Is the Big 12 heading to a rematch of Bedlam in the Big 12 championship game? Not if the Kansas Jayhawks have anything to say about it. Or the Texas Longhorns possibly could put it together for 12 full games this year. The Big 12 week three takeaways are starting to provide some clarity on the pecking order of the conference. Three programs in particular had statement victories for different reasons. But one Big 12 program has to be wondering if they were just overlooking their opponent, or if it revealed real concerns about their offense.
Big 12 Week Three Takeaways
In a game that was ripe for Nebraska to rally around itself and give Oklahoma at least a competitive game, the Sooners quickly squashed any hope of that in Lincoln. Nebraska jumped out to a 7-0 lead early in the game before Oklahoma would rattle off the next 49 points. The 49-14 victory is Oklahoma’s most lopsided victory over Nebraska since a 45-10 win in 1990. It is also the most points Oklahoma has ever scored in Lincoln. The Sooners’ offense looks like Lincoln Riley never left. Oklahoma finished the game with 580 total yards, 312 of which came on the ground. Much was made in the offseason of quarterback Dillion Gabriel reuniting with his offensive coordinator Jeff Lebby. Gabriel’s best season came when both were at UCF in 2019.
Gabriel would finish this game 16-of-27 passing for 230 yards and two touchdowns. And while Oklahoma’s offense has not shown any real concerns yet this season, the defense had yet to be really tested. And for as much turmoil as Nebraska has gone through this season, the offense was not the problem. Coming into this game, the Cornhuskers had been averaging 37 points per game through three games. But the Sooners’ defensive performance made it clear that head coach Brent Venables’ defensive mindset has taken over in Norman. Oklahoma held Nebraska to 3.6 yards per rushing attempt on 45 carries, forced two turnovers, and limited Nebraska to only 327 yards of total offense on 76 plays.
It Is Time To Respect Kansas
The biggest of the Big 12 week three takeaways has to be the Kansas Jayhawks. Lance Leipold took his Jayhawks down to Houston and throttled the Cougars by a score of 48-30. And it just might be time to start a Heisman campaign for Kansas quarterback Jalon Daniels. Daniels was 14-of-23 passing for 158 yards and three touchdowns. He also had 123 yards rushing on only 12 attempts and two touchdowns. Anyone who put a futures bet on Kansas before the season, congratulations. Vegas set the Jayhawk’s win total at 2.5 wins this season. Not too many times a college football futures bet cashes in before the calendar turns to October. Kansas takes on fellow basketball blue blood Duke next week in Lawrence in a battle of two 3-0 teams.
Texas Avoids Their “Texas” Let Down
Under most circumstances, Texas beating UTSA by a score of 41-20 shouldn’t be anything of significance. The Roadrunners are a solid group of five program, but Texas should win this game handily just about every time they play it. The difference here is that the Longhorns were able to prove they can quickly turn the page effort getting up for a big-name opponent. For the first half of football, Texas did look sluggish. The 17-17 halftime score accurately reflected that. The letdown storm was brewing that has hovered over Austin for the last 10+ seasons. But head coach Steve Sarkisian and his crew re-grouped at halftime and dominated the second half. Does it mean Texas will compete for a Big 12 title? Not yet. However, a convincing win next week on the road against Texas Tech could be the first true sign Texas is ready to compete for the Big 12 title this season.
Other Notable Big 12 Week Three Takeaways
- All that Kansas State momentum quickly came crashing down due to a crushing green wave. Tulane moves to 3-0 after traveling into the Little Apple and delivering a stunning 17-10 loss to the Wildcats. The physical rushing attack of Kansas State was held to just 4.4 yards per carry. Tulane actually lost the turnover battle (2-0). But the play in the game came with 2:03 left in the game. In large part to their suffocating defense effort all game, head coach Willie Fritz sent his offense back on the field on 4th and one…FROM THEIR OWN 24-yard line. Tulane converted and was able to line up in victory formation to seal the game. Kansas State looks to bounce back in conference play next week against Oklahoma.
- Texas Tech’s defense continues to be the unit shining the brightest for the Red Raiders so far this season. However, it was not enough as NC State stifled the Texas Tech offense and gave Red Raiders their first loss of the season by a score of 27-14.
- Three other Big 12 schools rolled big over non-power five opponents. Oklahoma State beat Arkansas-Pine Bluff 63-7. Baylor bounced back after losing to BYU. The Bears beat Texas State by a score of 42-7. Iowa State remains undefeated after 43-10 victory over Ohio. And finally, West Virginia got its first win of the season over Towson 65-7.