Around the Big 12: Game of the Year candidate highlights light week

Welcome back to Around the Big 12, where we take a look back on the week that was for the other members of UCF’s new conference. It was another week and another embarrassing loss for the Knights, though this one didn’t come in the fashion of a blown 28-point lead. Instead, Kansas dominated UCF from the start as Gus Malzahn’s team dropped its third straight game and fell to 0-3 in conference play.

The Knights will now regroup during their bye week ahead of a road game against No. 5 Oklahoma on Oct. 21.

Of course, others in the Big 12 were in action over the weekend as well, and there were some big results that could impact the championship landscape. Let’s see how the other teams fared in Week 6.

UCF-Related Notes:

-The remaining conference opponents on the Knights’ 2023 schedule went a combined 3-0 in Week 6.

-Including Kansas State, Baylor and Kansas, UCF’s 2023 Big 12 opponents are a combined 30-19 this year.

-The teams that UCF will see at home in the rest of 2023 went a combined 1-0 this week (with West Virginia and Houston on their bye weeks), making them 9-6 on the season.

-With Texas’ loss, there is one remaining undefeated team in the Big 12: Oklahoma.

-The Big 12 has three teams ranked in the AP Top 25 this week — Oklahoma (No. 5), Texas (No. 9) and Kansas (No. 23).

-The Big 12 also has one future member ranked — Utah (No. 16).

-West Virginia (26) is the only other Big 12 team receiving votes in the AP Top 25.

Oklahoma State 29, Kansas State 21

These two teams came off their bye weeks and got the weekend started with a Friday night contest in Manhattan. After opening its conference slate with a win over UCF, Kansas State looked to be the favorite here. Instead, Oklahoma State was pretty relentless on the way to a 29-21 road win. The Cowboys (3-2, 1-1 Big 12) went up 26-7 deep into the third quarter and while the Wildcats (3-2, 1-1 Big 12) looked to fight back, they didn’t have enough to avoid the upset.

Ollie Gordon II carried the load for Oklahoma State, rushing for 136 yards and a touchdown on 21 carries. A 35-yard pick-six by Cameron Epps was the Cowboys’ only other touchdown, as Alex Hale knocked through five field goals in the win. It was a rough night for Will Howard and the K-State offense, with the quarterback going 15-of-34 for 152 yards, a touchdown and three interceptions. Those three turnovers doomed the Wildcats, as the Cowboys played a turnover-free game and escaped with a big win.

Up Next for Oklahoma State: vs. No. 23 Kansas — Saturday 10/14

Up Next for Kansas State: at Texas Tech — Saturday 10/14

No. 12 Oklahoma 34, No. 3 Texas 30

This was the game of the weekend and perhaps the game of the year in college football so far. The final Red River Rivalry matchup under the Big 12 umbrella lived up to the hype, with Oklahoma and Texas going blow for blow throughout the afternoon in Dallas. The Sooners (6-0, 3-0 Big 12) were up 27-17 in the third quarter, but the Longhorns scored the next 13 points, taking a 30-27 lead on a 47-yard Bert Auburn field goal with 1:17 to go. But the Texas defense couldn’t hold on as Dillon Gabriel led the Oklahoma offense on a five-play, 75-yard drive in 1:02 to ultimately won’t be game on a three-yard touchdown pass to Nic Anderson with 15 seconds to go.

Gabriel is receiving some Heisman Trophy hype after his late-game heroics and overall performance. He threw for 285 yards and a touchdown and ran for 114 and another score to lead the way for Oklahoma. The Sooners also won the turnover battle 3-0, with Texas quarterback Quinn Ewers threw two interceptions and fumbled once on a day that also saw him complete 31 of his 37 passes for 346 yards. Texas now has no room for error if it wants to set up a rematch with new frontrunner Oklahoma in the Big 12 title game come December.

Up Next for No. 5 Oklahoma: BYE WEEK

Up Next for No. 9 Texas: BYE WEEK

Texas Tech 39, Baylor 14

Baylor’s historic comeback at UCF’s expense in Week 5 didn’t come with a good follow-up performance, as the Bears (2-4, 1-2 Big 12) were pounded at home in Week 6. Texas Tech was up 24-3 after three quarters and didn’t look back. There would be no comeback for Baylor this time as the Red Raiders (3-3, 2-1 Big 12) scored two more touchdowns in the fourth quarter to seal a 39-14 win.

Behren Morton finished 19-of-26 for 180 yards, three touchdowns and an interception while rushing for another score to lead Texas Tech. Meanwhile, Tahj Brooks ran for 170 yards and a score on 31 carries to complement him. Baylor’s offense couldn’t get off the ground, going 4-of-15 on third downs and 1-of-6 on fourth downs  while rushing for just 17 yards.  

Up Next for Texas Tech: vs. Kansas State — Saturday 10/14

Up Next for Baylor: BYE WEEK

Iowa State 27, TCU 14

TCU is a long way from being the national runner-up it was last season, and the latest evidence was a 27-14 home loss to Iowa State on Saturday. That’s already three losses for the Horned Frogs (3-3, 1-2 Big 12), who turned the ball over four times in the loss. On the other side, the Cyclones (3-3, 2-1 Big 12) bounced back from a 30-point loss to Oklahoma with a big road win in which they ran for 215 yards and a 5.8 yards per carry.

This was a tight game in the first half, with a field goal as time expired in the second quarter giving Iowa State a 10-7 halftime lead. That was the start of a 20-0 run for the Cyclones that won them the game. Rocco Becht threw one touchdown and both Eli Sanders and Abu Sama III found the end zone as well while the defense took care of the test. Three different TCU players threw an interception as the offense couldn’t take advantage of a 152-yard rushing day from Emani Bailey. 

Up Next for Iowa State: at Cincinnati — Saturday 10/14

Up Next for TCU: vs. BYU — Saturday 10/14

About Bailey Adams 204 Articles
Bailey Adams is a senior writer covering UCF Football and Baseball for Knight Sports Now. You can follow him on Twitter at @BaileyJAdams22.