Normally during any given weekend for any given football conference, there will be at least one close game to add some intrigue and uncertainty into the proceedings.
Maybe a team was down by a bunch and mounted a furious comeback to pull within one score in the waning moments. Or maybe two great (or two terrible) teams are so evenly matched that neither side has managed to get separation over the other for four quarters.
Well, that all sounds great, but there was none of that this weekend in the Big 12. All five games were decided by two scores, and even the two-score games weren’t as close as the final scoreline indicated.
But that doesn’t mean we can’t learn anything from these blowouts. Here’s a rundown of the non-TCU games in the Big 12 in Week Six.
Oklahoma (5-0, 2-0 Big 12) 45, Kansas (2-4, 0-3 Big 12) 20: Kansas had a lead in this game! I mean, Oklahoma scored 35 straight points after that and the Jayhawks didn’t score again until the fourth quarter, but Kansas had a lead in this game!
Oklahoma had no reason to care about this game, and I’m not sure the Sooners did. Sure, they put up 45 points, but they did so in an almost lackadaisical manner. Jalen Hurts was 16-24 for 228 yards, two scores and a pick through the air, and added two more touchdowns on the ground. Kansas’ Carter Stanley managed to throw for three touchdowns on the Oklahoma defense, but again — it’s hard to be too concerned about that. All the Sooners needed to do was enter cruise control, and that’s what they did.
Next week, Oklahoma gets Texas in the Red River Rivalry, while Kansas has its first bye of the season.
Texas (4-1, 2-0 Big 12) 41, West Virginia (3-2, 1-1 Big 12): Of all the games in the Big 12 this week, this one was the most back-and-forth. West Virginia held an early lead before Texas came storming back to win.
But the Longhorns didn’t look as crisp on offense as they have so far this season. Sam Ehlinger was just 18-33 passing for 211 yards, two touchdowns and an interception, and though he did run for two more scores, he only had 45 yards on nine carries. Of course, if that’s your average day for a QB, that’s pretty good, but Ehlinger has been above-average all year.
What saved Texas was its defense — the Longhorns picked off West Virginia’s Austin Kendall four times, three of which came in the second half with two coming on back-to-back possessions. The Mountaineers are going to need to figure that out, quick.
Texas gets Oklahoma next week, while West Virginia will play Iowa State.
Texas Tech (3-2, 1-1 Big 12) 45, Oklahoma State (4-2, 1-2 Big 12) 35: This was by far the most surprising result in the conference this weekend. One week after being shredded by Oklahoma and still without starting quarterback Alec Bowman, the Red Raiders jumped out to a 20-7 halftime lead over Oklahoma State and never looked back (although the Cowboys did keep it somewhat interesting late).
But what was really impressive was the Tech defense, which straight up dominated Oklahoma State at the line of scrimmage, especially in the first half. The Red Raiders also kept Spencer Sanders uncomfortable, forcing him into three interceptions. Chuba Hubbard still ran for three scores but was limited to 156 yards, which is downright impressive considering the season he’s been having.
I don’t have a read on either of these two teams, to be honest with you. We’ll learn more about Tech next week when the Red Raiders play at Baylor, but Oklahoma State has a bye.
Baylor (5-0, 2-0 Big 12) 31, Kansas State (3-2, 0-2 Big 12) 12: It might be time to reckon with the fact that Baylor is actually a pretty darn good football team this year. The Bears held Kansas State to under 350 yards of offense and put up over 400 of their own. That’s hard to do against a Kansas State team that, even under a new head coach, likes to make game as mucky as possible.
This was a game where Baylor wasn’t clicking well on offense, but the Bears still won by three possessions. That’s a bad sign for the rest of the Big 12.
Baylor gets Tech next week, while Kansas State has a bye.