The Cyclones play a big one while other offenses hope to keep rolling

Big 12 Report: Texas takes step back

@LSUfootball

Texas comes close

The Longhorns couldn't get it done. They played their ass off in their second half but the Tigers were too tough down the stretch. Joe Burrow made every throw he needed to make and is clearly not last year's Joe Burrow. The Texas offense was inconsistent on the ground but got some solid runs from Roschon Johnson.

I truly believe if Keaontay Ingram doesn't drop the touchdown early Texas wins. I also believe if Todd Orlando doesn't blitz on 3rd and 17 in the fourth quarter Texas wins as well. Just a baffling move by Orlando.

Texas is clearly an elite team, but LSU was just better Saturday night. The Longhorns have no margin for error if they have designs on a playoff berth. Only perfection from here on out can get them into the playoff. That likely means two wins over Oklahoma.

Three studs

Texas WR Devin Duvernay

When Texas needed something, they found Duvernay. He finished the day with 154 yards on 12 catches with two scores. He was a key player all night and in the biggest moments he was making plays in Austin.

Oklahoma State WR Tylan Wallace

How about five catches in back to back weeks. This week though, Wallace made it even better. He almost doubled his week one yardage total with 180 yards and added an extra score over week one with three touchdowns this week. He's a talented pass catcher in a conference loaded with them.

Must-watch game: The Battle for the Cy-Hawk Trophy

Iowa State and Iowa play for potentially the worst-named trophy in sports in the Cy-Hawk Trophy. That being said, this game is usually very fun to watch. Iowa has won four straight and Iowa State isn't nearly as talented as last year but with College Gameday in town, and potentially the last year with Cyclones coach Matt Campbell coaching in this one, it should be a blast.

This game also has a decent implication for the Big 12 as a whole. Imagine if Iowa State beats ranked Iowa and is undefeated on Nov. 11 when they play Oklahoma. That would be a huge feather in the Sooners cap or put the Cyclones in the Big 12 driver's seat.

Who better ball

TCU's safeties

They have to try to cover Rondale Moore. Oh my. One of the most dynamic players in the nation will be a tough cover. Vanderbilt had trouble with him and they're better on defense than TCU. That being said, TCU sees spread success each year. It will be fun to see if they can contain the Heisman candidate.

Iowa State RB Johnnie Lang

When you are playing Iowa you are going to have to match their physicality. Lang has to be able to run the ball, you can't just throw and throw against Iowa that won't work. Lang will have to help the Cyclones control the clock if they have a lead. If they are behind, they have to keep some semblance of balance

Big 12 Rankings

1. Oklahoma

2. Oklahoma State

3. Texas

4. Baylor

5. Texas Tech

6. TCU

7. Iowa State

8. Kansas State

9. West Virginia

10. Kansas

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ROCKETS BEAT THUNDER

Rockets blast Thunder in home opener, 124-91

Rockets take care of business in home opener. Photo by Tim Warner/Getty Images.

The Houston Rockets had an impressive outing versus the Oklahoma City Thunder after an embarrassing loss against the Minnesota Timberwolves Wednesday night. They took care of business at home on Friday night, which was a surprising blowout. The Rockets didn't have to worry about Karl-Anthony Towns screaming at Alperen Sengun or Anthony Edwards telling Coach Silas to call a timeout. Instead, they took their frustrations out on the Thunder (another younger core).

"We responded and bounced back from that game 1," Silas said. "I wouldn't say it was taking anything out. It was just learning and applying to what you learn and that's going to be us this year. Applying to what you learn and getting better and having some games like we had the other day. Veteran teams have some games when they don't play as well they want."

Christian Wood led the way, as he controlled the paint on all aspects with rebounding and putbacks. He played an incredible game after having a poor performance versus the Timberwolves. Silas showed complete trust in allowing Wood to open sets, as he walked the ball down the court several times, and in transition too. Wood became aggressive on the perimeter with open shooting and tough shots, and long strides towards the rim. He finished the night with 31 points and 13 rebounds off 66 percent shooting from the field.

The young core for the Thunder had a tough night defending Wood from every aspect. Hopefully, he keeps this play up. Silas loved the space that was created throughout the game for Wood, which included the help from Eric Gordon, as he continued to play better. Wood continues to develop underneath the Silas umbrella. He had a great feel for off-the-dribble shooting a few times. Wood becomes more dangerous when space is created on the court.

"It allows me to show what I can do. It allows the floor to be open and I can create for other guys and create for myself," Wood said.

As Gordon continues to impress, his teammate Kevin Porter Jr was amazed with his performance.

Gordon looked marvelous inside and outside of the paint, as it looked like a time ripple. The younger guards of the Thunder had a tough time staying in front of Gordon. His size and strength gave the Thunder a huge problem. Gordon is shooting the ball better too, as he is shooting the three-ball at 70 percent this season. Although it's a small sample size, Gordon is trying to overcome his shooting struggles from last year. Gordon finished with 22 points on 66 percent shooting versus the Thunder.

"EG is the biggest part of this squad," Porter said. He comes in and just scores. We need somebody off the bench to do that. He is our guy when me and J come out, it's EG time and he knows that, and comes in aggressive. So much energy on the bench, and we need that every night from him if we want a chance to win."

As I recently mentioned Porter, his facilitation did look better versus the Thunder than the Timberwolves. Porter had nine turnovers in his first game but managed to have two Friday night. He made great slip passes and found open teammates in the open corner. Porter forced a good number of passes versus the Timberwolves but looked more relaxed Friday night. The hardest position in the NBA is the point guard position, but Silas will not allow Porter to fail. Instead of nine turnovers, Porter dished out nine assists. Silas said:

"Bounce back right, going from nine turnovers to nine assists… I think he had two turnovers tonight, which is great. He is making plays for his teammates, and he was really focused."

Porter's shiftiness and creative ability allowed his teammates to get open looks near the rim. He had 18 points because of his step-back threes and first step going towards the basket. Thankfully, Porter is a great ball handler, which confuses defenders on different spots on the court. It's almost like watching a ballerina skate on ice in the Olympics. Hopefully, his confidence continues to get better throughout the year. Porter shot the three-ball at 50 percent tonight. Efficiency is key for Porter this year.

"I'm just trying to let the game slow down," Porter said. "I had a lot of turnovers last game and I just wanted to piggyback and learn from them and learn from some of my forced passes and reads. And sometimes I still force it a little bit. My guys hate that, and sometimes I'm still passive and I'm working on that. When to pass and score and bounce it out, and tonight I felt like I did a good job of that."

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