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Big 12 football rewind: Defense takes the weekend off, joining Kansas, K-State and OU

The Big 12 , already known for explosive, high-scoring football offenses, put on a show for the ages Saturday in Morgantown, West Va.

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Rob Christy-US PRESSWIRE - Presswire

If you had been away for the weekend and were just now catching up on the scores from the games around the Big 12 and, for that matter, all across the country in college football on Saturday, you would think that it was opening weekend in college basketball.

Seven Big 12 teams were in action this past weekend. The combined scores of those seven teams was close to 40 points a team, but the numbers that really skew that outcome were produced by West Virginia and Baylor, who combined for an almost unbelievable 133 points in an offensive slugfest in Morgantown, West Va.

It was as if, the defense for both teams took the weekend off as all kinds of offensive records fell in the West Virginia-Baylor game. The two teams combined to score 19 touchdowns in a game in which there were only four punts attempted all afternoon. Over 1,100 yards of offense came from throwing the football, and both teams ran for over 100 yards as well. In all, the 1,507 yards of total offense and 67 first downs were generated by the two offenses, which moved the ball up and down the field at will for the full 60 minutes.

West Virginia set a school record with 807 yards of total offense, and the final score of 70-63 was the highest scoring game in Big 12 history.

West Virginia quarterback Geno Smith put himself in front position among this year's Heisman Trophy hopefuls, putting up video-game like numbers, throwing more touchdown passes (8) than incompletions (6) in the game. He completed 45 of 51 passes for 636 yards. His counterpart for Baylor, Nick Florence, had a career day as well, but was overshadowed by Smith's sensational performance.

Texas showed that it is back and ready to be reckoned with again by rolling into Stillwater and outgunning defending conference champion Oklahoma State, scoring the go-ahead and game-winning touchdown with less than a minute to go in the game. There wasn't much defense displayed in this league contest, either. Oklahoma State produced 576 total yards of offense (300 passing and 275 on the ground) against a very good Longhorn defense, but it wasn't enough to overcome a 30 for 38 and three-touchdown passing performance from Texas sophomore David Ash.

The other two Big 12 games over the weekend didn't have nearly the offensive explosion as what occurred in Morgantown and Stillwater, but the outcomes were a bit surprising. Texas Tech did manage to play some defense in holding Iowa State to 189 total yards of offense and getting a big road win, which are hard to come by in the Big 12. The Red Raiders, with the league's best defense so far this season, will next host Oklahoma, which had the weekend off.

In the other Big 12 contest, TCU came out flat, producing only 156 yards of offense and committing four fumbles, but still had enough to get by SMU on a rainy evening in Dallas, 24-16, aided by five interceptions thrown by SMU quarterback Garrett Gilbert, formerly of the Texas Longhorns.

Kansas State enjoyed its top-ten ranking and huge win over Oklahoma the week before with the weekend off as the Wildcats prepared to face Sunflower State-rival Kansas this
Saturday in Manhattan.

Here are five fascinating facts we gleaned from the wild weekend in the Big 12:

Five Things We Learned From Week 4

  • Surprise! Surprise! The Big 12 has the top three teams in the country (1. Oklahoma State, 2. Baylor and. 3. West Virginia), and four of the top eight (8. Texas Tech) in total offense.
  • The 133 points scored in the West Virginia-Baylor game was three shy of the NCAA record of 136 (Navy and North Texas in 2007). Sixteen of the 19 scoring drives took less than three minutes
  • Texas Tech leads the Big 12 in total defense, giving up just 167 yards a game after four games. The Red Raiders' opponent on Saturday, Oklahoma, averages almost 500 yards per game.
  • Oklahoma State scored 36 points in its loss to Texas on Saturday. The Cowboys have scored at least 30 points in 22 consecutive games, the longest streak in the nation.
  • TCU's 156 yards of total offense on Saturday against SMU was the lowest output by the Horned Frogs since being held to 151 total yards in a game at Kansas in 1997. Kansas won that game 17-10.

This Weekend's Big 12 Games

Kansas @ Kansas State

Oklahoma @ Texas Tech

Iowa State @ TCU

West Virginia @ Texas

Bye: Oklahoma State, Baylor

Watch for the Big 12 Game of the Week preview - West Virginia at Texas - this Friday.

Follow Big 12 football all season long, including specific news and commentary on the two Kansas teams, at SB Nation Kansas City.