Conference sees lopsided matchups and byes this weekend
By Krista Pirtle
The Big 12 lacks a marquee matchup this weekend, with ranked teams facing unranked teams and two teams on bye.
3 Oklahoma (6-0, 3-0)
It was an offensive showcase in Kansas last weekend as the Sooners ran over the Jayhawks 47-17.
Junior quarterback Landry Jones threw for 363 yards and a trio of touchdowns, two of them to senior receiver Ryan Broyles who accumulated 217 yards.
The run game was just as impressive, led by junior running back Dominique Whaley with 165 yards.
The Sooners hope to repeat this offensive dominance against Texas Tech this weekend.
The Sooner defense allowed only 252 yards to Kansas; Texas Tech is more of a threat than Kansas is, however.
With the Red Raiders’ lead running back injured, Oklahoma needs to focus on secondary coverage.
Texas Tech (4-2, 1-2)
The Red Raiders are coming off of two disappointing losses, most recently a 34-41 rollercoaster to Kansas State.
Offensively, Texas Tech was on fire with a total of 580 yards.
Junior quarterback Seth Doege threw for 461 yards for a touchdown with three interceptions.
The run game was led by senior running back Aaron Crawford with 91 yards and a touchdown.
With all this firepower on offense, how did Texas Tech lose?
The team allowed 339 total yards to Kansas State.
This weekend will prove this point.
Doege has put up impressive numbers as the season has progressed, but those numbers don’t mean much when the defense allows big plays by the other team.
If the Red Raiders couldn’t contain Kansas State junior quarterback Collin Klein, then it has no hope of containing Oklahoma’s Jones.
11 Kansas State (6-0, 3-0)
The Wildcats find themselves in a surprising position: undefeated, bowl eligible and tied for first in the Big 12.
Kansas State hopes to keep this trend rolling as it faces in-state rival Kansas in the Sunflower Showdown on Saturday.
Last weekend, the Wildcats pulled off a close one against Texas Tech 41-34.
Junior quarterback Collin Klein’s stats continue to get more impressive as no one has succeeded in stopping him.
He was responsible for four touchdowns last weekend: one was in the air with his 146 passing yards while the other three were on the ground as part of his 110 rushing yards.
Surprisingly with this offensive power in Klein, the Wildcats did not score until 4:55 left in the half.
Either something wasn’t working right for Kansas State or Texas Tech was playing solid defense.
It would be a surprise if the Wildcats didn’t finish this weekend with a 7-0 record and a win against Kansas.
Kansas (2-4, 0-3)
Conference play is never easy or nice for the Jayhawks during football season.
Kansas learned why there is so much hype surrounding Oklahoma, losing to the Sooners 17-47.
Sophomore quarterback Jordan Webb couldn’t overcome the dominant Sooner defense as he threw for only 108 yards.
Other than that, there’s not much else to tell about the Jayhawks.
Its defense is still lacking in all areas, allowing 610 yards to OU.
The in-state rivalry game with Kansas State will bring a crowd.
The one positive thing for the Jayhawks last weekend was Midnight Madness, signaling the beginning of basketball season.
4 Oklahoma State (6-0, 3-0)
The Cowboys held off a determined Longhorns squad to come out on top 38-26 last weekend in Austin.
Oklahoma State was able to thrive without much help from its star quarterback senior Brandon Weeden, who passed for a season low 218 yards and a touchdown.
Sophomore cornerback Justin Gilbert helped out the offense with a kickoff return for a touchdown, the fourth of his career, setting a school record.
Offensively, the Cowboys are second in the nation.
Defensively, this team is not too shabby, forcing 17 turnovers in its last four games.
This weekend Oklahoma State travels to take on a confident Missouri team.
If the defense can shake up Missouri quarterback sophomore James Franklin, OSU should have no problem ending the weekend 7-0.
Missouri (3-3, 1-2)
Young quarterback Franklin is showing more confidence in the pocket as he led his team to a 52-17 win against the Iowa State Cyclones.
Franklin was responsible for five touchdowns: three were in the air with his 289 passing yards and another pair was found on the ground with his 84 rushing yards.
Sophomore tailback Henry Josey continues to lead his team’s ground attack as he racked up 129 yards last weekend.
It is debatable whether the 583 offensive yards were due to a growing Tiger offense or a less than exceptional Iowa State defense.
Missouri extended its home winning streak to 10. The Tigers look to make that 11 straight facing Oklahoma State this Saturday.
In order to do that, the defense needs to step up its game.
The multifaceted Cowboy offense just might be more than the Tigers can handle.
Iowa State (3-3, 0-3)
The Cyclones struggled offensively against a strengthening Missouri team last weekend 17-52.
As a whole, Iowa State recorded only 343 offensive yards on the evening.
A mere 161 passing yards by junior quarterback Steele Jantz earned him a seat on the bench during the game.
In its next game, against Texas A&M, there is a question as to whether Jantz will start or if redshirt freshman Jared Barnett will take the first snap.
This weekend’s match-up will not be a pleasant one for a Cyclone team that has allowed many sacks.
Texas A&M averages four sacks per game.
There is not much Iowa State can do, realistically, to beat the Aggies.
The Cyclones would have to spread out its offensive attack, looking to run slants into the holes of the A&M defense.
On the other side of the ball, the Cyclones’ coverage would have to improve tremendously.
The only realistic advice that can be given to Iowa State is to really warm up and stretch out its punter.
17 Texas A&M (4-2, 2-1)
The Aggies let Baylor have it last weekend in College Station, defeating the Bears soundly 55-28.
Parents of players chose a great game to attend as Texas A&M broke many school records.
Quarterback Ryan Tannehill threw for 415 yards and a career best six touchdowns.
Wide receiver junior Ryan Swope caught for 206 of those and a career best four touchdowns.
After struggling to finish a game this season, the Aggies finally played all four quarters against Baylor.
The Aggie blitz shut down the Bears’ rushing game, allowing only 50 yards on the afternoon.
This weekend, the Aggies travel to Ames to face the Cyclones.
After the offense peaked last weekend, Texas A&M looks to improve on those numbers throughout the rest of the season.
Defensively, the secondary still leaves much to be desired and the middle of the defense needs to strengthen its coverage during blitzes.
Baylor (4-2, 1-2)
Trying to run the ball through closed lanes and screen passes for a gain of a single yard led to an upsetting loss to Texas A&M last weekend at Kyle Field 55-28.
Even with the blitz that seemed to catch the Bears’ offense off-guard, junior quarterback Robert Griffin III played past his five sacks and pass for 430 yards, a trio of touchdowns and one interception.
Junior wide receiver Terrance Williams emerged as the favorite target with 146 yards and a touchdown.
With the powerful Aggie blitz, the Bears tried to run it through the line and into the gap in midfield.
However, four big defensive linemen from A&M didn’t like that idea.
So Baylor flirted with the screen pass many times but didn’t gain much from the idea.
The Bears went deep only a handful of times against the worst passing defense in the nation.
Baylor could have gone deep all night, but slants were wide open with the Aggie blitz.
Defensively, Baylor was impressive in the first quarter, but then it all fell apart the rest of the game.
Coverage was blown and defenders failed to wrap up as it allowed 681 yards to the Aggies.
The Bears have this weekend off to rethink offensive schemes and strengthen the defense.
24 Texas (4-2, 1-2)
The Longhorns lost a battle to Oklahoma State last weekend 26-38.
Freshman quarterback David Ash played the whole game as sophomore quarterback Case McCoy stood on the sidelines with a headset.
Ash ended up throwing for 139 yards and a pair of interceptions.
Freshman running back Malcolm Brown continued to make a name for himself with two touchdowns and 135 rush yards.
Defensively, the Longhorns learned from the beating they took from the Sooners two weeks ago and seemed to have more control over the Oklahoma State offense, but that could be due to the fact that Weeden was off his game.
Texas had a trio of turnovers, a number that needs to be cut down as the team is desperate to be bowl eligible. The Longhorns have this week off to heal and reconvene for both sides of the ball.