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2023 Big 12 Football Recap: Week 10

The Big 12 Championship race is heating up as seven squads now have four conference wins.

Oklahoma v Oklahoma State Photo by Brian Bahr/Getty Images

Week 10 started with a Thursday night affair between the Horned Frogs and Red Raiders in Lubbock. TCU continued to look like a shell of their 2022 selves as they dropped a second straight contest to go under .500. Two days later, on Saturday, the Big 12 play continued to intrigue. All but one game ended in a one-score deficit or less. And all sights are set on Arlington for the Big 12 Championship. Seemingly, half the teams have a shot at the championship game. However, the Longhorns and Wildcats pulled away with massive victories against ranked squads. Find out where the other teams find themselves in the race for the championship.

#23 Kansas State 30, #7 Texas 33

What an exciting game to kick off the Saturday slate of Big 12 play. The Longhorns started the day strong, going up 10-0 after the first quarter behind good QB play from Maalik Murphy who’s filling in for the injured Quinn Ewers. Over the next two quarters, Murphy’s play began to decline, yet the Longhorns built even more of a lead. After a 49-yard field goal in the latter half of the third, Texas went up 27-7 and it seemed all but over for the Wildcats.

At the end of the third, quarterback Will Howard tossed a touchdown to wide receiver Phillip Brooks, cutting the lead to two scores. Then, the unthinkable happened. The Wildcats scored two more touchdowns in three minutes to tie the game at 27. Kansas State picked off Murphy, scored in two plays, forced a fumble, and then scored on a single play. Over the next 12 minutes, Texas and Kansas State each knocked in a field goal to even up the game at 30.

In overtime, Texas received the ball first. The Longhorns only gained a yard on their possession before putting a 42-yard field goal through the uprights. Kansas State got the ball, looking to score to knock off the top-10-ranked Longhorns. The Wildcats struck quickly as Howard threw a 19-yard dart, advancing the ball to the six-yard line. But Kansas State couldn’t get in the end zone with only six yards to go, and the Longhorns kept their College Football Playoff hopes alive with a victory.

The Longhorns (8-1, 5-1) travel three hours north to take on the Horned Frogs (4-5, 2-4) in Fort Worth on Saturday, November 11 at 6:30 p.m. CT on ABC. As for the Wildcats (6-3, 4-2), they’ll take on the reeling Baylor Bears (3-6, 2-4) as 20-point favorites at home. This contest will be held on Saturday, November 11 at 2:00 p.m. CT.

#9 Oklahoma 24, #22 Oklahoma State 27

The Cowboys finished Bedlam with a win. Now the all-time series will remain at 91-20-7, in the Sooners' favor, for the foreseeable future. Despite the lopsided record, winning this game meant a lot for the Cowboys. Head Coach Mike Gundy reiterated how much this meant for the entire program. Oklahoma State gets the bragging rights as the most recent winner of the Bedlam Rivalry.

The formula to win was clear and the Cowboys executed it well. Run Ollie Gordon II early and often and turn over the Sooner offense. Oklahoma State did both. Coming into the game, Gordon II has rushed for 270-plus yards in back-to-back games. In this affair, he accumulated an atypical 137 yards on the ground. However, Gordon II did score twice and added 18 yards through the air. Using Gordon II so often led to a domination of time of possession. The Cowboys possessed the ball for 37 minutes, compared to the Sooners’ 22 minutes of possession.

Quarterback Alan Bowman did look good. He recorded his best QBR of the season, 91.3, and managed to throw for more than 300 yards for the second time this year. On defense, the Cowboys allowed 492 yards of total offense but forced three turnovers. And, two of the three turnovers occurred in the second half.

The Cowboys (7-2, 5-1) will look to further distance themselves from the pack as they battle the UCF Knights (4-5, 1-5) on Saturday, November 11 at 2:30 p.m. CT. Conversely, the Sooners (7-2, 4-2) are aiming for a bounce-back win against the West Virginia Mountaineers (6-3, 4-2), later that same day at 6:00 p.m. CT.

#21 Kansas 28, Iowa State 21

It’s starting to feel like uncharted waters for these Jayhawks. A year ago, the Jayhawks finished 6-7, their first season winning more than five games in a decade. Now, after winning a seventh contest, the Jayhawks have reached the 7-win mark for the first time since 2008. Kansas is in a five-way tie for second place amongst Big 12 squads. A shot at the Big 12 Championship is certainly within reach.

Despite being the underdog, Kansas proved to be the better team against Iowa State. The Jayhawks started strong, taking a 14-3 lead into halftime. After receiving the kickoff to start the third quarter, the Jayhawks marched down the field and scored again to go up 21-3. Next, Iowa State scored on a 5-minute drive to cut the game to a 10-point deficit after successfully going for two. After a quick Kansas drive, Iowa State once again marched down the field inch closer after a porous first-half showing. But, Kanas quickly responded with an 80-yard touchdown to put the game away.

The Jayhawks have dealt with adversity and proved to be an upper-echelon Big 12 squad in 2023. Big 12 Preseason Player of the Year, Jalon Daniels, was absent during the Jayhawks road win in Ames. Without Daniels, Kanas has compiled a 4-2 record behind Jason Bean, who has admirably filled in for the injured Daniels.

This Saturday, Daniels’ status remains up in the air. With or without their star quarterback, Kansas (7-2, 4-2) will face the Red Raiders (4-5, 3-3) at 11:00 a.m. CT on November 11. The Cyclones (5-4, 4-2) will look to get back on track as they travel to Provo to take on BYU (5-4, 2-4) later that night at 9:15 p.m. CT.

Houston 25, Baylor 24

Yet another hard-fought affair in the Big 12 graced our weekend slate of games. In this one, it was evident Baylor looked improved, but it took the Bears too long to get into their groove. The Bears scored their first touchdown with a little over two minutes to go in the third quarter, before scoring twice in the fourth and once in overtime.

Baylor rushed for 150 yards against the Cougars, only their second time crossing the 100-yard plateau during conference play. The only other time Baylor accomplished this feat, they came out victorious. However, Houston proved too much for Baylor in this battle. Houston quarterback Donovan Smith put the team on his shoulders. He recorded over 300 yards of total offense and ended the game with a two-point conversion rush.

The Bears have yet to win a Big 12 game at home this season. Additionally, the Bears are 1-6 in Waco, with their only win coming against an FCS opponent. Baylor (3-6, 2-4) is tasked with facing a tough Kansas State Wildcats (6-3, 4-2) team in week 11. Fortunately for the Bears, this matchup is on the road, at 2:00 p.m. CT on Saturday, November 11. Later that same day, the Cougars (4-5, 2-4) travel back to Houston to host the Cincinnati Bearcats (2-7, 0-6) at 6:00 p.m. CT.

UCF 28, Cincinnati 26

At long last, UCF managed to come away victorious in their sixth Big 12 Conference game. As for Cincinnati, the Bearcats are still in search of that elusive first conference win. For both of these squads, losing is an abnormal feeling. UCF and Cincinnati have been used to playing a winning brand of football, as both teams competed and succeeded in the AAC Conference before this season. On Saturday, along with their first Big 12 win, it marked the first time since 2017 that UCF defeated Cincinnati at home.

UCF managed this win despite losing the time of possession battle and being outgained by more than 100 yards. However, UCF was only penalized three times and won the ever-important turnover battle. On offense, running back RJ Harvey played his best game of the year. Harvey gained 164 yards and reached paydirt three times. Saturday’s 100-yard effort was his fourth game in a row toppling the triple-digit mark. On the other sideline, Cincinnati had two 100-yard rushers alongside a 200-yard passer. Quarterback Emory Jones came into the day on a short leash. He had played poorly in four straight contests but looked competent on Saturday. Jones recorded the second-highest completion percentage of his season and tossed a touchdown as well.

The Knights (4-5, 1-5) are searching for their second straight victory as they host the Oklahoma State Cowboys (7-2, 5-1) on Saturday, November 11 at 2:30 p.m. CT. Still on the hunt for their first conference victory, the Bearcats (2-7, 0-6) take on the Houston Cougars (4-5, 2-4) later in the day at 6:00 p.m. CT.

BYU 7, West Virginia 37

There was no containing the West Virginia offense in this affair. The Mountaineers amassed 567 yards of total offense and a staggering 336 yards on the ground. Speedy freshman Jahiem White notched a career-high 146 yards on the ground, at 9.1 yards per carry. To pair with White’s lightning, CJ Donaldson Jr. proved to be the thunder as he accumulated 102 yards and two scores on the ground. With a complete offense and a stout defense, this West Virginia squad surely seems like a competitive one amongst the Big 12 elite.

Conversely, BYU demonstrated a weak defense and one-dimensional offense. Quarterback Jake Retzlaff made an appearance for the injured Kedon Slovis. Retzlaff played well in relief, but couldn’t propel the BYU offense to multiple scores. The only touchdown came on a garbage time drive with a little over six minutes to go. Running back Aidan Robbins ran it in from 10 yards out to get the Cougars on the board.

The Mountaineers (6-3, 4-2) travel to Norman to battle the Sooners (7-2, 4-2) at 6:00 p.m. CT on Saturday, November 11. While the Cougars (5-4, 2-4) have to wait until 9:15 p.m. CT to take on the Cyclones (5-4, 4-2).