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Big 12 Roundup & Recap: Three Teams, Two Slots

It comes down to Black Friday in Morgantown, one game to decide it all (because Texas-Kansas...)

Texas Tech v Iowa State Photo by David Purdy/Getty Images

#6 Oklahoma Sooners 55, Kansas Jayhawks 40

The Oklahoma Sooners hung on, 55-40, against the Kansas Jayhawks in a game that was a lot more of a hassle than expected. Rather than an aerial assault, the Kansas offense attacked Oklahoma on the ground all game long. Freshman phenom RB Pooka Williams ran for 252 yards while Kansas piled up a total of 348 yards on the ground. Although it was too little, too late, Kansas ran at will against a porous Oklahoma defense in the fourth quarter.

If we learned anything on Saturday night, it’s that Oklahoma doesn’t have a championship defense, and the Big 12 likely won’t do well in the College Football Playoff this year - if they make it at all. Kansas piled up 524 yards of total offense as they hung with Oklahoma for 3+ quarters behind the electric running of RB Pooka Williams, who rushed for 252 yards on just 15 carries, a 16.8 average. Pooka added 18 yards on three receptions, and also threw a 9-yard touchdown pass.

#15 Texas Longhorns 24, #16 Iowa St. Cyclones 10

But the star of the evening was the Texas Longhorn defense. After being victimized three weeks in a row, they shelved the dime defense and featured an almost exclusive 4-2-5 nickel look that shut down the Cyclone running game and brought a withering pass rush that made ISU freshman Brock Purdy insecure in the pocket and eventually knocked him from the game. The Texas secondary also did a great job of tackling and prevented ISU WR Hakeem Butler from making any big plays.

The swarming defense had just sacked Iowa State freshman quarterback Brock Purdy two times on the previous drive. Overall, Orlando was able to dial up pressures that produced six sacks and numerous other quarterback hurries, aided by a secondary that covered better than it has in weeks. Purdy finished the game 10-of-23 passing for 130 yards and an interception, marking the first time that the breakout sensation has looked like a true freshman this season.

TCU Horned Frogs 16, Baylor Bears 9

TCU beat Baylor 16-9 at McLane Stadium Saturday, the fourth straight time the Frogs have won the Revivalry, or whatever dumb name you want to call this game. I call it “TCU-Baylor,” or “The Saturday I Dread The Most,” depending on the year. With the win, TCU is now 5-6 (3-5 Big 12) and still has a chance at bowl eligibility if they can beat Oklahoma State next week.

TCU led 9-6 at halftime. The Horned Frogs’ starting quarterback went out on the second drive. He never returned. Instead, TCU played Grayson Muehlstein the rest of the game. He wasn’t much of a passer, but he made a few nice throws when TCU needed them. Baylor’s defense was okay, but not good enough when it mattered. They had Jalen Reagor down for a loss on 3rd down. But “they had him” is the lesson of Baylor’s 2018 defense. Reagor avoided a few tackles and then ran a short pass in for a touchdown. On another drive, Baylor had TCU ready to punt. But Greg Roberts jumped offsides. Given life, Reagor ran a reverse in for a touchdown.

Kansas State Wildcats 21, Texas Tech Red Raiders 6

The last time Texas Tech was held to under 300 yards of total offense, Tommy Tuberville was the head coach. It was November 12, 2011, and the Red Raiders were held to 270 yards of offense in a 66-6 rout at the hands of Oklahoma State. The last time they failed to reach the end zone on the road was in 2006. Texas Tech did not score a touchdown today, nor did they get 300 yards of offense. They did not get 270. They did not even get 200. K-State‘s defense held the visitors to 31 yards on the ground and only 150 through the air, putting up a dominant performance which resulted in a 21-6 victory in what may have been the final home game for the legendary Bill Snyder.

That was from this article, which was written roughly one year ago. But, doesn’t it feel like I could’ve said the exact same things about this game? I’m just sick of watching this team disappoint me week after week. Sure, point out how we almost beat West Virginia, Oklahoma, Texas, and even Iowa State. Tell me more about how you’d like a redo against Ole Miss - and all that might be true, but we caught PLENTY of breaks against TCU to win that one. The Houston game is another one that could’ve turned for the worse, and don’t get me started on what would happen if we played Oklahoma State again. The reality is this, Kingsbury isn’t a great head coach.

Big 12 Standings