2011 Big 12 Football Report: Week Eight

Seth Doege, the nation’s #2 ranked quarterback, bombs the Sooner's season in an Air Raid attack against top ranked Oklahoma in Norman, OK. Texas Tech hangs the upset of the season 41-38 as Doege goes 33-52-451-0 and throws 4 TD’s in the effort. (photo courtesy Texas Tech Athletics/Michael Strong)

If you take the time to read our report each week, you would have noticed a consistent meme: Take Care of Business.

Unfortunately for the Oklahoma Sooners they caught a bad case of "Hat Roll" in that they thought rolling out their hats at home against an unranked Tech squad was all that was necessary.  UT fans know all too well what this ailment offers.  Listen, I'm not suggesting that OU doesn't have a better than average shot at going undefeated the rest of the way.  But in each conference game, save for the RRR, they had not played a complete football game.  Coach Stoops consistently harped about it to the media so I'm quite certain he more than did so in practice and film session leading up to last weeks contest.

Now, these vaunted Sooners must go on a blitzkrieg a la 2008 to impress voters enough so that when they face a potential undefeated OSU in the Bedlam game at Stillwater, a possible win would nose them just over the Big 12 championship line.

And what to make of Texas Tech?  This is bar none Coach Tommy Tuberville's signature win in his short tenure.  Pretty sure I was not the only one who gave the Red Raiders a chance in Norman.  OU had won 39 straight home games (TCU, 2005) but made too many mistakes early which cost them a 31-7 deficit early in the third quarter before revving up their engines.

The OU "Sharks" gave up a whopping 452 yards passing against Tech.  That is 251 more yards their average through six games.

What appeared for all intent and purpose a defacto Big 12 championship matchup in Stillwater hit a speed bump.  OU has now shown it is vulnerable.  Stay tuned.

We've talked of the Big 12 as the quarterback league.  An interesting statistic to again validate the talent at this position is average offensive scoring in losses.  Five Big 12 teams are ranked in the top 25 in this category. Obviously league teams better figure out how to score lots of points to win.

Game of the Week

#20 Texas Tech

LAST WEEK:  Okay people, repeat after me.  It's pronounced DAY-GEE with a hard "G".  With that out of the way, their almost upset over Kansas State was only delayed a week as first year quarterback Seth Doege threw for 452 yards and 4 touchdowns at Gaylord Family stadium in Norman, Oklahoma, home of the, ahem, Sooners and apparently not the brave, and led the Red Raiders in the upset of the season over #3 ranked OU 41-38.  The score ended up a lot closer than the game played out with a desperate Sooner squad scoring three touchdowns in the fourth quarter but it was not enough as Tech gathered in an onside kick attempt with 1:00 to play to secure the win.

And dare I say it?  Alex Torres Swoped the Sooners in a 4-94, 3 touchdown effort.  In watching the game I came away with the intelligent YAC decision making on his part.  Even Adam James caught a touchdown pass.  Unlike the previous week in which Doege was responsible for late game turnovers which snuffed their upset bid over KSU, he was flawless in this one.  Count them: NO turnovers by the number four ranked quarterback in the nation.  And not only did the Red Raiders turn the sharks into chum, they mixed in just enough of the run game with 132 sack adjusted yards to keep the suspect OU defensive backfield second guessing all night.

THIS WEEK:  An at home match up against Iowa State.   

SEASON OUTLOOK:  This is what I wrote last week.

Tech has a formidable offense and are entertaining but unfortunately for them do not appear to have the talent on the defensive side to finish games.  They will continue to struggle as the top teams in the conference, save for a date against ISU, remain on their schedule.

Boy was I wrong.  While true in that the Red Raiders defense has struggled, it could be argued that at least against Kansas State that was not the case.  The Air Raid offense is running on all cylinders.  Can they make a late season run?  If their defense plays at the same level displayed against the Sooners they will be a tough out for each remaining opponent.  Also, did I mention they are now bowl eligible? - TXStampede

#8 Oklahoma

LAST WEEK:  "They really whipped us in every part of the game", Coach Bob Stoops said in his post game comments. "I told the players we were definitely out coached and out played." 

If pestilence, war, famine and death are the four horsemen of the apocalypse, then it could be argued they paid a visit to Norman this past weekend.  In a weather delay which saw torrential downpours, hail, lightning and the like, the Sooners fell hard at the hands of the underdog Texas Tech Red Raiders losing 41-38. And with the loss the #3 ranked Sooners tumbled out of the top 10 BCS ranking.  OU had shown a real weakness all season, save for their super human performance over a physically unmatched Texas squad at the Cotton Bowl, of starting games like they were borrowing time on a snooze button.  OU's problem, like many talented teams, is they have too often fell victim to their own success.  Great teams win because of humility.  This OU team is über talented but let's not kid ourselves.  They are not great.

A valiant effort was undertaken by All-American candidate Landry Jones late in the game with 3 fourth quarter touchdowns but it was too little, too late.  And yes, their celebrated walk-on tailback Whaley was out due to an illness.  But OU's depth is enough to overcome a one player absence.

The Sooner defense had played tough in red zone scoring all season while leading the nation with allowing scores only 58.3% of opportunities (7 out of 12).  But in one single game, they almost doubled that allowing the Red Raiders to swoon with a 5 of 6 showing with four of five attempts ending in touchdowns.  The OU defense had given up only a total of four RZ touchdowns through six games.  Yikes.

 THIS WEEK:  In what was all but a guaranteed ESPN College GameDay event, the Sooners visit the surprise of the season Kansas State Wildcats at the Little Apple.

SEASON OUTLOOK:  Oklahoma had been an odds-on favorite to be one of two teams standing when the regular season ends December 4.  While not a foregone conclusion, their path to that goal just became all the more difficult with their loss to Texas Tech.  But we know all too well how a Stoops led team will respond.  They will be looking each and every week to step on the pedal for sixty minutes regardless of the circumstance.  Now a wounded animal, they will be fighting for their lives to live up to those lofty expectations.  - TXStampede

Other Teams...

Baylor

LAST WEEK:  A much needed rest between games against highly ranked Kansas State and the 2nd half drubbing by Texas A&M.

THIS WEEK:  The Bears travel to Stillwater to face off against the #3 Oklahoma State Cowboys in an ABC regionally televised afternoon matchup.  Briles will have his Bears flying high in an upset minded way.  This should be a very high scoring affair and one that OSU more than likely covers.

SEASON OUTLOOK:  With games remaining against two of the top three teams in the conference, Baylor should finish a middle of the pack team.  In looking at the schedule, it is possible they finish the season 2-4.  Then again, with an RGIII on your squad, anything is possible.  - TXStampede

Iowa State

LAST WEEK:  What clearly started as a very positive beginning of career for ISU quarterback Steele Jantz has stumbled on hard times.  Jantz was swarmed to start the game with an 0-4-1 line.  Coach Paul Rhoads finally saw the light and with nothing left to lose sat the gifted player and in his place started red shirt freshman Jared Barnett.  Not that it mattered very much since the Aggies handled their business with ISU coming up on the short end of the stick falling 33-17.  The Cyclones could not get into scoring position with only 3 of 15 possessions entering the A&M red zone. 

THIS WEEK:  Iowa State takes on the flying high Texas Tech Red Raiders coming off a very impressive outing against the Sooners.

SEASON OUTLOOK:  No change in my outlook as the Cyclones appear to be battling Kansas for the race to the bottom of the conference.  That designation will be decided when they face off on November 5. - TXStampede

Kansas

LAST WEEK:  The Jayhawks were the mouse to OU's cat in the first half of their matchup in Lawrence in which KU found itself trailing the #3 ranked Sooners by only ten points heading into halftime.  Not sure what happened in the Sooner locker room but the defense turned their motor on in the second half and held Kansas scoreless. Final score was 47-17.  One of the bright spots on the day for the Jayhawks were the two fumbles and one interception gained against the Sooners.  But unfortunately for KU they were only able to net three points on the OU mistakes.  Another bright spot was a 56 yard scamper by Jayhawk running back on a fourth and one play late in the first quarter.

THIS WEEK:  Kansas is on the road to tackle the Texas Longhorns.  I hope they get to see the lights before the game because it will be a long trip back to Lawrence afterward.

SEASON OUTLOOK:  Turner Gil may or may not be on the hotseat.  But that is neither here nor there when considering where Kansas ultimately finishes.  With impressive showings against Georgia Tech and Colorado last season, the Jayhawks do not boast or anything resembling a resume builder this year.  They are still holding steady in last place in scoring defense among all FBS teams at 50.4 points per game. Nothing I have seen changes my prediction of zero conference wins. - TXStampede

#8 Kansas State

LAST WEEK:  K-State smashed their in-state rival and conference bottom-dweller the Kansas Jayhawks, 59-21, after a relatively slow start.  Collin Klein accounted for five touchdowns in the easy win. 

THIS WEEK:  Who thought before the season started that Kansas State @ Oklahoma would be a top ten matchup, and better yet, that the Wildcats would be the higher ranked team?  Unfortunately for the Wildcats, Oklahoma got caught flat-footed last week, and it is likely K-State will be facing a very angry Sooner team.  However, it will be a very interesting game to watch because their offensive approaches are so different, and K-State has more than a puncher's chance in this one if they can eat up clock and control the pace of the game.

SEASON OUTLOOK:  Kansas State is perhaps the most debated team in the Top Ten.  There are some who are very skeptical of their narrow margins of victory and their lack of apparent speed and athleticism.  They are, after all, entering their most difficult part of the schedule, with consecutive games against Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, and Texas A&M (as well as a trip to Austin against a young Texas team that may be considerably improved by then, although I hesitate to project any confidence against Kansas State, no matter the circumstances).  I don't think they will lose all of them, but it is not inconceivable that they'll drop three out of the next four.  Then again, I've been doubting K-State all season and all they've done is keep winning. - TheElusiveShadow

Missouri

LAST WEEK:  The Tigers hosted the Oklahoma State Cowboys and hung around for about a half before the Pokes pulled away.  They were doomed by James Franklin's four second half turnovers despite rushing for nearly 250 yards.  A strong performance from their QB would have given them a chance in this one, but Franklin didn't give one.

THIS WEEK:  Mizzou travels to Kyle Field to take on the Aggies.  There will most likely be lots of passing yards between the two of them as well as chants of "SEC!"  Then they will accuse each other of being the catalyst of massive realignment  before agreeing to blame Texas.  Anyway, Missouri will score but the edge goes to the Aggies here.

SEASON OUTLOOK:  Missouri has no easy games until they face Kansas their last game of the year, and they are sitting at 3-4.  A bowl game this season would be an accomplishment. - TheElusiveShadow

#4 Oklahoma State

LAST WEEK:  Oklahoma State dispatched Missouri with relative ease despite losing their two starting receivers.  Blackmon was held out as a precaution, but the Cowboys didn't need him to net the road win.  The offense hummed along and the defense continues to be opportunistic, forcing four second half turnovers despite ceding yards.

THIS WEEK:  The Pokes go to Waco to face Robert Griffin and the Bears.  Griffin is obviously dangerous but it is hard to imagine the Baylor defense putting up much resistance. 

SEASON OUTLOOK:  After what should be a victory against Baylor, the Cowboys will face three currently ranked teams in four games:  K-State, Tech, and Oklahoma in Bedlam.  With the Sooners surprisingly falling to Tech, Oklahoma State is in the driver's seat now, but a conference title, much less an undefeated season and national championship bid, is still a ways away.  - TheElusiveShadow

#24 Texas

LAST WEEK:  Bye.

THIS WEEK:  Texas comes off the bye week to face one of the weakest teams on the schedule, the Kansas Jayhawks.  Perspective and patience has been constantly advised with respect to the last two losses against OU and OSU, but losing to a horrible Kansas team will justifiably cause a meltdown among the fanbase, especially if it happens on our own network.  The Longhorns should win comfortably, although it may not be such catastrophic whippings that other teams have given Kansas because Texas' offense isn't quite built that way.

SEASON OUTLOOK:  4-2 is about where a lot of people would have placed this team at this point before the season, but now Horns fans want to see rapid improvement.  The young team has had two bye weeks and has already gone through their two toughest games.  The rest of the schedule is challenging but they are all winnable, and going less than .500 in the last six games would definitely be a disappointment. - TheElusiveShadow

#16 Texas A&M

LAST WEEK:  The Aggies weren't exactly at their sharpest last week but still comfortably got by Iowa State.  The passing game was a little underwhelming, but both Michael and Gray eclipsed 100 yards rushing.  The defense handled the Cyclone offense without too much trouble, although Iowa State obviously has one of the weaker offensive units in the conference.

THIS WEEK:  Texas A&M takes on Missouri at home, who will most likely continue to be a conference mate in the near future.  Missouri has a dangerous offense but it is not always consistent, and their defense has been shredded several times this season.  The Aggies should not have a problem moving the football, but it will be another test for their unimpressive defense.  With Oklahoma looming and with Missouri getting desperate for a conference victory, it could be a trap game for the Ags.

SEASON OUTLOOK:  A&M may not belong with the college football elite this year, but they are a pretty good team with a decent resume.  Their only losses come against Okie State and Arkansas, two top ten teams, and their best wins are against a decent Baylor squad and against Tech on the road, who took down Oklahoma.  That said, they will most likely have to defeat Oklahoma in Norman to have a shot at the conference title, and while Tech just did that, Oklahoma was far from sharp last Saturday and that Aggie pass defense will be hard pressed to get out of that game unscathed. - TheElusiveShadow

Players of the Week (courtesy of big12sports.com)

Big 12 Offensive Player of the Week 
Seth Doege, Texas Tech, QB, Jr, Wolfforth, Texas
Junior quarterback Seth Doege helped lead Texas Tech to its first win over a No. 1-ranked opponent on the road with a 41-38 victory at No. 1/3 Oklahoma. The win snapped OU's nation-leading 39-game home win streak. Doege finished the game 33-of-52 for 441 yards passing with no interceptions. He had four touchdowns through the air and another on the ground. Tech's 41 points were the most given up by OU at home since 1997. The 441 yards passing are the most by any Texas Tech quarterback against the Sooners.

Big 12 Defensive Player of the Week
Shaun Lewis, Oklahoma State, LB, So, Missouri City, Texas
Shaun Lewis had nine tackles, an interception and a fumble recovery in No. 6/6 Oklahoma State's 45-24 win at Missouri. His interception set up a touchdown and his fumble recovery stopped a Missouri drive in the red zone. OSU's defense limited the Tigers to seven second-half points.

Upcoming Game of the Week:  Oklahoma at Kansas State (2:30 p.m. ESPN)

Rankings

  1. Oklahoma State
  2. Kansas State
  3. Oklahoma
  4. Texas A&M
  5. Texas Tech
  6. Texas
  7. Baylor
  8. Missouri
  9. Iowa State
  10. Kansas
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