Big 12 Notebook: TCU falls in upset, Cowboys slide by Mountaineers

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Over the weekend, Texas bounced back from last week’s heartbreaking loss to No. 11 Oklahoma State, traveling to Waco to deal winless Baylor a 38-7 loss. The rest of the Big 12 was also in action over the weekend in four conference matchups. Here’s how they shaped up:

TCU handed first loss

The Horned Frogs came into their Saturday matchup with Iowa State as the only undefeated team in the Big 12, ranked No. 4 in the nation. Before TCU traveled to Ames, Iowa, it was the frontrunner to win the Big 12, in position to be the lone representative from the conference in the College Football Playoff. By the end of the Saturday’s battle, however, it would be Iowa State who took the conference lead.

Iowa State’s lone conference loss this season came at the hands of Texas. Besides that early hiccup, the Cyclones have been taking down Big 12 contenders left and right, having already knocked off Oklahoma earlier in the season. 

Saturday quickly turned into a hard-fought defensive battle on both sides, ending with a TCU quarterback Kenny Hill interception in the final minutes. The Cyclones scored 14 points in the first half, riding the early lead to a final score of 14-7. The results shook up the AP poll, vaulting Iowa State up to No. 14 and dropping TCU to No. 10.

Oklahoma State slides by West Virginia

No. 11 Oklahoma State is still sitting in prime position to contend for the Big 12 Championship. With the Cowboys lone Big 12 loss being to TCU and a match with Oklahoma coming up soon, a strong showing in their weekend matchup with West Virginia was a must. The Mountaineers would make a close game out of the contest with passing touchdown leader Will Grier at the helm.

Oklahoma State pulled out to a 23-10 lead going into the half, but the point deficit would not deter the Mountaineers. West Virginia showed new life in the second half as they began to mount a slow comeback. In the end, though, West Virginia could not overcome the Cowboys’ prolific and energetic offense. Behind running back J.D. King’s 142 yards on the ground, the Cowboys left West Virginia with a 50-39 victory.

Texas Tech falters in second half

Many expected a shootout in Norman, Oklahoma, on Saturday night, with the high-octane Texas Tech offense squaring off against likely Heisman candidate quarterback Baker Mayfield. And after a high-octane first half that saw 48 points scored, a shootout quickly emerged.

The first half of the game proved to be a tough back and forth between both teams, with all eyes on the playmaking offenses. As the first half came to a close, the Sooners mounted a 28-20 lead they would take into the locker room. In the second half, a Nic Shimonek-led Red Raider offense was stopped in its tracks by the Sooners’ stout defense. 

The Red Raiders would only score one touchdown in the second half while Oklahoma went on an offensive explosion, concluding in a 49-27 Sooners victory. Mayfield kept his name in the Heisman talk, throwing for four touchdowns in the win.