Jake’s BIG XII Week 8 Review covers the battle for the undefeated champs of Oklahoma. The Sooners needed late controversy and the Cowboys couldn’t hang with Iowa.
Iowa State placed themselves firmly into the conference title race on Saturday with a close win against previously unbeaten Oklahoma State in Ames. Whilst there’s much to talk about from this game, it came down to the Cyclones’ defence getting two crucial stops in the final five minutes.
Xavier Hutchinson was the story for Matt Campbell’s offence, making 12 catches for 125 yards and two touchdowns. He would’ve had one more on a 54 yard score that was called back for possibly the worst taunting call college football has ever seen. Regardless, Hutchinson was dominant all game. Brock Purdy threw for 307 yards and two touchdowns and came up clutch when needed. He went 85 yards in six plays before Breece Hall punched it in to take the lead and win the game. Hall had a modest day of 70 yards and a score.
Sanders has the best game of his 2021 in losing effort
Spencer Sanders, albeit losing, had the best game of his season. He made some clutch, accurate throws including a 25 yard pass to Tay Martin to take a 21-17 lead in the fourth. He threw for 225 yards and three touchdowns, whilst getting 29 valuable yards on the ground. Brendan Presley and Martin both had solid days hauling in some crucial catches. Presley caught six receptions for 84 yards and two touchdowns. Martin complimented him nicely, with four receptions for 80 yards and a score. Jaylen Warren had an even quieter day than Hall with eighteen carries for 76 yards.
Gundy will be disappointed in the loss, but with Kansas and West Virginia next up he’ll be expecting to be 8-1 going into the game against TCU. The Cowboys still have every chance at making the BIG XII title game.
This was a much needed win for Campbell’s Cyclones. They are back in the hunt and have it all to play for. The College Football Playoff is out of reach, but they could easily ruin Oklahoma’s day and take conference bragging rights if they make it to the title game.
Nothing about this game was comfortable for Oklahoma. Lance Leipold’s Jayhawks came flying out the blocks to take a 10-0 lead. However, this was after a bizarre power outage to the entire campus causing a 20 minute delay. It was by far the Sooners’ worst performance of the season. Were it not for some clutch plays by Caleb Williams and Kennedy Brooks, Oklahoma could’ve been seriously embarrassed.
Williams had a fairly off day throwing the ball. He went for 178 yards, two touchdowns and one interception, but also ran for 80 yards and a score. A fourth down run for a touchdown became a vital play in the game. Riley will be hoping it doesn’t come back to bite them on playoff selection day.
Lance Leipold should be nothing short of delighted. Quarterback Jason Bean had a good day with 246 yards and one touchdown. Running back Devin Neal carved out 100 yards on 23 carries against the Sooners defence, scoring twice to cap a strong day. It’s the type of team performance that will do wonders for the Jayhawks recruiting.
A loss against Kansas State became the final straw for Texas Tech as Matt Wells was relieved of his position as head coach soon afterwards. The Red Raiders were shut out in the second half after starting explosively in the first quarter going up 14-0. Given Wells was meant to be an offensive minded coach, his 13-17 record just wasn’t enough to keep his seat from melting. The day was epitomised by quarterback Henry Columbi only throwing for 147 yards and one interception.
Chris Kleiman will be happy with his team’s fight, rallying from a 14 point halftime deficit to shut out the Tech offence and win the game. Skylar Thompson threw for 296 yards and the all important goahead score in the fourth quarter. Running back Deuce Vaughn was the fulcrum of the offence with 120 yards from scrimmage, capped off with the final touchdown catch for the win. He ran for 52 yards and two touchdowns and also caught seven receptions for 68 yards and another score.
The Wildcats pick up their first BIG XII win and move to a winning record at 4-3. They will be eyeing up games against West Virginia and Kansas to secure a bowl appearance. The Coaching search now begins in Lubbock, despite the Red Raiders 5-3 record on the verge of going bowling.
Neal Brown’s West Virginia handed TCU an unexpected home loss in Fort Worth with a twelve point win. The win was all the more impressive after the Horned Frogs started with a kick return touchdown at the start of the game.
Questions are starting to be asked of Gary Patterson as he records another loss on his record that should’ve been a comfortable victory. Normally explosive on the ground, the duo of Zach Evans and Kendre Miller were limited to 18-62 and 6-54 respectively. Quentin Johnston was the only explosive element in the TCU offence, catching five passes for 113 yards.
However, the TCU defence had no answer to the Mountaineers’ rushing attack. Leddie Brown rushed for 111 yards and three touchdowns on 24 carries. Garrett Greene also popped up with 2 carries for 29 yards, 67 of which came on a huge breakaway run.
The win for WVA takes them to 4-3, the same record as TCU and also the same amount of conference wins. The Horned frogs now hover above the bottom spot occupied by Kansas. A place nobody thought they would be at this stage of the season. It was a statement win by Neal Brown’s team. He’ll be hoping it earns him some cache as they go into the next two games as underdogs.
Written by Jake @dyanstybrit