Mandatory Credit: Photo by Eric Gay/AP/Shutterstock (13467635f) Texas wide receiver Xavier Worthy (8) celebrates his touchdown catch against Iowa State during the first half of an NCAA college football game, in Austin, Texas Iowa St Texas Football, Austin, United States – 15 Oct 2022
Thanks to a strong road performance against Kansas last weekend, Texas still has a chance to make it to the Big 12 Championship Game. Texas must win its regular season finale and have help in the form of a Kansas State loss. However, the focus in Austin is squarely on the team’s matchup with Baylor on Friday.
Head coach Steve Sarkisian said the Texas players understand what is at stake, “I painted the scenario for them last night,” he said, “we got to win Friday, then we can worry about what happens Saturday night. But if we don’t take care of our business, if we don’t mow our own lawn, then it doesn’t matter what happens Saturday night,”
This game marks the latest opportunity for the Texas team to perform under pressure in a game with larger implications. Twice this year, the Longhorns have come up just short of victory in similar contests. First, there was the close loss to then No. 1 Alabama, then came a narrow and disappointing loss to No. 4 TCU.
While Texas may not control its own destiny regarding the Big 12 Championship, it can make a statement about the growth of the program with a strong showing with a larger prize on the line.
Running back Bijan Robinson was named the Big 12 offensive player of the week after his remarkable performance against Kansas. Robinson rushed for a career-high 243 yards and four touchdowns as he led the Longhorn offense to a 55-14 win. The game marked the eighth time this season Robinson has exceeded 100 yards rushing this season and the second time he has eclipsed the 200-yard mark. Robinson now ranks 5th on the Texas all-time rushing list with 3,231 yards.
Around the Big 12
No. 4 TCU retained its position in the College Football Playoff top four with a narrow 29-28 win over Baylor. The Horned Frogs scored nine points in the final two minutes to avoid an upset and won the game on a last-second field goal from Griffin Kell from 40 yards out. TCU will look to close out an undefeated regular season as they host Iowa State, and Baylor will travel to Texas.
No. 15 Kansas State is still on track for a berth in the Big 12 championship game after a 48-31 win over West Virginia. The Wildcats were led by backup quarterback Will Howard who passed for 294 yards and two touchdowns in place of injured Adrian Martinez. Kansas State will clinch its spot in Arlington with a win against Kansas or a Texas loss to Baylor. West Virginia fell to 4-7 on the season and will close out the year against Oklahoma State.
Texas Tech gained bowl eligibility with a 14-10 win over Iowa State. The Red Raiders were outgained 422 to 246 by the Cyclones, but the only stat that counts is on the scoreboard, where the Tech defense only allowed 10 points. The game-winning points came in the fourth quarter on a touchdown pass from Tyler Shough to Baylor Cupp. Tech will end the year hosting Oklahoma, while Iowa State will hope to spoil No. 4 TCU’s playoff hopes.
In Bedlam, the Sooners dropped rival Oklahoma State 28-13. The win moves the Sooners to 6-5 on the year, qualifying for a bowl game in a turbulent season for first-year head coach Brent Venables. The Oklahoma offense, led by quarterback Dillon Gabriel and his 259 passing yards, did enough to capture the rivalry game as the Sooner defense forced four interceptions. Oklahoma will end the regular season against Texas Tech, while Oklahoma State will face West Virginia in its finale.