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Around the Big 12: Oh, what a beautiful morning

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Could we have scripted Saturday any better?

Oklahoma v Iowa State Photo by David Purdy/Getty Images

If I told you, at 10:59 Saturday morning, that the day would bring the following, how would you feel?

TCU beats Texas.

Baylor loses.

Texas Tech loses.

Oklahoma loses.

Sign me up, right (if you’re a Horned Frog, at least)?

In a season that somehow continues to surprise each and every week, Saturday’s slate was somehow still shocking. There were upsets galore and a new leader in the clubhouse when it comes to Big 12 Championship hopes.

Oklahoma State 47, Kansas 7

Even without their star QB, the Pokes still put the hurt on Kansas. Shane Illingworth certainly isn’t playing like a true freshman, and having guys like Chuba Hubbard and Tylan Wallace certainly doesn’t hurt. And while the offense was very good in Lawrence (Illingworth went 17-23 for 265 and three scores, Hubbard had his first big game of the season, and Wallace hauled in two scores and nearly 150 yards on just nine receptions), it’s the defense that is making OK State a real contender. Sure, it was Kansas, but holding Pooka Williams to 2.3 ypc with a long of eight says something. As does a 1-14 day on third down.

The Cyclones are getting all the love this morning, but don’t sleep on 3-0 OSU.

Iowa State 37, Oklahoma 30

Speaking of the Cyclones, hoo boy did they host a thriller in Ames Saturday night. I listened to this game on the drive back from Austin (on the Oklahoma radio feed, which was hilarious), and this one was entertaining as hell.

Spencer Rattler continues to put up big numbers (25-36, 300 yards, two scores), but... does this kind of feel like a “random quarterback in the Texas Tech offense under Kliff Kingsbury” vibe? He’s just a redshirt freshman, and while he is clearly talented, he hasn’t yet found that winning edge that makes talented players into winners. He is hindered by a subpar running game, and offensive line that had to replace a lot, and a defense that continues to be unreliable at best.

Brock Purdy hasn’t been great in 2020, but he has the luxury of having an outright star to hand the ball off to in Breece Hall (139 yards, 2 touchdowns) and an All-American caliber tight end in Charlie Kolar to bail him out in big spots. The Cyclones D was very bend but don’t break, but made stops when it needed to, and in a nice reversal of fortune, special teams actually made a big play instead of giving up one, when Kene Nwangwu took a kickoff 85 yards to the Oklahoma 13 late in the fourth quarter. The Cylcones are in the drivers seat when it comes to the Big 12 title, but they will certainly have competition along the way.

West Virginia 27, Baylor 21 (2OT)

Oh, the Bears had their heart broke in overtime by an underdog? You don’t say.

I was tempted to pick the Eers in this one; Neal Brown is building a hard-nosed team that has enough talent at the skill positions and enough toughness on defense to give plenty of teams trouble — especially on their home turf.

But what they did to the Baylor “offense” Saturday was something else.

Charlie Brewer was absolutely and utterly stifled, to the point that BU supporters were calling for his job by the first quarter. The senior QB finished with just 229 yards, three touchdowns, and two interceptions despite the extra time, and did not look particularly sharp in the process. The Bears managed just seven points through the first three quarters, but their defense was legit, allowing them to tie things up in the fourth on a long ball to Josh Fleeks. The Baylor rushing game was nonexistent; 22 carries for 35 yards if you remove Brewer’s 11 for -8, and the offensive line allowed 6 sacks on the day. Leddie Brown was great once again for WVU with 93 yards on the ground and another 31 through the air, plus a couple of scores. Jarrett Doege wasn’t exceptional, but was good enough — though the five team fumbles is concerning.

The colder the weather gets in Morgantown, the less teams are going to want to play there. TCU travels east in November — I am sure that will be just fine.

Kansas State 31, Texas Tech 21

This game seemed to play out like it was featuring two teams coming off of emotional rollercoasters the week before — because it was exactly that.

Deuce Vaughn made his name known in a big way for the Cats, who lost Skylar Thompson in the second quarter after a scary hit that saw him leave with a sling around his throwing shoulder. Will Howard was sharp in his debut; not asked to do much, the freshman completed 7-12 passes for 173 yards and one touchdown, though 70 of them came on one play to Vaughn.

Speaking of Deuce, rushing for 113 yards and a score and hauling in three receptions for 81 and the long TD.

Meanwhile, Tech was also without their quarterback for most of the game, after Alan Bowman left in the first quarter. Henry “Hollywood” Colombi (I don’t know if that’s his nickname, but he’s from Hollywood, FL so here we go) was serviceable, but the Cats defense made the plays that they needed to to come away with the win.

Now 2-0 in conference play, Kansas State, Oklahoma State, and Iowa State have began to separate themselves from the pack.