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Big 12 Week Eight in Review

The Big 12 sees the gap widen between the top and bottom half of teams in the conference weekly. In Week Eight this was apparent again, as Oklahoma and West Virginia continued their hot streaks. They remain hot while others stay cold, all of which is covered in the Big 12 Week Eight review.

Game of the Week: Oklahoma 66, Texas Tech 59

High-scoring offenses are a given in the Big 12, but Oklahoma’s 66-59 win over Texas Tech was a record-shattering affair. The game’s most awe-inspiring performance came from Texas Tech’s Patrick Mahomes. Mahomes broke the NCAA record for total yards in a game with 819, simultaneously tying the passing yards record. Despite its quarterback’s record-setting day, Texas Tech’s defense couldn’t stop Oklahoma at all.

The Sooners had a number of gaudy statistical accomplishments as well. Quarterback Baker Mayfield passed for 545 yards and seven touchdowns while completing 75 percent of his passes. Dede Westbrook caught nine passes for the second-straight game and had 200+ receiving yards for the second time in three games. Joe Mixon racked up 377 yards from scrimmage, 263 on the ground and 114 through the air. All in all, the Sooners and Red Raiders combined for 1,708 yards of offense, another NCAA record. What this contest lacked in defensive stops was made up with non-stop scoring excitement.

Player of the Week: Patrick Mahomes, QB, Texas Tech

As mentioned above, Mahomes accomplished the greatest statistical day in college football history against Oklahoma. Passing for 734 yards and five touchdowns while also leading your team in rushing yards was unfathomable until now. His numbers are even more incredible considering he was not 100 percent healthy for the game. Throwing 88 passes while not at full health is an absurd athletic feat. Patrick Mahomes was incomparably good on Saturday, but still not good enough to overcome his team’s historically poor defense.

Statement Win of the Week: West Virginia 34, TCU 10

At some point these statements wins by West Virginia become the norm. WVU stopped another stellar offense this week, pounding TCU 34-10 at home. The Horned Frogs were scoring over 40 points per game entering Week Eight, but struggled mightily against the Mountaineers. West Virginia’s defense is allowing just 17.8 points per game after Saturday. This number drops to 14.3 in conference play, even against high-powered offenses like TCU’s and Texas Tech’s.

The Mountaineers offense deserves plenty of credit as well. Skyler Howard is quietly becoming one of the best quarterbacks in the Big 12. He threw for 231 yards and four touchdowns Saturday, bringing his passer efficiency rating this season to 154.7. Rushel Shell’s rushing excellence continues to take pressure off Howard; Shell ran for 117 yards this week.

Other Games Around the Conference:

Oklahoma State spoiled Kansas’ homecoming this week, winning 44-20 in Lawrence. The Cowboys led by just four with 6:24 remaining in the third quarter. However, three third quarter turnovers by the Jayhawks was too much for them to overcome. OSU tailback Justice Hill continues his strong freshman season, rushing for 162 yards and a score versus KU. Quarterback Montell Cozart started for the first time since Oct. 1 for Kansas, passing for 250 yards and two interceptions in the loss.

The downward spiral for Texas continues. Charlie Strong’s Longhorns lost 24-21 to Kansas State this week, bringing their overall record to 3-4. Texas cut a double-digit second half margin to one score but couldn’t complete the comeback. Freshman Shane Buechele threw for 222 yards and two touchdowns in the loss. K-State’s Jesse Ertz gained 249 total yards and accounted for all three Wildcats touchdowns (One passing, two rushing).

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