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College Football Saturday Open Thread - Big Day For The Big XII

Three games today will help shape the 2012 conference scene

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Texas Escapes Stillwater With A Win

There is certainly no love lost between Oklahoma and either of their hated rivals that met in Stillwater Saturday night. So either team winning the game equates to a loss in our book regardless. Never the less, Texas came out with the hard fought 41-36 victory courtesy of a gutsy late drive behind a renewed running game and a couple timely (if fortunate) throws from David Ash.

Texas rode the right arm of Ash for most of the night as the sophomore finished an impressive 30-37 for 304 yards with three touchdowns and one interception.

The story of the game, and frankly the theme of the day in the Big 12, was the lack of anything resembling a semblance of defense. Coming into the game, many were touting the Texas defense as one of the best in the country. Well, we can end any of that talk now. They were gashed by Oklahoma State for almost 600 yards and have a disturbing (well, not for us OU fans of course) tendency to miss tackle after tackle.

For Oklahoma State, it's hard to call this one anything other than what it looked like. A choke. They had the lead and the defense they couldn't tell enough people about this offseason and how much they've improved, sure looked like the same old OSU defense.

It's a "big" win for Texas in the sense that even though flawed, Okie State was easily the best team they've played thus far and it was a road win. Next week against West Virginia looks to be an even bigger test when you consider what WVU did today and just how bad the Texas secondary has looked this season.

As for OSU, the Cowboys fall to 2-2 on the season and now head into a bye week before traveling to face a Kansas squad that will surely be the cure for their ills.


Opponent Watch: Texas Tech Improves To 4-0

Texas Tech's win in Ames wasn't pretty but it was effective and keeps the perfect on the season as they prepare to host Oklahoma.


TCU Wins Sloppy. Again.

It wasn't pretty, but not many of TCU's wins have been so far this season. TCU was the benefactor of five Garrett Gilbert interceptions (shocking, I know) and repeated short field situations for their offense in a 24-16 victory that really wasn't as close as the final score indicates.

It was an ugly game all around and the weather only made it worse. It poured rain for virtually the entire game, which only added to the ugliness. Maybe TCU was looking ahead to next week's Iowa State showdown?

Nah, that can't be it.

Whatever it was, I doubt Gary Patterson really cares. The Horned Frogs got the win and move to 4-0 on the season.


So, This Is The Texas Defense We've Heard So Much

Texas heads to the locker room with a 21-17 lead in Stillwater against Oklahoma State, but the Horns have certainly not been all that impressive. Or at least their supposed mighty defense has very much failed to live up to its billing thus far. David Ash on the other had has looked very much improved connecting on a number a nicely thrown deep balls. In fact, Ash might look a little too good (by Texas standards, mind you) as his success seems to have led to Bryan Harsin's forgetting about the Texas running backs. Malcolm Brown, Joe Beregon, and Jonathan Gray have a combined 11 carries for 26 yards. Meanwhile, Ash is 12-16 for 123 yards and two touchdowns.

Back to that Texas defense though. Oklahoma State is absolutely gashing the Horns and can seemingly run at will (especially over left tackle). OSU's Joesph Randle finished the first half with a cool 147 yards on just 15 carries, good for a hefty 9.8 yard average. J.W. Walsh, starting in place of Wes Lunt, has looked the part of a freshman playing in his first big game but hasn't been terrible. It does appear thought that the OSU coaches feel somewhat limited with what they can do with Walsh as they've not looked to thrown the ball down the field at all so far.

From an Oklahoma perspective, Texas' defense looking very ordinary certainly makes the matchup in Dallas seem much more,um shall we say, manageable. OU's secondary matches up very well with the Texas wide receivers, so the Red River Shootout will hinge on the Sooners defense ability to slow down the Texas run game. With respect to Okie State, not much new information here. We knew, even though "this was the year", that their defense was terrible. And we knew their running game would carry the offense this year.

We'll see how the second half of this one plays out as OU fans watch on seeking some more insight on our enemies.


TCU Underwhelming In First Half vs. SMU

TCU has looked pretty average through the first half on the road tonight against a Garrett Gilbert led SMU team. Yes, that's right. TCU has looked average against Garrett Gilbert. Yes, that Garrett Gilbert.

Granted, the torrential downpour both teams are playing in has not helped matters. In fact, it's lead to several turnovers and several more that could have been.

The Horned Frogs lead 21-10 at the break and will likely go on to pull away, but the first half probably won't be on many of their highlight reels.


T. Tech And ISU Are Not Offensive Juggernauts

Iowa State has two first downs and 62 total yards at the half and yet they are all knotted up with Texas Tech at 7-7. The Cyclones' scoring play occurred when ISU linebacker A.J. Klein took an interception of Seth Doege 87-yards to pay dirt.

Texas Tech has been able to move the ball but were held out of the end zone until just before the half. The Red Raiders have 11 first downs and 188 yards of offense in the first half. Doege found Jakeem Grant for an 11-yard score with 2:28 left in the half to tie the game but he's also thrown two picks.

Iowa State quarterback Steel Jantz has completed two of his seven passes for just three yards at the half.


West Virginia Can Beat You Without A Defense

West Virginia's inguinal Big XII football game will be talked about for quite some time. Not because it marked a new era of football within the conference but because the Mountaineers and Baylor combined for 1,506 total yards of offense and 19 touchdowns in WVU's 70-63 win.

Theatrical Version Of The West Virginia Baylor Game

After West Virginia put up 10 touchdowns on Clemson in the Orange Bowl last January it was widely speculated that they wouldn't be able to accomplish such a feat against Big XII teams. The Mountaineers responded (rather loudly I might add) that they can and they will. In doing so, they also made it clear that they don't need a defense to beat you, but you had sure better bring one if you want to beat them.

Baylor's nine touchdowns and nearly 700 yards of offense would have been more than enough to win on just about any other Saturday but this one. West Virginia paced the Bears and bettered them by one score and a little more than a hundred yards.

West Virginia quarterback Geno Smith locked up the Big XII Offensive Player of the Week award before any other conference team even kicked off. The senior Heisman candidate completed 88% of his passes for 656 yards and 8 touchdowns, with no interceptions. The Mountaineers had three receivers with more that a hundred yards, two with more than two hundred yards and Stedman Bailey who caught 13 passes for 303 yards and five touchdowns.

You head that loud thumping sound? That the pounding heartbeat of every defensive coordinator in the Big XII as the reality hits them that they have to scheme a way to defend this WVU offense. West Virginia's average scoring play was 30 yards in length with a long of 87. This is a team that can score from anywhere on the field and they're going to dare you to find a way to stop them. Good luck Big XII.

Read more about this game from a West Virginia perspective at The Smoking Musket

Read more about this game from a Baylor perspective at Our Daily Bears


Bears And Mountaineers Deadlocked At Half

There's jaw dropping, spectacular offensive football and then there's what Baylor and West Virginia are doing. Both schools came into today's match-up with two of the most explosive offensives in the country but what we didn't know was if their respective defenses were up to the challenge.

At the half the two teams have combined for 70 points and 710 yards of total offense. Heisman contending West Virginia quarterback, Geno Smith, has 288 yards passing and four touchdowns while his counterpart, Nick Florence, has 292 passing yards and two scores. Each team only punted once in the first half.

While the offenses have been overly impressive the concern here has to be the defenses. Sure, the Big XII is a conference that features wide open offensive attacks but name the last conference champion that didn't have a stout defense. This game isn't an exception to the season either. WVU came into this game ranked 53rd in scoring defense while the Bears were ranked 90th. Neither of those national stats are going to improve today.

Great offenses and bad defenses equates to exciting games with fantastic finishes. Buckle up for the second half!


College Football Saturday Open Game Thread

Three games today will help shape the 2012 conference scene

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