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Big 12 Week 8 Recap: OU, Baylor Roll Towards November



The eighth week of play in the Big 12 conference was a rather quiet one, with only four games taking place on Saturday and none of them coming down to the wire. Time to take a look at the winners and losers of week eight.

OU-Texas Tech

The No. 17 ranked Oklahoma Sooners took on the Texas Tech Red Raiders in Norman, winning by a score of 63-27 with some huge help in their running game. The Sooners improved to 6-1 overall and 3-1 in the conference, and dropped the Red Raiders to 5-3 and 2-3 respectively.

Sooners quarterback Baker Mayfield threw for 212 yards and two scores, along with one interception. Mayfield was facing Texas Tech for the first time since he left the school after his freshman season back in 2013, and he didn’t leave on good terms. Mayfield was forced to sit out last year at OU because of restrictions, but stayed poised and under control throughout the game.

According to Mayfield, he could tell on most plays the Tech offense ran whether they were going to pass or rush the ball. However, coaches on both side of the field said that Mayfield had little impact in that regard. Head coach Kliff Kingsbury said that he saw Mayfield over on the sideline and wasn’t concerned one bit. Samaje Perine and Joe Mixon were the other stars for OU, as the two players combined for 355 yards and six touchdowns on the ground. Perine carried the ball 23 times for 201 yards, and Mixon rushed 16 times for 154 yards. 

On the other side of the ball, Tech quarterback Patrick Mahomes threw for 233 yards and a score, but he threw four costly interceptions. Mahomes had 58 rushing yards as well, and running back DeAndre Washington rushed 19 times for 94 yards. Compared to the massive numbers the Sooners racked up on the ground, the Red Raiders couldn’t get much going.

Samaje Perine had been playing somewhat mediocre so far this season, but turned that around on Saturday. He finally remerged himself for the fourth 200-yard rushing game of his career. It was also his third career game with at least four rushing touchdowns. The 201 yards he mustered against Tech are the most he has recorded since he set the FBS record of 427 last season against Kansas.

The Sooner defense stood up as well, holding the Texas Tech offense almost 200 yards below what it has been averaging and also snagged four interceptions. The defense did all of this with the absence of star cornerback Zack Sanchez, who suffered an ankle injury early in the first quarter. He did not return to the game, but the Sooner defense showed up strong regardless.

The Sooners will move on and face the winless Kansas Jayhakws in Lawrence this upcoming Saturday, while Texas Tech will travel back home to Lubbock and wait for the Oklahoma State Cowboys to come to town.

Iowa State-Baylor

Moving on further down south, it was Iowa State’s turn to take on the No. 2 ranked powerhouse Baylor Bears, and to no surprise it ended in a loss for the Cyclones. However, Baylor didn’t put on quite the display of offensive fireworks that we’ve grown accustomed to.

The Bears won their FBS-best 20th straight home game by downing Iowa State 45-27, which became the first time Baylor has been held under 60 points in six games. It was easily Baylor’s smallest point total all season, by an 11-point margin.

Despite remaining undefeated and moving to 7-0 and 4-0, the Bears biggest concern now lies in the health of their starting quarterback. Seth Russell suffered a neck fracture late in game, which was confirmed by X-rays and CT scans later on. Russell’s injury occurred with 5:36 left in a game on a 4-yard run while facing a third-and-five. Prior to his exit, the quarterback threw for 197 yards and two scores and ran for another 64 yards. Running back Shock Linwood rushed 27 times for 171 yards and a score, and star receiver Corey Coleman finished the day with 85 yards receiving and two touchdowns. Coleman continues to lead the FBS with 18 TD grabs on the season, and broke the Baylor record for career TD catches with his 31st grab on this reception.

Baylor finished with 486 yards total, which was well below their average total of around 720 yards per game. However, the offense still managed 35 points in the first 22 minutes of the game, amidst rainy conditions. The offense would eventually stall more than it has all season for the Bears, as they failed to put up a single point for 35 minutes—and six consecutive drives. To find the last time Baylor failed to score on six straight drives, you’d have to go all the way back to their game against Texas in 2013.

Iowa State quarterback Joel Lanning threw for 144 yards and three touchdowns, including one critical TD pass to Jauan Wesley with 7:47 left that pulled his team within 15 points of Baylor, the score 35-20. However, the Cyclones couldn’t hold on and have now lost 14 straight against ranked opponents. They fall to 2-5 overall and 1-3 in the conference.

But there were upsides for this Iowa State team, as running back Mike Warren had his fourth 100-yard rushing game with 145 yards on the day. Joshua Thomas, another freshman running back alongside Warren, carried the ball 13 times for 77 yards and a score.

Overall, it was a stuttering and inconsistent effort for Baylor, but there’s still no opponent left on their schedule than can confidently expect to win against this team. The Bears haven’t lost a home game in over three years, dating all the way back to a loss against TCU in 2012.

The Bears will have a bye this upcoming Saturday, and their day off couldn’t have come at a better time with Russell’s injury. While Baylor rests and recuperates, Iowa State will move on and host Texas at home in week nine.

Kansas State-Texas

Lastly, the Kansas State Wildcats traveled down to Austin to visit the Texas Longhorns in an attempt to bounce back from their humiliating loss against the Sooners last weekend. On the other side, Texas was out to prove that their win against Oklahoma was more than just a fluke and one good performance.

Unfortunately for Bill Snyder and his team, a victory couldn’t be managed, as they fell to Texas by a score of 23-9. The Longhorns move up to 3-4 overall and 2-2 in the conference, and K-State falls to 3-4 overall and remains winless in the Big 12.

After having lost six of the past seven matchups against the Wildcats, the Longhorns finally got another victory against them to preserve their postseason hopes for the time being. Heavy rain poured down on the stadium during the game, but that didn’t stop Texas from getting the job done.

Backup quarterback Tyrone Swoopes was the star player for Texas on Saturday, carrying the ball seven times for 50 yards and three touchdowns. Swoopes has been used for short yardage situations for Texas, exactly how Oklahoma State has used J.W. Walsh throughout the season. The Longhorns team rushed for 274 yards total, despite K-State coming into this game with statistically the best run defense in the Big 12.

Starting quarterback Jerrod Heard completed 10 of his 15 pass attempts for 99 yards, and also rushed the ball 15 times for 61 yards. The two Texas quarterbacks Swoopes and Heard combined for 111 rushing yards and tailback Johnathan Gray added on another 103 yards. Tyrone Swoopes with this THIRD rushing TD of the day as

Kansas State has now lost four consecutive games for the first time in 10 years, dating all the way back to 2005. Quarterback Joe Hubener threw for 97 yards and a score, but only ran for 18 yards. Running back Charles Jones picked up the slack and rushed for a career-high 122 yards, with 87 of those yards coming after halftime.

The Longhorns made it clear from the start that they were focused on the ground attack, as the ran ball on almost every single play on their way to building a 16-6 halftime lead. They ran the ball so many times, in fact, that Jerrod Heard only attempted four passes in the half.

The Longhorns will travel to Ames, Iowa, this upcoming Saturday to face Iowa State and the Wildcats will look to avoid losing five straight games when the Baylor Bears come to Manhattan. With the way Kansas State is playing now, that could be a very one-sided game.

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