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 finally earned their first-ever Big 12 win last weekend, beating fellow newcomer Cincinnati by a score of 28-26 at Nippert Stadium. Gus Malzahn’s team improved to 4-5 overall and 1-5 in conference play.
Before we fully turn the page to Week 11, it’s time to break down everything else that unfolded in Week 10.
-The remaining conference opponents on the Knights’ 2023 schedule went a combined 3-0 in Week 10.
-Including the conference opponents UCF has already played, its 2023 Big 12 opponents are a combined 46-35 this year.
-The teams that UCF will see at home in the rest of 2023 went a combined 2-0 this week.
-If the season ended today, Texas and Oklahoma State would meet in the Big 12 Championship Game.
-The Big 12 has five teams ranked in the College Football Playoff Rankings this week — Texas (No. 7), Oklahoma State (No. 15), Kansas (No. 16) Oklahoma (No. 17) and Kansas State (No. 25).
-The Big 12 also has two future members ranked in the latest CFP Rankings — Utah (No. 18) and Arizona (No. 21).
Texas Tech 35, TCU 28
Texas Tech and TCU got things going for the Big 12 on Thursday night, with the Red Raiders (4-5, 3-3 Big 12) picking up a 35-28 home win over the Horned Frogs (4-5, 2-4 Big 12). It looked like Texas Tech was going to cruise after they got out to a 20-7 halftime lead, but two straight Emani Bailey touchdown runs in the third quarter gave TCU a 21-20 edge. The Red Raiders answered back, though, scoring two straight touchdowns of their own and adding a two-point conversion on one of them to go up 35-21. The Horned Frogs did get within seven with 4:54 to go, but a Josh Hoover interception with just under a minute to go meant their comeback attempt would fall short.
Behren Morton threw for 282 yards and two touchdowns and Tahj Brooks ran for 146 yards and a score to lead the way for Texas Tech. Dadrion Taylor-Demerson came up with two interceptions of Hoover to lead the way for the Red Raider defense. Hoover threw for 353 yards and a touchdown for TCU, but his two interceptions proved costly in the loss. Former UCF wide receiver Jaylon Robinson led the way for Horned Frogs receivers, catching five passes for 68 yards.
Up Next for Texas Tech: at No. 16 Kansas (7-2, 4-2 Big 12) – Saturday 11/11 at Noon ET
Up Next for TCU: vs. No. 7 Texas (8-1, 5-1 Big 12) – Saturday 11/11 at 7:30 p.m. ET
No. 7 Texas 33, No. 23 Kansas State 30 (OT)
The first big-time game of the day for the Big 12 didn’t disappoint. It looked like it might for a while, but Kansas State erased a 27-7 second-half deficit before forcing overtime. Chris Tennant missed a potential game-tying field goal from 27 yards out with 1:45 to go, but he eventually tied the game and sent it to overtime with a 45-yard kick just before the buzzer. However, it was Texas that came away with the victory in the extra period. The Longhorns (8-1, 5-1 Big 12) only managed a 42-yard field goal by Bert Auburn on their possession to go up 33-30, but that ended up being the final score as the Wildcats (6-3, 4-2 Big 12) elected to go for it on 4th & Goal on their possession and didn’t come through with the game-winning touchdown. With the dramatic win, Texas now has a clear path to the Big 12 Championship Game in three weeks.
Maalik Murphy once again started in place of the injured Quinn Ewers, completing just 19 of his 37 passes for 248 yards, a touchdown and two interceptions. Jonathon Brooks ran for 112 yards and a score on 22 carries while CJ Baxter went for 90 yards and a touchdown on 10 carries to lead the rushing attack for Texas. Will Howard put up a valiant effort for K-State, throwing for 327 yards and four touchdowns to one interception to make up for a quiet day on the ground for the Wildcat offense.
Up Next for No. 7 Texas: at TCU (4-5, 2-4 Big 12) – Saturday 11/11 at 7:30 p.m. ET
Up Next for No. 25 Kansas State: vs. Baylor (3-6, 2-4 Big 12) – Saturday 11/11 at 3:00 p.m. ET
No. 22 Oklahoma State 27, No. 9 Oklahoma 24
The other big game for the Big 12 in Week 10 was the final edition of Bedlam, with Oklahoma State hosting Oklahoma and emerging with an emotional 27-24 win. The Cowboys (7-2, 5-1 Big 12) went up 17-7 in the second quarter, but the Sooners (7-2, 4-2 Big 12) scored 14 straight from there to take a 21-17 lead into the final quarter. Oklahoma State responded with what turned out to be a massive sequence. Ollie Gordon II ran for a 2-yard touchdown at the 7:59 mark in the fourth quarter, then the Cowboys forced a Dillon Gabriel fumble on the first play of the ensuing possession. That set up a 34-yard field goal by Alex Hale, giving the home team a 27-21 lead. Oklahoma responded by getting within a field goal, but one final drive ended in a turnover on downs as Mike Gundy’s team got the last laugh (for now) in this storied rivalry.
Alan Bowman threw for 334 yards on 28-of-42 passing and ran for a touchdown, but of course it was Gordon who carried the load for the Cowboys. He ran for 138 yards and two touchdowns on 33 carries in the win. Rashod Owens caught 10 passes for 136 yards as well. It was a bad Bedlam for Gabriel, who threw an interception and lost a fumble. Gavin Sawchuk ran for 111 yards and a touchdown and Tawee Walker chipped in 59 yards and a score himself, but three total turnovers were too much to overcome. The time of possession disparity didn’t help them either, as Oklahoma State held the ball for 37:14 to Oklahoma’s 22:46.
Up Next for No. 15 Oklahoma State: at UCF (4-5, 1-5 Big 12) – Saturday 11/11 at 3:30 p.m. ET
Up Next for No. 17 Oklahoma: vs. West Virginia (6-3, 4-2 Big 12) – Saturday 11/11 at 7:00 p.m. ET
No. 21 Kansas 28, Iowa State 21
Kansas remained on the verge of the Big 12 title picture in Week 10, though it will need some help to insert itself into the championship game. Still, the Jayhawks (7-2, 4-2 Big 12) beat Iowa State 28-21 in Ames. They went up 14-0 early before the Cyclones (5-4, 4-2 Big 12) kicked a field goal just before halftime. Kansas then extended its lead to 21-3 and while Iowa State got as close as 21-18 from there, an 80-yard touchdown pass from Jason Bean to Lawrence Arnold with 7:51 left put the game away for the visitors. The Cyclones kicked a field goal to get within a touchdown with 4:53 to go, but the Jayhawks never gave the ball back to hold on for the win.
Devin Neal ran for two touchdowns to go with Bean’s passing score, while Mello Dotson pitched in for the Jayhawk defense with a 50-yard pick-six. Neal and Daniel Hinshaw Jr. came into the game as the top rushing duo in the country, but they combined for just 86 yards on 30 carries in the win. Kansas also overcame 80 penalty yards, thanks in large part to the Cyclones totaling 65 themselves. Rocco Becht and Eli Sanders ran for touchdowns in the loss.
Up Next for No. 16 Kansas: vs. Texas Tech (4-5, 3-3 Big 12) – Saturday 11/11 at Noon ET
Up Next for Iowa State: at BYU (5-4, 2-4 Big 12) – Saturday 11/11 at 10:15 p.m. ET
Houston 25, Baylor 24 (OT)
Houston earned its second Big 12 win of the season on Saturday in dramatic fashion, beating Baylor 25-24 in overtime. The Cougars (4-5, 2-4 Big 12) got out to a 10-0 lead before the Bears (3-6, 2-4 Big 12) came back to tie the game at 10 with 8:18 left. A Donovan Smith touchdown pass with 5:38 to go looked to give Houston the separation it needed, but a Blake Shapen passing score with 29 seconds left forced overtime. Baylor scored first in overtime to take a 24-17 lead, but Smith ran for a 1-yard touchdown to respond. Then, rather than kicking the extra point to force double overtime, Dana Holgorsen elected to go for two. Smith ran that in, too, giving the Cougars a thrilling win in Waco.
Smith threw for two touchdowns and ran for one to offset his two interceptions, finishing with 236 passing yards on 21-of-26 passing and 66 rushing yards on 20 carries. Samuel Brown was his leading receiver, catching nine passes for 86 yards and a score. Shapen was pretty sharp in a losing effort, throwing for 263 yards and two touchdowns to one interception on 26-of-37 passing. Houston missed one field goal in regulation, but Baylor had the worse end of the kicking woes as Isaiah Hankins missed two field goals – one from 49 yards that was blocked and the other from 38 yards out.
Up Next for Houston: vs. Cincinnati (2-7, 0-6 Big 12) — Saturday 11/11 at 7:00 p.m. ET
Up Next for Baylor: at No. 25 Kansas State (6-3, 4-2 Big 12) – Saturday 11/11 at 3:00 p.m. ET
West Virginia 37, BYU 7
West Virginia was all over BYU from the jump on Saturday night, with CJ Donaldson Jr. running for two touchdowns in the first quarter to give the Mountaineers (6-3, 4-2 Big 12) a 14-0 lead that they never looked back on. The Cougars (5-4, 2-4 Big 12) didn’t score until the 6:24 mark in the fourth quarter, with Aidan Robbins running for a 10-yard touchdown to get them within 30 points. In the end, it was a dominant 37-7 win for West Virginia.
Garrett Greene only went 12-of-24 on the night, but he threw for two touchdowns and let his backfield do the rest. Jahiem White ran for 146 yards on 16 carries while Donaldson posted 102 yards and two scores on 14 carries. As a team, West Virginia ran for 336 yards. On the other side, BYU ran for just 67 yards and only put up 277 total yards. The Cougars had 10 penalties for 98 yards and had very little to be positive about from their visit to Morgantown.
Up Next for West Virginia: at No. 17 Oklahoma (7-2, 4-2 Big 12) — Saturday 11/11 at 7:00 p.m. ET
Up Next for BYU: vs. Iowa State (5-4, 4-2 Big 12) – Saturday 11/11 at 10:15 p.m. ET