Jay Beck

Jay Beck

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Is anyone interested in heading back to college for a day? Apparently the answer is a resounding yes.

The Discover Fan Loyalty poll took to the streets this week to ask college football fans if given the chance, would they return to campus to relive one day of college?

burson-discover-FAN-LOYALTY-3-5nov2013Fifty-six percent responded they would indeed. Women were more likely than men to return for a day checking in at 60% versus 54% for men.

Even though the majority would jump at the chance to return, not everyone would be so interested, however. Of those polled, 40% said thanks, but no thanks. Apparently life after college is treating them just fine.

It also appears the older you get - hence the further away from the college experience - the less you think about going back. Among 18-29 year olds, 76% would head back while 60% of 30-39 year olds would take the plunge.

I'd be in for heading back for day if there were some ground rules put in place.

  • Not during finals.
  • It's on a Friday or Saturday.
  • Class optional

If those three stipluations are met, count me in. 

As for showing their fandom, most people are playing it safe with 79% or respondents indicating they've never done any of the below. For 17%, however, they've taken it to another level indicating they have done one of the following:

  • Getting a tattoo related to your team - 3%
  • Painting body part - 3%
  • Coloring your hair - 3%
  • Stolen the rival team's mascot - 1% (Nice!)
  • You've done more than one of these - 4%
  • You've done much crazier - 3% (What's crazier than stealing a mascot?)


So, let's be honest here, have you done any of the above?  And if it's worse, what exactly did you do?

Each week Discover also asks fans who they think is the best team in the country. Alabama continues to lead the way receiving 44% of the vote. Oregon (14%) Florida State (12%) and Ohio State (7%) round out the top four.

I'm guessing next week they'll be a shakeup in the poll with Oregon losing to Stanford on Thursday night. And should Alabama happen to fall to LSU on Saturday, well, there's no telling what will happen in the polls although Florida State figures to be the big benefactor. It also wouldn't be surprising to see Baylor crack the top five given their dominant performance over Oklahoma this week.

The Discover Fan Loyalty Poll is conducted twice a month by Rasmussen Reports, a nationally recognized leader in polling, who gathers sentiment by phone from 1500 college football fans who follow games at least once per week on television, radio, in person or online. The Poll leads up to the 2014 Discover Orange Bowl. Discover’s commitment to college football includes relationships with ESPN and Notre Dame Football on NBC.

Disclaimer: I am a paid brand Blogger for Discover Products Inc. My views are my own and do not necessarily reflect the views of Discover Products Inc. and its affiliates.

Friday, 08 November 2013 10:30

Baylor proves they belong in rout of Sooners

Whatever questions remained about Baylor entering Thursday night's game should now be put to rest. The Bears proved - without a doubt - they're a team deserving of being in the national title conversation in their 41-12 victory over the Sooners.

Baylor's normally high flying offense sputtered early, but it didn't matter because the Bears defense turned in their most impressive performance of the season.

''We didn't really feel like us the first quarter and a half of the game, but that has a lot to do with who you're playing,'' Art Briles said following the game. ''We were playing a team with good tradition, and tradition doesn't die easily.''

Oklahoma absolutely played a part in slowing down Baylor's offense which was averaging 64 points a game entering the contest. But you know what, Baylor got tested, didn't flinch, and beat a good Sooner team by 29 points.

Predictably, there are those now saying, well, Oklahoma simply isn't very good. But like Briles said about his team's performance being affected by their opponent, Baylor had plenty to do with making OU look like an inferior opponent.

Baylor's defense held Oklahoma's offense to just 237 yards on the night. The Sooners ground game was supposed to be the team's strength - and Baylor's defensive weakness following the 327 yards they allowed to K-State - but Oklahoma managed just 87 yards on 34 carries. The passing game wasn't much better as OU completed only 42.8% of their passes on the night.

Outside of Oklahoma's 10 play, 71 yard touchdown drive in the third quarter, the Bears' defense came up with big play, after big play while keeping the Sooners at bay and allowing their offense to get on track.

As for Baylor's offense, if there's a better unit in the country, I'd like to see it. Baylor's passing attack wasn't nearly as efficient as we've become accustomed to, but it wasn't the show stopper it might have been for a lesser team. Why? Because Baylor can also run the ball.

The Bears rushed for 255 yards on 54 carries while attempting only 26 passes in the game. And given the fact the bulk of those yards came from third string running back, Shock Linwood (182 yards on 23 carries), makes it even more impressive.

What team in the country can afford to lose their top two running backs to injury, plus their top wide receiver to a broken wrist, yet still churn out 459 yards and 41 points? Not many.

"We finally have Big 12 quality depth and that's something I've been saying for about a year. It showed off tonight. When you lose Lache [Seastrunk], Glasco [Martin], and Tevin Reese, and you still maintain and are still effective, that's a good thing," Briles said.

I'd say so. Combine that with a defense that continues to get better every time out and what you have is the making of a national title contending team.

But make no mistake, the tests Baylor will face are only just beginning. They'll play Texas Tech next weekend in Arlingotn, then travel to Stillwater to play Oklahoma State in a game that will be anything but a walk in the park.

Then there is, of course, the season finale against Texas in Waco. There are no guarantees as Oregon found out last night, but after Baylor's victory over Oklahoma, the Bears have to feel confident about where things are headed.

Sometimes there are games you don't need a reason to watch, they're just that good. That's the case for Oklahoma visit's to Baylor on Thursday night. If you're a fan of college football, well, you'll be watching.

That doesn't mean, however, there aren't plenty of storylines to keep your eye as this plays out. This list could probably by 50 bullet points long, but here are 10 reasons you won't want to miss what's going on in Waco Thursday night.

1. Is Baylor for real? Oh, they're for real, but that doesn't necessarily mean beating OU is a slam dunk.

The Bears have dismantled nearly every opponent on the schedule this season but there are still plenty of doubters pointing to the lack of a marquee win. There's no doubt OU will - hands down - have the best talent Baylor has faced all season. How the Bears handle a team with the same, or better, athletic talent across the board will be on everyone's mind Thursday night.

Baylor black out2. The Blackout. Floyd Casey Stadium hasn't exactly been known for its intimidating crowds over the years, but you can bet it'll be an entirely different atmosphere Thursday night. As you all know, the tarp is gone and the Baylor faithful are planning to black out the stadium. With only two games remaining at The Case, you can bet they'll want to send the old stadium out in a big way before the move to their new digs next season.

3. Baylor on the big stage. What Art Briles has done at Baylor is nothing short of amazing. Even with the improvements over the past two seasons, it's been a long while - or ever - since Baylor has been on the national stage like they will be Thursday night. Oklahoma, on the other hand, is more than accustomed to playing in these type of games. Will all the hype surrounding the game affect one team more than the other?

4. Blake Bell. The Oklahoma junior finally has the keys to the Sooners' offense all to himself. He's played well since taking over for Trevor Knight, but also had his least productive game of the season against Texas in OU's lone loss of the season. Bell will need to be on top of his game in order to avoid loss number two. Of course, a couple runs like this would bode well for OU.

5. The Big 12 race. If Baylor wins, their march toward the Big 12 title continues. On the other sideline, an Oklahoma loss would all but knock them out of title contention. A Sooner win, however, throws even more chaos into what is already shaping up to be a hectic finish.

6. Bryce Petty. Baylor's first year quarterback has been nothing short of phenomenal through the first seven games. But keep in mind, those are the only seven games he has started in his career and he's yet to face a team with the type of defensive speed he'll see from the Sooners, at least as the starting quarterback. He's been throwing to wide open receivers all season but what happens if he has to consistently fit it into tight windows against the very good Sooner secondary?

7. The Oklahoma ground game. There's been plenty of talk of the improvement of the Bear's defense this season. While there's little doubt Baylor's defense is playing on a different level than they have in the recent past, in their biggest test of the season, Kansas State racked up 327 yards on the ground. Can the Sooners have similar success?

8. The fourth quarter. For the Baylor players, they barely even know the fourth quarter exists. Their starters have only played in the fourth quarter in one game all season. If Oklahoma is able to make this a four quarter game, does that experience give OU the advantage down the stretch? Is Baylor's conditioning a factor in such a scenario? Hopefully we are able to find out.

9. The first quarter. For the fourth quarter to even matter, what happens in the first 15 minutes of the game will set the tone for the rest of the night. Baylor will want to come out, strike first,, and get their offensive rhythm going before the Sooners even know what hit them. If the Sooners can weather the storm early, they should be in good shape. If not, the game plan can go out the window which would play right in Baylor's hands.

10. The prediction. What is there not to like about this game? Goodness, it's going to be fun. Baylor is in store for their toughest game of the season but they'll come out on top for one simple reason; they have the better team. Oklahoma's defense will have some success early, but the Bears offense is simply too much to keep down for four quarters on their home field. If Baylor's bandwagon isn't already full, it will be after Thursday night. Baylor 45 Oklahoma 27.



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Richie Incognito has been in the news lately and for all the wrong reasons.

Unless you've been living under a rock, you know the one time Nebraska offensive lineman likely took things a bit too far with his treatment of teammate Jonathan Martin.

Without getting into the right and wrong of the whole situation, his former high school coach, Vic Eumont, had some interesting comments this week regarding the situation.

This snipet is from ESPN's Chris Mortensen in an article posted on Wednesday.

Martin's high school coach, Vic Eumont, told the Palm Beach Post that Martin's personality did not fit in with the Dolphins crowd.

"Before, he wasn't around Nebraska, LSU kind of guys," Eumont, a former Tulane offensive guard, told the Palm Beach Post. "He's always been around Stanford, Duke, Rice kind of players."

"In locker rooms full of Nebraska, LSU, Southern Cal players, Miami players -- they'll look at this as a weakness," Eumont told the paper. "If he makes it through all this, and if he was encouraged to come back, he'd come back with a vengeance."

Again, nobody is here to pass judgement on an obviously difficult situation, but aren't his comments off base, even just a little bit?

If I'm interpreting this right, the guy is basically saying that type of behavior is accepted at the Nebraska and the LSU's of the world.  Maybe he doesn't remember that Incognito was suspended for his behavior at Nebraska before he left and went to Oregon where he didn't even make it to the first game of the season.

If Martin is indeed going to come back with a vegance - and I hope he does - I wonder exactly where he'll be doing it.  NFL locker rooms aren't exactly crawling with Stanford, Duke, and Rice type of guys.

What Martin is facing is a culture in the NFL that probably isn't going to change overnight.  That doesn't make it right, but however this plays out, let's hope he finds a situation that better suits him and he goes onto a successful career.


Tuesday, 05 November 2013 17:13

Big 12 releases 2014 football schedule

The Big released its football schedule for the 2014 season on Tuesday.

You can see the release at Big12sports.com, but here are a few of the highlights.

Texas Tech heads to Oklahoma State on Thursday, September 25th for the first conference game of the season. Both teams will have an open week the Saturday prior and each will have already concluded the nonconference portion of the schedule.

In total, the Big 12 has three Thursday games on the schedule, for now. They are:

  • Sept. 25 Texas Tech @ Oklahoma State
  • Nov. 20 Kansas State @ West Virginia
  • Nov. 27 TCU @ Texas (Thanksgiving)


Oklahoma's visit to Iowa State is listed as Thursday, October 25 OR Saturday November 1st, so there could be one additional Thursday night game, as well. (The Sooners should know better than to play a week night at Jack Trice, shouldn't they?)

The final weekend of the season, Saturday, December 6th, includes two and possibly three conference games to coincide with the other conferences hosting their championship games.

Iowa State will visit TCU along with Kansas State heading to Waco to wrap up the season.  Bedlam will be played either on the Saturday after Thanksgiving or on the first Saturday in December. Why they wouldn't play that on the final weekend, I don't know, but it has yet to be officially decided.

The Red River Rivalry between Texas and Oklahoma will be played on October 11th next season.

Texas will have just six home games for the fourth straight season. There is of course the game with OU in the Cotton Bowl, but UT will also play UCLA in Arlington giving them two neutral site games, both of which are in their home state, however.

Baylor won't host its first Big 12 game in their new stadium until October 11th. The Bears travel to Buffalo with a bye week then preceding road games at Iowa State and Texas. Baylor will have only one conference home game before the calendar flips to November.

If you're looking for a fall day to get some yard work done, September 20th might be your day.  Six teams will be enjoying an open date that weekend although Kansas State will host Auburn which should provide plenty of intrigue.

Also of note, Kansas State is still looking for one more opponent to complete their schedule.  Texas-San Antonio backed out of their game originally scheduled for September 27th.  The new opponent will likely fill one of the three open dates during September.

Here is a look at all 10 of the schedules for next season.

Baylor 2014 schedule
Date Opponent
08/30/14 SMU
09/06/14 Northwestern St.                              
09/13/14 @ Buffalo
09/20/14 OPEN
09/27/14  @ Iowa State
10/04/14  @ Texas
10/11/14  TCU
10/18/14  @ West Virginia
10/25/14  OPEN
11/01/14  Kansas
11/08/14  @ Oklahoma
11/15/14  OPEN
11/22/14  Oklahoma State
11/29/14 vs. Texas Tech (in Arlington)
12/06/14 Kansas State
Iowa St 2014 schedule
Date Opponent
08/30/14 North Dakota State              
09/06/14 OPEN
09/13/14 @ Iowa
09/20/14 Toledo
09/27/14 Baylor
10/04/14  @ Oklahoma State
10/11/14  Kansas State
10/18/14  @ Texas
10/25/14  OPEN
10/30/14  Oklahoma (Thurs or Sat. 11/1)
11/08/14  @ Kansas
11/15/14 OPEN
11/22/14 Texas Tech
11/26/14 West Virginia
12/06/14 @ TCU


Kansas 2014 schedule
Date Opponent
08/30/14 Open
09/06/14 SE Missouri State
09/13/14 @ Duke
09/20/14 Central Michigan
09/27/14 Texas
10/04/14 @ West Virginia
10/11/14 Oklahoma State                                
10/18/14 @ Texas Tech
10/25/14 OPEN
11/01/14 @ Baylor
11/08/14 Iowa State
11/15/14 TCU
11/22/14 @ Oklahoma
11/29/14 @ Kansas State
Kansas St. 2014 schedule
Date Opponent
08/30/14  Stephen F. Austin                      
09/06/14  TBD (or OPEN)
09/13/14  TBD (or OPEN)
09/20/14  Auburn
09/27/14  TBD ( or OPEN)
10/04/14  Texas Tech
10/11/14 @ Iowa State
10/18/14 @ Oklahoma
10/25/14 Texas
11/01/14 Oklahoma State
11/08/14 @ TCU
11/15/14 OPEN
11/20/14  @ West Virginia (Thurs)
11/29/14 Kansas
12/06/14 @ Baylor


Oklahoma 2014 schedule
Date Opponent
08/30/14 Louisiana Tech
09/06/14 OPEN
09/13/14 Tennessee
09/20/14 @ Tulsa
09/27/13 @ West Virginia                                 
10/04/14 @ TCU
10/11/14 vs. Texas (in Dallas)
10/18/14 Kansas State
10/25/14 OPEN
10/30/14 @ Iowa State (Thurs or Sat. 11/1)
11/08/14 Baylor
11/15/14 @ Texas Tech
11/22/14 Kansas
11/29/14 Oklahoma State (OR 12/6/14)
Oklahoma St. 2014 schedule
Date Opponent
08/30/14 vs. Florida State (in Arlington)
09/06/14 Missouri State
09/13/14 UT San Antonio
09/20/14 OPEN
09/25/14 Texas Tech (Thurs)
10/04/14 Iowa State
10/11/14 @ Kansas
10/18/14 @ TCU
10/25/14 West Virginia
11/01/14 @ Kansas State
11/08/14 OPEN
11/15/14 Texas
11/22/14 @ Baylor
11/29/14 @ Oklahoma (OR 12/6/14)


Texas 2014 schedule
Date Opponent
08/30/14 North Texas
09/06/14 BYU
09/13/14 vs. UCLA (in Arlington)                     
09/20/14 OPEN
09/27/14 @ Kansas
10/04/14 Baylor
10/11/14 vs. Oklahoma (in Dallas)
10/18/14 Iowa State
10/25/14 @ Kansas State
11/01/14 @ Texas Tech
11/08/14 West Virginia
11/15/14 @ Oklahoma State
11/22/14 OPEN
11/27/14 TCU (Thurs/Thanksgiving night)
Texas Tech 2014 schedule
Date Opponent
08/30/14 Central Arkansas
09/06/14 @ UTEP
09/13/14 Arkansas
09/20/14 OPEN
09/25/14 @ Oklahoma State (Thurs)       
10/04/14 @ Kansas State
10/11/14 West Virginia
10/18/14 Kansas
10/25/14 @ TCU
11/01/14 Texas
11/08/14 OPEN
11/15/14 Oklahoma
11/22/14 @ Iowa State
11/29/14 vs. Baylor (in Arlington)


TCU 2014 schedule
Date Opponent
08/30/14 Samford
09/06/14 OPEN
09/13/14 Minnesota
09/20/14 OPEN
09/27/14 @ SMU
10/04/14 Oklahoma
10/11/14 @ Baylor
10/18/14 Oklahoma State                                 
10/25/14 Texas Tech
11/01/14 @ West Virginia
11/08/14 Kansas State
11/15/14 @ Kansas
11/22/14 OPEN
11/27/14 @ Texas (Thurs/Thanksgiving)
12/06/14 Iowa State
West Virginia 2014 schedule
Date Opponent
08/30/14 vs. Alabama (in Atlanta           )
09/06/14 Townson
09/13/14 @ Maryland
09/20/14 OPEN
09/27/14 Oklahoma
10/04/14 Kansas
10/11/14 @ Texas Tech
10/18/14 Baylor
10/25/14 @ Oklahoma State
11/01/14 TCU
11/08/14 @ Texas
11/15/14 OPEN
11/20/14 Kansas State (Thurs)
11/29/14 @ Iowa State

On Thursday night, Oklahoma's defense will be trying to do what only Kansas State has been able to do this season; keep Baylor's offense in check.

And if we're being honest here, "in check" is a relative term seeing how the Bears still scored on touchdown tosses of 93, 75, and 54 yards. Even so, Kansas State held Baylor to 451 total yards which was only the second time all season Baylor didn't crack the 700 yard mark in total offense.

So what did Kansas State do? "Held the ball on offense," Bill Snyder said. " We ran for about 330 yards so we had the ball on offense a great deal of the time and kept them off the field."

For the game, Kansas State nearly doubled Baylor's time of possession (39:24 to 20:36). Of course, going slow on offense doesn't do much good if you're not picking up yards and moving the chains and that's exactly what K-State did. The Wildcats had six drives of eight plays or more and five of those drives resulted in points (the sixth was a missed FG).

Daniel Sams rushed for 199 yards while John Hubert added another 100 providing the bulk of the offense as KSU only threw for only 118 yards in the game.

K-State's ability to pound out yards on the ground allowed Baylor to run only 58 offensive plays which is far fewer plays than in any game this season. Of course, what also affected that number were three Baylor scoring drives that all took less than 1:12 (and two took only :34 and :38 seconds), but take away those big plays/quick drives, and by and large, K-State played even with the Bears for the bulk of the game.

So the best defense in stopping Baylor is a good offense, but your defense still has to take the field at some point and for the Cats defense that meant corralling one of Baylor's best weapons. The Wildcats were able to slow the Baylor ground game to a halt giving up just 109 yards on 37 carries. Lache Seastrunk has topped 100 yards in every game this season except one. Kansas State held him to 59 yards on 12 carries.

How impressive is that? The Bears have rushed for at least 280 yards in every other game this season. Some of those stats might be skewed slightly since Baylor has had to run the clock in the fourth quarter of every game this season, but BU's ground game is every bit as good as their passing game.

"I thought we played well with our front seven against the run game," Snyder said. "I think that was first and foremost. It was probably the best game we have played with our front seven during the course of the year."

Based on the success Kansas State had against the Bears, will Oklahoma model their game plan in a similar fashion? If I'm Josh Heupel, you had better believe it.

The Sooners have a physical ground game that's proven throughout the season its one of the league's best. They'll rely more on the tailbacks more than Kansas State did, but whether it be Damien Williams, Brennan Clay, Roy Finch, or Blake Bell, OU has the weapons to pick up chunks of yards on the ground.

That's not to say they couldn't move the ball through the air, as well, but you're also playing with fire if they decide to go that route. If you're going to put the ball in the air, you had better be completing a high percentage of those passes. That is something Bell wasn't able to do in their lone loss against Texas when he completed just 46.2% of his throws (12 of 26).

The biggest question mark for OU will be their ability to slow Seastrunk with the same consistency K-State did. Texas was able to take advantage of the absence of Jordan Phillips (DT) and Corey Nelson (LB) who were lost to season ending injuries. Texas rushed for 255 yards against the Sooners which also opened up the throwing lanes for Case McCoy who had two long pass plays for scores of his own.

I'd expect Baylor to test the middle of the OU line with not only Seastrunk, but Glasco Martin as well, early in the game. If they can have success in stopping the run, it stands to reason the athletes in OU's secondary can do a better job of not letting Baylor's wide outs get behind them the way there were able to against KSU on occasion.

It sounds easy, right? The Wildcats did benefit from having Baylor at home, a luxury the Sooners will be without, but K- State laid out the plan. Now the Sooners just have to make it work.

Of course, having the game plan and actually executing it are two different things entirely especially against Baylor's arsenal of weapons. The Bears have made mince meat of everyone on their schedule but Kansas State.  The Sooners have far better athletes overall than does K-State.  Baylor is out to prove they are no joke.  Yeah, Thursday night in Waco should be fun.

Monday, 04 November 2013 12:25

Big 12 power poll: week ten

Who is ready for Thursday night?

1.(-) Baylor (7-0): The Bears are undefeated and piling up points at a record pace. Even so, there are plenty of people not drinking the green kool-aid just yet. Baylor isn't worried about all that, but they can certainly make a point with the country watching Thursday night. Up next: Oklahoma.

2. (-) Texas (6-2): The Longhorns picked up their fourth straight win although Kansas gave them more of a fight than some expected. Texas still has their sights set on a Big 12 title, but they shouldn't look too far ahead with a tough road test on the docket this weekend. Up next: @ West Virginia.

3. (↑1) Oklahoma (7-1): The Sooners have - to an extent - been a forgotten entity since falling to Texas in the Cotton Bowl. They can help jog some people's memory by knocking off Baylor Thursday night. Up next: @ Baylor.

4. (↑1) Oklahoma State (7-1): Speaking of teams being forgotten, nobody has talked much about the Cowboys after the disappointing performance in Morgantown. That should start to change with their impressive showing in Lubbock. They get a bit of a breather this week before a tough closing stretch that will define their season. Up next: Kansas.

5. (↓2) Texas Tech (7-2): Texas Tech has suffered two tough losses in back-to-back weeks and it won't be getting any easier over the final weeks of the season. Which direction is this going to go? From a 7-0 start to a ?-? finish? Up next: Kansas State.

6. (-) Kansas State (4-4): It shouldn't be any surprise the Wildcats are starting to play their best football of the season. They may not be in contention for a Big 12 title themselves, but that doesn't mean they won't play a part in who wins this thing over the season's final month. Up next: @ Texas Tech.

7. (-) West Virginia (4-5): The Mountaineers picked up a huge overtime victory against TCU and now have a chance to put a dent in Texas' chances at a Big 12 title. Who is Oliver Luck cheering for in this one? Joking, I think. Up next: Texas.

8. (-) TCU (3-6): It could be an extra long off season for the Horned Frogs this winter. TCU now needs to win its final three games if they want to be practicing as a team come December. Up next: @ Iowa State.

9. (↑1) Kansas (2-6): The Jayhawks may not be winning many football games, but give KU credit, they aren't laying down for anybody, either. Can they find a win over their final four games? I'm almost leaning towards saying 'yes'. Up next: @ Oklahoma State.

10. (↓1) Iowa State (1-7): The Cyclones are a beat up group and it showed Saturday against the Kansas State. That's not a good thing for a team that had little depth to begin with. I guess if there's a silver lining in being a 1-7 football team, plenty of one guys are getting an abundance of playing time which hopefully will pay off down the road. Up next: TCU.

Have you caught your breath yet?

Unbelievable.  I'm not sure what else their is to say.

Following the loss to Minnesota, this is, well, exactly what the Huskers needed.

There was this huge play setting up Ron Kellogg's final touchdown heave.


There was a complete 180 done by the defense following the miserable first quarter.

There were injuries, a penalty filled drive, a couple ill-timed turnovers, and of course this.


How many times can one person watch this before it gets old?

We can all worry about Michigan and Michigan State another day.

West Virginia went for one heck of a see-saw ride Saturday afternoon in Fort Worth.

The Mountaineers trailed by 14 points in the second quarter before coming back to take a 10 point fourth quarter lead only to see TCU rally in the final five minutes to tie the game and force overtime.

After TCU missed a 62 yard field goal on its first possession in OT, Josh Lambert booted a 34 yard field goal for the West Virginia win giving the Mountaineers a boost they desperately needed following three straight Big 12 losses.

"We were up by 10 points in the fourth quarter and all of a sudden they come back and tie it up. We could have said, 'Here we go again,' but we didn't do that and we found a way to get it done," Holgorsen said following the game.

And by getting it done, West Virginia dramatically increased their chances of getting some extra practice time come December.

Coming into the game with TCU, West Virginia needed to win three of its final four games just to qualify for a bowl game. That number is now two of their final three games and with Kansas and Iowa State still on the schedule, that task all of sudden appears much more likely to happen than it did early Saturday afternoon when TCU jumped out to a 14 point lead.

Instead, the Mountaineers left the must-win games to TCU. The Horned Frogs now must win all three of their remaining games against Iowa State, Kansas State, and Baylor in order to keep their streak of nine straight bowl games alive.

West Virginia will play host to Texas next weekend and although it's no longer a must win for bowl eligibility, you can bet the Mountaineers would like nothing more than to put a huge black eye on the Longhorn's chances of winning the Big 12 title. Texas is now 5-0 in Big 12 play following their victory over Kansas on Saturday.

#12 Oklahoma State (6-1) @ #15 Texas Tech (7-1)

  • Game time: 6:00
  • TV: FOX
  • Sirius Channel: 85
  • The Spread: Texas Tech -1.5


Oklahoma State and Texas Tech enter Saturday night's game in Lubbock each with one conference loss. Both teams, however, remain in control of their own destiny in the Big 12 title chase. Which ever team falters Saturday night may have to start thinking about second place, however, with Baylor and Texas still undefeated, and that's not to forget about Oklahoma who is sitting on one loss.

The Red Raiders will be trying to rebound from their first loss of the season after falling to the Sooners last weekend, 38-30. Up until last Saturday, Tech's run defense had been stout but the Sooners were able to gash them on the ground for 277 yards.

Was that a one game blip on the radar or were the Sooners onto something? We may have the answer to that question come Saturday with the Cowboys turning to Desmond Roland at the running back position last weekend against Iowa State. The junior ran for 219 yards against the Cyclones after seeing limited action for most of the season.

Logic would seem to indicate that OSU would attack Tech the same way given the Sooners' success, not to mention, the inconsistent quarterback play from J.W. Walsh and Clint Chelf may make it a necessity more than anything else.

Keys to the Game:

1. Turnovers. Here is some football 101 for you: turning the ball over doesn't help a team win games, especially against good teams0 Texas Tech turned the ball over three times against OU which is a big reason they suffered their first loss of the season. For the season, Texas Tech has turned it over 19 times and are -6 in turnover margin on the season.

Oklahoma State, on the other hand, has just 10 turnovers on the season and leads the Big 12 with a +9 margin in turnovers. Take away the four turnovers they suffered against TCU and they've turned it over just six times on the season.

Advantage: Oklahoma State.

2. Jones AT&T Stadium: There's nothing Oklahoma State can do about the venue, but you can bet the Jones will be rocking Saturday night. The Cowboys played their worst game of the season in Morgantown and can't afford to have a repeat performance on the road.

3.   The Oklahoma State quarterbacks. The emergence of Roland helps, but the Cowboys quarterbacks are a combined 30 of 67 (44.7%) over the past two games. That might be good enoughagainst TCU and Iowa State but likely won't get it done Saturday night.

4. Jace Amaro. Nobody has been able to cover Texas Tech's tight end all season who has at least eight receptions in seven straight games. If the Cowboys can find a way to take away Davis Webb's safety net, that's a big plus in their favor. Of course, that's much easier said than done..

The Prediction:

How about a coin flip? Oklahoma State and Texas Tech's season have nearly mirrored each other with both benefiting from a relatively easy schedule to date. Texas Tech's game against OU is the only game either has played against teams in the top five of the Big 12.

Texas Tech looks to have the more potent offense while the Cowboys likely have the defensive advantage. Neither team has ran the ball exceptionally well all season.

Here's the one big difference between the teams, however. Texas Tech knows who they are. While Kliff Kingsbury won't shy away from the running game, their bread and butter is playing fast and throwing the rock. Sound familiar Oklahoma State?

The Cowboys, meanwhile, have struggled to find an offensive identity for most of the season. At times, the passing game has gotten it done. Other times, they've turned to the running game like last week against Iowa State. But if you're being honest, what are they really good at? I'm not sure even Mike Gundy nor Mike Yurcich know the answer to that.

At this point in the season, you are who you are. Advantage, Red Raiders.

Texas Tech will throw for - let's say 350 yards - while the Cowboys offense will have trouble keeping pace. A couple turnovers will keep the game within reach, but Tech will be too much on their home turf. The Red Raiders keep their Big 12 title hopes alive. Texas Tech 34 Oklahoma State 27.



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