RED RIVER ROUNDUP
ALEX CHINERY Monday 26th October
Welcome to our weekly round up of life in the BIG XII Conference.
Here are this weeks headlines….
With the increase in Saturday games now that the B1G is back with the PAC-12 following very soon I will be switching this column to Monday’s to give me most of Sunday to catch up on missed games!
Things got closer to normal in the BIG12 this weekend, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State and Texas all recorded wins. State passed their first big test of the season beating a high flying Iowa State. Texas topped Baylor and Oklahoma put TCU in a blender! In other conference action, Kansas State continued thier dominance in the Sunflower Showdown, whilst Texas Tech also recorded a much needed win…
Cowboys Ride Out The Cyclones Challenge, Stay Undefeated
Two top-25 ranked, undefeated teams met for perhaps the biggest game of the BIG12 season so far. The Oklahoma State Cowboys underlined their top 5 credentials with a big win powered by a previously lifeless run game and a defense marking itself out as one of the best in the conference. Starting quarterback Spencer Sanders took his first snaps since week one and looked a tad rusty throwing for two picks, but also accounted for two touchdowns (one each through the air and on the ground). The Cowboys will be hoping it is only some post-injury rush, and turnovers are limited in the games to come.
One huge plus for State was the added life in a running game that had struggled early on this season. Star back Chuba Hubbard had over 100 yards and a touchdown on the ground at over 5.5 yards a carry. After a rough start to the year, a performance like this in a big spot will be much needed tonic for Head Coach Mike Gundy.
On the other side of the ball the Oklahoma State defense balled out, restricting Iowa State to less than 170 yards passing. Running back Breece Hall went for over 180 yards on the ground, but then again, that is happening with regularity this season. With a huge but faavourable matchup against a rough Texas offense this weekend, this defense is going to be key to Oklahoma State’s playoff challenge.
Kansas State Destroy Kansas, Top Conference
The Kansas State transformation under head coach Chris Klieman continues as the Wildcats stake their claim as one of the top teams in the conference. Still without star quarterback Skylar Thompson it didn’t matter as the offense continued to roll against a hapless Kansas team.
On the back of two passing touchdowns from deputy quarterback Will Howard and two stunning punt return scores from Phillip Brooks III, The Wildcats offense continues to roll, proving them a dangerous foe in 2020. With a big win already this season against Oklahoma and big games against Iowa State, Oklahoma State and Texas to come. Kansas State have themselves in contention as the schedule toughens up to end the year.
For Kansas, who now drop to 0-5 on the season, a winless year is now the likely outcome. The next three games on their schedule is a murderers row of Big12 blue bloods and it will be a miracle if the defense gives up less than 50 at any point. This is the darkest timeline for the perennial BIG12 cellar dwellers, and with conference realignment a real possibility in the next few seasons they need to improve fast.
Rattler & Mims Shine As Oklahoma Goes Vertical
Fort Worth, TX.
The youth revolution is well underway on the Oklahoma offense. Spearheaded by quarterback Spencer Rattler and dynamic pass catcher Marvin Mims, this unit spluttered at times this year but is rounding nicely into form just in time for the crunch games at the end of their schedule.
A sparkling vertical passing attack that averaged a gaudy 25.5 yards per completion – and crucially no turnovers from Rattler – was enough to push the Sooners to a win against a TCU team that plays up against good opponents. The connection from these two young stars should have the rest of the conference on alert, because although they figure to have a down season in 2020 the shoots of a phenomenally powerful offense are there for all to see. When running back TJ Pledger adds over 100 yards and a score on the ground, it’s almost impossible for any team in this conference to keep up.
For TCU, who seem to be in football purgatory at this momentm it was a strange game. Unable to get any purchase against either Oklahoma line in an uncharacteristic showing in the trenches, the only back who carried efficiently was star back Zach Evans and he only carried the ball once. For Gary Patterson, it is time to pivot to planning for 2021. The next four games are winnable and youth could give this program the boost it needs.
Inconsistent Texas Handles Sorry Baylor
Sam Ehlinger threw one and ran in both of Texas’ further two touchdowns as the Longhorns rebounded from a two game losing streak to beat a hapless Baylor team struggling to make an impact anywhere on the field.
Ehlinger is the life and soul of this Texas team. Inconsistency and poor performances surround the senior who consistently has to put this offense on his back if he is to get anywhere. Needing your star quarterback to run the ball 15 times to beat a Baylor team who figure to finish close to the bottom of this conference just shows the state of the offense in Austin. For every explosive and clever element that their rivals in Norman possess, this Texas offense is ponderous and out of date. Until that changes, they won’t see the success many think they should.
On the opposing side-line, Charlie Brewer is another quarterback surrounded by mediocre players. A tough player, he leaves his heart and soul on the field but doesn’t get the protection from his offensive line nor help from his playmakers needed to be successful. Baylor couldn’t get the running game going at all, a fact that will please the Texas defensive staff ahead of a visit to Stillwater and a matchup against Chuba Hubbard this weekend. For now the Longhorns stay relevant, but whether that is still the case in two weeks time when they face West Virginia remains to be seen. The next couple of weeks figure to continue to be drama filled, but that is the future. For now, take us home, Country Roads…
A texas and Green Bay Packers Fan alex is our head of football analytics, a college football and Nfl draft scout for the touchdown he will be popping up all over. he is also The host of the touchdowns Seven Step Drop NFL podcast and one third of the college chaps.