Kansas quarterback Jalon Daniels (6) runs the ball during the second half of an NCAA college football game against Duke Saturday, Sept. 24, 2022, in Lawrence, Kan. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)

Big 12 Takes Big Hit

The bulk of the Big 12 conference schedule started Saturday as Week 4 of the college football season rolled on. Three teams in the weekend slate entered the week ranked in the AP Top 25, with Oklahoma State having a bye. However, the Big 12 takes a big hit in this week’s poll as it saw two ranked teams fall to unranked opponents. Here is how the conference shakes up after a wild week.

Struggling Sooners

The highest ranked team in the conference heading into Week 4 was No. 6 Oklahoma. It did not play defense like a Top-10 team, though, against Kansas State. Despite Dillon Gabriel‘s four-touchdown performance, the Sooners could not stop Kansas State. The Wildcats knocked off No. 6 Oklahoma 41-34.

Quarterback Adrian Martinez led the way for Kansas State but did most of the damage on the ground. The Nebraska transfer ran for 148 yards and four touchdowns, including a 55-yard scamper in the final moments to put the Sooners away.

Eric Gray continues to impress on the ground for Oklahoma, running for over 100 yards for the third time this season.

Despite the strong offensive performance, the Sooners defense looked slow and gave up 509 total yards. The 34 points given up are the most Oklahoma has surrendered in its last ten games.

Oklahoma entered the year as the favorite to win the Big 12 and had the best odds to be in the College Football Playoff. The Big 12 takes a big hit with the Sooners’ loss.

The new AP Poll Sunday saw Oklahoma fall all the way to No. 18 ahead of their matchup against TCU Saturday.

Texas Falls Without Ewers

The No. 22 Longhorns knew they were going to be tested when quarterback Quinn Ewers went down against Alabama. That is exactly what happened in their rivalry matchup with Texas Tech on Saturday.

The strong first half that saw Texas head into the locker room with a 24-14 lead, was squandered as it allowed 17 unanswered points late in the second half to ultimately head toward overtime.

Backup quarterback Hudson Card held his own, throwing for 277 yards and two touchdowns, however, he did also have an interception.

Bijan Robinson continued to impress on the ground, finding the endzone twice and rushing for over 100 yards for the second straight week.

Donovan Smith was the man for Texas Tech, as he threw for over 300 yards and had two scores to lead the Red Raider offense.

Now unranked, Texas will look to regroup against West Virginia. Meanwhile, Texas Tech will take on its fourth-straight ranked opponent in Kansas State.

Kansas Continues to Cruise

One of the most shocking stories from the first month of the college football season has been the Jayhawks.

Kansas has had just 11 wins over the course of the past seven seasons. They start 2022 4-0. The second year of the Lance Leipold era has brought an entirely new atmosphere into Lawrence, Kansas.

Jalon Daniels continued his unbelievable start with potentially his most impressive game of the season so far. He threw for 324 yards and four touchdowns while just throwing four incompletions. Not to mention he ran for 83 yards and had another touchdown on the ground against Duke.

Fifteen total touchdowns, just one interception and a 4-0 start to the year have undeniably found Daniels on Heisman watch.

It won’t get any easier for the Jayhawks down the road, as they head into their full conference schedule, starting with Iowa State Saturday.

While the Big 12 takes a big hit overall this week, Kansas remains a bright spot for the conference.

Regardless, Kansas is just two wins away from being bowl eligible for the first time since 2008.

Baylor Survives the Cyclones

Entering the week at No. 17, Baylor managed to escape Jack Trice Stadium with a win thanks to a stretch of poor drives by Iowa State in the second half. The Cyclones failed to score on four of their six second half drives, including two interceptions.

Baylor rose one spot in the new poll to No. 16, which is where it will be entering Saturday’s big matchup against No. 9 Oklahoma State.

The Bears had a lot to be happy about, as Blake Shapen had his best game of the early season throwing for 238 yards and three touchdowns.

Richard Reese put up another respectable performance after last week’s game, rushing for 78 yards and another score, bringing his season total to six.

They will need their offense to be in top form Saturday to match the explosive Cowboys offense, led by Spencer Sanders, which has averaged almost 50 points per game so far.

Baylor takes on Oklahoma State Saturday at 3:30 on FOX.

About Matt Quartararo

Matt is a third-year journalism major specializing in sports media and is also completing a sports management certificate. He also participates in sports broadcasting.

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