
Texas Tech continues to face an identity crisis. The Red Raiders have been on a roller coaster this season of short-term and long-term injuries, inconsistent quarterback play, improving defense, and frustrating self-inflicted losses. Texas Tech has an opportunity in a prime-time game, on national network television, in a blackout to make a statement against the Sooners. The Red Raider’s defense is #92 in the country, but the individual rankings tell a story of an improved unit limiting 3rd down and red zone efficiency, as well as with a much-improved rush defense over seasons past.
Biggest Question: Which Red Raider offense will show up? While the defense will find some ways to slow down the Sooner attack, it is so potent the Texas Tech offense will have to execute a great performance to give their team a chance at victory. 
My Pick: 
I hate to do it but I’m taking the Sooners here. I think The Jones will be rocking, but Alan Bowman and the film teams have on him now will ultimately allow the improving Sooners defense to slow the Red Raider attack enough to pull away. Bowman will get some huge wins for the Red Raiders, but they won’t all come this season. I’m also sad to say, Tech is 1-8 in blackout games since 2008.

#13 West Virginia @ #17 Texas

                             

Last Week:  West Virginia (6-1, 4-1) made a statement in Morgantown blowing out the Baylor Bears 58-14. There were a lot of questions after Iowa State’s top 20 defense held Will Grier to only 100 yards passing in a 30-14 loss. Grier came out firing against the Bears going 17/27 for 353 yards and 3 touchdowns and added another touchdown on the ground. Both David Sills V and Gary Jennings Jr. broke 100 yards receiving combining for 239 yards and 4 touchdowns only 8 receptions. The Bears never got close as West Virginia carried a 41-0 lead into halftime and never looked back. The West Virginia defense intercepted starting quarterback Charlie Brewer 3 times in the first quarter, Brewer was pulled in the second quarter in favor of Jalan McClendon. 
Texas (6-2, 4-1) 
dropped a close one to the Oklahoma State Cowboys in Stillwater 38-35 behind the best performance of the season by Cowboy quarterback Taylor Cornelius. Texas quarterback Sam Ehlinger returned to action after previously spraining his shoulder. Ehlinger went 22/42 for 283 yards and 2 touchdowns. Ehlinger also chipped in with 47 yards and 2 touchdowns on 10 carries. The Texas defense recorded 3 sacks and 11 tackles for loss on the day and held the Cowboys to their fourth second half this season under 10 points, but the ‘Horns couldn’t overcome the Cowboys’ 31-point first half.
Date & Time: Saturday, November 3 @ 2:30 p.m.
Location:  Darrell K. Royal-Texas Memorial Stadium at Joe Jamail Field, Austin, TX
Television: FOX
Line: Texas -2 
All-Time Record: WVU 4-0-3 UT
Overview & Breakdown: West Virginia appears to have put a midseason slump behind them and found the swagger that defined them early in the season. The oddsmakers seem to be signaling that West Virginia’s wins to date are unconvincing in regards to going on the road and dominating as needed. The ‘Eers are tough to beat when the offense is fully humming. Will Grier has an exceptional arm and a whole host of talented receivers to sling the rock to. West Virginia has never found a great answer at running back this season, but they often don’t need one, especially when not facing an elite defense. The Mountaineer defense is actually much better than they get credit for and are ranked #37 in the country.
Biggest Question: Can they maintain their momentum on the road? If the Mountaineers can maintain the momentum they seemed to have found against the Bears on the road in Austin, it could be a long day for the Longhorns and their bargain t-shirt clad “faithful.”
Texas got overrated, this is my shocked face. As soon as the Longhorns showed more signs of life than we’ve seen in recent years pollsters jumped on that bandwagon like “lifelong” Astros fans in brand new Altuve jerseys. The Longhorns have been inconsistent on offense and even with Sam Ehlinger surging in quality of play have struggled against mediocre competition. Their defense has been streaky but similar in ways to Texas Tech for comparison, with a strong red zone defense and passable rushing defense.
Biggest Question: Can Texas keep up? Can Sam Ehlinger and the Texas offense keep up with West Virginia’s offensive attack? I personally don’t see how. Texas has even less rushing potential than West Virginia and their passing game is less prolific. 
My Pick: 
I’m not sure what Vegas is seeing here, but I think West Virginia is going to boat race Texas. The Longhorns had a middling offense while the ‘Eers have an elite offense. Their defenses are somewhat similar but outside of red zone defense, the Mountaineers seem to have the advantage on multiple fronts.

 

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