Big 12 Notebook: Oklahoma teams stay perfect, Kansas State struggles

Michael Shapiro

As the Longhorns traveled west last week for a date with the University of Southern California on Saturday night, the rest of the Big 12 continued its out-of-conference slate in the final week before Big 12 play. Here’s how the conference fared in week three.

Sooners, Cowboys roll

The two highest-ranked teams in the Big 12 had no problem dispatching their respective opponents on Saturday, as Oklahoma dismantled Tulane 56-14 while Oklahoma State left Heinz Field in Pittsburgh with a 59-21 victory. Both squads still reside in the top 10 of the AP Poll following their decisive victories, with Oklahoma sitting at No. 3 and Oklahoma State at No. 6.

One week after Sooners quarterback Baker Mayfield tossed his name into Heisman consideration following Oklahoma’s win over then-No. 2 Ohio State, it was Mason Rudolph’s time to shine in week three. The senior Oklahoma State quarterback decimated the Pittsburgh defense in the first half, sprinting out to a 35-0 lead midway through the second quarter. By game’s end, Rudolph had tallied 497 passing yards on 23 completions, tossing five touchdowns.

The two teams look to be the premier squads in the Big 12 this season, with each sporting national title aspirations. They’ll face off on Nov. 4 at Oklahoma State, and possibly again in the Big 12 Championship Game on Dec. 2 in Arlington, Texas.

Wildcats offense struggles 

After posting 55 points in each of its first two weeks, Kansas State’s offense sputtered against SEC competition in week three, losing to Vanderbilt 14-7 in Nashville. The Wildcats were able to produce significant yardage on the ground against the Commodores, rushing for 201 yards, but failed to move the ball through the air. Quarterback Jesse Ertz struggled mightily, going just 10-28 on the evening for 76 yards. Throw in two interceptions, and it was a game to forget for the senior.

Kansas State will face winless Baylor next week before heading to Austin for a week-five battle with the Longhorns.

TCU wins shootout 

The No. 16 Horned Frogs improved to 3–0 on the season on Saturday after racking up 56 points against visiting SMU. The victory marked TCU’s third consecutive double-digit victory, including a 28-7 win over Arkansas in week two.

Leading the way for the Horned Frogs was senior quarterback Kenny Hill. The former Texas A&M signal caller threw for 365 yards, totaling four touchdowns. Hill has now completed 75 percent of his passes on the year, throwing just
two interceptions.

Hill’s competition will certainly get stiffer next week, though. TCU is slated for a trip to Stillwater, Oklahoma, on Saturday for a matchup with the Cowboys and their explosive offense. For TCU to take down one of the top teams in the Big 12, Hill will need to continue his impressive play through the season’s opening weeks.