The Big 12 gets their nine-game conference schedule going this weekend

Big 12 Report: Proving time as conference play arrives

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Wins that matter

Kansas 48 Boston College 24

Kansas! YES! KANSAS! They ROCKED Boston College. 500 yards of offense with the majority of it coming on the ground. Their defense pitched a shutout in the second half. This is a huge turnaround for a team that lost to Coastal Carolina the week before. Les Miles might be in for a long haul to get Kansas where they want to go but he's on the right path with a win like this. It was the first Power 5 win on the road in over a decade for the Jayhawks. Awesome. They might add a few surprises to their win-loss record before 2019 is over.

Kansas State 31 Mississippi State 24

Crazy what happens when you hire a coach who lost six games in five years. Chris Klieman has Kansas State rolling putting up huge numbers against non-Power 5 opponents and securing a big win against an SEC foe on the road. I don't know what success is going to look like for Kansas State in 2019 but they're already on the right track to getting back into a bowl game. Heading to the Little Apple won't be an easy win this year.

West Virginia 44 North Carolina State 27

The Wolfpack won nine games last season and though they lost a lot they were favorites over a struggling West Virginia team. Well, Neal Brown and company smoked their ACC opponent just like Kansas did. Austin Kendall finally got going at quarterback and the defense played lights out in the second half. Again, going to West Virginia isn't going to be a cakewalk despite what the first two weeks may have displayed.

Studs of the week

WVU WR Sam James

Quite the breakout for the youngster. Nine catches led to 155 yards and the above score. He only had 70 yards or so coming into this game. He will be Austin Kendall's best friend going forward.

Kansas RB Khalil Herbert

How about 17 yards per carry? That's what Herbert did on Saturday. He was a monster and has been making the most of his opportunities all year sharing the rock with Pooka Williams. 187 yards total and a touchdown on the day for the senior.

OSU RB Chuba Hubbard

He has been here before. He will be here a bunch. This was as good as his week one performance, maybe better. 256 yards and three more scores. He's already matched his touchdown total from all of last season.

Must-watch game: Orange showdown

Oklahoma State at Texas

Texas got a little reprieve last weekend with Rice on their schedule but just two weeks after squaring off with the dynamic LSU offense another one comes to town. The last time the Longhorns beat the Cowboys was 2014. Oklahoma State held off Texas in 2018 and 2017 saw a low-scoring overtime win by Mike Gundy's crew when Texas QB Sam Ehlinger tried to throw it away and didn't get it away but into a defender's hand.

Texas has no margin for error in the hope for a chance at the playoff and very little room for a loss if they want to win the Big 12 as well. The Cowboys could make a statement

Who better ball?

Texas QB Sam Ehlinger

An interception to end the game in 2017. One of his more unimpressive performances last year. It is time for him to go nuts on a defense that is suspect.

Kansas RB Khalil Herbert and WVU WR Sam James

Both these guys were studs of the week and now their teams play each other so ball out again and help your team claw their way out of the Big 12 cellar.

Big 12 Rankings

1. Oklahoma

2. Oklahoma State

3. Texas

4. Baylor

5. TCU

6. Kansas State

7. Iowa State

8. West Virginia

9. Kansas

10. Texas Tech

Yes, my Texas Tech Red Raiders are at the bottom. Power 5 road loss and got dominated in it. Also, the starting quarterback is hurt. Rough times for the red and black.

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Houston is back in the win column

McCullers Jr. spins a gem as Astros get a much-needed win over Giants

Photo by Tim Bradbury/Getty Images

After getting swept by the A's in Oakland to end a road trip with a five-game losing streak, the Astros returned to Houston to try and get back on track. To do so, they'd need a win against the Giants on Monday night. Here is a quick recap of the series opener:

Final Score: Astros 6, Giants 4.

Record: 7-9, second in the AL West.

Winning pitcher: Lance McCullers Jr. (2-1, 6.10 ERA).

Losing pitcher: Logan Webb (1-1, 2.81 ERA).

Houston builds up an early lead

The early goings of Monday's game went very similar to the last time Lance McCullers Jr. took the mound. He would have a terrific first three innings while his offense gave him an early lead. The first run came in the bottom of the second, with Yuli Gurriel reaching base on a one-out double, moving to third on a wild pitch, then scoring on an RBI-single by Carlos Correa.

Correa would take part in a four-run inning in the third, as Houston would score two on a two-RBI ground-rule double by Michael Brantley, another on an error, then Correa's second RBI of the night, a groundout to bring in a run and make it 5-0. Unlike the last start in Arizona, where the roof opened and McCullers Jr. fell apart in the fourth, he was able to make quick work of his opponent for a 1-2-3 frame. As he kept recording scoreless innings, Martin Maldonado added another run to the lead with a one-out solo home run in the bottom of the sixth, making it 6-0.

McCullers Jr. takes a no-hitter into the seventh

While the Astros were building their lead, McCullers Jr. was spinning a gem on the mound. He allowed just one baserunner through the first six innings, which came on a hit-by-pitch. He entered the seventh with a no-hitter in progress, but the Giants would get their first hit of the night to end the no-hit bid.

Regardless, the start was precisely what McCullers Jr. needed to restore his confidence after the disastrous inning he had in his last appearance. He would go on to complete the seventh inning before Houston would go to the bullpen with the large lead in the eighth. His final line: 7.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 5 K 0 HR, 1 HPB.

Houston gets back in the win column despite more struggles by Josh James

Josh James entered out of the bullpen for the top of the eighth but allowed the first run of the night for San Francisco via a solo home run with one out to make it 6-1. He would complete the inning and then return for the top of the ninth. He would have another rocky inning, issuing a leadoff walk before a single and double would make it a four-run game at 6-2, still with no outs in the inning and runners on second and third, prompting another call to the bullpen.

Dusty Baker would bring in his current closer, Ryan Pressly, to try and finish the game, now in a save situation. Pressly would retire the first two batters he faced before allowing a two-RBI single to make it 6-4, but would eventually get the final out to get Houston the much-needed win. With the victory, the Astros moved back into second place in the AL West standings.

Up Next: The middle game of this three-game set will start Tuesday at 8:10 PM Central. The Giants, working with a fluid rotation, have not yet fully decided on their starter, while the Astros will get another start from Brandon Bielak (2-0, 0.87 ERA) who will look to repeat the success of his five-inning, no-run start in Arizona last week.

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