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2023 Big 12 Football Recap: Week 3

Week 3 featured a few highs, but numerous lows for Big 12 squads.

BYU v Arkansas Photo by Wesley Hitt/Getty Images

Week three provided a few abnormal results. Collectively, the Big 12 teams dropped three games against Group-of-5 opponents. Ohio defeated Iowa State, Oklahoma State looked hapless against South Alabama, and Cincinnati was also defeated by an Ohio squad — Miami Ohio, that is. Realistically, the only bright spot in week three happened to be the BYU Cougars knocking off the Arkansas Razorbacks by a touchdown. In other news, the first Big 12 game of the year occurred, as the Horned Frogs defeated the Houston Cougars by 23 points, with a final score of 36-13. Now, let’s take a deeper dive into each of the Big 12 team’s matchups.

Iowa State 7, Ohio 10

Wow. What to make of this one? Matt Campbell’s Cyclones reached new lows in a 10-7 defeat at the hands of the Ohio Bobcats. The game was a defensive battle, as the first score came in the second half, and Iowa State’s only touchdown occurred with a little more than four minutes to go. Neither team recorded more than 300 yards, and the Cyclones looked especially poor on the ground, accumulating only 38 yards on 23 attempts. Iowa State has looked on defense so far this season, but with so many offensive players out, the Cyclones must figure out an identity soon.

This week, the Cyclones (1-2) take on the Oklahoma State Cowboys (2-1) at home. The game will be played at 3:00 p.m. CT on Saturday, September 23. Luckily for the Cyclones, the Cowboys are coming off an even worse defeat, more on them later.

Kansas State 27, Missouri 30

What a way for the Tigers to come out on top. As time expired, Missouri kicker Harrison Mevis, connected on a 61-yard field goal to upset the Wildcats. Kansas State played well for the most part, as quarterback Will Howard threw for 270 yards and three touchdowns. Additionally, the Wildcats rushed for 138 yards on the ground. But, Kansas State allowed Missouri to disperse the ball all over the field. Quarterback Brady Cook passed for a career-high 356 yards along with two touchdowns through the air and one on the ground. The Wildcats did sack Cook twice, but other than that, he was able to carve up the ‘Wildcats' lackluster pass defense.

The Wildcats (2-1) will be looking for redemption this week, as they take on the Golden Knights of Central Florida (3-0). The Big 12 battle will take place in Manhattan, on Saturday, September 23, at 7:00 p.m. CT.

Baylor 30, Long Island 7

Baylor finally got in the victory column this past Saturday, as they defeated LIU by 23 points. Of course, the Sharks haven’t won a game either and compete on the FCS level. The Bears went to the ground game in this one, as they totaled 270 yards on 48 rushes while reaching the end-zone three times on the ground. Freshman Dawson Pendergrass rushed for over 100 yards and tallied a score on the day, while sophomore back Richard Reese rushed for two scores and 82 yards.

Baylor (1-2) gets its toughest test of the season, as the Bears host the undefeated Texas Longhorns (3-0) on Saturday at primetime. The two foes compete against one another at 6:00 p.m. CT on September 23 on ABC.

Oklahoma 66, Tulsa 17

The Sooners continued to pile on the points against Tulsa. Oklahoma averages the third most points and the eighth most yards in all of college football. The Sooners sport a vaunted passing attack and it showed up once again the past weekend. Quarterback DIllon Gabriel continued to shine, he threw for 421 yards and five touchdowns. Freshman receiver Nic Anderson hauled in three of Gabriel’s touchdowns. He finished with three catches for 120 yards and three touchdowns on the day. Although the offense put up 66 points, the defense showed out. The Sooners picked off Tulsa quarterbacks five times, consistently giving the Sooner offense great field position.

This Saturday, Oklahoma (3-0) takes on its new Big 12 foe, the Cincinnati Bearcats (2-1). The Bearcats are looking for redemption this week, as they take on the Sooners on September 23 at 11:00 a.m. CT on Fox.

UCF 48, Villanova 14

Without dynamic quarterback John Rhys Plumlee, the Golden Knights continued to look the part on offense. Backup quarterback Timmy McClain came in a lead UCF to 48 points. He tossed two touchdowns and added 365 total yards. The UCD offense totaled 600 yards against the Wildcats, who only accumulated 228 total yards as most of their drives stalled on the day. Villanova finished the afternoon with a 1-for-12 conversation rate on third down. UCF has looked the part against inferior opponents, but next week marks the first real test.

See the Kansas State excerpt for the upcoming showdown.

Cincinnati 24, Miami Ohio 31

The RedHawks put a stop to their 16-game losing streak as they defeated the Bearcats by a touchdown this past weekend. The game was a back-forth affair before Cincinnati quarterback Emory Jones was picked off in overtime. Cincinnati out-gained Miami Ohio 538 to 358 but turned the ball over twice and committed an absurd ten penalties for 78 yards. The Cincinnati ground game did however look well-oiled, as the Bearcats ran for 273 yards and two touchdowns on 57 attempts. The third straight week the Bearcats have rushed for over 200 yards.

See Oklahoma’s paragraph above.

Oklahoma State 7, South Alabama 33

Mike Gundy’s Cowboys have hit a new low. After a few weeks of abysmal offensive showings, Oklahoma State stooped to new lows. The Cowboys only managed 208 total yards of offense against South Alabama. This defeat marks the second victory against a Power Five program by the Jaguars and the first since 2016. The longest play of the day was a 21-yard run by backup quarterback Gunnar Gundy, who looked like the best quarterback on the Cowboys roster. Starting quarterback Alan Bowman may not be starting for long. Bowman managed a 2.3 QBR while tossing a costly interception leading to a South Alabama touchdown.

See Iowa State’s blurb for game time.

Texas Tech 41, Tarleton State 3

The Red Raiders got their first win this weekend, against FCS foe Tarleton State. Right off the bat, the Red Raiders intercepted Tarleton State quarterback Victor Gabalis and returned it for a touchdown. Texas Tech scored two more touchdowns in the first to quickly bury Tarleton State. The Red Raiders did damage on the ground and through the air, as both attacks led to about 200 yards on offense. After two tough battles prior to this victory, the Red Raiders embark on the quest to get back to .500.

The Red Raiders (1-2) begin Big 12 play against the Mountaineers of West Virginia (2-1) on Saturday, September 23 at 2:30 p.m. CT.

BYU 38, Arkansas 31

The best team of the week goes to the BYU Cougars. Although the Cougars were projected to be in for a tough year, BYU has looked better than advertised. After allowing the Razorbacks to do anything they wanted on offense a year ago, the Cougars turned the Razorbacks over twice. Arkansas did plenty well, but ultimately shot themselves in the foot. The Razorbacks were penalized fourteen times for 125 yards. Arkansas even looked to tie the game with 20 seconds left, but the drive was derailed by four penalties. BYU played a much cleaner game, despite only throwing for 204 yards and rushing for 77 yards on 2.5 yards per tote.

BYU (3-0) travels to Lawrence to take on the favorite, Kansas Jayhawks (3-0). The Jayhawks are the 9-point favorite on Saturday, September 23. The game airs on ESPN at 2:30 p.m. CT.

West Virginia 17, Pittsburgh 6

The Mountaineers managed a massive win in the backyard brawl. And this game truly was a brawl. Both teams combined for only 422 total yards. Neither team passed for more than 85 yards. West Virginia picked off Pitt quarterback Phil Jurkovec three times. Two of the interceptions led to West Virginia scores, while the last interception happened to be a game-ender for the Panthers. Even with a poor passing performance, the Mountaineers mustered all they could on the ground. Running back C.J. Donaldson continued to perform well on the ground before an injury took him out.

See Texas Tech’s game discussion above for next week’s outing.

Texas 31, Wyoming 10

It wasn’t pretty, but the Longhorns rallied in the fourth quarter to defeat the Cowboys. Tied 10-10 going into the fourth quarter, another repeat of week one seemed likely for Wyoming. However, Heisman hopeful Quinn Ewers turned it on. Ewers hit star receiver Xavier Worthy on a 44-yard touchdown and ran in another five-yarder with nine minutes to go, increasing the Longhorns' lead to two scores. As soon as Wyoming got the ball back, quarterback Evan Svoboda made an ill-timed throw that safety Jerrin Thompson returned for a touchdown to put Texas up by three scores.

See Baylor’s section for the game time and date.

Kansas 31, Nevada 24

Kanas squeaked by the winless Nevada squad by dominating on the ground. Quarterback Jalon Daniels once again looked sharp, throwing for 298 yards, but the rushing game did all the work in the red zone. All the Jayhawks touchdowns came within three yards of the endzone. Running back Devin Neal rushed for three scores to increase his total to five on the year. The Jayhawks were totally underwhelmed in this one, as they were a four-score favorite before kickoff. Kansas’ resurgence continues, but the Jayhawks still need to display some consistency before being anointed a top squad in the Big 12.

See BYU’s section for the Jayhawks battle on ESPN.