Week 9 of Big 12 play saw both of the league’s remaining unbeaten teams fall, a few close games, and one potentially Heisman worthy performance. The smallest margin of victory was a 35-34 Texas win over Baylor, with the largest victory a 56-3 win for Oklahoma over Kansas.
Kansas at Oklahoma
This game didn’t feature the same kind of numbers Oklahoma put up last week against Texas Tech, but the Sooners managed to rack up 538 total yards on the way to a win, while only allowing 170 total yards for Kansas. The Jayhawks still have yet to win a Big 12 game, and their best chance for the season seems to be a home game vs Iowa State on November 12.
Oklahoma WR Dede Westbrook stole the show in this game with a 71-yard punt return, and a 41-yard touchdown reception on his way 206 all purpose yards, including five catches for 105 yards. Sooner QB Baker Mayfield had another great day against a weak Kansas defense, throwing for 236 yards and four touchdowns. RB Joe Mixon continued his stellar season averaging 8.2 yards per carry versus the Jayhawks, helping the Sooners to 267 total rushing yards.
Turnovers continue to be a problem for the struggling Jayhawks, as Montell Cozart threw two interceptions on the day. The Jayhawks offense struggled as a whole on the road in Norman, with no running back gaining more than 20 yards on the ground, and no receiver gaining more than 35 yards through the air.
Baylor at Texas
This game seemed to last forever, with a 2:30 PM CT start time, the game didn’t end until well after 7:00 PM CT, but it was a hard fought game all the way to the end with Texas scoring the winning FG with just 46 seconds remaining. Both teams gained over 500 yards of total offense, and Texas RB D’Onta Foreman may have placed himself in the Heisman race after a dominant performance on the ground versus what had been the top ranked Big 12 defense.
Seth Russell struggled throwing the ball versus what had been a weak Texas secondary as he only threw for 226 yards on the day. KD Cannon had his best performance since returning from a groin injury, grabbing five catches for 86 yards and a touchdown. Unfortunately for the Bears, Seth Russell was sacked six times on the day, more than the previous six games combined. Baylor still ranks #1 in the Big 12 in sacks allowed with 10, but they will need better offensive line protection as they go in to the bulk of their schedule if they want to keep their starting QB healthy.
Texas RB D’Onta Foreman exploded against a stingy Baylor defense for 250 rushing yards. Foreman leads Power 5 conference running backs so far this season with 1,105 rushing yards through eight games. Foreman ranks 2nd in the nation in rushing yards per game with 157.9, trailing only San Diego State’s Donnel Pumphrey.
Foreman is off to an electric start in the first half of the season, and if Texas was better than a .500 team, he may even be getting consideration for the Heisman trophy. Although the Heisman has become somewhat of a quarterback award, Derrick Henry won the award in 2015, with fellow Alabama alumni Mark Ingram taking home the award in 2009. In comparison, Mark Ingram totaled just 1,658 rushing yards in his Heisman campaign, just 553 yards more than D’Onta Foreman. Derrick Henry set the bar pretty high in 2015 after totaling 2,219 rushing yards and taking home the coveted Heisman trophy. If Foreman continues to average just under 160 yards per game over his remaining four games, he would end the season with 1,741 rushing yards, surpassing Ingram’s mark from 2009. Although the Longhorns won’t be playing in any meaningful games that could get Foreman his Heisman moments, he should still be getting recognition for what he is doing on the field this season.
Texas Tech at TCU
Texas Tech QB Patrick Mahomes II had a less than stellar week passing the football when compared to last week’s record breaking numbers, but the Red Raiders came out of Fort Worth with a win, and that’s all that matters.
Arguably the most impressive part of Texas Tech’s win was the presence of a run game. Da’Leon Ward rushed for 98 yards on 23 carries, the highest mark for any Red Raider since beginning conference play.
Horned Frogs QB Kenny Hill was benched in the third quarter to make way for Foster Sawyer, although neither quarterback separated themselves from one another, head coach Gary Patterson seems ready to give both players a chance versus Baylor. Even though TCU managed to hold Texas Tech well under its average score, the Horned Frogs couldn’t find enough offense versus a weak Texas Tech defense, and will need to find a spark offensively if they want to get their season back on track.
Kansas State at Iowa State
One of the closer games in week 9 of Big 12 play, Kansas State managed to hold off a furious 4th quarter rally by Iowa State to get their third win in the past four games. Iowa State shut out the Wildcats in the fourth quarter while scoring 16 points but managed to come up just short to move to 1-7 on the season. Iowa State WR Allen Lazard caught eight passes for 134 yards, and now has recorded one reception in 31 straight games, which is an Iowa State record.
Wildcat QB Jesse Ertz ran for a career-high 106 yards on only nine carries, while holding off the Cyclones to move to 23-4 against Iowa State since 1990. Kansas State head coach Bill Snyder recorded his 198th win, placing 25th all-time in career FBS victories.
West Virginia at Oklahoma State
West Virginia, along with Baylor, was the other remaining unbeaten team in the Big 12 going in to the weekend, but unfortunately for the Mountaineers, they were unable to escape Stillwater with the victory. Although West Virginia out gained Oklahoma State in total yards 421-358, the Mountaineers got down 20-10 going in to halftime and were unable to overcome the deficit. Mountaineers QB Skyler Howard threw three interceptions in this game, marking his first interception since week 5 versus Kansas State.
Oklahoma State QB Mason Rudolph accounted for four total touchdowns to help hand the Mountaineers their first loss of the season. With the win, the Cowboys move to 6-2 (4-1) on the season, and Head Coach Mike Gundy notched his 100th career win.