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Around the Big 12: Stormin’ Lawrence

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A field rush, a few too-close-for-comfort games, and an almost perfect weekend for the Big 12.

Northern Iowa v Iowa State Photo by David Purdy/Getty Images

Week 1 of the college football season saw the Big 12 go 9-1, with the lone loss coming from West Virginia at Maryland. Three of the Big 12’s top teams played in games too close for comfort, with Oklahoma and Iowa State winning their games against Tulane and Northern Iowa by a combined 11 points, while Kansas, Oklahoma State, and Baylor also playing close games of their own.

But wins are wins in week 1, and the main goal is just to stay healthy. The majority of the Big 12 did that on Saturday, as the conference enters what could be its final season in its current form.

Kansas Jayhawks 17, South Dakota 14

Lance Leipold’s first game with the Jayhawks didn’t end in disaster, but just barely. UNT transfer Jason Bean lobbed a late touchdown pass to Lawrence Arnold, giving Kansas the lead and eventually the win. It was Kansas’ first win since October 26, 2019, so yeah, students rushed the field. Who cares? Let them live their lives.

Leipold and the Jayhawks (sounds like an indie band) have really only had a month to practice together, so the hope is that Kansas will improve, but for now, let them storm their field in peace.

Next up: @ #22 Coastal Carolina | 6:30pm | ESPN2

#2 Oklahoma 40, Tulane 35

Oklahoma did everything right by Tulane after Hurricane Ida forced the game to move from New Orleans to Norman. Tulane received the revenue from the game, Oklahoma gave them the home locker rooms, and they painted the Tulane Green Wave logo on their field.

Then, Oklahoma let Tulane score five touchdowns and recover an onside kick to almost upset them and head back to Louisiana with a W.

Next up: vs. Western Carolina | 6:00pm

Kansas State 24, Stanford 7

Deuce Vaughn did Deuce Vaughn things, rushing for 124 yards and a touchdown, including this 59 yard run on 3rd and 13.

Also, Stanford is really, really bad.

Next up: vs. Southern Illinois | 6:00pm | ESPN+

Maryland 30, West Virginia 24

Taulia Tagovailoa torched the Mountaineers for 332 passing yards and three touchdowns in a very close, very fun football game. Doege’s interception in the endzone with 8 minutes left in the game was more than West Virginia could overcome, and their defense showed some holes. It’ll be interesting to see if Big 12 offenses exploit some of that this season.

Next up: vs. Long Island University | 4:00pm | ESPN+

#7 Iowa State 16, Northern Iowa 10

Hooooooooo boy, Cyclones. I don’t know what it is about Iowa State’s issue with playing in-state teams, but they struggled unnecessarily with Northern Iowa on Saturday, fortunately scraping enough together to get the win. The top 10 squad wasn’t the only ranked team to struggle with a “lesser” opponent on Saturday, so it shouldn’t go too noticed, but if the Cyclones don’t fix some things they might not be as potent as everyone thought.

#21 Texas 38, #23 Louisiana 18

Can’t deny that Texas looked impressive in their dismissing of #23 Louisiana on Saturday afternoon. Sark’s Horns looked prepared, and they handled a very good Cajun squad with apparent ease. Hudson Card looked confident, and Bijan Robinson did what most are expecting him to do all season (103 rush yds, TD, 73 rec. yds, TD).

Next up: @ Arkansas | 6:00pm | ESPN

Texas Tech 38, Houston 21

Houston led for a good portion of this game, but Tech finally adjusted and scored two touchdowns in the final three minutes of the contest to put the Cougars away. Who knows what this means for Tech’s season - but a win is a win, and considering that Houston is on its way to the Big 12, it’s a nice little bragging right for the Raiders.

Tech next up: vs. Stephen F. Austin | 6:00pm | ESPN+

Houston next up: @ Rice | 5:30pm | CBSSports

Oklahoma State 23, Missouri State 16

Spencer Sanders missed this game for the Cowboys, but Shane Illingworth stepped in and played well. OSU’s offense will take a step forward when Sanders returns, but a win is a win, even if it was closer than it should have been against Missouri State. Only 54 rushing yards for the Pokes is something to keep an eye on.

Next up: vs. Tulsa | 11:00am | FS1

Baylor 29, Texas State 20

Baylor messed around and let Texas State make this game look closer than it was. The Bears led 24-13 at the end of the third quarter after conceding a field goal in the final minute, and they only managed a field goal in the fourth quarter before a safety at the end of the game. Trestan Ebner and Abram Smith got the bulk of the work for the offense, and both eclipsed 110 yards rushing on the day, but QB Gerry Bohanon is still a relative unknown.

Next up: vs. Texas Southern | 6:00pm | ESPN+

TCU 45, Duquesne 3

In a 54-minute game (the teams agreed to shortened 3rd and 4th quarters), TCU did everything we hoped they would do:

  • They won
  • They stayed healthy
  • The backups got a ton of playing time

On top of all that, the coolest aspect of the game is that Emari Demercado got his first rushing touchdown as a Horned Frog. Prior to the game Saturday night, Demercado had gone 121 rushing attempts without getting into the endzone.

Next up: vs. Cal | 2:30pm | ESPNU

Future Big 12 Squads

UCF 36, Boise St. 31

Next up: vs. Bethune-Cookman | 5:30pm | ESPN+

BYU 24, Arizona 16

Next up: vs. #24 Utah | 9:15pm | ESPN

#8 Cincinnati 49, Miami (OH) 14

Next up: vs. Murray State | 2:30pm | ESPN+