Big 12 Week 3 Roundup, Rankings, Breakdowns & Recaps
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Big 12 Player of the Week
Oklahoma QB Baker Mayfield set the school record for total yards completing 32-of-38 passes for 487 yards and four score, and ran 13 times for 85 yards and two touchdowns in the win over Tulsa.
Big 12 Rankings After Week 3
1. Oklahoma (3-0)
2. Baylor (3-0)
3. TCU (3-0)
4. West Virginia (3-0)
5. Texas Tech (3-0)
6. Kansas State (3-0)
7. Oklahoma State (3-0)
8. Texas (1-2)
9. Iowa State (1-2)
10. Kansas (0-3)
And now the fun begins
West Virginia plays Maryland next week, Baylor and Rice will get into a shootout, and Kansas takes on Rutgers, but the Big 12 conference schedule really starts to kick off next week – and it should be a wild show.
Think back to three weeks ago – did TCU vs. Texas Tech seem like a big deal? With the win over Arkansas, the Red Raiders are now 3-0 with the type of offense that could be hitting the injury-riddled Horned Frog defense at just the right time with a chance to make a giant national splash. Meanwhile, Texas might not be all that great, but after Jerrod Heard’s record-setting, electrifying performance in the near-miss comeback attempt against Cal, there’s reason to watch now, especially against a sleeper Oklahoma State team that got to 3-0.
And now, with good resume wins for the conference like the Red Raider win over the Hogs, and the Oklahoma win over Tennessee a few weeks ago, and with seven of the ten teams still unbeaten, and with the One True Champion format, this is going to be a wild ride.
Iowa State: L, at Toledo 30-23 2OT
The Cyclones have played well on the way to a 1-2 start, and now comes the break against Kansas. The ground game finally started to work a little bit as Mike Warren emerged as a back to generate the ground game around, cranking up 126 yards on 21 carries, and the offense needs it. Sam B. Richardson still has the passing game going, and the offense did a nice job to get back in the game late and force overtime, consistent scoring drives continue to be a problem. That’s what Kansas is for.
Kansas State: W, Louisiana Tech 39-33 3OT
Don’t get too into a twist about needing three overtimes to get by Louisiana Tech – it’s one of the best teams in Conference USA and it has a nice offense. This might not be the most explosive Kansas State team compared to what it did last year, but Justin Simon showed off feature-back talent with 114 yards, and Joe Hubener didn’t throw any picks. The secondary struggled, and the offense isn’t quite clicking like it’s supposed to, but it’s 3-0 going into the Big 12 opener against Oklahoma State. The Wildcats either have to get ready for a few big shootouts, or they have to really, really milk the clock more than ever.
Oklahoma: W, Tulsa 52-38
The defense took a little bit of a break, but the offense woke up and showed the potential of what it could do when all the parts are working. Baker Mayfield knows how to move a good-paced attack, and he was deadly accurate against Tulsa completing 32-of-38 passes and spreading the ball around well. This looked like the type of team that just won a gut-check game at Tennessee in double overtime, and now it’s time to rest a little bit. With two weeks to prepare for West Virginia, the secondary needs to tighten up after getting hit for 427 yards and four scores. Tulsa is good, though – there’s no need to get too much into a twist over the defensive performance.
Oklahoma State: W, UTSA 69-14
It always helps when the defense forces seven takeaways, and now the Cowboys are 3-0 and looking ready to start making a whole bunch of noise. The Big 12 big boys don’t come up until November, and as long as the turnover margin continues to tilt in their favor, and as long as the passing game continues to be efficient and effective, the team should be able to hang with just about anyone. Mason Rudolph isn’t going to completed 17-of-23 passes every game, but he’s getting sharper and sharper. Again, watch out – they might be getting really good at just the right time.
TCU: W, SMU 56-37
Really? ANOTHER injury? TCU has been able to survive, but this isn’t a deep enough team to keep getting hit by injury after injury on the defensive side, and now CB Ranthony Texada is gone for the year with a knee injury. Fortunately, at least for now, the offense is back to form with Trevone Boykin on fire against SMU with a razor-sharp 454 yards and five scores, to go along with the working running game that got 164 yards out of Aaron Green. The O will do whatever it wants to against Texas Tech, but will the D be able to come up with enough stops? Last one with the ball wins.
Texas: L, Cal 45-44
Texas fans, remember what the overall goal is. Texas is supposed to be playing for national titles and be among the elite – losing a game to Cal doesn’t matter as much as it does how the team responded. Dead and buried, the Longhorns could’ve mailed it in, but instead Jerrod Heard came up with a special day running for 163 yards and three scores and throwing for 364 yards showing the potential of what the offense could be. The defense will eventually be fantastic under Charlie Strong, and it’s looking more and more like the O is putting the pieces in place to keep up the pace in the Big 12. With that said, a win over Oklahoma State next week for a 1-0 Big 12 start would do wonders.
Texas Tech: W, at Arkansas 35-24
That was the win the program needed to have. It wasn’t just that Texas Tech beat Arkansas, it was that it stepped up against the bully and came away with a stunning 11-point win. There’s no defense, especially against the run, and there are almost no third down stops, but as long as the offense continues to hum like it has, it doesn’t matter. Patrick Mahomes is on fire, completing 66% of his passes making the right decisions and keeping the attack moving. Is the team really ready to take a giant step forward? Beat TCU, and Texas Tech will be the national talking point next week.
Week 3 Big 12 Football Scores & Picks: How’d We Do?
Big 12 Football Picks Through Week 3: Straight Up: 25-2, ATS: 11-8
at Oklahoma 52, Tulsa 38
Line: Oklahoma -30.5, o/u: 71.5, Prediction: Oklahoma 45, Tulsa 23
at Kansas State 39, Louisiana Tech 33 3OT
Line: Kansas State -9.5, o/u: 51, Prediction: Kansas State 31, Louisiana Tech 21
at Oklahoma State 69, UTSA 14
Line: Oklahoma State -24.5, o/u: 55.5, Prediction: Oklahoma State 45, UTSA 13
Texas Tech 35, at Arkansas 24
Line: Arkansas -11.5, o/u: 67.5, Prediction: Arkansas 44, Texas Tech 31
California 45, at Texas 44
Line: California -6.5, o/u: 59.5, Prediction: Cal 31, Texas 21
at TCU 56, SMU 37
Line: TCU -37.5, o/u: 67, Prediction: TCU 52, SMU 17