Big 12 Report: No. 22 Texas embraces the hate, turns attention to Tech

Mandatory Credit: Photo by Stephen Spillman/AP/Shutterstock (13405254a) Texas running back Bijan Robinson (5) looks for more yards against UTSA during the second half of an NCAA football game, in Austin, Texas Texas Football, Austin, United States – 17 Sep 2022

Big 12 Report: No. 22 Texas embraces the hate, turns attention to Tech

The Texas football program continued its growth last week with a come from behind victory against UTSA, defeating the Roadrunners 41-20.  The Longhorns responded to adversity, after falling behind 17-7 in the first half, Texas outscored UTSA 34-3 to close the game.

For his efforts in Saturday’s contest Texas defensive back Jahdae Barron was awarded the Big 12 Defensive Player of the Week. Barron totaled six six tackles but his biggest impact came when he stepped in front of a Frank Harris pass and returned it for a touchdown, giving the Longhorns breathing room and securing the Texas win.  

The Texas defense held Harris to 260 total yards, well below his average of 394.5 a game.  Harris came into the matchup as the nation’s leader in the category. 

One area of concern for the Texas defense is the targeting penalty charged to linebacker Demarvion Overshown.  The penalty was thrown on a questionable hit delivered by Overshown as he sacked Harris in the fourth quarter.  This penalty carries a suspension that would overlap into the first half of this week’s game against Texas Tech, but the suspension has been appealed.

Texas rushed for 298 yards against the Roadrunners with Bijan Robinson racking up 183 yards on 20 carries and scoring 3 touchdowns. Roschon Johnson added 81 yards on 11 carries.  Texas outgained  UTSA on the ground by more than 150 yards.

As the Longhorns turn their attention to Texas Tech head coach Steve Sarkisian expects Texas to get the Red Raiders’ best effort on Saturday, “We are the University of Texas,” he said. “No one likes us. That’s ok. We embrace the hate. We’ll be ready to rock and roll Saturday at 2:30.”  If Texas can continue to put forth performances like they have the last two weeks, their legions of fans will grow louder and the haters will have to quiet.

Around the Big 12

No. 6 Oklahoma steamrolled Nebraska 49-14.  What was once the premier rivalry in the Big 12 has become a study in contrasts.  Oklahoma is still a powerhouse, but Nebraska has fired Scott Frost and fell to its one-time rival in the same week.

A week after losing in overtime to BYU, No. 17 Baylor rebounded against Texas State 42-7.  In the game freshman running back Richard Reese rushed for 156 yards on 19 carries, scoring three touchdowns and earned Big 12 Newcomer of the Week honors.

West Virginia got its first win of the season, defeating Towson 65-7.  The Mountaineers rattled off 58 unanswered points versus overmatched Towson.

Iowa State is 3-0 for the first time since 2012 after the Cycleones outscored Ohio 43-10.  Iowa State was led by quarterback Hunter Dekkers who completed 28 of 36 passes and also recorded a rushing touchdown.  The Cyclone defense held Ohio to 233 and forced four takeaways.

Probably the most shocking result of the week came as Kansas State fell to Tulane 17-10.  The Wildcats seemed to be trending up after defeating Missouri a week ago, but Kansas State was shutout in the second half as Tulane rallied for the win.

Kansas is 3-0 and it might be for real. The Jayhawks continued their winning ways as they knocked off Houston 48-30.  Kansas was led by conference offensive player of the week Jalon Daniels who completed 14 of 23 passes for 158 yards and 3 touchdowns, 11 different receivers caught passes. Daniels alo rushed 12 times for 123 yards and two more scores.  Kansas is 30 for the first time since 2009.

No. 8 Oklahoma State took care of Arkansas-Pine Bluff 63-7. The Cowboys continued their special teams excellence, blocking the first punt of the game and returning it for a touchdown.  Oklahoma State has blocked 30 kicks since the beginning for 2013 and is tied for the lead amongst FBS teams with 11 non offensive touchdowns since 2020.

Texas Tech lost on the road to No. 16 NC State.  The Wolfpack defense overwhelmed the Red Raiders offense, Tech coughed up four total turnovers and was not able to get on track.  The Red Raider defense played well enough to keep the game within reach, but North Carolina State was simply too much.  The Red Raiders will hope to rebound this week against No. 22 Texas.

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