Baylor got what it should of expected from Kansas State on Saturday. The Wildcats used their ground game to control the clock and a strong defensive effort limited the Bears to just 109 yards rushing on 37 carries.
And it still wasn't enough.
For as good as K-State's defense played against arguably the best offense in the country, a few key breakdowns allowed Baylor to do what they do; score from way out. Bryce Petty hit touchdown throws of 93, 72, and 54 yards giving Baylor just enough offense to win their first road game of the season.
Hey, they weren't all going to be easy.
"Our football team knew how the season has gone. Everything has been fairly simple, and everything has been in our favor playing at home and catching everybody at a good time. We knew that it would a very tough environment today," Art Briles said during his postgame press conference.
It may seem reasonable to lower your expectations on Baylor based on Saturday's performance. Kansas State proved the Bears can indeed be slowed down. The Wildcats laid out a blue print both offensively and defensively for making it happen. Oklahoma, Texas Tech, Oklahoma State, TCU and Texas - all of whom Baylor has yet to play - have teams that have the potential to do the same.
But you know what? Saturday's game may be the best thing that could have happened to Baylor. They got challenged but still won a game against Kansas State in Manhattan which is something not many teams can say over the past several seasons.
It's tough to get better when everything is going right and if you've watched any of Baylor's first four games, you know everything has gone as well as could be expected and then some. What Baylor can do now is take what went wrong in Saturday's game and get better.
Kansas State did a terrific job of keeping Baylor out of rhythm offensively by taking away the run. As good as Baylor is at throwing the ball, everything is set up by the run. It's keeps teams honest against the pass and sets up their fast paced tempo which causes teams all kinds of problems. Without it, you get what you saw on Saturday.
"A lot of our games are predicated by tempo and how we move it in our run game," Briles said. We were just not able to get into a good rhythm today because they kept us out of it. They played good defense and did a good job. They have played well all year defensively."
What do you think Baylor is going to be working on in practice this week? Run blocking would be my number one guess and you can bet they'll be better for it with a renewed focus. I'd expect them to come out next Saturday and try and smack Iowa State straight in the jaw with their ground game as they try and reestablish what they lost on Saturday.
Offensively, the Wildcats proved that the Baylor defense is still the weakest link in the team even if it remains a unit that is vastly improved over last season. Baylor had trouble slowing Daniel Sams all day who finished with 199 yards rushing with three touchdowns. Even Jake Waters picked up 56 yards and running back John Hubert added another 100 yards on 15 carries.
Kansas State only punted three times in the game and doubled Baylor's time of possession. Granted, that was partly due to a few of Baylor's quick strike scores, but KSU did what they had to do; move the chains and do it consistently.
But before you go getting down on Baylor, keep this is mind. Even in a game when they didn't play particularly well, they still picked up a 10 point road win and racked up 451 yards of offense. It wasn't the 780 they were averaging coming in, but nobody thought that would keep up that pace. Of the other seven Big 12 teams in action on Saturday, only Texas Tech accumulated more yards than did Baylor.
Kansas State may have laid out a blueprint, but that doesn't mean beating Baylor is going to be any easier than it was coming into Saturday.
Does that mean Baylor is going to win them all? Not necessarily, but you can bet by the time they hit the meat of their schedule starting with Oklahoma on November 7th, they'll be a better team than the one we saw on Saturday.
And they'll have Kansas State to thank for it.
It's cold. Your favorite team is ready to take the field. You, on the other hand, are gearing up for the pregame tailgate. Or are you?
According to the latest Discover Fan Loyalty Poll, only 21% of fans polled would never cancel their tailgate based on the temperature outside. Kudos to those diehard fans. After all, this is football we're talking about, not some party on the beach.
So what about everyone else? Apparently the those polled aren't exactly big fans of cold weather. Thirty-one percent of the respondents indicated they would cancel their tailgate if the temperature hovered between zero and 32 degrees. Another 23% indicated they would bypass the pregame fun if the temperature fell between 33 and 40 degrees. Hmmm, 40 degrees? Isn't that just sweatshirt weather?
And for those eight percent of respondents that indicated they'd cancel the party if the temp was between 41 and 50, well, no comment.
Digging a little deeper into the numbers, surprisingly the Pac-12 had the highest number or responses, 28%, indicating they would never cancel their tailgate based on the temperature. Hey Big Ten fans, what is up with that?
And hats off to the women tailgaters out there. They outpaced the men by a tally of 23% to 20% who would never cancel a tailgate no matter the conditions.
So what we've found out, at least when it comes to tailgate parties, is that warm weather is better than cold weather.
But what about who does what at your favorite tailgate?
And here was a staggering response when it comes to the freeloading bunch. Of those that bring nothing but consume everything, 22 percent indicated the bring home more than $200k a year, the highest response rate of any income bracket. Man, what a bunch of cheapskates. How about at least leaving a small monetary donation to the cause? Of course, that would involve actually having to reach into your pocket which may cause some kind of undue stress, I guess.
Each week during the poll, college fans are also asked who they feel is the best team in the country. No surprise here, the fans agree with the college football polls that Alabama is the top team in the country receiving 42% of the vote. Oregon and Ohio State were next in line followed by Florida State and Stanford.
The Discover Fan Loyalty Poll is conducted twice a month by Rasmussen Reports, a nationally recognized leader in polling, who gathers sentiment by phone from 1500 college football fans who follow games at least once per week on television, radio, in person or online.
The Poll leads up to the 2014 Discover Orange Bowl. Discover’s commitment to college football includes relationships with ESPN and Notre Dame Football on NBC.
Texas (3-2) vs. Oklahoma (5-0)
Texas has no chance. How bad will Texas lose? Will the game even be close by halftime? Questions like that is all you've heard about the 2013 version of the Red River Rivalry this week.
That's what happens when you lose twice in a row to your biggest rival by scores of 55-17 and 63-21 the last two seasons. Not to mention getting taken behind the woodshed by a good - not great - BYU team earlier this season in a game your defense allowed 550 yards rushing. And then to follow that up with a 21 point loss to Mississippi on your home field and well, you see the current pessimism surrounding the Longhorns.
Can we expect more of the same this weekend? Crazier things have happened, but all signs are pointing towards an emphatic yes, despite Texas winning its first two Big 12 games of the season.
Texas enters Saturday game without their starting quarterback, once again. David Ash will miss his second straight game as he deals with lingering issues from an earlier concussion. Case McCoy will make his second straight start after going the whole way against Iowa State completing 24 of his 45 pass attempts without an interception.
Taking on the Sooner defense will be entirely different ballgame, not only for McCoy, but the entire Texas offense. The OU defense is leading the Big 12 in scoring allowing just 13 points per game. The Sooners are second in run defense (113.2 yards/game) and lead the conference in pass defense (168.4 yards/ game). This season, OU's defense "looks" like an Oklahoma defense we became accustomed to seeing during Mike Stoops first tour as defensive coordinator. They're fast and strong, front to back.
Oklahoma will have big shoes to fill, however, in replacing linebacker Corey Nelson was lost for the season after tearing his pectoral muscle against TCU. Nelson had become the leader of the revamped Sooner defense and OU will miss not only his production, but his leadership, as well. Freshman Dominique Alexander and junior Aaron Franklin are the two most likely to take the majority of the snaps in Nelson's place.
Even with Nelson out, Texas will have big challenge on their hands in an attempt to get their running game going. Only Notre Dame has had much success thus far against OU's run defense gaining 220 yards against the Sooners. It's worth noting, however, that 80 of those yards came on one play; George Atkinson's 80 yard touchdown gallop. Take away that one run and their total drops to a respectable 140 yards.
The last time out, OU completely stymied TCU's run game allowing just 44 yards on 27 carries. If Texas suffers a similar fate, expect it to be another long day in the Cotton Bowl for Texas and its fans.
Johnathan Gray has become the workhorse for the Longhorns logging 19, 28, and 16 carries in each of the past three games while averaging just over five yards per carry. The Texas offensive line, mysteriously, still remains a bit of a question mark especially against top flight competition. Can they handle Oklahoma's front seven?
How Texas' offense is able to move the ball remains a big question, but an even bigger one is how is Texas going to defend OU's ground attack. If you've seen Texas play this season, then you know what I'm talking about.
All shouldn't be lost, however, as Texas has made significant improvements since Greg Robinson took over. They had a good, if not solid, showing in defeating Kansas State. The Wildcats picked up just 115 yards against Texas who held them to an impressive three yards per carry.
Against Iowa State the following week, they did allow the Cyclones to rush for 201 yards but by and large, they eliminated the big runs which have been a break breaker so many times in the recent past. Any progress is good progress for Texas considering how they started the season.
If Case McCoy can have some success through the air, that will take some of the pressure off the running game but it would be a big mistake for Texas to expect to McCoy to win the game by himself. How Texas' running games goes, Texas goes. Period. End of story.
So what's going to give on Saturday? Texas will play well, but Oklahoma will be simply too much to handle on both sides of the ball
Whether it be Damien Williams, Brennan Clay, or quarterback Blake Bell, expect Oklahoma to approach 250 yards on the ground and maybe more if they're able to get a first half lead. The Sooners will also pop a couple big plays in the passing game with Texas having to dedicate so much focus into stopping the run.
Case McCoy will make a couple big plays, as well, but expect him to also toss a couple balls to the guys in the wrong colored jerseys giving OU momentum and a short field to work with.
It won't be a route like the past two seasons, but the Sooners will leave no question who the better team is when they trot off the field with the Golden Hat in tow, once again. Oklahoma 42 Texas 20.
Iowa State (1-3) @ Texas Tech (5-0)
The biggest question mark heading into Saturday's game between Iowa State and Texas Tech is who will play quarterback for the Red Raiders. Freshman Baker Mayfield injured his knee against the Jayhawks although it was announced earlier this week there was no structural damage which was good news for Tech.
That doesn't mean, however, that he'll be healthy enough to play Saturday. If Mayfield doesn't go, the likely starter will be freshman Davis Webb who has already seen a fair amount of playing time this season. Sophomore Michael Brewer is also working his way back from injury and saw his first action of the season in mop up duty against KU making him a possible option for Kliff Kingsbury, as well.
On the other sideline, Iowa State is will try to regroup following the heartbreaking loss to Texas. Even as tough as the loss was to stomach for ISU, the Cyclones should have plenty of confidence heading to Lubbock, despite their 1-3 record.
The most glaring aspect that stands out when looking at ISU is how much better they've gotten since the season opener. Every week has been better than the last even if they only have one win to show for it.
The emergence of running back Aaron Wimberly is the biggest reason for the Cyclones improved play. He rushed for 137 yards on 19 carries against Tulsa and followed that up a 29 carry effort against Texas pounding out 117 yards against the Longhorns.
Quarterback Sam Richardson has also improved in recent weeks as his ankle sprain continues to get better and the offensive line has started to gel with the return of center Tom Farniok to the lineup.
Iowa State's defense has been sound although both Tulsa and Texas had success through the air. They'll face a Texas Tech offense that loves to throw it no matter the quarterback which shouldn't come as a big surprise given Kingsbury is calling the plays.
Tech has put the ball in the air roughly 73% of the time this year and are last in the Big 12 in rushing as a result not only in yards per game (112) but also in yards per carry (3.4). Expect the ball to be in the air plenty against Iowa State whether it be Mayfield, Webb, or Brewer doing the throwing.
Key Matchup of the game:
Texas Tech's run defense vs. Aaron Wimberly
There's no question what Iowa State wants to do when they have the football; feed Wimberly. The Red Raiders run defense leads the Big 12 in rush defense allowing just 107.2 yards per game. In their two Big 12 games to date, they held a good Kansas rushing attack to just 51 yards although TCU, behind quarterback Trevone Boykin, managed to gain 207 yards on 44 carries in their 20-10 loss.
If Texas Tech is able to keep Wimberly - and to a lesser extent quarterback Sam Richardson - in check they stand a better than good chance of moving to 6-0 on the season.
Iowa State's passing offense hasn't been bad but take away the ground game as Iowa did earlier in the season, and ISU's offense becomes much easier to defend. (It's worth noting that ISU's 59 yards rushing against Iowa came before Wimberly entered the lineup full time. In fact, it's one reason he got his chance the following week).
Player to watch:
Texas Tech tight end, Jace Amaro.
Amaro will be a nightmarish matchup for the Cyclone defense as he will be for most of the teams in the Big 12. After catching just three passes in the season opener against SMU, Amaro has at least eight receptions in the four games since.
The Cyclone defense will obviously have to give Amaro a lot of attention and even if they are able to keep the ball out of his hands, that figures to open things up on the outside for Eric Ward and Jakeem Grant who happen to solid in their own right.
Iowa State figures to come out playing with plenty of emotion following last week's set back against Texas, but can they sustain that emotion for four quarters on the road?
Texas Tech is a team on a roll which is a tribute to the job Kingsbury and his staff has done to date given the uncertainty at quarterback entering the season. The defense is also playing much better although they haven't exactly been tested by a high powered offesne this season. Those tests are yet to come.
As for that defense, Iowa State will have some success moving the ball in Lubbock, just not enough of it. The Red Raider defense will hold Iowa State to three scores which will be more than enough. Eric Ward will top 100 yards for the second straight week and Amaro will hit double digits in receptions. Texas Tech 34 Iowa State 21.
Oklahoma and Baylor look like the cream of the crop in the Big 12 as we near the half way point in the season. Texas Tech continues to hang around, as well, but after that it's a hodgepodge of teams trying to figure out which direction they're headed.
With the State Fair of Texas currently underway, here's how things stand in the Big 12 with six weeks of the season in the books.
1. (-) Oklahoma (5-0): The Sooners picked up another win this time against a feisty TCU squad that gave OU all it could handle. Now Oklahoma can turn the focus solely to Texas who've they beaten by a combined 80 points the past two seasons. Are the Sooners national title contenders at 5-0? Absolutely, especially with a defense playing its best football in the last several years. Up next: vs. Texas (in Dallas)
2. (-) Baylor (4-0): It was more of the same for the Bears who absolutely pounded West Virginia into the mat Saturday night. Baylor has every right to claim the top spot in the power rankings but given the fact OU has already beaten Notre Dame and TCU, Baylor stays at number two, for now. Up next: @ Kansas State.
3. (-) Texas Tech (5-0): The Red Raiders just keep on chugging along this time derailing a struggling Kansas squad. How good is this team? We still don't know yet, but they could be bowl eligible this week with another win. They obviously have their sights set much higher than just bowl eligibility, but that's nothing to sneeze at considering we're not even to the half way point in the season. Up next: Iowa State.
4. (-) Oklahoma State (3-2): The Cowboys struggled to an extent for the second straight week. This time, however, they found a way to come away with a win. The Cowboys remain a team difficult to figure out. They may not be as good as some thought coming into the season, but they're still a team capable of beating anyone on their schedule. They'll have an extra week to think about which direction they're going to go. Up next: bye.
5. (↑1) Texas (3-2): Texas nearly saw their Big 12 title hopes go up in a puff of smoke Thursday night in Ames. They lived see to another day, however. That's the good news. The bad news? They get to play Oklahoma next. The Longhorns defense has been better since Greg Robinson took over but it'll need to be even better if they hope to slow down the Sooners ground attack; that is if they want to keep talking about those Big 12 title hopes. Up next: Oklahoma (in Dallas).
6. (↓1) TCU (2-3): Nobody in Fort Worth wants to hear this but TCU is likely the best 2-3 team in the country. The offense continues to be a work in progress without Casey Pachall, but the defense is starting to round into shape. There is still plenty of time to get the season turned around starting this weekend with the best medicine the Big 12 has to offer; a game with Kansas. Up next: Kansas.
7. (-) Kansas State (2-3): The Wildcats have to be wondering what-if after letting victory slip through their hands against Oklahoma State. The game of musical chairs continues at the quarterback position although you have to wonder if Daniel Sams didn't do enough against the Pokes to claim the job on a full-time basis. The offense will need to be clicking like never before if KSU hopes to keep up this week. Up next: Baylor.
8. (-) West Virginia (3-3): After watching West Virginia get steam rolled by Baylor, some may think the Mountaineers looked like the worst team in the Big 12. They're not. They just caught a very good team at the wrong time. Looking forward, the schedule gets a bit easier giving West Virginia hope the rest of the way. A week-off comes at just the right time to heel their wounds. Up next: bye.
9. (↑1) Iowa State (1-3): The Cyclones will rebound put that doesn't make the loss any easier to stomach for the people in Ames. The schedule is brutal in the coming weeks, but Iowa State has plenty of reasons to be confident following their performance against Texas. Up next: @ Texas Tech.
10. (↓1) Kansas (2-2): After jumping to an early 10-0 lead against Texas Tech, everything fell apart and then some. Kansas may have taken a step forward winning two nonconference games, but they took two steps back on Saturday. It goes without saying, but they'll need to play much better if they have any hope of ending their Big 12 losing streak which hit 22 games. Up next: @ TCU.
We've heard all the hype surrounding Baylor's high octane offense and for good reason. The Bears have scored 70+ points in three straight games and it's now looking more and more like Wofford actually slowed them down in the season opener when they held Baylor to just 69 points and 38 in the first half.
Baylor leads the country averaging 779.5 yards per game. They've done it by air leading the country at 423.3 yards passing per game and on the ground averaging 347.3 yards, good for only second in the nation.
With an offense putting up those type of numbers, one way for opposing coaches to cope is by having a sense of humor about it all. Maybe that's what helps them sleep at night when the Bears are next up on their schedule
This week that task falls to Bill Snyder's Kansas State team who will have the challenge of trying to keep the Bears from lighting up the scoreboard.
What's the biggest challenge is facing Baylor? "Well, keeping them from scoring less than 100 points, I guess," Snyder said during Monday's Big 12 teleconference. "They're a very prolific offense. You have to keep some points off the board if you want to have any chance whatsoever."
So how do you go about doing that exactly? The Bears have put up at least 38 points by halftime in each of their first four games including 56, 49, and 56 in the past three before taking the foot off the gas in the second half. "We're going to take the first snap and run into the locker room and stay there until halftime," Snyder joked.
On a more serious note, Snyder talked about having to have all facets of the game come together.
"You just have to go out and play and play hard with discipline and responsibility. And it has to be a three-pronged game. It's obvious you have to play well on defense and not give up the big plays. Offensively you've got to be able to not get caught in three and out situations which is what happened to us last year on numerous situations early in the ball game. And your kicking game has got to help you and create some field position for you, as well."
In theory, that's exactly the plan but executing it is obviously easier said than done. Snyder was hard pressed to think of an offense during his time as a coach that was putting up these type of numbers.
"I don't know that there has been. I'd have to take time to look in a record book and I don't want to because it would probably frighten me. I don't recall anybody being as productive in terms of numbers with their offense as Baylor is right now."
For those wondering, Baylor opened up as a 17.5 favorite over Kansas State. Considering nobody has come closer than 31 points thus far, it appears the odds-makers feel as if the Wildcats will give them their toughest challenge to date. That may be in large part because of KSU themselves but also because this will be Baylor's first road game of the season.
Is that enough to keep the down? We will find out but one thing the Wildcats should be hoping for is some strong Kansas wind on Saturday and a lot of it. Maybe that will help keep the Bears scoreboard in check because KSU's defense will likely need all the help they can get on Saturday.
Don't judge Baylor's victory over West Virginia on Saturday night by the final score which happened to be 73-42, a 31 point victory. Why? Because it wasn't nearly that close.
As with Baylor's first three games, all you can really judge in Saturday night's game is the first half because by the time the team's headed for the locker room, the game was over. The final two quarters were akin to somebody's spring game.
The Bears led West Virginia 56-14 at the break and had it not been for a muffed punt that the Mountaineers recovered in the end zone for a touchdown, it would have been 56-7. The Bears racked up an astonishing 617 yards before half and finished with a Big 12 record 872 yards went it was all over.
Like Buffalo, Wofford, and UL-Monroe before it, West Virginia didn't have a chance.
And the scary part is, we don't know yet exactly how good this team can be.
"I still think the identity hasn't been written. It's too early," Art Briles said of his team following the game. "We've played four games since August 31, and it's October 5th. You're not going to date somebody three times and ask them to marry you. You're going to hang around a while and get to know them and see if it's a match. I think we've got to see where we're at before we judge ourselves."
With each passing week, however, Baylor is looking more and more like a team that can be serious contenders for not only the Big 12 title, but maybe even more. That might be jumping the gun a bit, but given what we've seen to date, they're going to be a matchup nightmare for any team they line up against.
They have a scheme offensively that matches perfectly with the talent on their roster. They have a quarterback with a canon for an arm, wide receivers that run like the wind, and quite possibly the best running back in the country. And to top it off, they have an offensive line they will take a backseat to no one.
"I would recommend giving Baylor some credit, "Dana Holgorsen said Saturday night. "I've never seen a team establish the line of scrimmage like they did. We've been pretty proud about how we've been playing defense around here for the last five games and you can't play defense when the line of scrimmage is five yards backwards every single time they ran the ball."
About the only fault one could find in Baylor's performance against West Virginia was the special teams gaffe on the fumbled punt, and a few too many dropped passes that at times got Baylor out of their offensive rhythm if only for a millisecond.
Outside of that, it was more of the same; pure domination.
Up next for the Bears is a trip to Manhattan to take on a Kansas State team that has dropped back to back games to Texas and Oklahoma State. The Wildcats have been respectable on defense but you have to wonder if K-State has the speed on defense to keep up with what Baylor brings to the table.
About the only danger comes in the fact that it was be the first game for Baylor away from home. Maybe that in itself will cause Baylor's offense some issues because through four games, there hasn't been a defense that stood a chance of keeping them out of the end zone.
After that, it's onto Iowa State and Kansas both of whom would figure to be severely overmatched before the Bears meet up with Oklahoma in what is shaping up to be the game of the year in the Big 12.
Until then, expect more of the same; points and a lot of them.
There were plenty of highlights for Baylor but maybe none better than this touchdown catch by Tevin Reese.
Kansas State dropped their second straight Big 12 game on Saturday falling to Oklahoma State, 33-29.
It was a game full of would of - should of - and could of's for the Wildcats, but at the end of four quarters, it was still a loss nonetheless.
It was also a game that was very un-Kansas State like. There were 12 penalties - the most for Kansas State in single game since 2005 - to go along with five turnovers.
"In our history, we just have not been that kind of a football team. I mean, we haven't always been extremely good, but we haven't always turned the ball over and we haven't always been penalized. We had a chance to win with it, like you said, but it sure makes it a heck of a lot harder, " Bill Snyder said following the loss.
Yes it does.
It was also a game in which we saw quarterback Daniel Sams get his most extensive action of the season. Do the two go hand-in-hand, that is the increase in penalties and turnovers to Sams getting more time on the field?
Maybe to an extent, but certainly all of Kansas State's miscues can't be placed solely at his feet. It may, however, be an indication of why we haven't seen him play more to date.
Without him on the field Saturday, it's not a reach to say Kansas State might not have even been in position to win the game. He generated some big plays on the ground, and by and large outside of the three interceptions, he threw the ball relatively well even without his top two receivers for much of the game.
He completed 14 of his 21 pass attempts for 170 yards and racked up another 118 yards on the ground on 27 carries. His 228 yards of offense accounted for 68% of the Wildcats 336 total yards.
Would Jake Waters have performed better if he had gotten more playing time? Will never know, but in this particular game against this particular defense, Snyder likely made the right call in riding Sams all he could.
As good as Sams can be at times and as much as his athletic ability will allow him to make plays Waters could never make, you're going to have to learn to live with a few head-scratching throws. Is that something Snyder can deal with? We will find out next Saturday when Baylor brings their high wire act to town.
"Well, the good things we all saw, and the bad things we all saw it. It was just exactly like we saw it. We started him (Sams) because we were trying to do some things that we knew he could do and get him invested collectively in the ballgame," Snyder said.
Whatever the case, Snyder needs to make a decision on who is guy is and go with it. Sams proved on Saturday he's a guy that can make plays and K-State is probably a more difficult team to defend when he's in the game.
As for the errant passes and poor decisions he'll make at times? Well, Snyder can certainly help his cause by designing a game plan around the plays Sams is most comfortable running. Not to mention, the more he plays, you would hope to see improvement in those areas, as well. Let's not forget, this is a guy that hasn't exactly received a ton of playing time during his short career. It wouldn't be fair to expect him to go out there and play mistake free football.
This coming week will be interesting to where Snyder lands. Sams figures, at the moment at least, to be his high risk, high reward option. Snyder doesn't strike me to be the gambling type, but with three losses already on the season, rolling the dice with Sams exclusively may be his best bet.
Texas Tech continued to impress in their 54-16 victory over the Jayhawks.
Kansas, on the other hand, did not. After jumping to a 10-0 lead, they witnessed Texas Tech rack up 54 straight points without an answer.
The problems started in the second quarter when KU's offense all but stalled with three straight series of three-and-outs. Then came the biggest mistake of them all. With the score now tied at 10, Kansas decided to fake a punt on their own 16 yard line. It didn't end well.
According to Charlie Weis following the game, the punter had the green light to run the fake if he saw a certain look, but it didn't sound as if he made the right decision. Weis said his punter, Trevor Pardula, got caught in limbo in what was a bit of a grey area. Whatever the case, it was a huge momentum shift that saw Texas Tech score just two plays later to take a 17-10 lead and Kansas never recovered.
After a scoreless first quarter, it was a great day for the Red Raiders offense that finished the day with 525 total yards (121 rushing, 404 passing). They ran 100 total plays and quarterback Baker Mayfield bounced back after a couple shaky performances finishing 33 of 51 for 368 yards before leaving in the third quarter with an apparent knee injury.
Texas Tech now heads back to Lubbock to take on Iowa State who will no doubt be fired up following their controversial loss to Texas on Thursday night. They're already 2-0 in Big 12 play and will likely be favored in each of their next two games. If they take care of business, they stand a better than average chance of heading to Norman on October 26th with a perfect 7-0 record intact.
For now, however, they'll anxiously wait to find out the extent of Mayfield's knee injury. If Mayfield is out for any extended period of time, Davis Webb figures to take over the starting job, although sophomore Michael Brewer may be getting closer to returning after missing the first five games of the season with a back injury.
As for Kansas, the Jayhawks will once again have to pick up the pieces following a miserable performance. They had all kinds of issues on the offensive line causing their running game to sputter despite rotating quarterback, Jake Heaps and Michael Cummings, in hopes of helping out.
Darrian Miller finished with 58 yards and James Sims just 29 yards on the ground. That was Sims' lowest output since his sophomore season in 2011.
If the Jayhawks are looking to pick themselves back up after this loss, it might be a good idea to not look at the upcoming schedule. Over the next five weeks, Kansas takes on TCU, Oklahoma, Baylor, Texas, and Oklahoma State.
Is there an upset in there somewhere? Not if the way they played on Saturday is any indication of what's to come. It was ugly and became painfully obvious, yet again, that there's a lot of work yet to be done in Lawrence.
We've all seen the play by now. Texas running back Johnathan Gray plows into the line and goes down except he's missing one thing; the football. Iowa State linebacker, Jeremiah George, happened to have it running the other way. The officials ruled Gray was down by contact and after a review, the booth apparently failed to see enough evidence to overturn the call.
Well, the Big 12's supervisor of officials, Walt Anderson, spoke on the play today. Here's part of the statement from the Big 12.
He correctly determined there was no indisputable video evidence to confirm that either the ruling on the field was correct, or that the ball was loose prior to the runner being down. By rule when there is not indisputable video evidence to confirm or change the call on the field, the ruling stands.
On this play, the covering official ruled the runner was down and still had control of the ball. There is no question the runner ends up on the ground, and there is no question that eventually an Iowa State player ends up with the ball. However, after reviewing the video evidence it is impossible to tell with certainty when the runner loses control of the ball and at that point was he down or not.
The conference would acknowledge in this unique situation if a mistake were made, but we do not have the video evidence to prove that one occurred.
So what do you think?
Anderson is probably right in one sense. From the views I've seen, there is no clear picture that actually shows the football going into Jeremiah George's arms. That shouldn't mean, however, that there is not indisputable evidence to overturn the call.
It doesn't take a gigantic leap of faith to draw some conclusions here. There is one view that shows Gray's rear end still in the air and George starting to run the other way. We all know he had the ball so isn't it logical to assume it was a fumble even if we don't actually see the ball changing hands?
And therein lies the problem, replay sometimes has its limitations. Add to that the fact replay officials aren't exactly into making assumptions no matter how obvious it may seem and you get the result we saw on Thursday night. Is it a 100% certainty that it was a fumble? Some may argue it is - I would. It was a fumble. In reality, however, it's probably around a 99.8% chance it was a fumble leaving open the possibility someone could see if differently.
As it turns out, it's a tough pill for Iowa State to swallow. It won't show up in the records, but the Cyclones can at least take solace in the fact that they were the better team on the football field Thursday night. It doesn't take any one replay to see that. We all saw that over four quarters of football.