Just when you think they can’t keep scoring and piling up such huge yardage totals week after week, and certainly not at the same rate once they enter conference play, the Baylor Bears put on their most convincing offensive show yet Saturday night in totally dismantling the same West Virginia team that had beaten league preseason favorite Oklahoma State just one week earlier.
The final score practically said it all: Baylor 73, West Virginia 42. At two points in the game, Baylor led by 42 points, including a 56-14 advantage at halftime. If you didn’t know any better, you would think that basketball season had started when you first heard this score. Baylor rolled up a school- and NCAA-record 864 total offensive yards, 468 on the ground, in exceeding their three-game scoring average, which was already at nearly 70 points a game coming into the contest with the Mountaineers.
Baylor is off to a 4-0 start, and its offense is putting up points and churning out yardage at an even greater clip than was the case when Heisman Trophy-winner Robert Griffin III was quarterbacking the Bears’ offense a couple of years ago. According to STATS, Baylor is the only college team to have scored 66 or more points in four consecutive games. The Bears’ offense appears almost unstoppable through their first four games, and with Baylor expected to be favored in its next three games (against Kansas State next week, Iowa State and Kansas), it is quite likely that the Bears will be undefeated at 7-0 when they host Oklahoma a month from now in a Thursday night nationally televised game.
Last year’s game between Baylor and West Virginia, in the Mountaineers debut season in the Big 12, also was an offensive circus, but the game was actually extremely close. West Virginia was the high-scoring team a year ago, putting 70 points on the board in a 70-63 victory. There were only three punts the entire game. Baylor picked up this year right where it left off in its conference-opening game with West Virginia, only this time the Mountaineers couldn’t keep up.
Oklahoma got by TCU 20-17 on Saturday in a game dominated by defense, while Texas Tech rolled over Kansas 54-16 after trailing 10-0 to start the game. The Red Raiders scored 54 unanswered points to leave the upset-hopeful Jayhawks spinning in their wake. Tech remains unbeaten at 5-0 and 2-0 in the conference, tied with Oklahoma.
Texas edged Iowa State on Thursday for its second straight conference win, which ties the Longhorns with Texas Tech and Oklahoma at the top of the league standings through two games. Baylor sits dangerously just a game back, but only because the Bears have played one fewer game. There will be one fewer team at the top of the conference standing after next weekend, when Oklahoma and Texas collide in their annual Red River Rivalry grudge match at the Cotton Bowl in Dallas.
Somewhat surprisingly, Kansas State held a six-point lead, 29-23, at Oklahoma State Saturday with a little over six minutes to go in the game. As they have so often, however, with their hurry-up, lightning-strike offense, the Cowboys took only a minute and 56 seconds to march down the field and score and retake a one-point lead. In two successive possessions after No. 22 Oklahoma State had taken the lead, K-State quarterback Daniel Sams threw critical interceptions that sealed the Wildcats’ fate and handed the co-defending champions their second straight conference loss without a victory.
The two late interceptions thrown by Sams, more of a running threat than he is a passer, while backbreakers, for sure, were but two of five turnovers committed by Kansas State to go along with a dozen penalties for a total of 92 yards, all highly uncharacteristic for a Bill Snyder-coached team. The 92 yards in penalties is the most by K-State since 2005.
Six Things We Learned From Week Six In Big 12 Football
- The obvious learning is that Baylor is an offensive juggernaut this year. To beat the Bears this year, a team is going to have to be able to score a lot of points and still hope it can get some defensive stops, slow down the Baylor scoring rate or, better yet, keep the Bears’ offense off the field for extended stretches. To underscore their offensive dominance, the Bears have yet to be held to a three-and-out on offense this season.
- Kansas’ 54-16 loss to Texas Tech was the Jayhawks’ 22nd consecutive Big 12 loss. The way the Jayhawks looked from the second quarter on in Saturday’s game, they could easily go another full season without a conference win. It was another very sloppy, inconsistent performance that accelerated quickly downward after an almost unbelievable failed fake punt attempt from inside the Jayhawk 10-yard line.
- Mark down Nov. 16 on the calendar. Baylor and Texas Tech square off on that date at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas. Those are the top two teams in the conference in offensive production and scoring, and the way things look right now, we might see a record number of points scored that day.
- Oklahoma State has won six consecutive home games and is 14-1 over its last 15 games at Boone Pickens Stadium. The Cowboys have four more home games this season, and three of them are against TCU, Baylor and Oklahoma.
- Texas’ come-from-behind one-point victory over Iowa State was the Longhorns’ 19th win out of the last 21 games decided by three points or less.
- Three of TCU’s first five opponents this season are currently ranked in the top 25. The Horned Frogs lost all three games (to LSU, Texas Tech and Oklahoma), all on the road.