Texas comes out swinging in Lubbock
Notebook: Mountaineers' Smith still putting up huge numbers
On Oct. 27, Texas struggled to dispatch Kansas and a week later, with criticism outside the program building, the Longhorns were looking at a schedule in which they could conceivably lose each game.
First up, a balanced Texas Tech team, the same Red Raiders with one of the best offenses and defenses in the nation. Many figured the Red Raiders win easily. However, something unseen since 2010 happened: the Longhorns beat a ranked team comfortably, pulling away by a 31-22 margin. David Ash came out swinging, with two touchdown passes in the first half. Ash threw the knockout punch in the fourth quarter, a 25-yarder to Mike Davis in the end zone — Davis' second of the day. Texas never trailed and its defense held Texas Tech to mostly field goals.
"We had to mix it up a bit," Ash said. "You know, it was fun ... everybody doing their job on offense, that's what it's all about."
After junior cornerback Carrington Byndom blocked a Tech field goal with a little more than five minutes left to play, coach Mack Brown erupted, pumping his fist and slapping his hands. He hadn't been that animated in years.
"It's hard to win in Lubbock, I thought it was our best team win that we've had all year," Brown said. "Defense played hard and so well and came up with the blocked field goal at the end ... so we're really, really proud of our guys."
Baylor (4-4, 1-4 Big 12)
• And on the 10th week, the Bears won a conference game. It was a long time coming for Baylor, which lost close battles to West Virginia and Texas. The Bears finally ended their losing streak with a 41-14 win against Kansas.
"What a relief," head coach Art Briles said. "We feel like we have been carrying a burden the last three or four weeks, so it's a relief to go out there and play well."
• Baylor held the Jayhawks to 96 yards passing, the lowest total it's held an opponent to since 2006.
• Waco, Texas, has been home to some exceptional receivers the last couple years, but Terrance Williams is looking to be the best of the bunch. Williams set a school record with his fourth double-digit receiving game of the season. Williams has caught a touchdown in all but two games and has notched 100 yards or more in all but one.
Next Game: at Oklahoma Nov. 10
Iowa State (5-4, 2-4 Big 12)
• The Cyclones picked off Landry Jones twice but still couldn't keep up with Oklahoma, falling 35-20. The running game wasn't effective: Shontrelle Johnson and James White picked up 28 and 27 yards, respectively.
• Linebacker Jake Knott is out for the season with a shoulder injury, ending the senior's career. His finale, against Baylor on Oct. 27, earned him a nod as Big 12 Player of the Week. Knott is sixth in Iowa State history with 347 career tackles.
"He was a young man who really helped jump start this era of Cyclone football," head coach Paul Rhoads said.
• The Cyclones are due for their yearly upset and Saturday against Texas would be a good time, considering the Longhorns' shaky record this season.
Next Game: at Texas Nov. 10
Kansas (1-8, 0-6 Big 12)
• The record won't show it, but Kansas has been surprisingly competitive this season. A month ago, the Jayhawks hung with Kansas State for a full half and nearly beat Texas two Saturdays ago. At the half against Baylor, Kansas was down by only six points, but a 46-minute weather delay before the third quarter may have cooled any comeback attempt.
• Redshirt-freshman quarterback Michael Cummings ran for a touchdown but also threw two interceptions. Dayne Crist came in late to complete two of seven passes.
Next Game: at Texas Tech Nov. 10
No. 3 Kansas State (9-0, 6-0 Big 12)
• The health of quarterback Collin Klein is of the utmost importance in the Little Apple after he spent the final 25 minutes of the 44-30 win against Oklahoma State watching from the sideline. The injury, as of Sunday, had not been disclosed.
• If Klein can't play on Saturday against TCU, freshman Daniel Sams will take his place. Sams threw for 45 yards and ran for 20 yards against the Cowboys. He played well, but against a rugged and dangerous TCU team, the Wildcats will be crossing their fingers that Klein, the Heisman frontrunner, is cleared to play.
Next Game: at TCU Nov. 10
No. 14 Oklahoma (6-2, 4-1 Big 12)
• A return to conference normalcy bode well for Oklahoma, which dispatched Iowa State 35-20. Quarterback Landry Jones continued to be consistently inconsistent. He threw two interceptions, but also had four touchdowns.
"Statistically we played really well. I threw two picks today but as a whole we came back and handled that really well," Jones said. "A great job by the defense who held them to field goals after my mistakes"
• Brennan Clay ran for a career-best 157 yards.
• Oklahoma fans surely still remember last year's game against Baylor, when Robert Griffin III secured his "Heisman moment" with a last-minute, game-winning drive.
Next Game: vs. Baylor Nov. 10
Oklahoma State (5-3, 3-2 Big 12)
• How snakebitten are the Cowboys' quarterbacks? At least the Cowboys had multiple arms ready to go this season. Wes Lunt left Saturday's game against Kansas State with an injury after throwing three interceptions and Clint Chelf, the No. 3 QB on the depth chart entering the year (the backup, J.W. Walsh is out for the season) came in to throw for 233 yards, a touchdown and an interception.
• Kansas State scored a touchdown on defense and on special teams.
"I'm really disappointed in myself, in our coaches, in the way we played," Cowboys coach Mike Gundy said. "You travel on the road, and you play a good football team, and you turn the ball over, you're poor on special teams and you don't tackle well, you essentially don't give yourself a chance to win."
Next Game: vs. West Virginia Nov. 10
No. 19 Texas (7-2, 4-2 Big 12)
• Wide receiver Mike Davis had four catches for 165 yards, two touchdowns and came two yards away from a third touchdown on Saturday against Texas Tech. Davis has established himself as the big-play threat for the Texas offense after three games of 100-plus yardage and averages of 19 yards per reception.
• The Longhorn Network will broadcast this weekend's game against Iowa State, so it's a wonder why the athletic department scheduled a noon ET start time. Nobody is fond of such an early start, the players are slow to get going and the game will likely kickoff with open seats in the stadium. Even worse, Texas has struggled mightily with noon starts, losing 63-21 against Oklahoma and nearly losing to Kansas already this season.
Next Game: vs. Iowa State Nov. 10
Texas Tech (6-3, 3-3 Big 12)
• What could be the biggest reason the Red Raiders fell to Texas 31-22 on Saturday? Seth Doege threw for only one touchdown. Texas Tech is 1-6 the last two seasons when Seth Doege throws for one touchdown or fewer.
• Texas Tech was penalized nine times for 85 yards, several of which gave the Longhorns a second life.
"It seemed like they came at bad times," head coach Tommy Tuberville said.
Next Game: vs. Kansas Nov. 10
TCU (6-3, 3-3 Big 12)
• It was a wild, wild game in Morgantown, W.Va.. TCU tied the game with a 95-yard touchdown pass and just two minutes remaining — no, your eyes did not deceive you — then, in double overtime, head coach Gary Patterson decided to go for two points and the win. But first: how'd they scored in double overtime? A wild trick play with a handoff to a running back, a pitch to wide receiver Brandon Carter who then threw it 25 yards into the end zone.
On the TD in the second OT, Patterson didn't want to prolong things, not with Geno Smith on the opposite sideline. Quarterback Trevone Boykin delivered a low strike to Josh Boyce, who earlier caught the 95-yarder, to win the game.
"We kept fighting," Boyce said. "The game is never over until the last whistle."
• The Horned Frogs are bowl eligible for the 11th time in Patterson's 12 years.
Next Game: vs. Kansas State Nov. 10
West Virginia (5-2, 2-3 Big 12)
• Things keep getting worse for West Virginia, which hasn't won a game since Oct. 7. TCU served the Mountaineers their third consecutive loss on Saturday 39-38 in double overtime. Defenses lapses were the culprit considering the Mountaineers were up 10 before they surrendered a game-tying 95-yard touchdown, then gave up a trick play touchdown in double overtime and couldn't get a game-winning stop as TCU went for two.
"The season's not over," head coach Dana Holgorsen said. "We'll get back to work [Sunday]."
• Quarterback Geno Smith threw three touchdowns and an interception. The senior's season line of 29 touchdowns, three picks and 334 yards per game is still Heisman-worthy, but the Mountaineers will struggle to stay nationally relevant if they keep losing.
• Holgorsen and the Mountaineers head to Stillwater, Okla. this week to play Oklahoma State. Interestingly, Holgorsen was the offensive coordinator for the Cowboys in 2010.
Next Game: at Oklahoma State Nov. 10