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Big 12 Roundup & Recap: Is The Back Half of the Schedule Easy?

Everyone in the league played and could the back half of the schedule be easy?

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: OCT 14 Texas Tech at West Virginia Photo by Frank Jansky/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

#6 Oklahoma Sooners (5-0, 2-0) 45, Kansas Jayhawks (2-4, 0-3) 20

For the first time this season, Oklahoma gave up points in the opening quarter and trailed an opponent. Despite a sluggish start, neither of those firsts lasted very long. Still, Alex Grinch’s defense gave up a number of big run plays to KU’s Pooka Williams, and Jayhawks signal caller Carter Stanley was able to thread the needle several times late against the Sooners’ starting secondary for big gains and scores. Those kinds of defensive lapses need to and will be addressed this week with the biggest game of the season on deck.

The defense was solid in the first half, though, and a combination of pressure and penalties against the Sooner led to an OU third and goal from midfield and then having to punt on what had been first and goal from the seven. The Sooners added another touchdown late in the half after pinning Kansas on its own two yard line and then never looked back.

Still, the defense didn’t make life easy on the Sooners, despite the final numbers, and held OU to under 600 yards of total offense for the first time all year. An interception by Najee Stevens-McKenzie in the fourth quarter was also the first takeaway since the first week of the season.

Texas Tech Red Raiders (3-2, 1-1) 45, #21 Oklahoma State Cowboys (4-2, 1-2) 35

Oklahoma State’s Spencer Sanders had a rough day in Lubbock on Saturday. He went 22 for 37 and in the process had three interceptions. Oklahoma State had five turnovers total on the day. Texas Tech was able capitalize off of this and score 13 points off of those turnovers. While it’s most certainly not the only thing that OSU did wrong, it was a huge difference maker in their loss.

Iowa St. Cyclones (3-2, 1-1) 49, TCU Horned Frogs (3-2, 1-1) 24

October remains undefeated. To find the last loss by the Cyclones in the month October you’d have to go all the way back to 2016, when I was a senior in high school. Iowa State came out hot, and was able to put up numbers against one of the best defenses in the Big 12. Minus a second half TCU offensive explosion, Iowa State dominated start to finish.

The offensive issues are bigger than any one thing. The line struggles to block consistently, neither QB is accurate, and the play calling lacks anything remotely resembling creativity or imagination. It’s beyond time to have serious conversations about Sonny Cumbie’s future.

Do we think Patterson’s frustrations with the offense are bleeding over to his defensive coaching?

Baylor Bears (5-0, 2-0) 31, Kansas State Wildcats (3-2, 0-2) 12

Baylor’s defense was phenomenal. The Wildcats scored one touchdown, and it was midway through the fourth quarter with Baylor up by three scores. Bravion Roy disrupted the Wildcat’s rushing attack, as he frequently made single tackles behind the line. James Lynch and James Lockhart ruined Skylar Thompson’s day. Grayland Arnold grabbed an interception. Clay Johnston disrupted the Wildcat’s attack in the middle of zone. Up 19 late, on 4th and 11, the Bears collectively sacked Thompson for the fifth time.

The defense was fine for a half, then completely fell apart. The offense can’t be blamed for this, as they held the ball for 17 minutes in the first half, and Baylor didn’t break 20 minutes of possession until the final drive when they were killing the clock. (K-State ended with a 36:45 to 23:15 advantage.) But Baylor racked up 413 yards on only 51 plays before that final drive — 8.51 yards per play — and that’s just unacceptable.

The Mountaineers face Iowa State, then Oklahoma then Baylor in the next three weeks. After that they have Texas Tech, Kansas State, Oklahoma State and TCU. Can the Mountaineers find three wins in those final four games to get to bowl eligibility?