Around the Big 12 Week 9: A huge upset & a bad week for newcomers

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 lost their fifth straight game on Saturday, falling 41-28 to West Virginia at home. They’re now 3-5 overall and 0-5 in the conference as they head to similarly struggling Cincinnati in Week 10. 

But before we move on to Week 10, it’s time to break down what all unfolded around the rest of the Big 12 in Week 9.

UCF-Related Notes:

-The remaining conference opponents on the Knights’ 2023 schedule went a combined 1-2 in Week 9. 

-Including the conference opponents UCF has already played, its 2023 Big 12 opponents are a combined 40-30 this year. 

-The teams that UCF will see at home in the rest of 2023 went a combined 1-1 this week. 

-There are five teams atop the Big 12 with just one conference loss each: Oklahoma, Texas, Oklahoma State, Kansas State and Iowa State. 

-The Big 12 has four teams ranked in the AP Top 25 this week — Texas (No. 7), Oklahoma (No. 10), Kansas (No. 22) and Kansas State (No. 25). 

-The Big 12 also has one future member ranked — Utah (No. 18).

-One other Big 12 team is receiving votes: Oklahoma State (77). Meanwhile, one future member is also receiving votes: Arizona (6).

Kansas 38, No. 6 Oklahoma 33

One week after surviving an upset scare against UCF, Oklahoma found itself facing another potential upset on the road against Kansas. This time, the Sooners (7-1, 4-1 Big 12) couldn’t escape, losing 38-33 to the Jayhawks (6-2, 3-2 Big 12) on a last-minute touchdown. Kansas actually went up 14-0 early before Oklahoma stormed back. Then, after Dillon Gabriel ran for a 1-yard touchdown with 5:22 to go, Kansas responded. Devin Neal’s game-winning 9-yard touchdown run came with 55 seconds left, and it came on a play that saw the Sooner defense ease up to let him score with some time left. Gabriel and the offense couldn’t complete the last-second comeback, though, leading to the team’s first loss of the season. 

Kansas was once again without starting quarterback Jalon Daniels, but a pick-six from Mello Dotson and touchdown runs by Daniel Hinshaw Jr. (two), backup quarterback Jason Bean and Neal were enough for the Jayhawks to complete the upset. Gabriel was just 14-of-19 for 171 yards and an interception, but he ran for 64 yards and three touchdowns to keep the Sooners in it. Both teams turned the ball over three times in what turned to be a monumental win for Kansas. 

Up Next for No. 10 Oklahoma: at Oklahoma State (6-2, 4-1 Big 12) — Saturday 11/4 at 3:30 p.m. ET

Up Next for Kansas: at Iowa State (5-3, 4-1 Big 12) — Saturday 11/4 at 7:00 p.m. ET

Kansas State 41, Houston 0

The resurgence of defending Big 12 champion Kansas State continued on Saturday with a dominant 41-0 win over Houston. The Wildcats (6-2, 4-1 Big 12) now haven’t allowed a touchdown in nine quarters as the Cougars (3-5, 1-4 Big 12) were completely kept off the scoreboard. It was a 28-0 halftime lead for K-State and with Houston totaling just 208 yards and going 3-of-14 on third down and 0-of-4 on fourth for the day, there wasn’t even a hint of a comeback at any point. 

Will Howard finished 15-of-17 for 164 yards and two touchdowns to go with a passing score from Avery Johnson and two rushing touchdowns from DJ Giddens. The Wildcats only had one penalty for five yards as well. Donovan Smith was 13-of-28 for 88 yards and an interception for the Cougars, who never got further than the K-State 28-yard line. Even then, they missed a 45-yard field goal.  

Up Next for Kansas State: at No. 7 Texas (7-1, 4-1 Big 12) — Saturday 11/4 at Noon ET

Up Next for Houston: at Baylor (3-5, 2-3 Big 12) — Saturday 11/4 at 3:30 p.m. ET 

No. 7 Texas 35, BYU 6

Like UCF and Houston, BYU became yet another newcomer to have a rough go of it on Saturday, losing 35-6 to No. 7 Texas. The Longhorns (7-1, 4-1 Big 12) went up 14-0 in the first quarter and a Will Ferrin field goal with 4:57 left in the first half was the closest the Cougars (5-3, 2-3 Big 12) would get from there. Texas was up 21-6 going into the fourth quarter, then two more touchdowns put the finishing touches on a blowout win in Austin. 

Texas was without starting quarterback Quinn Ewers (and will be for some time), but the offense didn’t seem to miss a beat with Maalik Murphy stepping in for him. Murphy went 16-of-25 for 170 yards, two touchdowns and an interception while Jonathon Brooks ran for 98 yards and a touchdown on 16 carries. Adonai Mitchell led the way for the Longhorn receivers, catching three passes for 59 yards and two scores. Kedon Slovis threw two interceptions and fumbled once as the BYU offense failed to find the end zone. 

Up Next for No. 7 Texas: vs. Kansas State (6-2, 4-1 Big 12) — Saturday 11/4 at Noon ET

Up Next for BYU: at West Virginia (5-3, 3-2 Big 12) — Saturday 11/4 at 

Iowa State 30, Baylor 18

Iowa State quietly continued to stick around in the Big 12 title picture with a double-digit win at Baylor on Saturday. The Cyclones (5-3, 4-1 Big 12) got out to a 17-0 lead and never really struggled from there, going up 27-6 halfway through the third quarter before the Bears (3-5, 2-3 Big 12) showed some fight. Baylor scored two straight touchdowns to make it a 27-18 game, but another Iowa State field goal with 8:23 to go was all that was left in the scoring department. 

Cartevious Norton had touchdown runs of 1 and 49 yards while Rocco Becht added in a touchdown pass and Chase Conteraz booted two field goals for the Cyclones. Iowa State was 9-of-15 on third downs as opposed to Baylor’s 4-of-14 mark. The Bears had Dawson Pendergrass run for two touchdowns and Monaray Baldwin catch six passes for 117 yards and a score, but the scoring started too late for the home team as it got a step closer to missing a bowl game. 

Up Next for Iowa State: vs. Kansas (6-2, 3-2 Big 12) — Saturday 11/4 at 7:00 p.m. ET

Up Next for Baylor: vs. Houston (3-5, 1-4 Big 12) — Saturday 11/4 at 3:30 p.m. ET

Oklahoma State 45, Cincinnati 13

Oklahoma State’s turnaround continued on Saturday with a 45-13 blowout win over Cincinnati in Stillwater. The Cowboys (6-2, 4-1 Big 12) only led the Bearcats (2-6, 0-5 Big 12) 10-7 at halftime, but they scored 21 straight points in the third quarter to grab a 31-7 lead. Cincinnati cut that to 31-13 with 4:54 left in the game, but Oklahoma State then added two more touchdowns in the final five minutes to finish off their dominant second half. 

Ollie Gordon II continues to run all over opposing defenses, as this time it was a 25-carry, 271-yard performance that saw him score two touchdowns. Alan Bowman also threw for two touchdowns a while Leon Johnson III caught five passes for 149 yards. For Cincinnati, Emory Jones was 6-of-16 for 117 yards and an interception before giving way to Brady Lichtenberg, who finished 5-of-9 for 48 yards and a touchdown. Myles Montgomery and Corey Kiner combined for 169 yards and a touchdown on the ground, but that wasn’t nearly enough for the Bearcats’ first Big 12 win. 

Up Next for Oklahoma State: vs. No. 10 Oklahoma (7-1, 4-1 Big 12) — Saturday 11/4 at 3:30 p.m. ET

Up Next for Cincinnati: vs. UCF (3-5, 0-5 Big 12) — Saturday 11/4 at 3:30 p.m. ET

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.