Big 12 Wire: Sooners right the ship in Week 2

Hallie Hart & Cameron Jourdan

Sports Bloggers

@theozoneonline

Baylor

Baylor defeated the SMU Mustangs 40-13 on Saturday. However, SMU proved to be a more formidable opponent than expected. At the end of the first quarter, SMU – a team Baylor was expected to beat with no difficulties – led the Bears 6-0 after kicking two field goals.

In the second quarter, the Bears’ Josh Callahan matched the Mustangs’ progress with a pair of field goals, but neither team scored a touchdown in the first half.

It was ultimately a win for the Bears, but it was also a wake-up call. The Bears finally gained a lead in the third quarter when Blake Lynch caught a pass from Seth Russell and sprinted into the end zone for the game’s first touchdown.

With 4:16 remaining in the game, running back JaMycal Hasty scored a touchdown to ensure the Bears’ victory.

The beginning of this matchup might have been rough for the Bears, but the final result was in their favor. Next, Baylor will face the Rice Owls on Friday in Houston.

Iowa State

Coach Matt Campbell’s career with the Cyclones didn’t start the way he planned.

Iowa’s C.J. Beathard threw for 235 yards and three touchdowns as No. 16 Iowa throttled Iowa State 42-3.

The Cyclones again struggled to get the ball to running back Mike Warren, who had only seven carries for 28 yards.

Former coach Paul Rhodes said in his final press conference that the Cyclones would go to a bowl in 2016. That looks highly unlikely – and it’s only the middle of September. Iowa State was hoping to pull off an upset over the favored Hawkeyes like it did in 2012 and 2014. But by the middle of the first quarter, it was clear the Cyclones didn’t have a chance.

Iowa State (0-2) opens Big 12 play on the road against TCU. The Horned Frogs likely won’t be a happy bunch either after falling to Arkansas at home, 41-38, in double overtime.

Kansas

Kansas did everything to make the game more favorable for the Ohio Bobcats on Saturday in Lawrence.

Two fumbled punt returns. Inopportune penalties. An interception. A safety.

The result was a 37-21 victory for the Bobcats that went a long way toward erasing the memory of rushing the field in the win just a week ago.

LaQuvionte Gonzalez had a 99-yard kickoff return for the Jayhawks, but he also muffed those two punt returns.

The Jayhawks were 0-for-8 on third down, failed to pick up both fourth downs, which in turn kept their defense on the field far too long. They were ultimately gassed by the fourth quarter.

Kansas (1-1) heads to Memphis to try to avenge a 55-23 loss to the Tigers last year.

Kansas State

After a trip out west, Kansas State used a week at home to tune up its game.

K-State (0-1) plays the home opener against Florida Atlantic at 1:30 Saturday.

Oklahoma

Baker Mayfield and the Sooners got back on track this week with a win against UL-Monroe. (Kurt Steiss/O'Colly)
Baker Mayfield and the Sooners got back on track this week with a win against UL-Monroe. (Kurt Steiss/O’Colly)

Baker Mayfield passed for 244 yards and three touchdowns in a half of work, and No. 14 Oklahoma beat Louisiana-Monroe 59-17 on Saturday night in a warm-up for its showdown with Ohio State.

The Sooners re-established their run game. They gained only 70 yards on 26 carries against Houston, but bounced back with 288 yards on 46 attempts against ULM. Joe Mixon, a sophomore, finished with the third highest rushing total of his career. Samaje Perine’s two touchdowns gave him 39 in his career, tying him with Joe Washington for seventh in school history.

The Sooners (1-1) host Ohio State in a must-win game if they want to return to the College Football Playoff. Game time is at 6:30 p.m. Saturday.

TCU

The Arkansas Razorbacks stunned the Horned Frogs with a 41-38 upset after two overtimes. The unranked Razorbacks delivered an impressive performance. Arkansas led 13-0 at halftime and had no turnovers the entire game. Meanwhile, some of TCU’s standout players struggled. Taj Williams, who caught 11 passes last week against South Dakota State, didn’t catch a single pass until the first overtime.

TCU improved in the second half, gaining a lead over the Razorbacks after a Kyle Hicks touchdown in the fourth quarter. The Horned Frogs prepared to kick a potentially game-winning field goal, but Dan Skipper, the Razorbacks’ 6-foot-10 offensive tackle blocked it.

In the second overtime, Ryan Graf successfully kicked a field goal for the Horned Frogs. TCU led 38-35 until Austin Allen’s 5-yard run that led the Razorbacks to their ultimate victory over the Horned Frogs.

It was an upsetting loss for the No. 15 Horned Frogs. So-called “surrender cobras” filled the stadium. Non-conference play is showing TCU will have to make some significant adjustments if it hopes to succeed in the Big 12.

TCU’s first Big 12 matchup will be this Saturday at home against Iowa State.

Texas

After a key season-opening win against Notre Dame, the Longhorns were victorious once again, conquering the UTEP Miners 41-7. Shane Buechele continued to be a Texas hero. The freshman quarterback ended the game with 244 yards and four touchdowns.

The transition from quarterback to wide receiver has worked well for Jerrod Heard who tallied two touchdowns against the Miners. With five sacks, the Longhorns brought the power defensively as well.

The Longhorns’ win over UTEP marked Charlie Strong’s 50th coaching victory. Could the Longhorns, who have struggled in recent seasons, actually be a team to watch? So far, the outlook for Texas’s season is certainly optimistic. The next question is how the Longhorns will fare on the road.

The Longhorns travel to the Golden State to face Cal on Saturday.

Texas Tech

The Red Raiders recorded their first loss of the season in Tempe when the Arizona State Sun Devils beat Texas Tech 68-55 on Saturday.

Red Raider quarterback Patrick Mahomes had two touchdowns and 540 passing yards, but offense alone can’t win a game, and the Red Raider defense needs polishing. Arizona State running back Kalen Ballage scored eight touchdowns, tying an NCAA record.

It was a constant fight for the lead, and the Red Raiders had a 41-37 advantage in the third quarter. Then, the Sun Devils scored on a trick play to take the lead they would not relinquish. The Red Raiders had a burst of hope when Cameron Batson caught a 66-yard pass for a fourth-quarter touchdown, but Arizona State still led by 10 points. After a Zane Gonzalez field goal for the Sun Devils, the game was over for the Red Raiders.

The Red Raiders showed potential at times, but there is much room for improvement. This coming Saturday, the Red Raiders look to improve their non-conference record with a victory against the Louisiana Tech Bulldogs.

West Virginia

Senior quarterback Skyler Howard wouldn’t let strained ribs hold him back.

Howard tied a career high with five touchdown passes, leading West Virginia to a 38-21 win over Youngstown State on Saturday. Howard, who hurt his ribs a week ago in a win against Missouri and was limited in practice this week, completed 20 of 33 passes for 389 yards.

In two games West Virginia has touchdowns on one of seven total trips inside the red zone. The slow-starting Mountaineers will need to work on scoring earlier in games and also more often when they reach the opponents’ 20 yard-yard line.

West Virginia (2-0) has a bye week before playing BYU for the first time in program history on Sept. 24 in Landover, Maryland.

ozone@ocolly.com

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