16 Sep

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Around the Big 12: TCU can’t hold on; OU, Kansas roll

Oklahoma quarterback Kyler Murray threw for 348 yards and three touchdowns to help lift the Sooners to a 37-27 victory over Iowa State in the Big 12 opener for each team (photo courtesy of soonersports.com).

By Steve Lansdale

While Texas was reminding football fans across the country not to give up on the Longhorns just yet with a convincing victory over USC, the rest of the Big 12 turned a few heads, too.

Ohio State 40, TCU 28
Next week’s UT opponent got 308 passing yards and a touchdown from quarterback Shawn Robinson, but also three turnovers — two interceptions and a lost fumble — as No. 14 TCU was unable to hold on to a late lead and fell to No. 4 Ohio State, 40-28, in AT&T Stadium in Arlington. Running back Darius Anderson rushed 12 times for 154 yards and a pair of touchdowns.

“You know, it’s going to be evolving,” TCU head coach Gary Patterson said of his team. “If this team can stay healthy, we’re going to be a really good football team by the end of the year. But we got to win early. It’s a three-game season. Now, it’s the second game, going into Texas.”

Oklahoma 37, Iowa State 27
Quarterback Kyler Murray threw for 348 yards and three touchdowns as the No. 5 Oklahoma Sooners (3-0 overall, 1-0 Big 12) earned a measure of revenge in the Big 12 opener for each team in Ames, Iowa. Iowa State (0-2, 0-1) shocked the Sooners last year in Norman.

"Iowa State's a good team,” Oklahoma coach Lincoln Riley said. “You give them any room, they're going to capitalize on it. They're a tough out.”

Oklahoma State 44, Boise State 21
Fifth-year senior quarterback Taylor Cornelius ran for a pair of touchdowns and threw for another to lift No. 24 Oklahoma State over visiting No. 17 Boise State. The Cowboys also benefitted from two blocked punts, one of which was returned for a touchdown, the other of which set up a 1-yard run by Cornelius.

“I think he's comfortable when he's running the ball when he gets into the flow of the game,” Oklahoma State head coach Mike Gundy said of Cornelius. “Like a three-point shooter in basketball — (he) hits a couple threes, gets hot and you give it to him and he starts hitting a few more. He's played three games now, he's getting a little better each game.”

Kansas 55, Rutgers 14
Remember when the Jawhawks couldn’t beat anyone? The Kansas defense collected six takeaways — including interceptions returned for touchdowns by Mike Lee and Bryce Torneden — en route to a 55-14 win over Rutgers. The last time KU (2-1) had more two victories was 2013, when it went 3-9.

“We knew that we could not let those guys get going in the run game. We had to take that dimension away and make them one-dimensional in the other area — if we did that, we felt like we might give ourselves a better chance against a really talented good sized Big-Ten football team,” Kansas head coach David Beaty said. “We were able to get the run going early and I thought that helped us on both sides of the ball. Now we got a couple of pick-sixes, which was great and the byproduct sometimes is you got to go back on the field a few times quick.”

Duke 40, Baylor 27
The Bears hosted the Blue Devils, whose week of preparation and travel schedule were altered because of Hurricane Florence, but the visitors still left Waco with a 40-27 victory. Duke quarterback Quentin Harris threw three touchdown passes in his first college start and helped his team jump out to a 23-0 halftime lead.

"We're obviously disappointed in not just the outcome, but the way we played in the first half," Baylor head coach Matt Rhule said. "They made the plays they needed to make at crucial times and we didn't do that.”

Kansas State 41, Texas-San Antonio 17
KSU quarterback Skylar Thompson threw for a pair of touchdowns and ran for another, and wide receiver Isaiah Zuber caught two scores to help lift the Wildcats to a 41-17 win over UTSA. Kansas State, which improved to 2-1 on the season, racked up 449 yards of total offense.

"I think Skylar did a nice job and (backup quarterback) Alex (Delton) only had one throw but it was extremely well (Delton threw a 72-yard touchdown pass to Zuber)," Kansas State head coach Bill Snyder said. "He (Thompson) played well, I do not think the demeanor of his approach was different; he just played a little better than he has. He made good decisions for the most part."

Texas Tech 63, Houston 49
Those who expected an offensive explosion with little hint of anything resembling defense left happy when the Red Raiders knocked off the Cougars, 63-59, in Lubbock. The star of the show was Tech quarterback Alan Bowman, who passed for 605 yards and five touchdowns.

"That was a nice step in the right direction," said Texas Tech head coach Kliff Kingsbury, who ranks second in program history in career yards passing but never eclipsed the 600-yard passing plateau in a game as the Red Raiders’ signal caller. "But I've said it all along, there's an expectation at Texas Tech that started a long time ago that we're going to play really good at quarterback and play really good on offense."

West Virginia at North Carolina State: cancelled
Hurricane Florence flexed her meteorological muscle again, forcing the cancellation of the WVU/N.C. State game.