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. The Knights returned from their bye week on Saturday and came up just short of upsetting No. 6 Oklahoma on the road, instead losing 31-29 after a late two-point conversion miss. UCF has now lost four straight games and sits at 3-4 overall with an 0-4 mark in Big 12 play heading into its homecoming game against West Virginia.
Of course, there was plenty else going on in the Big 12 throughout this past weekend. Let’s see how the rest of the league fared in Week 8:
-The remaining conference opponents on the Knights’ 2023 schedule went a combined 1-4 in Week 8.
-Including Kansas State, Baylor, Kansas and Oklahoma, UCF’s 2023 Big 12 opponents are a combined 37-27 this year.
-The teams that UCF will see at home in the rest of 2023 went a combined 1-2 this week.
-If the season ended today, the Big 12 Championship Game would feature Oklahoma and Texas.
-The Big 12 has two teams ranked in the AP Top 25 this week — Oklahoma (No. 6) and Texas (No. 7).
-The Big 12 also has one future member ranked — Utah (No. 13).
-Two other Big 12 teams are receiving votes: Kansas State (16) and Oklahoma State (5).
Baylor 32, Cincinnati 29
Baylor earned its second conference win of the season on Saturday with a 32-29 win at Cincinnati. The Bears (3-4, 2-2 Big 12) have now beaten both UCF and Cincinnati on the road this year, and this one didn’t require a dramatic comeback from Dave Aranda’s team. After trailing 7-3 in the second quarter, Baylor scored 26 of the next 33 points to take a 29-14 lead into the fourth quarter. The Bearcats (2-5, 0-4 Big 12) tried to make a comeback with 15 points in the final period, but it was too late.
The game essentially turned on a special teams touchdown that saw Baylor go up 17-7 in the second quarter. Blake Shapen totaled two touchdowns and Isaiah Hankins nailed four field goals in the win. The Bearcats rushed for 288 yards on the day, with both Corey Kiner (15 carries, 129 yards) and Myles Montgomery (10 carries, 103 yards, two touchdowns) both topping 100 yards.
Up Next for Baylor: vs. Iowa State (4-3, 3-1 Big 12) — Saturday 10/28
Up Next for Cincinnati: at Oklahoma State (5-2, 3-1 Big 12) — Saturday 10/28
Oklahoma State 48, West Virginia 34
Oklahoma State used a 28-point fourth quarter to power its way past West Virginia in a 48-34 road win on Saturday. It was a 17-14 halftime lead for the Mountaineers (4-3, 2-2 Big 12), but after the two sides traded leads in the third quarter, the Cowboys (5-2, 3-1 Big 12) ran away with things in the fourth. Ollie Gordon II had touchdown runs of 16, 46 and 53 in the final quarter to send West Virginia to a second straight loss.
Gordon was the star of the day, going for 282 yards and four touchdowns on 29 carries. Alan Bowman added two touchdowns through the air as well. West Virginia turned the ball over three times to Oklahoma State’s two, but there was a lot of offense in this one as the two sides combined for 82 points and 966 yards.
Up Next for Oklahoma State: vs. Cincinnati (2-5, 0-4 Big 12) — Saturday 10/28
Up Next for West Virginia: at UCF (3-4, 0-4 Big 12) — Saturday 10/28
No. 8 Texas 31, Houston 24
A week after upsetting West Virginia with a last-second Hail Mary, Houston gave No. 8 Texas a game, tying things up at 24 with 7:43 to go in the fourth quarter before the Longhorns (6-1, 3-1 Big 12) pulled ahead and stayed ahead with a 16-yard touchdown run by CJ Baxter. The Cougars (3-4, 1-3 Big 12) fell behind 21-0 early in the second quarter, but they scored the next 21 points to give Texas a scare. Ultimately though, Houston couldn’t come up with the game-tying drive, getting stopped on 4th & 1 at the Texas 10-yard line.
Quinn Ewers completed 23 of his 29 passes for two touchdowns to lead Texas, while Jonathon Brooks ran for 99 yards on 20 carries. It was Baxter and Savion Red who found the end zone from the Longhorns’ backfield. The Texas defense forced two turnovers, but Houston’s Donovan Smith threw for 378 yards and three touchdowns in the Cougars’ upset bid that fell just short. Three receivers reached 80 yards, with Matthew Golden leading the way (seven catches, 88 yards, two scores).
Up Next for No. 7 Texas: vs. BYU (5-2, 2-2 Big 12) — Saturday 10/28
Up Next for Houston: at Kansas State (5-2, 3-1 Big 12) — Saturday 10/28
BYU 27, Texas Tech 14
BYU was the lone Big 12 newcomer to emerge victorious on the weekend, getting its second conference victory by beating Texas Tech 27-14 at home. The Cougars (5-2, 2-2, Big 12) led the whole way, going up 14-0 after one quarter. Even after the Red Raiders (3-5, 2-3 Big 12) got within 14-7, BYU scored 13 straight to carry a 27-7 lead into the fourth quarter. Texas Tech scored halfway through the final period, but that was as close as it got. The Red Raiders’ five turnovers were way too much to overcome as the Cougars coasted to a win.
Kedon Slovis threw for two touchdowns and Eddie Heckard recovered a fumble in the end zone for a touchdown to lead the Cougars. The defense was the story, intercepting Jake Strong three times and forcing/recovering two fumbles. Strong did throw a 72-yard touchdown to Xavier White in the second quarter, but that was the lone highlight for the Texas Tech offense until Tahj Brooks (31 carries, 105 yards) found the end zone in the fourth quarter to make the score look a little closer.
Up Next for Texas Tech: BYE WEEK
Up Next for BYU: at No. 7 Texas (6-1, 3-1 Big 12) — Saturday 10/28
Kansas State 41, TCU 3
Kansas State made a statement on Saturday in Manhattan, hosting TCU and sending the Horned Frogs (4-4, 2-3 Big 12) home with a 41-3 loss. The Wildcats (5-2, 3-1 Big 12) dominated the whole way, taking a 27-3 lead into the locker room at halftime before coming back out and adding two more touchdowns in the second half. Kansas State’s offense was on the field for 38:50 to TCU’s 21:10. It was a thorough beatdown for the defending Big 12 champions, who once again got the better of Sonny Dykes’ team.
Will Howard was back at quarterback for the Wildcats this week after Avery Johnson ran for five scores from the quarterback spot last week. Howard completed 10 of his 16 passes for 154 yards and three touchdowns, while Johnson threw one as well. K-State outgained TCU 587-300 and the big difference was on third downs. The Wildcats were 10-of-13 on third downs, while the Horned Frogs were just 2-of-13).
Up Next for TCU: BYE WEEK
Up Next for Kansas State: vs. Houston (3-4, 1-3 Big 12) — Saturday 10/28