The Big 12 had some major upsets this weekend, but the real storyline was Texas Tech’s offensive dominance over Houston that not only broke records but catapulted the Red Raiders as national stat leaders. Some teams rose, others fell, and there are a few that are shocking the conference–both in good and bad ways.
Here’s how the teams stack up through four weeks:
After taking it to ACU and UTSA to start the season, Baylor took a 40-27 loss to Duke on Saturday. Between quarterbacks Charlie Brewer and Jalan McClendon, the Bears had 270 passing yards and just one touchdown in the air. Baylor was a little more effective running the ball, but even with higher numbers, the Bears finished the day with just a single double-digit run by Jalen Hurd.
With three fumbles by the offense and zero sacks by the defense against a Power 5 team, this could help paint a more accurate picture as to what we can expect from Baylor this season.
9. IOWA STATE
There was a lot of hope and excitement regarding the Cyclones headed into the season, and yet here they are, sitting on a 0-1 start following a crushing loss against the Sooners on Saturday. While it was only a 10 point loss, Iowa State had issues controlling the clock at home. Moreover, the Cyclones’ defense allowed OU quarterback Kyler Murray to throw for 348 yards, averaging 12 yards-per-pass. With other Big 12 teams firing up high-powered offenses early this season, it could be an issue with the Cyclones’ secondary moving forward.
Facepalm. TCU and Ohio State originally scheduled a home-and-home series, but for a bigger payout, the game was moved to AT&T Stadium in Arlington, and that loss of home advantage could have been a difference-maker against the No. 4 ranked Buckeyes.
TCU started as an underdog against Ohio State, but simple mistakes prevented this game from being closer than it should have been. Quarterback Sean Robinson has thrown just five touchdowns this season but was plagued by turnovers on Saturday, and the Buckeyes capitalized off the mistakes, putting a fumble return for a touchdown, and a pick-6 on the board. While TCU has the talent to recover, a visit to Austin to play the Longhorns this week following their win over USC won’t provide the Horned Frogs much time to make adjustments.
Kansas is 2-0, and most people are actually really excited for the Jayhawks, whose only marquee win in years was against the Longhorns back in 2016. Sure, the Jayhawks’ 55-15 blowout victory was at home against Rutgers, but a few points emerged. Kansas has a serious issue with quarterbacks, but did manage four rushing touchdowns, and hauled in two defensive touchdowns on three interceptions thrown by Rutgers.
Kansas heads to Baylor this weekend, and with the way the Bears are playing, there’s a huge possibility the Jayhawks start in-conference play with a win over a team that’s still rebuilding.
6. WEST VIRGINIA
Unfortunately, West Virginia’s Week 3 matchup against NC State was canceled due to Hurricane Florence, so there isn’t a lot of data to go off before the Mountaineers square up against Kansas State this week.
5. KANSAS STATE
Kansas State beat UTSA, 41-17, and between quarterbacks, Skylar Thompson and Alex Delton, put up three touchdowns. Thompson established himself as QB1, throwing for 213 yards, with 66 rushing yards and a touchdown from one yard out.
UTSA head coach Frank Wilson said, “We held them to some third-down opportunities, but we just couldn’t get them off the field.” This is interesting because UTSA controlled time of possession, but Kansas State averaged 15 yards-per-pass compared to just 3.7 yards-per-rush. Kansas State faces a West Virginia team that had plenty of time on Saturday to study the Wildcats, who have been struggling in several areas to start the season. Bill Snyder will have his team’s attention, but West Virginia is hungry to get back on the field, so this will be a game to watch.
Texas got revenge on the No. ranked USC Trojans in its 37-14 victory in Austin on Saturday, but the win wasn’t without controversy. On a keeper from the end zone, USC defenders sacked Texas quarterback Sam Ehlinger in what was a clear safety, but the officials said the football broke the plane. That missed call gave the Longhorns momentum throughout the first half, and USC just couldn’t make the necessary second-half adjustments, which have plagued the Trojans since its Stanford loss two weeks ago.
This upset was a morale booster as the Longhorns head into Big 12 play, and with the No. 12 ranked TCU Horned Frogs on the schedule this week, Texas should be riding high, while Gary Patterson will have to refocus TCU following its loss against Ohio State.
It’s also worth mentioning that Texas’ upset over USC is its 900th win in program history.
3. TEXAS TECH
While Texas Tech rolled Lamar in Week Two, the Red Raiders were an underdog at home on Saturday, as they hosted the Houston Cougars who were riding high off a victory against Arizona the week prior. With heightened expectations by Houston’s Heisman talk surrounding Ed Oliver, the Red Raiders knew it was a tall task and responded with a 63-49 upset victory. Texas Tech true freshman Alan Bowman looked at that challenge and threw bullet after bullet, finishing the day with 43 of 59 for 605 yards, five touchdowns, zero interceptions, surpassing Patrick Mahomes’ single-game passing yards for a freshman.
As if one record wasn’t enough, Texas Tech wide receiver Antoine Wesley had 13 receptions for 261 yards and three touchdowns to set the record for single-game receiving yards. This was exactly the kind of quality win Tech needed as it hosts Oklahoma State this weekend to open a tough Big 12 schedule.
2. OKLAHOMA STATE
Oklahoma State routed the No. 17 ranked Boise State Broncos in a 44-21 victory to wrap up its slate of non-conference games to start the season at 3-0.
Fifth-year senior Tyler Cornelius threw for 243 yards and a touchdown, with two rushing touchdowns on the day. Boise State senior quarterback Brett Ripien paid compliments to the Oklahoma State defense in the post-game. “Their D-line, I thought, did a good job,” Rypien said. “You don’t want to get into third-and-long against that defense.” That’s definitely advice the rest of the conference can use as we begin theBig 12 schedules.
Oklahoma dominated once again. Not only did the Sooners stay undefeated, but they also did so in a tough Jack Trice Stadium in Ames to go into Big 12 play at 1-0. Kyler Murray finished the day with a 90.5 percent quarterback rating and continues to help the Sooners retool their offense.
The OU defense was a different story, however. Allowing 10 yards-per-pass by Iowa State quarterback Zeb Noland doesn’t bode well for future Big 12 play, which also has offenses that continue to retool.
Want more? Check out The Big 12’s Week Three Power Rankings.