Big 12 Notebook: Cowboys win shootout, Mayfield continues Heisman hopes

Dawson Hinkley

Aside from the Longhorns’ win over Iowa State on Thursday night and two other Big 12 matchups, the rest of the conference sat out during week four, opting to use their bye week before conference competition really heated up. Here’s how the week shook out for the few Big 12 teams in action. 

Cowboys win shootout 

After losing its undefeated season against TCU last week, Oklahoma State traveled to Jones AT&T Stadium in Lubbock to take on Texas Tech on Saturday. The loss to TCU drastically lowered the Cowboys’ playoff hopes heading into the matchup, dropping them to No. 15 nationally. 

Last season, OSU narrowly took down a star-studded Texas Tech offense by one point with a final score of 45-44. With quarterback Mason Rudolph still at the helm for the Cowboys, another high scoring shootout was expected between these offensive juggernauts. And a shootout it was indeed.

Rudolph threw for 376 yards and added three passing touchdowns to bring his total on the year to 16. The prolific scoring affair came down to the wire, but Oklahoma State scored in the final minutes to take a 41-34 victory over the Red Raiders. Despite the high scoring affair, Saturday’s contest was the first meeting between the Cowboys and Red Raiders to produce less than 80 total points since 2011.

Baylor’s losing streak continues

Kansas State got back to its winning ways against Baylor over the weekend, taking down the Bears on the backs of its run-first, pass-second offense, which became a staple under longtime head coach Bill Snyder. 

Baylor was within striking distance for much of the game, cutting the lead down to a touchdown entering the fourth quarter. But in the end, the Bears’ defense proved to be no match for Kansas State quarterback Jesse Ertz’s combination of strong runs and methodical passes. Ertz would finish the game as the leading rusher with 95 yards and a rushing touchdown as well as 119 yards and a touchdown through the air. Kansas State claimed the victory 33-20, dropping Baylor to 0–5 on the season.

Mayfield holds Heisman hopes

Coming into the season, all eyes were on the quarterback wearing crimson in Norman, Oklahoma, as Sooners’ quarterback Baker Mayfield was selected as one of the top Heisman candidates in the nation. Last year, Mayfield finished third in Heisman voting, trailing Louisville’s Lamar Jackson and Clemson’s Deshaun Watson.

Mayfield hasn’t disappointed this year. He’s thrown for 13 touchdowns along with a career-high QBR of 93.3. And he’s added some swagger as well. He planted the Sooners’ flag in the middle of Ohio State’s field after Oklahoma took down the Buckeyes in Columbus, Ohio on Sept. 9.

Mayfield’s toughest competition comes from Penn State running back Saquon Barkley, who has put up four rushing touchdowns and two receiving touchdowns this year, along with 574 rushing yards. If Mayfield wants to represent the Big 12 as the Heisman winner this year, he’ll have to go through Barkley first.