1st and 100Nov. 4, 2010
By Matt Larsen
Sports writer Matt Larsen talks about each Big 12 South team, getting 100 words per squad in a weekly installment
Daniel Cernero | Photo Editor
The No. 22 Bears (7-2, 4-1) notched their third single-digit win in a row (two of those on the road) as they defeated the Longhorns 30-22 in Austin. Baylor saw its defense rise to the occasion by only giving up one touchdown despite favorable field position for the Longhorns.
With its passing game, then running game and now defense proving their worth at different points this year, Baylor seems prepared to peak at the right time. They will need an offensive resurgence and fewer penalties (last in conference with 75) to outscore OSU's No. 2 nationally ranked offense.
After stumbling against Missouri a week ago, the No. 11 Sooners (7-1, 3-1) hopped right back on the wagon with a 43-10 win over Colorado. Receiver Ryan Broyles, who leads the nation with 9.9 receptions per game, posted a school record 208 yards receiving and three touchdowns while his quarterback, Landry Jones, threw for a career high 453 yards and four TDs. Still eyeing a Big 12 title and beyond, and with Baylor and OSU to close out the year, the Sooners can't afford another slip-up against either A&M or Tech in the next two weeks.
The No. 19 Cowboys (7-1, 3-1) again mirrored their in-state rivals by bouncing back, theirs a 24-14 win over Kansas State, a week after their first loss. The difference was that the Cowboys' nationally ranked receiver Justin Blackmon, who has the most receiving yards per game in the nation, served his one-game suspension last Saturday. The offense certainly felt his absence, as its 24 points were the fewest on the season. Although, the 14 points given up by the defense was also the fewest allowed this season. The Cowboys will need that defense and a Blackmon-rejuvenated offense against Baylor.
It now seems safe to call this season a rebuilding one for the 4-4, 2-3 Longhorns after they dropped their last two at home to Iowa State and Baylor, the latter being 30-22. The loss was not because of low yardage, though, as Garrett Gilbert led the way to 428 yards of total offense.
The Longhorn offense simply struggled to finish drives in the end zone, managing just one touchdown and five field goals against the Bears. The Longhorns now look toward bowl eligibility, and with their 1-3 home record, they will likely welcome a road match against Kansas State.
Despite declaring a two-quarterback system a week ago, coach Mike Sherman had backup Ryan Tannehill play the entirety of the Tech game.
But after Tannehill threw for a school record 449 yards and four touchdowns in a 45-27 win, it's tough to question the decision. A&M's (5-3, 2-2) turnover issues persisted, though, with two fumbles and a pick, and they have given it up more than anyone in the Big 12 at 21 times.
Tannehill and company will need to rein in that number if they have any want to take any of their next three against Oklahoma, Baylor and Nebraska.
The Red Raiders (4-4, 2-4) managed their second-lowest offensive outing this season in the 45-27 loss to the Aggies. After 227 yards passing and one touchdown, quarterback Taylor Potts gave way to backup Stephen Sheffield in the fourth quarter. Regardless of who's under center, the defense must improve as it gives up 450 yards a game. With Houston and Weber State to close the season, Tech will most likely manage six wins. But for this season's Big 12 South bottom-dweller, six wins is no lock for a bowl, leaving Oklahoma and Missouri for the Red Raiders to upset.