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Big 12 Football Rewind: Five Things We Learned From The Weekend Action

In a wild weekend of Big 12 football action. Oklahoma defeated Missouri by 10 points but dropped from No. 1 in the AP poll, while rival Oklahoma State moved up a spot to fifth in the national rankings by squeaking out a one-point win over Texas A&M.

Oklahoma State and its new gray helmets.
Oklahoma State and its new gray helmets.

The Big 12 schedule over the weekend featured five games, and five conference teams came out winners, a couple by the slimmest of margins, increasing the conference win total to 27. Because it also marked the opening weekend of Big 12 play, however, two league teams came out on the short end of the score, only the fourth time that has happened after four weeks of play.

Kansas State had the most impressive win of the weekend, stopping Miami on four straight tries after having the ball first-and-goal on the K-State two-yard line, the final attempt with less than a minute left, to preserve an 28-24 upset win over the Hurricanes. The Kansas State defensive stand ended with Miami's Jacory Harris being stopped right at the goal line on a quarterback keeper with 49 seconds remaining in the game.

The Wildcats had a 14-3 lead at the half, but Miami came back to take a 24-21 lead one minute into the fourth quarter before Kansas State regained the lead shortly thereafter. The Wildcats remain unbeaten at 3-0 to start the season.

In the game of the day in college football, No. 6-ranked Oklahoma State mounted a furious comeback in the second half at eighth-ranked Texas A&M and held on for a 30-29 victory. In a game of two halves, Oklahoma State was held to a field goal in the first half as A&M dominated throughout the first 30 minutes and went to the locker room at halftime with a 20-3 lead.

The Cowboys came out in the second half a different team, though, capitalizing on a couple of Aggie turnovers on consecutive possessions to ring up 21 unanswered points and a 24-20 lead entering the final quarter. Oklahoma State kicked a couple of field goals in the fourth quarter, which ended up being enough to seal the win, giving the Cowboys a 3-0 record on the year.

Missouri came out firing on all cylinders at Oklahoma, jumping out to a 14-3 on the No. 1-ranked Sooners with just over eight minutes gone in the first quarter. Oklahoma's performance was "inconsistent" the entire night, coach Bob Stoops said. OU was coming off a huge 24-14 win a week earlier at then-No. 5 Florida State, but looked far from the top-ranked team in the country against Missouri. The Sooners came alive in the second quarter to take a 24-14 lead at the half and twice increased the lead to 17 points in the second half, only to have the Tigers counter with long touchdown drives of their own to twice narrow the Sooner margin to 10 points.

The Sooners rolled up 592 yards of offense, 448 passing by quarterback Landry Jones, but the OU defense was gashed for 532 yards by Missouri, nearly 300 yards of it on the ground. "We jumped on them early a little bit, and they reacted like you know real good teams do," said Missouri coach Gary Pinkel.

Mizzou standout receiver T.J. Moe was less diplomatic than his head coach. "We had them right where we wanted them," he said.

Nevada had Texas Tech right where it wanted them, too, or so it thought. Nevada held a 21-7 lead in the third quarter and was up 31-28 late in the game when Tech's defense, which had been on its heels all night, held the Wolf Pack to a field goal after they had driven all the way to the Red Raider three-yard line with under five minutes to go. Tech scored the game-winning touchdown on a fourth-down pass play with just 46 seconds left to win its third game of the year in as many tries. The Red Raiders won despite giving up 562 yards of total offense to Nevada, 120 yards more than Tech's usual high-output offensive produced in the game.

Baylor's 17th-ranked Bears kept rolling this week with a 56-31 victory over Rice. Quarterback Robert Griffin III, who in the past was more known for his scrambling running ability, turned in another remarkable passing performance, completing 29 of 33 passes for 338 yards and five touchdowns. On the season, Griffin incredibly has thrown three more touchdowns than he has incompletions. He came into the game leading the nation in passing efficiency and was third in passing yards. Saturday's performance certainly didn't do anything to hurt his standing in these two statistical categories.

Five Things We Learned From Last Week's Big 12 Games

  • Everyone thought Kansas State's defense looked improved from a year ago. After the Wildcats' huge road win at Miami, capped off by what might have been the best goal-line stand of the season by a Big 12 team, we know that Kansas State's defense is no joke and is a game-plan factor that is going to have to be reckoned with.
  • Oklahoma's defense has some repair work to do. Brent Venables' defensive unit gave up 27 yards rushing for the entire game to Florida State. Seven days later, OU allowed 37 rushing yards to Missouri on the Tigers' first possession and 241 for the game.
  • Kansas State unveiled a new secret weapon on offense in its upset win over Miami. Sophomore running back John Hubert ran for a career-best 166 yards and scored the go-ahead touchdown in the fourth quarter.
  • Baylor scored 50 points against TCU, the No. 2 team in the nation last season, and followed that up with 48 and 56 points in its next two games. That's an average of 51 points a game. And what's really scary is that in the latter two games, the Bears reached their total points for the game in essentially three quarters. Doubtful that Robert Grifffin & Co. will be able to keep up this pace in their next outing vs. Kansas State, but it should make for a truly interesting game. Both teams are undefeated through three games.
  • Breaking down the weekend games by conference preferences outside of the Big 12, teams that were leaning toward a potential Pac-12 affiliation (Oklahoma, Oklahoma State and Texas Tech) won their games on Saturday while Texas A&M, which was officially accepted into the SEC over the weekend (beginning July 1 next year), and Missouri, which is contemplating an offer to join the SEC, were the only Big 12 teams to go down to defeat over the weekend.