Truckin’: Week 12 in the Big 12

My Week 11 Game of the Week was:

#19 Texas @ Texas Tech

The Red Raiders made this a game worth watching late, finally recovering an onside kick and tying the game late. Jett Duffey also put on an offensive clinic, but three turnovers in the red zone hurt too much and the comeback bid left the defense in a position to stop a strong offense with one of the best receivers in the country.

Week 12 Game of the Week:

#16 Iowa State @ #15 Texas

I certainly can’t pass up what’s basically a top 15 matchup with some potential Big 12 title game implications. If Iowa State wins their final two games and West Virginia loses they’ll clinch a spot in the one true champion game of championing. This game is a tough one for me to predict but I think it could end up being a fun one to watch either way. Iowa State brings a revived offense led by Brock Purdy and a solid defense to Austin. The ‘Horns bring a renewed Sam Ehlinger that is looking towards the Big 12 record for completions without an interception and an offense capable of doing big things when it find a rhythm.



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Season Total: 46-17

TCU @ Baylor


Last Week: TCU (4-6, 2-5) got blown out on the road by the West Virginia Mountaineers 47-10. TCU led 3-0 after the first quarter but then the West Virginia offense found their rhythm and scored 24 points in the second quarter. Quarterback Michael Collins 22/37 for 229 yards and 1 touchdown. Jalen Reagor was essentially Collins’s only consistent target hauling in 11 catches for 150 yards and a touchdown. The Horned Frogs could get nothing going on the ground. Darius Anderson had 11 carries for 19 yards but the team finished with -7 yards on the day. TCU was held to a season-low 222 yards of total offense, the third time in four games they’ve been held to under 300 yards of offense. Adding insult to injury, Michael Collins was called for intentional grounding from the TCU end zone resulting in a safety late in the third quarter.
Baylor (5-5, 3-4) lost on the road in Ames to Iowa Stae 28-14 in a game marred by a brawl in the third quarter. Quarterback Charlie Brewer went 26/36 for 288 yards and 2 touchdowns, he was also the leading rusher with 72 yards on 12 carries. Brewer was ejected with 5:51 left in the game for his second unsportsmanlike penalty. Jalan McClendon entered the game and went 3/12 for 71 yards. The Bears just couldn’t get anything rolling against the stout Iowa State defense and were shut down in five of their seven trips to the red zone.
Date & Time: Saturday, November 17 @ 11:00 a.m.
Location: McClane Stadium, Waco, TX
Television: FS1
Line: Baylor -2 
All-Time Record: TCU 54-7-52 BU
Overview & Breakdown:

TCU is reeling. Their top playmaker has been dismissed from the team, their starting quarterback became a liability and is now out with an injury, and they now have 20 players with season-ending injuries and 36 that have missed playing time. The Horned Frogs are in danger of missing bowl eligibility for only the third time in Gary Patterson’s 18 year tenure at TCU. They’ll need to win their final two games to avoid that happening.
Biggest Question: Can the Horned Frogs regain any offensive footing? Jalen Reagor is their only remaining offensive weapon and teams are going to be 100% aware that TCU can’t run the ball. They’re going to have to get creative to move the football up and down the field enough to stay in any game.
Baylor will need to beat either TCU or Texas Tech to get bowl eligible. Not only is this an impressive turnaround from Matt Rhule’s debut season at 1-11, but it also provides the Bears that extra month of practice time that is so valuable to any team working to rebuild. This is their most likely opportunity to steal that needed sixth game. After an ejection for fighting in the third quarter, linebacker Greg Roberts will miss the first half of the game against TCU.
Biggest Question: Can the Bears capitalize on the down and out Horne Frogs? This is a golden opportunity for Baylor to nearly even the overall series with TCU, get bowl eligible, guarantee TCU won’t have that opportunity and continue their upward climb. The Bears put together 505 yards of offense on the Cyclones but couldn’t capitalize in the red zone. They’ll need to bring that kind of production and punch it in to take down the Horned Frogs.
My Pick: I like Baylor in this one. I think they’ll win by at least two scores and celebrate their “success.” The Horned Frogs just don’t have any weapons and the Bears have athletes and an offense capable of capitalizing on TCU’s depleted team.

Kansas @ #6 Oklahoma


Last Week: Kansas (3-7, 1-6) lost the Sunflower Showdown against Kansas State 21-17 in Manhattan, KS. The Jayhawks outgained the Wildcats offensively and drove to the Wildcat 32 yard line in the waning seconds of the game but Peyton Bender had the ball fly backward out of his hand while throwing to give Kansas State the victory. Bender finished the day 21/32 for 232 yards and 2 touchdowns, -32 yards rushing, and a fumble. Between Pooka Williams, Khalil Herbert, and Dom Williams the Jayhawks combined for 146 yards rushing before factoring in Bender’s negatives. This was a game defined by terrible play and incredible mistakes, culminating in Bender’s inexplicable fumble. In the words of the Associated Press, “All that was missing from the first half was the circus music.” For a full recounting go HERE.
Oklahoma (9-1, 6-1) won a wild Bedlam game 48-47 by stopping a go-ahead 2-point conversion attempt by the Oklahoma State Cowboys in the waning seconds of the game. Kyler Murray was impressive again going 21/29 for 341 yards and 1 touchdown, he also added 66 yards on 14 carries. The OU rushing game was impressive with Trey Sermon and Kennedy Brooks combining for 289 yards and 5 touchdowns on 31 carries. Wide receiver Marquis Brown was the top target by far hauling in 8 catches for 142 yards and a touchdown. The Sooner defense struggled again, allowing 640 combined yards, 501 of those through the air.
Date & Time: Saturday, November 17, @ 6:30 p.m.
Location: The Gaylord Family Oklahoma Memorial Stadium, Norman, OK
Television: FOX
Line: Oklahoma -36
All-Time Record: KU 27-6-75 OU
Overview & Breakdown: Kansas has fired head coach David Beaty who is awkwardly finishing out the season while new athletic director Jeff Long searches for a new head coach. There’s not much to say about the Jayhawks that hasn’t been said. The jokes are all used up at this point. They’re an ongoing dumpster fire, and they found a way to lose to the worst team we’ve seen at Kansas State since Bill Snyder retired.
Biggest Question: Will the Jayhawks surprise us by scoring? Seriously, the OU defense is driving, riding, and building the struggle bus. They’re not going to make it a game, but the Kansas offense could score 21 points on the Sooners, which is kind of a win.
Oklahoma is on their way to a showdown next week against West Virginia where the over/under may be somewhere around 436. Big 12 football at its finest if you ask me. It’s important that the Sooners don’t overlook Kansas but I think we’ll see a game where they play conservatively to avoid injuries. The Sooners have put themselves in a position to lay claim to the fourth spot in the College Football Playoff depending on how things go. They’ve shown that they don’t get flustered playing in a shootout and that they can win them, which they need to with the terrible defense they’re trotting out there.
Biggest Question: Does the $6 million man even need to play this game? I’m serious, why even risk Kyler Murray getting shellacked by Joe Dineen, Jr.? At the very least pull him after the first quarter.
My Pick: C’mon, do I need to say it? Sooners win by a lot.

Texas Tech @ Kansas State


Last Week:  Texas Tech (5-5, 3-4) dropped a comeback bid against the University of Texas in Lubbock 41-34. Quarterback Jett Duffey went 37/47 for 444 yards, 4 touchdowns, and 1 interception. Duffey also led the Red Raiders in rushing with 17 carries for 80 yards and 2 fumbles. The impressive offensive effort for Duffey had him responsible for more offensive production than the entire Texas offense but mistakes defined the day. Duffey threw an interception in the red zone while attempting to throw the ball away. He also had the ball stripped twice in the red zone. The box score doesn’t reflect a failed quarterback sneak on the Red Raiders’ side of the field that also resulted in a turnover on downs. Texas Tech overcame the mistakes however, they scored 17 points in 5 1/2 minutes (including recovering an onside kick) to tie the game on a 9-yard touchdown pass to Antoine Wesley with 1:45 remaining. The Red Raiders were unable to stop the Longhorns, however, allowing a drive that culminated in a 29-yard touchdown pass to Lil’Jordan Humphrey with 21 seconds remaining.
Kansas State (4-6, 2-5) defeated the Kansas Jayhawks 21-17 in what was a sloppy installment of the Sunflower Showdown. Quarterback Alex Delton went 11/17 for 126 yards and rushed for another 55 and 1 touchdown on 16 carries. Alex Barnes led the way rushing with 117 yards and 2 touchdowns on 22 carries. This game was described as a match which the winner would commit less mistakes. Kansas State committed more penalties on special teams than many years they commit in a season. For a full accounting read HERE. Ultimately one of the Jayhawks’ two fumbles sealed the win for the Wildcats when Peyton Bender had a pass fly backward out of his hand when trying to throw from the KState 32 in the waning seconds.
Date & Time: Saturday, November 17 @ 2:30 p.m.
Location: Bill Snyder Family Stadium, Manhattan, KS
Television: ESPNU
Line: Texas Tech -6.5
All-Time Record: TTU 9-0-9 KSU
Overview & Breakdown: Texas Tech has the opportunity to make a statement. Kansas State is in the midst of a difficult season characterized by an inability to get the offense going, ineffective defense, and overwhelming mistakes. The Red Raiders will find themselves bowl eligible with one more victory and there is an opportunity here to put a three-game losing streak behind them, eliminate mistakes, and drop the hammer on a conference opponent in their own house. Jett Duffey demonstrated an ability to run the Texas Tech offense effectively, but his play was inconsistent and his mistakes infuriating for fans. Three turnovers in the red zone ultimately put Tech in a position to mount a comeback and rely on their struggling defense to protect that comeback.
Biggest Question: Can Jett Duffey take care of the football? Alan Bowman is not expected to be available Saturday, leaving it up to Duffey. A Big 12 road game, especially to Manhattan, is never a cake walk and the Red Raiders will need to play much cleaner football to get a victory, much less one with a bigger margin than Vegas is expecting.
Kansas State is covered up in questions about Bill Snyder’s tenure, retirement, and ability to continue coaching this team. They will be facing a Texas Tech offense that has not dropped in production or offensive rankings, but their rushing potential could be damaging to the Red Raider defense. The KState rushing offense is #3 in the Big 12 and has had breakout games of 250 yards against Baylor and 181 yards against Oklahoma State. Barnes is #15 in the nation in rushing yards this season and could punish a Texas Tech linebacking corps that may be short Dakota Allen.
Biggest Question: Which Kansas State will we see? The Wildcats have shown flashes of offensive production and mostly mistake-free football. A KState team rushing over 300 yards could give the Red Raiders trouble, especially in time of possession.
My Pick: I’m taking our Red Raiders again. I think this team is going to get back on track and make a statement against the Wildcats. There is a potential to win 8 games this season and these final two games are necessary to do that.

#9 West Virginia @ Oklahoma State


Last Week:  West Virginia (8-1, 6-1) defeated the TCU Horned Frogs 47-10. The Mountaineers were held scoreless in the first quarter and then got rolling at full force scoring 24 in the second quarter alone. Quarterback Will Grier 25/39 for 343 yards, 3 touchdowns, and 1 interception. West Virginia rushing combined for 164 yards and 3 touchdowns on 40 carries as well. No receivers eclipsed 100 yards, but Grier connected with eight targets on the day and four had over 50 yards receiving.
Oklahoma State (5-5, 2-5) dropped the annual Bedlam game on the road to Oklahoma 48-47. The Cowboys cut Oklahoma’s lead to one with 1:03 to play, but despite passing for the third-highest passing total in school history Taylor Cornelius’s go-ahead two-point conversion pass was off the mark and the Cowboys lost the game by one. Cornelius went 34/53 for 501 yards and 3 touchdowns. Tylan Wallace caught 10 passes for an impressive 220 yards and 2 touchdowns and Tyron Johnson caught 11 passes for 128 yards and a touchdown. Chuba Hubbard led the way on the ground with 104 yards and 3 touchdowns on 22 carries, but lost a late fumble that proved pivotal in the game.
Date & Time: Saturday, November 17 @ 2:30 p.m.
Location:  T. Boone Pickens Stadium, Stillwater, OK
Television: ABC
Line: West Virginia -4.5
All-Time Record: WVU 4-0-5 OSU
Overview & Breakdown: West Virginia’s offense is impressive when it gets rolling, but it also can fall into a lull at times. At Iowa State, this was credited to solid defensive play, at Kansas turnovers limited offensive production, but in the first quarter against Baylor, there was really no excuse or explanation. The Mountaineers can’t afford to fall into any road doldrums if the Cowboys’ newfound offensive prowess is the new rule and not an exception. Will Grier remains the most important piece of the ‘Eers’ system, followed closely by his receivers. While they did churn some ground yards against TCU, the West Virginia running game has been basically a non-factor this season.
Biggest Question: Can the West Virginia defense do enough? It’s clear the Mountaineer offense can keep up with almost anyone when they’re rolling, but they will need their defense to get a few stops if the Cowboys are still tearing it up offensively.
Oklahoma State has been a tough team to predict all season. Early on Cornelius was an easy target with no ability to throw the deep ball, a terrible nickname, and a Holgorson haircut. However, against Texas and now Oklahoma in Bedlam he’s shown the ability to run the OSU offense as we’ve come to know it, with prolific production. I can see why the line for this game is close, if the Cowboys can maintain their production from last week at home, we may have a shootout on our hands. 
Biggest Question: 
Can Corn Dog sling the rock? The OSU defense isn’t stopping anyone so Cornelius will need to be on the same 500+ yard passing track as last week to take down the ‘Eers and play spoiler. 
My Pick: 
I’m taking West Virginia here. Their #21 ranked rush defense will shut down the OSU run game making them one-dimensional and forcing Cornelius to make mistakes.

#16 Iowa State @ #15 Texas


Last Week:  Iowa State (6-3, 5-2) took down the Baylor Bears 28-14 in Ames last Saturday. Quarterback Brock Purdy 18/23 for 230 yards and 1 touchdown. Purdy also chipped in 56 yards and 1 touchdown on 12 carries. The Cyclone defense shut Baylor down five of their seven trips to the red zone. After an altercation in the third quarter, running back David Montgomery was ejected from the game for fighting and will miss the first half of the game in Austin.
Texas (7-3, 5-2) snapped a two-game skid defeating the Texas Tech Red Raiders in Lubbock 41-34. Quarterback Sam Ehlinger 22/34 for 312 yards and 4 touchdowns, the final a 29-yard strike to Lil’Jordan Humphrey with 21 seconds left to go ahead for the win. The Longhorns combined for 157 yards and 1 score on the ground but on 48 carries, only a 3.3 yard per carry average. Texas stripped Red Raider quarterback Jett Duffey twice in the red zone and picked him off in the red zone as well, limiting the Red Raiders’ scoring opportunities. Humphrey hauled in 8 catches for 159 yards and 2 touchdowns on the day and the defense recorded 4 sacks, 6.5 tackles for loss, and 1 quarterback hurry.
Date & Time: Saturday, November 17 @ 7:00 p.m.
Location:  Darrell K. Royal-Texas Memorial Stadium at Joe Jamail Field, Austin, TX
Television: Longhorn Network
Line: Texas -3
All-Time Record: ISU 2-0-13 UT
Overview & Breakdown: Iowa State has been rolling and the hopes of a bowl game in Ames are now being replaced with the chances at a Big 12 title game. The Cyclones would need to win the final two and West Virginia would need to lose (they still play Oklahoma next week) to make that game. However, being within arm’s reach speaks to the growth under head coach Matt Campbell. The Cyclones have won a fifth straight Big 12 game for the first time since the league was formed in 1996. The Cyclones have relied on David Montgomery’s underappreciated talents to open up passing opportunities for Brock Purdy, however, he will be absent in the first half Saturday after an ejection for fighting.
Biggest Question: Can the Cyclones keep up? Brock Purdy has been special since taking over for Zeb Noland. The Cyclone offense has done what was necessary to win and relied on their defense to keep opponents down. The Cyclone defense is now ranked #32 but their red zone defense is still #4 in the country.
Texas is tacky and I hate them, but they aren’t terrible at football right now. Their offense has the ability to keep up with teams like Iowa State and can operate despite a strong defense. The Longhorn offense is ranked #50 and the passing offense is #30. However, Lil’Jordan Humphrey is legitimately one of the best jump ball receivers in the country and the ‘Horns can use him to exploit defensive secondaries.
Biggest Question: Can Sam Ehlinger shred the Cyclone defense? The Longhorn quarterback will face a tough defensive test. He hasn’t committed a turnover since the first game of the season against Maryland.
My Pick: I like the Longhorns here to end the Cyclones’ streak. I think their passing attack will get rolling against Iowa State and they’ll use Lil’Jordan Humphrey to exploit the Cyclone secondary.



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