Rumors of Texas’ demise this season are premature. The Longhorns made a solid statement Saturday night, cautioning everyone in college football that they are far from done. The Longhorns dominated Kansas State on both sides of the ball and rebounded from back-to-back bad losses in defeating the Wildcats 31-21 and evening their season record to 2-2.
In the lone conference game contested over the weekend, Texas joined Texas Tech, Baylor and Kansas in posting victories in Week 4 of the 2013 season. West Virginia was not that fortunate, joing Kansas State in the loss column, both suffering their second defeat of the young season.
As impressive as the Texas performance was, however – perhaps securing Mack Brown’s coaching job for a while longer, at least for three more weeks, when the Longhorns take on Oklahoma in the annual Red River Rivalry – what Baylor did on Saturday was even more impressive. The Bears scored 69 or more points in their third straight game to open the new season, hammering the University of Louisiana-Monroe 70-7 and running their season mark to 3-0. Baylor quarterback Bryce Petty threw for 351 yards in just three quarters of action and Lache Seastrunk pounded the ULM defense for 156 yards on the ground as the Bears tied a school record with 781 yards of offense.
Baylor is the first team in the nation in 83 years to open the season by scoring 60 or more points in three consecutive games, and their impressive start to the season has placed the Bears in the thick of the hunt for their first Big 12 crown in football. As a team, Baylor is averaging 751 yards ot offense a game, more than 200 yards better than the next best team, Texas Tech.
The Texas defense, seemingly tired of hearing how horrific they had played in the previous two games, played with a chip on its shoulder from the very outset of the game and limited K-State’s normally productive ground game to just 115 total yards. Compared with giving up an average of 308 yards in two consecutive blowout losses, that was a giant improvement for the maligned Longhorn defense.
Texas had to play the entire second half with backup quarterback Chase McCoy after starter David Ash was suffering from concussion symptoms, his second such injury in a week’s time, following a jarring hit in the late stages of the second quarter.
“We told them this is the start, it’s not the end,” said the Longhorns’ Brown, asked after the game what the coaching staff said to the team to get its mind off all of the criticism leveled at it after losing so badly the past two weeks. “We had to get this game tonight; we had to beat the Big 12 champs.
“I don’t thing this team will let up,” he said. “This can be a really good team before we’re finished.”
In the other games involving Big 12 teams over the weekend, Texas Tech had little difficulty getting by Texas State, winning 33-7 to become the first conference team to go 4-0 on the season. Kansas outlasted Louisiana Tech, winning 13-10 on a game-winning field goal as time expired.
Maryland, which becomes a member of the Big Ten next season after a long association with the Atlantic Coast Conference, broke a scoreless tie against West Virginia with 14 unanswered points to take a 14-0 lead at the end of the first quarter and added on 16 more for a 30-0 hallftime margin. The Terrapins cruised after that, aided immensely by six West Virginia turnovers, in shutting out the Mountaineers 37-0 in a game played in Baltimore.
In addition to Texas Tech, Oklahoma and Oklahoma State, which did not play this past weekend, and Baylor remain undefeated after the first four weeks of the season.
12 More Things We Learned From Saturday’s Big 12 Games
- Texas had both guns blazing in its offense on Saturday night, rushing as a team for 227 yards and passing for just two yards less for a 452-yard total output.
- Backup Texas Tech quarterback Davis Webb completed 19 0f 43 passes for 310 yards in the Red Raiders’ 33-7 victory over Texas State.
- The Texas State head coach is Dennis Franchione, former head coach at Texas A&M when the Aggies were a member of the Big 12.
- Based on information compiled by STATS, Baylor is the first team to score 28 points in the first quarter in three consecutive games.
- Maryland ended a seven-game losing streak to West Virginia, and did so in emphatic fashion, downing its border rival by a score of 37-0.
- West Virginia had 65 yards of offense in the first half against Maryland and 61 yards in penalties.
- Kansas 13-10 win over Louisiana Tech was the Jayhawks forst victory over an FBS opponent in two years. The win, Kansas’ second of the young season, also bettered the Jayhawks total number of wins a year ago.
- The winning margin in Kansas’ victory over Louisiana Tech was provided by walk-on placekicker Matt Wyman, who knocked through a career-long 52-yard field goal with no time left on the game clock.
- Oklahoma was off over the weekend as the Sooners prepare for next Saturday’s game at top-25-ranked Notre Dame. The Sooners’ defense, which was very un-Oklahoma-like the last couple of seasons, has faced 41 drives by opponents in OU’s first three games. In those 41 possessions, the Sooner D has yielded three touchdowns, one field goal, forced six turnovers and the same number of punts.
- Oklahoma State travels to West Virginia next weekend in the only conference game on the schedule next Saturday. It will be the conference opener for the Big 12 preseason favorute Cowboys and the second league game for West Virginia, which lost 16-7 at Oklahoma in Week 2.
- Baylor leads the country in both scoring offense (70.0 ppg) and total offense (751 ypg).
- Kansas State lost three fumbles in the Wildcats’ loss to Texas. That equals the total number of fumbles they lost all of last season, when they led the Big 12 in turinover margin with plus-19. Though four games in 2013, the Wildcats are last in the conference in turnover margin (minus-five).