Jake (Dallas) OK I have a problem with the fact that Baylor can get beat (demolished) the same as A&M and Oregon and Bryce Petty becomes a ghost on the Heisman Watch list. With Johnny Manziel and Marcus Mariota still on there!! Yeah he had a tough (terrible) day but still put up 300+ yards 2 TDs and no interceptions. He posted an 80 QBR. He now has a better TD to INT ratio than both of those QBs, a better RECORD than both of those QBs and has not lost to an unranked opponent (Oregon). Please enlighten me with a logical answer that makes sense to a Baylor fan.
Brandon Chatmon I don't think he should be out of it because outside of Jameis Winston there is no clear favorites right now. However, he has to have great games against TCU and Texas. If he returns back to his normal, record-breaking self in the last two games, he deserves consideration in my opinion. And you're right his numbers weren't horrible against OSU.
James Johnson (Hong Kong) Brandon, you called the OSU-Stillwater game as Baylor's toughest game this year over a month ago (even before OSU was getting hot) in answering one of my questions. OSU played lights out, and Baylor played poorly. Both were related. How much of that was OSU vs. Baylor performance that night (e.g., 70/30)? Who was better: 2011 OSU team or the OSU team last Saturday night?
Brandon Chatmon I think a lot of it was OSU. They played an amazing game. But, I'd still take 2011 OSU over this year's squad.
Mike P (Greater KC) Which is more likely to happen Oklahoma beats Okie State or Texas Beats Baylor?
Brandon Chatmon Oklahoma beats Oklahoma State.
Pete (Kansas City) How impressed have you been with K-State's season? Do you think the Wildcats will end up in the Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl, Holiday Bowl or Texas Bowl?
Brandon Chatmon I've been pretty impressed although I don't understand why they abandoned the run against OU. That said it's been a solid season overall for the Wildcats. I have them Holiday Bowl bound.
Daje Johnson (Austin, Texas) How badly did I mess up this game for us tomorrow by getting suspended?
Brandon Chatmon Bad move, Daje. And now you're missing the stadiums you're supposed to be running for punishment too?!?! I understand my chats are entertaining but do you ever want to play again?
- The Dallas Morning News' Chuck Carlton cautions that seeking a replacement for Texas coach Mack Brown could be ill-advised. The Longhorns haven't given up on the Big 12 title. Texas Tech will be starting two true freshman DBs in Austin. Tech has rekindled discussions about building an indoor practice facility.
- The Topeka Capital-Journal's Ken Corbitt profiles record-setting Kansas State wide receiver Tyler Lockett, who has fulfilled his family legacy. Charlie Weis is sticking with Montell Cozart as his starting QB for the "Sunflower Showdown," the Lawrence Journal-World's Matt Tait reports.
- Oklahoma State showed TCU the way to stop Baylor's offense, in the opinion of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram's Stefan Stevenson. TCU coach Gary Patterson lauds the Baylor defense. The Dallas Morning News breaks down the past five Baylor-TCU games.
- Iowa State coach Paul Rhoads has a history with West Virginia, writes the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review's Bob Hertzel. Iowa State punter Kirby Van Der Kamp has gone from unknown to NFL prospect, according to the Des Moines Register's Tommy Birch. West Virginia QB Clint Trickett reveals he kept quiet about a concussion earlier this season against Kansas State.
- The Tulsa World's John E. Hoover explores how Oklahoma State QB Clint Chelf saved his season. The Cowboys' win over Baylor is paying off already on the recruiting trail. Oklahoma cornerback Aaron Colvin has been battling through pain, according to the Tulsa World's Eric Bailey. Most of the Sooners watched Oklahoma State's win over Baylor, and came away impressed.
Here’s how the conference chase shapes up going into the final two weeks of the season:
Oklahoma State (10-1, 7-1 Big 12): The Cowboys can secure their second Big 12 championship with a victory over Oklahoma on Dec. 7. The Pokes would also get the league’s automatic BCS bowl berth, owning the head-to-head advantage over the Baylor-Texas winner.
Baylor (9-1, 6-1): Because the Big 12 recognizes co-champions, the Bears still could claim a share of the conference title just by beating TCU and Texas. To get the automatic BCS bowl berth and win the conference outright, however, Baylor would also need the Cowboys to lose to Oklahoma.
Texas (7-3, 6-1): Like Baylor, the Longhorns could gain a share of the Big 12 title by beating Texas Tech and Baylor, though that wouldn’t give the Horns the automatic BCS bowl berth, too. To get that, Texas would also need Oklahoma State to lose Bedlam on top of the Horns winning out.
Oklahoma (9-2, 6-2): While a long shot, there is a scenario that would net the Sooners a co-championship. First, OU would need to beat Oklahoma State. Then, the Sooners would need either Baylor or Texas to lose this week. And after that, OU would need the team that lost to beat the other in their season finale. That would create a four-way tie (or three-way tie, if both Baylor and Texas lost this week) at the top, handing the Sooners a share of the crown. In this scenario, Oklahoma State would still get the BCS bowl berth because of its head-to-head tiebreaker advantages.
1. Can Baylor rebound with a win? The Bears tumbled out of the BCS title race with their loss to Oklahoma State. Yet, Baylor can still have a special season. If BU wins its final two games against TCU and Texas, it can share the Big 12 title, even if OSU beats Oklahoma. If the Cowboys lose, the Bears could win the Big 12 title outright. Thus, they should be focused on returning to their pre-OSU form and refuse to let one chilly night in Stillwater snowball into multiple losses to end the season and ruin one of the best years in school history.
3. Can the Bears and Longhorns set up a super Saturday on Dec. 7? If Baylor and Texas win on Saturday, it will set up a terrific final Saturday in the Big 12 with OU visiting OSU and UT visiting Baylor on Dec. 7. A Cowboys’ loss in the early game would set up a pseudo-Big 12 title game in the afternoon. A Cowboys win would still leave a co-championship on the table for the UT-BU winner. Either way, wins from those two schools this week will set up a terrific end to the conference season.
4. Will TCU salvage some hope with a upset? The Horned Frogs’ season hasn’t turned out like they would have hoped. Lackluster offense, turnovers and the injury bug have been like an anchor on the leg of their defense but TCU still could salvage something out of this season by upsetting Baylor. Coach Gary Patterson wanted to make this game like a bowl game for the bowl-less Horned Frogs and he’s had two weeks to prepare for Baylor’s offense. This reeks of a potential trap game for the reeling Bears.
5. Has Texas Tech learned from its no-win November? Kliff Kingsbury hopes so. The Red Raiders have not won a game since Oct. 19 against West Virginia. Worse yet, they haven’t been within double digits of their opponent since the eight-point loss to OU. With several young playmakers on the roster, TTU has the chance to show it has at least learned and grown from those disappointing defeats when it plays the Thanksgiving contest against UT.
6. What will Tyler Lockett do for an encore? The Kansas State receiver had 12 receptions for 278 yards and three touchdowns in the loss to OU. He can’t possibly match those numbers against Kansas, can he? He’s one of the conference’s top players and could continue to be unstoppable against the Jayhawks.
7. Will Iowa State or West Virginia head into the offseason with a win? The Cyclones and Mountaineers have been humbled this season after making bowl appearances in 2012. ISU is coming off a shutout over Kansas and WVU had a bye after the Jayhawks ruined its bowl chances. A WVU win could help Dana Holgorsen head into the postseason with some positive vibes while a ISU win would be a clear sign of the competitive nature of Paul Rhoads’ squad to win two games after losing seven straight to start conference play.
8. What’s the deal at quarterback in Lubbock? “They're all three healthy. So it will be between one of those three and see how it goes,” Kingsbury said this week. Baker Mayfield, Davis Webb and Michael Brewer are battling to start against the Longhorns on Thursday but it wouldn’t be a surprise to see Brewer get a shot since we’ve seen what Mayfield and Webb can do.
9. Could there be an upset in the Sunflower Showdown? KU was taking consistent steps forward until its 34-0 loss to ISU last weekend, taking a clear step backward. But the Jayhawks can earn some bragging rights and grab some momentum with a win over KSU on Saturday. The Wildcats’ four-game winning streak was snapped by OU last Saturday but they’re still the clear favorite in the Sunflower Showdown. But, this Jayhawk squad has shown enough positive signs that that an upset it not completely out of the realm of possibility.
10. Are Iowa State and West Virginia supposed to be rivals? No, seriously, are they? Nothing says rivalry weekend like Iowa State against West Virginia. That said, rivalries must start somewhere, so in this age of new teams in new conferences, maybe these two teams can start building a rivalry with a close, contested battle on Saturday.
His list of accomplishments reveal the standard of success Stoops has set in Norman, Okla. since he took over in 1999. He has reached all four BCS games and the BCS national title game with 14 bowl appearances, eight Big 12 titles, eight BCS bowls, four BCS title game appearances, one BCS national title.
With the help of the OU SID department and ESPN Stats & Information, a closer look at five key stats during the Stoops era points to the priorities of a program run by the 15-year coach and the foundation of his 158-39 record.
Third-down conversions: OU has 1,283 total third down conversions under Stoops, which is tied for first among FBS teams. OU consistently has a solid plan on third down attempts and secures the players -- like Heisman winners Sam Bradford and Jason White — to execute that plan consistently. Since 2004, the Sooners have converted 44.9 percent of their third down conversion attempts. The national average during that span is 39.8 percent.
Forced turnovers: Stoops knows the value of turnovers and he instills that belief into his teams. Since 1999, OU has forced 428 turnovers which is tied for third among FBS teams. That’s an average of 28.5 per season. OU has forced at least one turnover in 170 of 197 games (86.3 percent) in the last 15 years. Games between two evenly matched teams are often decided by turnovers but Stoops’ crew also uses them to dominate lesser opponents. A combination of talented defenders and aggressive schemes have put opponents into positions to make mistakes and OU tends to take advantage.
Defensive touchdowns: OU has scored 46 defensive touchdowns and has scored at least one defensive TD in each of Stoops’ 15 seasons. Thus, not only do the Sooners make a concerted effort to take the ball away, they have the ability to turn it into points. Cornerback Zack Sanchez did it last weekend with his 74-yard interception return against Kansas State. He joined defensive end Geneo Grissom and linebacker Corey Nelson as Sooners with a defensive touchdown this season. The Sooners’ 28 defensive touchdowns since 2004 are tied for eighth among FBS teams.
Points per drive: While Stoops is a defensive-minded coach, the offenses have placed among the nation’s scoring leaders throughout his tenure. Since 2004, the Sooners have averaged 2.56 points per drive, ranking No. 8 among FBS teams. It’s a sign OU’s offenses under Stoops not only move the ball with success but also finish drives with points. The Sooners have brought in stars like Bradford, running back Adrian Peterson and receiver Ryan Broyles to help them become one of the most explosive offenses in college football during the past 15 years. Their 2.56-point per drive average is a full 0.5 point more than the national average of 2.02 during that span.
In the 15 seasons with Stoops in charge, his teams rank among the nation’s best in key moments on third down, finish offensive drives with points and force game-changing turnovers.
Sounds like a winning combination.
Dymar (Tallassee, Ala.): Do u think that Baylor will still get to play in a BCS bowl?
Jake Trotter: It sounds like the Orange Bowl is leaning toward Wisconsin with its BCS bowl. Remember, the Orange has an upcoming agreement with the Big Ten, so that might influence their thinking. Wisky really travels well, too. So Penn State beating Wisconsin this weekend would really help Baylor's cause to get an at-large berth. The automatic berth is still on the table, too, but the Bears would need an Oklahoma win in Bedlam.
JFB (DFW): If Johnny Manziel has another bad game and Alabama loses a game, can Bryce Petty still win the Heisman with a strong finish to the season or did that ship sail last weekend in Stillwater?
Jake Trotter: I think the ship has sailed...
Dalton (Wichita, Kan.): Love the blog, I spend way too much time on it. Anyways, what are the odds of either Corey Nelson or Jordan Phillips getting a medical redshirt? If so, when will it be announced?
Jake Trotter: Bob Stoops said early December. I had someone close to the team tell me yesterday they are actually optimistic about Nelson's chances. We'll see what happens.
Tom (Oklahoma): Over the last five years Oklahoma State has a better win percentage than OU. If they win next week and claim their second Big 12 title in three years, at what point do people start to talk seriously about Oklahoma St. surpassing OU nationally?
Jake Trotter: As the OU sports information department pointed out yesterday -- maybe feeling a little bit insecure about this very topic -- Oklahoma St. has only been winning at a high level for the last five years. The Sooners have been winning at a high level for 70 years. So Oklahoma St. is not going to surpass OU as a program, even with a win. The gap, however, has closed enormously.
Robert (Lubbock): What will it take to get the Mackey Award shut down? Their treatment of Jace Amaro, college football fans, and indeed their own award is downright wrong.
Jake Trotter: The credibility of the award comes into question with the way they've handled Amaro from the beginning. If they want to restrict the award to TEs that put their hand down every play, then why did they give it to Chase Coffman in 2008? I don't get it.
Jake (St Joseph, Mo.) Why is Tyler Lockett so underrated as a receiver? Also do you think he has a chance at All American?
Jake Trotter: No chance at All-American, but I'm stumping for him to be first-team All-Big 12 as a WR.
Raider Red (Lubbock): Who's got the best mustache in the Big 12?
Jake Trotter: Boomstache (Nick O'Toole)... who else?
That question was on the minds of Sooners fans as they watched redshirt freshman quarterback Trevor Knight lead the Sooners to a 41-31 win over Kansas State in his first ever road start on Saturday. Coach Bob Stoops and the rest of the OU coaching staff named Knight the opening-day starter after he won the job with a stellar performance during preseason camp in August.
“Now maybe some people are seeing some of what we’ve seen through these years working with these guys.”
Knight was outstanding, going 14-of-20 for 171 yards with a 90.3 adjusted Total QBR against the Wildcats. His performance in OU's last two games could be setting him up as the Sooners’ signal-caller of the present and future. Let’s use a little film study to take a closer look at five plays that show Knight’s long-term potential and should have OU fans excited about the future.
Knight’s first completion of the game: On OU’s second play of the game, Knight rolled out after a play-action fake, then found Jalen Saunders on the sidelines. It was a superb, accurate throw on the run. The fact Knight could throw a dart on the run is a scary development for OU opponents. If he starts proving he can do it consistently, a scary development turns into a nightmare for opposing defensive coordinators, particularly with his quickness and running ability on the perimeter.
Knight’s touchdown pass to Sterling Shepard: Great read, great throw. On 3rd-and-goal from the Wildcats 12-yard line, everyone knew it was a passing situation yet Knight found a wide open Shepard in the end zone. KSU played zone and rushed four defenders but an excellent play call by offensive coordinator Josh Heupel was able to isolate Shepard in a one-on-one situation with KSU cornerback Randall Evans. Knight saw it, was decisive and made a terrific throw that would have been tough for anyone to defend. It should make Sooners fans excited because of Knight’s decisiveness, timeliness and accuracy with a strong throw. It’s the kind of play that should make anyone questioning his ability to run a pass-heavy offense think twice before continuing to question his talent.
Knight’s interception: Huh? Yes, what happened during and after his interception is a great sign for the future. First of all, he made the right read and throw, but Saunders, for some odd reason, went behind the defender instead of in front of him as Knight expected. But, most importantly, Knight didn’t run off the field after Evans intercepted his pass. He went straight to Saunders to ask why the senior changed his route. A clear sign that Knight, as a freshman, already considers himself a leader who isn’t scared to hold others and himself accountable. Quite possibly a better sign for the future than any one throw he made all afternoon.
Knight’s 20-yard run early in the second quarter: Knight rolled left looking to pass after a play-action fake. When Kansas State safety Dylan Schellenberg realized Knight still had the ball and was looking to pass, he scrambled back to get into coverage despite being two yards from the line of scrimmage with nothing between him and Knight. As soon as the Sooners quarterback saw him retreat, he was decisive and tucked the ball, easily outrunning K-Stte linebackers to gain 20 yards including an extra five yards with some nifty open field running. That’s an element to OU’s passing game that the Sooners simply haven’t had in previous seasons. Knight’s ability to adapt to the defense on the fly is another great sign for the future. He scored on a eight-yard run on the next play to cap a 98-yard scoring drive.
Knight’s 20-yard completion to Shepard before halftime: With the Sooners driving to try to take the halftime lead, the San Antonio native found Shepard on 3rd-and-10. Knight zipped the ball into a window between two Wildcats defenders playing zone in the secondary. The velocity and accuracy of the throw allowed Shepard to secure the ball before he was hit and the decision to throw to the sophomore showed good anticipation. Knight was confident in what he saw and made a quick decision.
OU has a bye week before getting the chance to ruin Oklahoma State’s Big 12 title hopes during their Bedlam battle on Dec. 7. And if Knight plays the way he did against the Wildcats, OSU’s road to winning its second Big 12 title in three seasons might be filled with more potholes than most people think.
- Coach Charlie Weis is mum about who will start at quarterback for Kansas in the Sunflower Showdown, reports the Lawrence Journal-World's Matt Tait.
- Kansas State is turning the Sunflower Showdown into the Sunflower Beatdown, in the opinion of the Kansas City Star's Kellis Robinette.
- QB Clint Chelf had a performance for the Oklahoma State ages, according to The Oklahoman's Gina Mizell. The paper's Berry Tramel says coach Mike Gundy has cost Chelf memorable moments by preventing him from speaking with the media.
- Oklahoma coach Bob Stoops is impressed with Oklahoma State's defense, reports The Oklahoman's Jason Kersey. The Sooners are beaten up going into Bedlam, according to the Tulsa World's Guerin Emig.
- The Longhorns miss playing Texas A&M on Thanksgiving, according to the Dallas Morning News' Chuck Carlton. QB David Ash is done for the year and will apply for a medical redshirt.
- Texas Tech tight end Jace Amaro was somehow left off the Mackey Award finalist list. The Dallas Morning News' Mike Graham wonders how Amaro will respond against Texas.
- The Fort Worth Star-Telegram's Stefan Stevenson examines what is going on with suspended TCU running back Waymon James.
- The Baylor players vow to reach remaining dreams with their BCS title shot gone, reports Jimmy Burch of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. Running back Shock Linwood is losing sleep over the loss to Oklahoma State, he tells the Dallas Morning News' Kate Hairopoulos.
- The Mountaineers are focused on the finale, writes the Charleston Gazette's Dave Hickman.
- Iowa State will be enclosing the south end zone of Jack Trice Stadium.
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Is there anyone else who should be considered for Big 12 offensive player of the year and/or All-Big 12 quarterback, other than Baylor's Bryce Petty?
Brandon Chatmon: His strongest competition for offensive player of the year is Kansas State’s Tyler Lockett. Imagine the Wildcats' season if Lockett was healthy and available for games against Oklahoma State and Baylor. He combined for 25 receptions for 515 yards against Texas and Oklahoma, so I’m guessing he would have stepped up against the Cowboys and Bears as well.
Max Olson: A case can be made for Chelf, who ranks No. 4 nationally in adjusted QBR since becoming Oklahoma State’s starting quarterback. He might be the favorite had Mike Gundy given him the job earlier. But Petty is still No. 1 for now. If Texas Tech hadn’t fallen into its four-game slump and was just a game or two back in the Big 12 race, Jace Amaro would merit consideration.
Who at this moment is your Big 12 defensive player of the year?
Trotter: Oklahoma State middle linebacker Caleb Lavey has been the heart and soul of the top defense in the Big 12. He’s also had a fabulous season, ranking fifth in the league in tackles and tackles for loss and tied for second in interceptions. To me, he’s been the defensive player of the year in this league.
Chatmon: No player has clearly cemented himself as the favorite for this award, but I’m going with Oklahoma State cornerback Justin Gilbert. He’s taken his game to another level as a senior with six interceptions, returning two for scores against Iowa State and Texas. After a subpar junior year, he’s been all business as a senior.
Olson: There’s still time for a new favorite to rise to the top of the heap, but right now I’d go with the best player of the best defense in the Big 12. To me, that’s Gilbert. Not just because of his six interceptions, but because he’s playing at an elite level against elite competition this month. If Gilbert shuts down the Sooners, I’m fine with him winning the honor.
Who is the most underrated player in the league?
Chatmon: His team struggled, but West Virginia’s Charles Sims did not. The Houston transfer has been one of the Big 12’s toughest players to defend with his ability to gain tough yards, break the big run and catch the ball out of the backfield from his running back spot. He’s averaged 5.8 yards per touch from the line of scrimmage this season.
Olson: He’s one of the Big 12’s best, but I can’t help but think that Ryan Mueller doesn’t get enough attention. The Kansas State defensive end now has 10.5 sacks and 17 tackles for loss, and he’ll likely finish in the top 10 nationally in both categories. He’s a worthy candidate for DPOY, but because K-State fell off the national radar early on this season, he still seems a bit underappreciated.
Which one injury had the biggest impact on this Big 12 season?
Trotter: I don’t think Baylor would have won at Oklahoma State with just one of its injured players, and I doubt the Bears will lose again without any of them, either. So I’ll go with Oklahoma linebacker Corey Nelson. The Sooners were playing great defense early in the season with Nelson leading the way. After he suffered the season-ending pectoral tear, they were never the same on that side of the ball, especially the following week against Texas.
Chatmon: It would have been interesting to see if Baylor could have finished off its dream season with a healthy Lache Seastrunk. I think Saturday’s result proved the Bears running back, not Petty, was the foundation that the Bears’ offense was built upon. Shock Linwood is a superb player and appears to be a future star, but he’s not Lache Seastrunk.
Olson: I agree with Brandon on Seastrunk for the same reasons he laid out. Two more worth mentioning: Losing the always reliable and speedy Tevin Reese has been a setback for Baylor. The way he can stretch a defense and stress a defense created lots of opportunities all over the field for the Bears. And we'll never know how much David Ash could have helped Texas, as he seemed poised for a big year.
Stoops did not disclose a reason for the dismissal.
Williams rushed for 553 yards and seven touchdowns this season, a year after leading the team with 946 rushing yards and 11 touchdowns in 2012.
The No. 18 Sooners, however, didn't miss him much at Kansas State. Brennan Clay shouldered the rushing load well with 200 yards and two touchdowns on 31 carries in Oklahoma's 41-31 win over the Wildcats.
The Sooners (9-2, 6-2 Big 12) are off this weekend and close the regular season Dec. 7 at seventh-ranked Oklahoma State (10-1, 7-1).
- After a rough season, the Iowa State offense finally broke out, according to the Ames Tribune.
- The Mountaineers are banged up going into their season finale against the Cyclones, writes the Charleston Gazette's Dave Hickman.
- Oklahoma QB Trevor Knight showed plenty of positives in a win at Kansas State, in the opinion of the Norman Transcript's John Shinn.
- The wind was too much for Kansas State's passing game in its loss to the Sooners, according to the Kansas City Star's Blair Kerkhoff.
- The Orlando Sentinel's Matt Murschel predicts that Texas will stick with coach Mack Brown for at least another season.
- After a disappointing performance at Iowa State, the Jayhawks are shifting their focus to the Sunflower Showdown, writes the Lawrence Journal-World's Matt Tait.
- The college career of TCU QB Casey Pachall is coming to a close, reports the Fort Worth Star-Telegram's Bill Hanna.
- The Oklahoman's Berry Tramel says it's time for Oklahoma State to let go of the West Virginia loss, the only blemish thus far in a spectacular season.
- Even after the loss at Oklahoma State, Baylor still has much to accomplish, writes the Waco Tribune-Herald's John Werner.
- The Red Raiders spent the off week trying to shore up their defensive line, writes the Lubbock Avalanche-Journal's Don Williams.
Team of the week: Oklahoma State took command of the Big 12 title race with a commanding 49-17 win over No. 4 Baylor. Behind the most dominant defensive performance in the Big 12 this season, the Cowboys limited the nation’s highest-scoring offense to just three points over the first three quarters. Oklahoma State also rolled up 594 yards of offense, too. The Cowboys are now 9-3 versus AP Top 25 teams going back to 2011, and after winning just one conference title from 1953 to 2010, Oklahoma State can win a second in three seasons with a victory over Oklahoma in two weeks.
Big (offensive) men on campus: Oklahoma State quarterback Clint Chelf, Oklahoma running back Brennan Clay, Kansas State wide receiver Tyler Lockett and Iowa State quarterback Grant Rohach.
Chelf unleashed the best performance of his career, completing 19 of 25 passes for a career-high 370 yards and three touchdowns. Chelf also had a 48-yard reception on a trick play. For the second consecutive week, Chelf posted the second-highest QBR in college football, delivering a score of 97.8 (scale zero to 100) against Baylor. He is now seventh in the FBS in QBR.
Clay also had a career day, rushing for a personal-best 200 yards and two touchdowns on 31 carries, with Damien Williams suspended, to lead OU to a 41-31 win over Kansas State.
Lockett had a monster performance, too, in the game, hauling in 12 passes for 278 yards and three touchdowns. Lockett’s 440 all-purpose yards broke Darren Sproles’ school record and were the second most ever in a Big 12 game.
Rohach, who had not thrown a touchdown pass in his five previous games, finished 15-of-20 passing with scoring throws of 58 and 15 yards to lead Iowa State to a 34-0 rout of Kansas.
Big (defensive) men on campus: Oklahoma State cornerbacks Tyler Patmon and Kevin Peterson.
Baylor’s pass-catchers entered the night leading the country in 30-, 40- and 50-yard receptions. Against the Cowboys, they had just two such receptions.
Even with All-American cornerback Justin Gilbert limited to spot duty because of a shoulder injury, the Cowboys still locked up Baylor’s receivers. Why? Patmon and Peterson, who held up remarkably well in man coverage on the outside against Baylor's Antwan Goodley and Levi Norwood. With Patmon and Peterson taking away the deep ball, the Cowboys were able to commit more bodies to pressuring QB Bryce Petty and shutting down Baylor’s rushing attack.
Patmon also delivered the Oklahoma State defense’s exclamation point when he scooped up a Petty fumble in the fourth quarter and raced 78 yards for a touchdown to put the Cowboys up 42-10.
Special-teams player of the week: Oklahoma’s Jalen Saunders. For the second consecutive week, a Saunders punt return proved to be the turning point in an OU win. With the Sooners up 27-24 early in the fourth quarter, Saunders fielded a short punt on the fly and dashed 30 yards to the K-State 3-yard line. Clay scored a touchdown on the next play, and the Wildcats never recovered from the special-teams swing.
Play of the week: Midway through the first quarter in Stillwater, QB Petty pulled the ball on a read-option and appeared to be on his way to a 27-yard touchdown. Instead, Petty’s feet got tangled up and he stumbled to the turf at the OSU 1. It proved to be a critical stumble. Two plays later, Shock Linwood tried to extend the ball over the goal line, but before he could, Cowboys defensive tackle James Castleman batted the ball out of Linwood’s hands and recovered the fumble. The Cowboys countered with a 99-yard touchdown drive to take a 7-0 lead and remained in control the rest of the night.
Stat of the week: Baylor has lost 35 straight road games to ranked opponents dating all the way back to 1991.
Quote of the week: "Without question, there are rodeos, and this is not their first one."
-- Baylor coach Art Briles, on Oklahoma State after the Cowboys defeated his Bears 49-17
Here are five revealing stats that helped the Sooners improve to 9-2.
Yards per play in the first quarter: Slow starts have become the signature of OU’s offense. That changed on Saturday as the Sooners averaged 7.53 yards per play in the first quarter en route to a 7-0 lead that helped take the crowd out of the game early. OU’s 128 total yards, 79 passing yards and 49 rushing yards were all season highs in Big 12 play. It’s hard to overrate the importance of getting off to a quick start with redshirt freshman Trevor Knight triggering the offense.
Knight’s adjusted QBR: Can’t really ask for a better performance from a redshirt freshman quarterback. Knight’s 90.3 adjusted QBR (scale of 0-100 with 50 being average) was No. 14 nationally this week. He finished 14 of 20 for 171 yards with one touchdown and one interception. Oklahoma State’s Clint Chelf was the only Big 12 quarterback with a higher adjusted QBR on Saturday.
Drives with zero first downs or touchdowns: For the first time in Big 12 play, OU did not have a drive without a first down or touchdown against the Wildcats. Just two games ago the Sooners offense was so inept it had 53.3 percent of its drives (8 of 15) end without a first down or touchdown against Baylor. This stat is perhaps the biggest representation of how dominant OU’s offensive line was against the Wildcats and how poised Knight was as he helped OU convert 9 of 15 third-down attempts.
KSU’s third-down yards per play: OU’s defense made some mistakes and, quite simply, lost some individual battles against KSU. But the Sooners defense was superb on third down. KSU ran nine third-down plays and gained two total yards. The Wildcats’ 0.22 yards per play on third down was easily the season low for a Sooners’ opponent, although OU has held three teams (KSU, TCU, Kansas) to less than one yard per play this season. OU’s ability to come up big in those key moments is one reason the Sooners’ defense is one of the Big 12’s best despite entering the season with several questions.
Percent of KSU runs for zero or negative yardage: The Sooners run defense was stellar, allowing 22 carries for 24 yards, 1.09 yards per carry. OU held the Wildcats to zero or negative yardage on 36.4 percent of their rush attempts. Only TCU had a tougher time gaining positive yardage on run plays against the Sooners defense this season (37 percent). OU’s season average is 22.3 percent.
1. Oklahoma State (10-1, 7-1 Big 12, last week 2): If the College Football Playoff era had come a year earlier, Oklahoma State would be a serious contender for inclusion. The Cowboys have been on fire for more than a month now, and could ascend to as high as fourth in the BCS going into Bedlam should Auburn, Missouri or Clemson fall in rugged games this weekend. Either way, there might not be a better one-loss team in college football right now than the Cowboys.
3. Texas (7-3, 6-1 Big 12, LW 3): The Longhorns still have a shot at an outright conference title, but they have to play much better than they did against Oklahoma State, which thoroughly whipped the Horns in Austin. Then again, Oklahoma State has been whipping everybody lately. Baylor no longer looks so invincible. And Tech, Texas' next opponent, hasn’t won a game in November in seemingly forever. This season hasn’t gone the way the Horns had hoped. But the chance remains for a special finish that, at the very least, would close the Mack Brown era with a good taste in everyone’s mouth.
4. Oklahoma (9-2, 6-2 Big 12, LW 5): Did the Sooners uncover -- well, re-uncover -- their QB of the future in Manhattan? Trevor Knight was splendid in his first career road start, with his running, decision-making and, in several cases, throwing. If Knight plays this way in Stillwater, Bedlam could get interesting.
5. Kansas State (6-5, 4-4 Big 12, LW 4): The Wildcats squandered an opportunity to show they belong in the upper tier of the Big 12 against OU. Now they’re all but locked into the National University Holiday Bowl, which isn’t so bad for a team that once was 2-4.
6. Texas Tech (7-4, 4-4 Big 12, LW 6): The Red Raiders have a prime opportunity to get off this 1-10 November slide on Thanksgiving in Austin. Tech played well in Arlington against Baylor, except for the turnovers. If the Red Raiders can limit the turnovers at Texas, they should be in the game in the fourth quarter with a chance for a huge victory to end the regular season.
7. West Virginia (4-7, 2-6 Big 12, LW 7): This season will end without a bowl. But at least the Mountaineers can hang their coonskin caps on what might wind up being the upset of the season in college football.
8. TCU (4-7, 2-6 Big 12, LW 8): Since TCU failed to qualify for a bowl, the Horned Frogs have turned their season finale against Baylor this weekend into a de facto bowl. TCU has talent coming back in 2014, with only six seniors graduating. If the Frogs can play Baylor tough, that will leave them feeling even better about their prospects for 2014 after a disastrous season.
9. Iowa State (2-9, 1-7 Big 12, LW 10): The Cyclones gave their fans a reprieve from a miserable season with a solid performance in a shutout of the Jayhawks. After throwing for 300 yards and two touchdowns, Grant Rohach might have taken command of the QB spot over the injured Sam Richardson going into 2014, too.
10. Kansas (3-8, 1-7 Big 12, LW 9): Back to the cellar.