Big 12 Notebook: Oklahoma shines, Bears upset

Michael Shapiro

As the Longhorns nabbed their first win of the year against San Jose State on Saturday, five Big 12 teams came away with wins of their own, while three faltered against non-conference opponents. Here’s how the conference fared in week two.

Sooners stun Ohio State: 

Oklahoma quarterback Baker Mayfield planted the Sooners’ flag at midfield in Columbus, Ohio, following the team’s 31-16 victory over Ohio State on Saturday night, marking the program’s biggest win of the Lincoln Riley era. Stabbing the Sooners’ flag into the turf put an exclamation mark on Mayfield’s standout performance, an evening in which the senior threw for 386 yards and three touchdowns. 

The win vaulted Mayfield into the Heisman conversation a year after he finished third in voting for the award. As for his team, the Sooners jumped from No. 5 to No. 2 in the AP poll. The Sooners received two first-place votes, trailing Alabama and its 58 first-place nods.

Bears shocked, again:

Baylor suffered its second consecutive loss on Saturday, falling to UTSA 17-10 at McLane Stadium in Waco. The Bears entered the matchup as 18-point favorites, one week after losing to Liberty while entering the contest favored by over 37 points. Not exactly the start to the season new head coach Matt Rhule was looking for. 

The defeat spurred a change of quarterback for the Bears. Rhule announced on Monday that sophomore Zach Smith will earn the start next week over senior Anu Solomon, a transfer from Arizona. Smith appeared in 10 games for Baylor in 2016, tossing 13 touchdowns and seven interceptions.

Saturday’s loss marked Baylor’s first 0–2 start since 2003, and the team’s first four-game home losing streak dating back to 2007. And things don’t project to get easier anytime soon. The Bears travel to Durham, North Carolina, for a battle with 2–0 Duke next week, and they’ll face the red-hot Sooners one week after.

TCU avenges 2016 defeat:

Arkansas handed TCU its first loss of the season in 2016 when the Razorbacks came away with a double-overtime victory in Fort Worth. After the Horned Frogs stormed back in the 4th quarter with a 21-8 run to tie the game, Arkansas quarterback Austin Allen scampered into the endzone from five yards out. The loss dropped TCU to 1–1 on the year, a prelude to the team’s disappointing 6–7 campaign.

The Horned Frogs exacted revenge on Arkansas on Saturday, though, leaving Fayetteville with a 28–7 victory. TCU leaned on its rushing attack throughout the day, led by sophomore Darius Anderson. The Rosenberg native entered Saturday’s contest with just 296 career yards, but registered his first 100-yard game against the Razorbacks, ending the evening with 106 yards and a touchdown. Look for Anderson to be a larger focus of the Horned Frogs’ offense moving forward.