*Editor’s note: The views and opinions expressed here are those solely of the individual writer, and do not in any way constitute official stance or stances of either the Dodge City Daily Globe or Gatehouse Media.
This was a busy weekend for the Big 12. Here are my thoughts on some of what happened, with some highlights about what happened in most.
Texas Tech versus Kansas
The Red Raiders blew out the Jayhawks 65-19 Saturday in Lawrence. After the win, Texas Tech moved into the top-25. Tech senior quarterback Nic Shimonek is one of the most efficient quarterbacks in the Conference completing 71.8 percent of his passes this season, second in-conference only behind Oklahoma quarterback Baker Mayfield. Saturday, he was 19 of 24 passing with two touchdowns and one interception.
Kansas junior quarterback Peyton Bender also played well, finishing 12 of 24 with one touchdown, one interception and 146 yards. Kansas, however, lost this game on the ground. Sure, the Jayhawks were out-passed, but it was only 290 to 256. Texas Tech is known for their passing offense.
What KU probably didn’t expect was to be out-rushed 313 to 112, yet that’s exactly what happened. KU will likely continue to struggle this season, as the school’s football program continues to try and build itself into conference prominence. They play Iowa State Saturday at 11 a.m. in Ames, Iowa.
Speaking of Iowa State.
Iowa State upsets Oklahoma in Norman
There was a time when Oklahoma was the playoff darling of the Big 12, and its lone hope of a contender to break into the College Football Playoff.
All that might have changed Saturday, or at least taken a massive step toward unlikely.
Iowa State went into Oklahoma’s stadium, left their starting quarterback in Iowa for undisclosed health reasons, and ended up planting their flag at midfield, making fun of Oklahoma’s Baker Mayfield, who did the same thing when Oklahoma upset No. 2 Ohio State earlier this season.
The loss dropped Oklahoma from No. 3 to No. 12 in the latest Associated Press Top 25 poll, and got Iowa State five votes, though it wasn’t enough to move them into the rankings.
Iowa State takes on struggling Kansas next week, who has lost four straight, and will likely win.
Teams on bye-weeks
Of the 10 teams in the Big 12, eight were in action Saturday. Oklahoma State and Baylor were the two that weren’t.
The week off came at a great time for both. Oklahoma State loss at home two weeks prior to the Bye against No. 16 TCU. It might have been even more crucial for the Bears though, who are 0-5 for the first time 1978. The last time they went 0-6 was 1969. They didn’t win a game that year, finishing 0-10 that season, their worst record in the last 50 years.
The two play each other this week in Stillwater, Oklahoma. Oklahoma State is No. 14 in the latest AP Top 25 poll. Baylor has won the last three against the Oklahoma State.
No. 8 TCU beats No. 23 West Virginia
Speaking of teams that have beaten Oklahoma State, No. 8 TCU overcame No. 23 West Virginia 31-24 Saturday. TCU stands a chance at sneaking into the College Football Playoff, having moved from No. 8 Saturday to No. 6 on Monday. It won’t be an easy task though, as they almost certainly will have to finish undefeated to get in, and they still have to face Texas, Texas Tech, Iowa State and Oklahoma among.
West Virginia, meanwhile, dropped out of the rankings after the loss. They’re 3-2 this season after a season-opening loss to No. 21 Virginia Tech. They’ll take on Nic Shimonek and the No. 24 Texas Tech Red Raiders in Morgantown, West Virginia at 11 a.m. Saturday.
Kansas State falls to Texas in double-overtime
The Wildcat offense has been maddeningly inconsistent this season. Wide receivers have dropped balls consistently and at times it has seemed like senior quarterback Jesse Ertz and the offensive line had to make success themselves.
That wasn’t the case Saturday. The story of the game was sophomore wide receiver Dalton Schoen, who had five receptions for 128 yards and two touchdowns. Then, after Ertz left the game in the second half, Hays native and sophomore quarterback Alex Delton came in and helped the Wildcats tie the game.
K-State lost the game on defense, in large part due to Texas freshman quarterback Sam Ehlinger, who passed for 380 yards on 30 of 50 passing, with two touchdowns, one interception and who led all rushers with 107 yards.
Ehlinger is currently battling sophomore Shane Buechele for the starting job at Texas, but as first-year head coach Tom Herman begins to rebuild the Texas program, Ehlinger might be the future of the program. In addition to the win, Ehlinger started on the road against then No. 4 University of Southern California. That game also went to double-overtime. Though Texas lost 27-24, Ehlinger was widely praised for his performance in what was his second start.
I suspect he’ll become someone Big 12 defenses get beaten by a lot in the next few years, in part because of how much of a dual-threat he is.
“I don’t think we were ready for the freshman quarterback to be a good scrambler like that,” K-State junior defensive back D.J. Reed said afterward. “We didn’t expect him to be that for or run that much.”
K-State is now 3-2 overall but 1-1 against the Big 12. Their road doesn’t get any easier, as they host now No. 6 TCU in Manhattan, Kansas on Saturday. That game is scheduled for 11 a.m.
Texas, meanwhile, is going the right direction, having won two straight games to start conference play 2-0. This week will be a new type of test for them, however, as they head to the Cotton Bowl in Dallas, Texas to play No. 12 Oklahoma in the teams’ annual “Red River Showdown” game. Texas has won the last two against Oklahoma.
Oklahoma, having just lost, will likely enter the game furious and more determined than ever to win.
The game is scheduled for 2:30 p.m. Saturday, and will be broadcast on ESPN.