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Big 12 Update: Is Texas Actually Back?

Texas shocks Bama, while Tech and Baylor were so close to their own upsets



[Devin Wilber/PFB]

The Big 12 was a play or two away from having a remarkable bounce-back Week 2 after struggling as a whole Week 1.

The conference went 10-4 this weekend, with Texas upsetting Alabama in Tuscaloosa, Baylor and Texas Tech oh so close to huge upsets, and Kansas putting it on a Big Ten foe. Here’s a breakdown of this week’s Big 12 games, and as always, you can find all of your Oklahoma State coverage at PFB, including our recap here.

Kansas 34, Illinois 23

The Jayhawks, wearing all black unis, started things off perfectly for them and the Big 12 on Friday night.

KU started the game up 21-0 on its way to handling Big Ten foe Illinois 34-23 in Lawrence. Illinois made the game look closer than what it really was with two unanswered touchdowns to end the game.

The Jayhawks ran all over that Big Ten defense (literally). KU rushed for 262 yards as a team. Devin Neal ran for 120 yards and a TD on 10 carries, while Daniel Hishaw Jr. had 12 carries for 98 yards and a TD.

Friday night proved the Jayhawks are no longer a joke.

No. 11 Texas 34, No. 3 Alabama 24

We might actually be able to ask, “Is Texas back?” and it not be as a joke.

The Longhorns raided Tuscaloosa on Saturday, upending Alabama 34-24 in a battle between future SEC Blue Bloods. It was Texas’ first road win against an AP Top 3 team since 1969 and Alabama’s first regular season non-conference loss since 2007. Now we can hope it’s the last game Texas wins this season.

Quinn Ewers was spectacular in that environment, throwing for 349 yards and three TDs on 24-of-38 passing.

Texas has a sneaky matchup next week, though, against Wyoming, which is 2-0 with a win over Texas Tech Week 1.

No. 12 Utah 20, Baylor 13

A week after losing to Texas State, Baylor had Utah on the ropes in what will be a Big 12 matchup next year.

Baylor was up 13-3 in the third quarter on the verge of a major bounce back, but Utah scored 17 unanswered to avoid the upset and improve to 2-0 with two impressive wins over the Bears and Florida.

Baylor is still looking for its first win of the season with Long Island next on its schedule.

No. 13 Oregon 38, Texas Tech 30

Another Big 12 team that was *this* close to pulling off a major upset to recover from a tough Week 1 loss.

Tech had Oregon down 27-18 at the start of the fourth quarter, but was outscored 20-3 in the final frame. The Red Raiders were driving down 31-30, but a pick-6 with 35 seconds left ultimately sealed the deal.

Like Baylor, Tech is still seeking its first win after a disappointing Week 1 loss and near upset Week 2. Tarleton State is next for the Red Raiders.

No. 15 Kansas State 42, Troy 13

Kansas State has yet to be challenged after two weeks, but that could be coming with undefeated Missouri next up.

Saturday, K-State scored the first two and last two touchdowns of the game, and also dominated everything between.

Will Howard has been a scoring machine, with three passing TDs and two rushing TDs against Troy.

BYU 41, Southern Utah 16

BYU handled Southern Utah much easier than future Big 12 counterpart Arizona State did last week.

Southern Utah struck first with a field goal, but BYU scored 27 unanswered to take control.

BYU is 2-0 so far, but SEC foe Arkansas is up next in Fayetteville.

Iowa 20, Iowa State 13

Iowa State couldn’t best its in-state rival in a one-possession defensive battle.

Iowa started the game up 17-0 and the Cyclones couldn’t recover from the early deficit.

The Cyclones are 1-1 with a trip to Ohio next.

No. 18 Oklahoma 28, SMU 11

Dillon Gabriel is starting to look like a quarterback from the Lincoln Riley era. He was 19-of-27 for 176 yards and four TDs, plus eight carries for 20 yards.

Although OU secured an easy win, the story of the day was Art Briles being on the field repping the OU logo, which coach Brent Venables said he didn’t know anything about until right before the post-game press conference. Briles is OU offensive coordinator Jeff Lebby’s father-in-law.

West Virginia 56, Duquesne 17

I don’t even know how to pronounce West Virginia’s opponent, so probably not a matchup worth wasting many words on. Either way, the Mountaineers got their first win of 2023 with Pitt at home next.

Cincinnati 27, Pitt 21

The Bearcats seem to still being alright (actually better than Wisconsin) without former coach Luke Fickell.

Cincinnati hung on to improve to 2-0 despite giving up two unanswered touchdowns in the fourth quarter. Running back Corey Kiner was unstoppable in this game, carrying the ball 20 times for 153 yards and a TD, averaging 7.7 yards a carry.

With Miami (OH) next, the Bearcats are likely to go into their first Big 12 slate undefeated.

UCF 18, Boise State 16

Colton Boomer hit a 40-yard field goal as time expired to get the win and keep UCF unbeaten.

This one didn’t have as many offensive fireworks as UCF’s Week 1 outing, but quarterback John Rhys Plumlee still remains to be the Golden Knights’ best weapon. He had 272 yards through the air and 73 yards on the ground. Boomer was still MVP, though, with four made field goals, including the game-winner.

Next, UCF hosts Villanova, which I didn’t even know had a football team.

Rice 43, Houston 41

Rice did put up a battle against Texas last week, but things still aren’t good for Houston and Dana Holgorsen.

Rice started the game up 28-0, and although Houston clawed back to tie it up, the Cougars failed two-point conversion sealed their fate.

Houston gets its first ever Big 12 matchup next week when it hosts TCU.

TCU 41, Nicholls 6

TCU was always in control here after a close loss to Colorado last week.

The Horned Frogs go to Houston next week to introduce the Cougars to the Big 12.

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