Boykin helps No. 2 TCU rally past Kansas State, 52-45
MANHATTAN, Kan. -- TCU's players spent the week laughing in practice, joking in team meetings, and coach Gary Patterson kept warning them about overlooking a trip to Kansas State.
They finally listened to him at halftime Saturday night.
After digging a big hole over the first 30 minutes, the second-ranked Horned Frogs responded to their coach's pleas with a spirited comeback. Trevone Boykin threw for 301 yards and two touchdowns, the second a 55-yard strike to Josh Doctson with 1:10 remaining in the game, and TCU nipped the Wildcats 52-45 to remain in the national championship hunt.
"The first half they kicked our butts, to be honest with you," Patterson said. "I told our guys what it's like to come here and play and they didn't believe me. Now they believe me."
The Horned Frogs (6-0, 3-0 Big 12) trailed 35-17 at the break, but Boykin showed the poise of a Heisman Trophy candidate. He added 124 yards and two TDs on the ground, while Aaron Green ran for 121 yards and two more scores and Doctson caught eight passes for 155 yards and two touchdowns.
None was bigger than his catch-and-run less than a minute after Jack Cantele had connected on a 37-yard field goal, helping Kansas State (3-2, 0-2) knot the game 45-all.
"If you want to win in this conference, you have to win on the road," Boykin said. "Coming from behind shows the kind of fight we have in this team."
The Wildcats had won 49 straight games when leading at halftime before last week's loss at Oklahoma State. Now, coach Bill Snyder's crew has lost two in a row.
"They just played very well," Snyder said. "They played better defensively than we did offensively in the second half. We got a few plays, but not very many."
Joe Hubener ran for 111 yards and four touchdowns to lead the Wildcats. But he also threw an interception that was returned 60 yards for a score early in the second half, then fumbled in the final minute, when Kansas State was trying to drive for another tying touchdown.
Charles Jones finished with 75 yards rushing and two scores for Kansas State.
"It's pretty painful to have one of the top teams in the nation on the ropes and not be able to finish," Wildcats defensive end Jordan Willis said. "You can't allow big plays, especially when you have a team that can score quick."
The Horned Frogs got off to the explosive start they wanted when Green took the opening handoff 86 yards for a touchdown. It was the fourth-longest run in TCU history, and the longest since LaDainian Tomlinson's 89-yard run against UTEP in 2000.
Kansas State marched 64 yards for an answering touchdown, the first of Hubener's scoring runs, before TCU regained the lead on Boykin's 32-yard toss to Doctson in the end zone.
The Wildcats refused to be rattled, though.
Hubener calmly led them the other way, twice converting third downs, before scampering in from 17 yards out. And after the Horned Frogs got a field goal from Jaden Oberkrom, Kansas State struck for two more touchdowns: Jones sprinted 28 yards up the middle for the first, and after Elijah Lee picked off Boykin, Hubener sneaked in from a yard out for a 35-17 halftime lead.
It was the most points TCU had allowed in a half since 2004.
Needing a spark to silence the third-largest crowd in Kansas State history, the Horned Frogs got it immediately out of the half. Derrick Kindred stepped in front of Hubener's pass and ran untouched for a touchdown, quieting what had been a roaring mob of 53,671 purple-clad fans.
"I felt like it brought a spark to our sideline," Kindred said. "It gave us hope."
The Horned Frogs trimmed the lead to 35-31 on Green's touchdown run, and 42-37 on Boykin's 14-yard run. After forcing a punt, they finally pulled ahead when Boykin took a read-option over the right side and raced untouched 69 yards for a touchdown with 6:07 left in the game.
The Wildcats quickly marched the other way, and TCU's defense was again on the ropes. But the drive stalled, and Cantele's 37-yard field goal knotted the game 45-all with 1:52 left.
Plenty of time for Boykin and Doctson to do their thing.
"The options were run, throw it or kick the field goal," Snyder said. "Obviously the field goal was the wrong thing to do. That's one of those choices."
No. 3 Baylor romps to 66-7 win over Kansas
LAWRENCE, Kan. -- Seth Russell wanted to keep playing. So did Corey Coleman and Shock Linwood.
Baylor coach Art Briles is certain they'll see more of the field in the coming weeks.
Russell tossed three touchdown passes, two of them to Coleman, and Linwood ran for 135 yards and a score as third-ranked Baylor romped to 66-7 victory over Kansas on Saturday.
All three stars sat the entire second half, resting for what Baylor (5-0, 2-0 Big 12) hopes is a national title push. They've blown out every opponent so far, but still have a tough road ahead, including Oklahoma, Oklahoma State and TCU in consecutive weeks to finish the regular season.
"I feel like we have one of the freshest football teams in America at this point," Briles said. "They're going to like playing full games here in a few weeks."
Russell threw for 246 yards in his two quarters. Two of his TD strikes went to Coleman, pushing his nation-leading total to 13, and the other went to 6-foot-7, 410-pound tight end LaQuan McGowan as the Bears roared to a 52-7 halftime lead.
It was the seventh straight Big 12 win for Baylor, and one that was hardly unexpected: The Jayhawks (0-5, 0-2) were 46-point underdogs, a record for a visiting team in Big 12 play.
Turns out the odds-makers were being kind.
"You definitely want to play the whole game, but it's great for our young guys. They got a lot of experience," Russell said. "Experience is valuable, especially at this stage, this level."
Kansas freshman Ryan Willis got a bit of it. He threw for 158 yards and a score in his first start, but he also tossed a pick and lost a fumble that was returned for a touchdown.
The Jayhawks' top two quarterbacks, Montell Cozart and Deondre Ford, are both hurt. So were their top two wide receivers, Bobby Hartzog Jr. and Tre Parmalee. Brandon Stewart, their best cover cornerback, left with a groin injury early in the game.
Not exactly the way to face one of the nation's most dynamic teams.
The Bears piled up 644 yards, a total that could have been even larger had the backups not played the second half. Second-string quarterback Jarrett Stidham was 9 of 10 for 217 yards and two touchdowns, while Johnny Jefferson ran for 79 yards and another score.
Baylor didn't have to punt until there was 5 minutes left in the game.
"You've got to stop those guys when you get the chance," Kansas coach David Beaty said.
With fall break going on at Kansas, and Late Night at the Phog having kept Jayhawks basketball fans up Friday night, there were more empty seats than full ones Saturday.
That might have been a good thing.
There weren't many people around to see the rout.
The quick-strike Bears scored on every possession of the first half except their last, and that was only because they ran out of time. Their first three touchdown drives all went more than 70 yards, yet none of their scoring drives required more than 3 minutes, 14 seconds.
Russell was 18-of-27 passing and ran for a score. Linwood, the nation's fifth-leading rusher, averaged more than 10 yards per carry. Coleman had seven receptions for 108 yards.
Even the Baylor defense got into the act, stripping Willis late in the first half. Xavien Howard picked up the fumble and scampered down the Kansas sideline 30 yards for a touchdown.
"When you have guys that are old, which we have a lot of those guys -- fourth- and fifth-year guys at critical positions -- when those guys are sharp and mentally right and focused and are ready to compete at a high level, you're going to be all right," Briles said.
The only bright spot for Kansas came on its opening series. Willis converted a long third down with a pretty pass to Jeremiah Booker then hit Steven Sims with a 36-yard touchdown pass.
"You don't like to lose," Jayhawks tight end Kent Taylor said. "I don't know if it's possible to completely block (the score) out in your head. You have to keep making strides, no matter what the score is."
River turns orange as Longhorns stun Sooners
DALLAS -- Charlie Strong put that gold cowboy hat on his head and flashed a huge smile filled with relief, joy and vindication.
If last week's beatdown at TCU was rock bottom for Strong at Texas, his first victory against rival Oklahoma might be what changes the trajectory of his program. Or maybe it was just a temporary respite for the beleaguered Longhorns and their coach.
Regardless, the 24-17 win against the 10th-ranked Sooners on Saturday was no ordinary victory for Texas.
"We heard all week how the pride has been lost, how we don't play hard," Strong said. "And I don't have an answer for last week [TCU 50, Texas 7]. We go out and we kind of just lay an egg, and this week we came out and we wanted to impose our will. We wanted to play physical and watch our team just go to work."
The Longhorns (2-4, 1-2 Big 12) worked over Oklahoma's defense with 313 yards rushing. Their D went to work on quarterback Baker Mayfield and the Sooners offensive line, blitzing and stunting their way to six sacks.
Naashon Hughes and Poona Ford buried Mayfield for a 17-yard loss on a third-and-14 deep in Oklahoma territory late in the fourth quarter on what turned out to be a fitting final offensive play of the game for the Sooners.
When Jerrod Heard and the Longhorns offense got the ball with 3:33 left and Texas leading 24-17, they never gave it back. The Longhorns churned out three first downs, took a knee and stormed the field as if they won a championship.
"We needed this," Strong said.
The linemen lifted Strong off the ground during the celebration and tossed him in the air before he got to lift the Golden Hat Trophy that goes to the winner of the Red River Showdown.
Strong donned that cowboy hat proudly, then passed it to his players.
"I think they said they didn't want to see me get fired so they were going to step up and play for me," Strong said with a laugh.
The Longhorns came to Dallas in the midst of the program's worst start in 59 years and as a 16-point underdog to the Sooners (4-1, 1-1). It's been nothing but turmoil and excruciating losses for Texas this season. After getting drubbed by the Horned Frogs last Saturday, the Longhorns made matters worse by sniping at one another on social media. Eighteen games into Strong's tenure and his future in Austin was already being questioned.
"Watching ESPN and seeing everything in the media about Coach, everybody attacking him, picking on him and stuff, a bunch of guys were like, 'This isn't fair. We're not playing hard, and it's affecting him and his status,'" guard Sedrick Flowers said.
Heard led a scaled-down offense that threw only 12 passes. Texas finished with 55 passing yards, its fewest in a win over Oklahoma since 1970 and fewest in any win since 1983.
Instead, the quarterback ran for 115 yards on 21 carries. D'Onta Foreman made the biggest offensive play, a tackle-breaking 81-yard run that set up backup quarterback Tyrone Swoopes' jump-pass touchdown to Caleb Bluiett that made it 24-10 with 13:52 left in the fourth quarter.
The Red River Showdown has been played 110 times and has a history of upsets and surprising results, including two years ago when the Longhorns came in 3-2 with coach Mack Brown's future in doubt and won 36-20. Texas is now 6-2 since 1989 against Oklahoma when it is unranked and the Sooners are ranked.
That recent history didn't seem to offer much hope for Texas fans. They were noticeably slow filling their half of the Cotton Bowl as kickoff approached. There was also a little more room to spread out on that side of the stadium, with a smattering of empty seats.
The Sooners were wary.
"I definitely don't think it was a lack of focus, and we definitely did not underestimate them at all," Oklahoma offensive linemen Ty Darlington said. "They were a much more talented and capable team than the record."
The Texas win in 2013 was every bit as unexpected as this one, but it provided only a short-lived boost in a tense season that ended with Brown stepping down.
Texas did not fix all its problems against Oklahoma this time either. That offense will still have a hard time keeping up in the Big 12. Strong is still relying heavily on inexperienced players. But some of them are really good, notably freshman linebacker Malik Jefferson (two sacks).
Confidence is not necessarily a problem either for the Longhorns.
"This is the spark," Jefferson said, "that lights the fire."
The Associated Press and ESPN Stats & Information contributed to this report.
No. 21 Oklahoma State beats WVU 33-26 in overtime
MORGANTOWN, W.Va. -- When Oklahoma State needed a big play in overtime, coach Mike Gundy stayed with backup quarterback J.W. Walsh.
Walsh scored on a 2-yard run on fourth down and No. 21 Oklahoma State held West Virginia scoreless on its overtime possession to beat the Mountaineers 33-26 on Saturday night.
It marked the third straight close finish for the Cowboys (6-0, 3-0 Big 12), who won their two previous conference games on last-minute field goals.
"If you're going to an Oklahoma State game, you don't turn it off all the way until the final buzzer goes off," Gundy said.
Skyler Howard brought West Virginia from 15 points down with a 3-yard scoring run with 2:44 left to send the game into overtime tied at 26.
Oklahoma State's running game was ineffective in regulation. But Gundy said he changed his blocking scheme in overtime, and five straight rushes moved the ball to the 2, and Walsh, who had entered the series on the fourth play, took it in from there.
"It was exactly how we drew it up," Walsh said. "We've practiced that play and repped it all week. It just worked.
"We're struggling all game, and then in overtime we run the ball -- it really does speak for the maturity of our football team."
West Virginia coach Dana Holgorsen credited the Cowboys for the bold move on their final play.
"It was a good call on fourth down in overtime, to call a run after we stopped them all game," Holgorsen said.
West Virginia (3-2, 0-2) advanced to the 4 on its overtime possession, but Howard threw incomplete in the end zone on fourth-and-goal from the 11 to end it.
Oklahoma State forced four turnovers, scoring 17 points off them, and won despite being outgained 443-362.
Mason Rudolph won his eighth straight game as a starter, but wasn't sharp. He threw three interceptions and had no touchdowns one week after passing for 437 yards and three scores against Kansas State.
Rudolph needed an assist from Walsh, who was brought in whenever Oklahoma State got within scoring range.
Rudolph's 40-yard scramble set up Walsh's 4-yard scoring toss on third-and-goal to tight end Blake Jarwin to extend Oklahoma State's lead to 23-9 early in the third quarter.
Howard finished 18 of 35 for 188 yards but had his solid moments. He had a 48-yard scoring toss to Shelton Gibson in the third quarter and his 15-yard run on third down kept alive a drive that led to a field goal early in the fourth to trim the deficit to 23-19.
After Devante Averette's interception set up a short field goal for Oklahoma State, Howard rebounded by engineering a 78-yard drive for the tying score.
Howard also fumbled twice and threw an interception in his second-straight lackluster game. A week ago he threw three picks and fumbled twice in a loss at Oklahoma. One of those fumbles was returned for a score.
Wendell Smallwood tied a career high with 147 rushing yards for the Mountaineers.
"We were tired on defense," Gundy said. "They controlled the tempo on offense. But our guys were able to rally at the end, make a play and found a way to win."
Oklahoma State got starting running back Chris Carson and backup Rennie Childs back from injuries that kept them out of last week's game. The Cowboys were limited to 134 rushing yards. But Childs came up big in overtime with a pair of 7-yard runs and a 2-yarder that gave Oklahoma State a fresh set of downs inside the 10.
Childs finished with 34 yards and Carson had 21. Rudolph had a team-high 48 yards and completed 20 of 40 passes for 218 yards.
Oklahoma State defensive end Emmanuel Ogbah, the Big 12's leader in sacks and tackles for loss, recovered Howard's fumble in the end zone for a touchdown in the first quarter. He also forced two other fumbles. Teammate Chad Whitener recovered one fumble and forced another.