Cameron Jourdan & Hallie Hart
No. 9 Oklahoma vs No. 14 West Virginia
The Sooners are determined to make a run at the College Football Playoff for a second straight season.
The Sooners (9-2 overall, 8-0 Big 12) dominated West Virginia 56-28 in Morgantown on a snowy and cold night.
The Sooners started fast, capitalizing on three WVU (8-2, 5-2) turnovers to build a 34-0 lead midway through the second quarter. Quarterback Baker Mayfield completed 9-of-15 passes for 169 yards with two touchdowns and one interception. One of his touchdowns was to receiver Dede Westbrook, who took a screen pass 75 yards while stiff-arming a tackler on the way to put the Sooners up 14-0. Mayfield also had two rushing touchdowns.
OU running backs Semaje Perine and Joe Mixon combined for 307 rushing yards with three touchdowns in the slick, snowy conditions.
The Sooners defense forced two Mountaineer turnovers when their offense was inside the 5-yard line. WVU couldn’t get any momentum in the first half but made things interesting in the second half.
At one point, WVU narrowed OU’s lead to 41-28 with nine minutes to go, but OU responded with two long scoring drives while milking the clock to win the game.
WVU quarterback Skyler Howard completed 12-of-27 passes for 191 yards with two touchdowns and one interception, which OU linebacker Jordan Evans returned for a pick-6 in the third quarter to put OU up 41-7. Evans didn’t return to the game after the play due to an injury.
The Mountaineers travel to Ames, Iowa, to play the Iowa State Cyclones at 2:30 p.m. Saturday. The Sooners head home to play a de facto Big 12 championship game against the Oklahoma State Cowboys on Dec. 3.
Texas Tech vs Iowa State
Iowa State continued its domination on offense for the second straight game.
The Cyclones (3-8, 2-6) controlled the game in all three phases in a 66-10 win against Texas Tech on Saturday.
ISU quarterback Joel Lanning tied a school record with five rushing touchdowns and quarterback Jacob Park threw for 285 yards and two touchdowns. The Cyclones’ offense scored the most points since 1980 when they beat Colorado State 69-0.
Lanning started the scoring outburst with a 24-yard scamper up the middle just four minutes into the game. The Red Raiders (4-7, 2-6) responded with a field goal to make it 7-3, but that was as close as they were the rest of the afternoon.
The Cyclones’ offense scored 38 unanswered points to make it 45-3 at halftime.
In the second half, Tech quarterback Patrick Mahomes threw an 11-yard touchdown pass to Keke Coutee with 7:17 remaining in the third. The Cyclones responded with three more Lanning touchdown runs to make it 66-10. ISU set a school record for most points in a Big 12 game.
Mahomes was held to only 219 passing yards, his second-lowest passing total of the season. Tech’s offense gained only 306 yards and went 4-of-14 on third down.
The Cyclones host the West Virginia Mountaineers at 2:30 p.m. Saturday. The Red Raiders travel to Jerry’s World in Arlington, Texas to play the Baylor Bears at 5 p.m. Saturday.
Kansas State vs Baylor
A strong Wildcat running game and the absence of Baylor’s star quarterback caused the Bears to struggle Saturday afternoon in Waco, Texas.
Kansas State battled to a 42-21 victory against Baylor as the Bears defense could not contain the speed of Wildcat running back Alex Barnes. Barnes, a freshman, led K-State in rushing with 129 yards and four touchdowns.
Neither team scored in the first quarter. Baylor wide receiver Blake Lynch gave the Bears a 7-0 edge when he caught a pass from quarterback Zach Smith in the second quarter. Smith started for the Bears to replace senior quarterback Seth Russell, who suffered an ankle injury during last week’s loss to the Oklahoma Sooners.
The K-State offense kicked into gear in the third quarter when Barnes ran for three of his touchdowns. It was all about rushing for the Wildcats (6-4, 4-3). K-State quarterback Jesse Ertz went 16-for-25 and threw for 177 yards, but the Wildcats didn’t score one passing touchdown. Besides Barnes, Wildcats sophomore fullback Winston Dimel contributed to the K-State victory when he ran for two touchdowns. The Bears (6-4, 3-4), in contrast, never scored a rushing touchdown.
The Bears went undefeated for much of the season but now have four consecutive losses. Their situation continues to look grim without Russell, who had to be transported onto the field via golf cart for the Senior Day ceremony prior to the game. Baylor seeks a late-season comeback against the Texas Tech Red Raiders at 5 p.m. Friday in Arlington. Meanwhile, the state of Kansas divides when the Wildcats meet the Kansas Jayhawks at 11 a.m. Saturday in Manhattan, Kansas.
No. 11 Oklahoma State vs TCU
The Horned Frogs fell to the Cowboys and their defensive power Saturday afternoon on TCU’s turf.
OSU achieved a 31-6 victory against the Horned Frogs, and TCU coach Gary Patterson faced the greatest point deficit in a Horned Frogs home game that he coached. TCU’s lone touchdown was scored when wide receiver KaVontae Turpin caught a pass from Horned Frogs quarterback Kenny Hill in the first quarter. TCU kicker Brandon Hatfield attempted the point-after-touchdown but Cowboy defensive tackle Vincent Taylor blocked it.
Hill was struck with the force of OSU’s defense, as he was intercepted twice and sacked twice. He threw for 166 yards and one touchdown. TCU’s running game was lacking, as Hill also led the Horned Frogs in rushing yards with only 79.
OSU quarterback Mason Rudolph threw for 207 yards and one touchdown, and he displayed his versatility when he rushed for two touchdowns. Rudolph was sacked twice, but the TCU defense wasn’t enough to hold the Cowboys (9-2, 7-1) back from a win.
As the Cowboys wonder if a playoff opportunity is in their near future, the unranked Horned Frogs (5-5, 3-4) face the Texas Longhorns at 2:30 p.m. Friday in Austin.
Texas vs Kansas
The Jayhawks had not defeated the Longhorns since 1938. That changed when KU blindsided Texas with a 24-21 win Saturday in Lawrence, Kansas.
A key moment for KU occurred in the second quarter when senior cornerback Brandon Stewart intercepted Texas quarterback Shane Buechele and sprinted 55 yards to the end zone for the Jayhawks’ first touchdown. Buechele was intercepted three times and went 17-for-26. Carter Stanley, KU’s freshman quarterback, was 21-for-42 and threw for 220 yards.
The Longhorns led 21-10 in the fourth quarter, then the Jayhawks (2-9, 1-7) started a comeback. KU running back Khalil Herbert rushed 1 yard for a touchdown, and Jayhawk wide receiver Steven Sims Jr. ran for a two-point conversion.
With 51 seconds left in the game, KU kicker Matthew Wyman’s 36-yard field goal tied the score at 21-21. Jayhawk safety Mike Lee intercepted Buechele in overtime and the game concluded with another Wyman field goal, this one for 25 yards, to secure the upset against the Longhorns (5-6, 3-5).
In spite of the humiliating loss, Texas running back D’Onta Foreman continued to excel. He led the Longhorns in rushing yards with 250. Twelve strong games for Foreman set a Texas record for most consecutive games with over 100 rushing yards.
However, the Longhorns fell to a team that was largely expected to lose every Big 12 game, and social media exploded as soon as the game concluded with tweets that stated that Texas coach Charlie Strong will inevitably be fired. The Longhorns will attempt to bounce back from the loss when they play the TCU Horned Frogs at 2:30 p.m. Friday at home. The Jayhawks’ next matchup is with in-state rival Kansas State Wildcats at 11 a.m. Saturday.