Big 12 Report

West Virginia strikes a big blow in Austin but the Big 12 excitement is far from over

Tom Herman and the Longhorns had a rough finish to Saturday's game. Tim Warner/Getty Images

Week 10 in the Big 12 held two of the most exciting matchups of the entire 2018 season. The potential Big 12 championship preview matchup between Texas and West Virginia went down to the wire as the Mountaineers scored on a two-point conversion to secure the win with just 16 seconds left. This game was littered with highlight plays and surprisingly became a scoring shootout as both quarterbacks threw for over 300 yards and three touchdowns.

College football and Big 12 fans alike would be lucky to see these two teams face off again during championship week. But the excitement did not end there. The Sooners escaped Lubbock with a 51-46 win. Texas Tech came just one score away from completing the upset even after starting quarterback Alan Bowman was forced out of the game at halftime with an injury. Up to that point Bowman had thrown for an efficient 227 yards and two touchdowns, leading many to believe that the Red Raiders would have been able to complete the upset if it wasn’t for his unpredicted departure. What this means heading into Week 11 is that both Oklahoma and West Virginia remain just one loss teams and are set to face off in the Big 12 championship game.

Must watch games week 11:

(15) Texas vs. Texas Tech

Despite both teams currently suffering through two consecutive losses, the Longhorns vs. the Red Raiders will without a doubt be one of the most exciting games in college football this coming weekend. This game will carry a lot of significance for each of these programs not only because of their long history of epic battles but also because each of them are in dire need of returning to their winning ways. Texas came just one point away from bouncing back from their upset loss to Oklahoma State in Week 9 but were not able to hold off one of the nation’s top quarterbacks, West Virginia’s Will Grier. The Longhorns will not get much of a break in week 11 as they are tasked with the challenge of containing one of the most exciting freshman this season, Tech quarterback Alan Bowman. Neither team should need much help finding motivation to leave it all on the field in week 11, so fans should be in for a good show.

Oklahoma State vs. (6) Oklahoma

A Week 11 showdown in Oklahoma should also make your list of must watch games this Saturday. The in-state rivalry between the Sooners and the Cowboys should not disappoint as both teams have shown the potential to light up the scoreboard week in and week all season. At this point in the season Oklahoma will be fighting for their playoff lives as they sit just two spots outside the Final Four. OU has not lost a game since losing in the Red River Showdown but suffered a good scare in week 10 when Texas Tech came within just five points of handing the Sooners their second loss. The fact that Oklahoma does not seem to have completely overcome all of their flaws on the defensive side makes this matchup extremely interesting. Though the Cowboys were defeated by Baylor 35-31 last weekend, they proved themselves to be an extremely dangerous team when they took down the Longhorns in week 9. OU knows they cannot take this game lightly.

Baylor vs. (23) Iowa State

The final matchup to keep a close eye on in week 11 will be the 5-4 Baylor Bears vs. the 5-3 Iowa State Cyclones. Both teams notched big wins in their last matchups and will be heading into week 11 with plenty of momentum. The Bears took on a hot Oklahoma State team who was coming off their biggest win of the season and were able to overcome them 35-31. Iowa State easily handled Kansas 27-3 thanks to a big performance by freshman quarterback Brock Purdy and his 6’6 target Hakeem Butler. Purdy threw for almost 300 yards and 3 touchdowns, while Butler was on the receiving end of one touchdown pass and 164 yards. Look for this game to be become a stat sheet stuffing shoot out.

Players to watch week 11

Texas RB Trey Watson: While you are watching the biggest game of the week, I would recommend paying attention to Texas running back Tre Watson. Watson is coming off his best performance of the season in the Longhorns loss to West Virginia when he accumulated 80 yards rushing, 35 yards receiving and two touchdowns. If Watson's recent performance is not reason enough to keep him on the radar, the Texas Tech defense gave up 206 yards rushing and three touchdowns to Oklahoma running back Trey Sermon in their loss last Saturday. Look for Texas to try to take advantage of this weakness and keep the Red Raider defense guessing all game.

Iowa State RB David Montgomery: Another highly talented player and arguable one of the most underrated running backs in college football to watch in week 11 is the Cyclones David Montgomery. Montgomery has been a key piece to the Iowa State offense and is one of the most difficult backs to bring down in the nation. While his numbers may not always jump off the stat sheet, he must be respected by opposing defenses each week. Montgomery will get his shot at a Baylor defense that was gashed by Oklahoma State running back Justice Hill in week 10, who averaged 6.6 yards per-carry on his way to 119 yards rushing and 1 touchdowns. Iowa State would be smart to establish the running game early, letting Montgomery find his rhythm and taking pressure off Freshman quarterback Brock Purdy.

Oklahoma State WR Tylan Wallace: The final player on Week 11’s watch list is Oklahoma State wide receiver Tylan Wallace. Although he is only a Freshman, Wallace is fourth in the nation in receiving yards this season and doesn’t seem to be slowing down. Wallace has racked up six games with 100 or more yards receiving, on his way to his season total of 1,052 yards and 7 touchdowns. The Cowboy’s will need their electric playmaker to be at the top of his game in week 11 when they face off against the No. 6 ranked Oklahoma Sooners. Good news for Wallace is the fact that the Sooner defense gave up 199 yards receiving to Texas Tech star Antoine Wesley who is just two spots ahead of Wallace at No. 2 in the nation for receiving yards.

 

Most Popular

SportsMap Emails
Are Awesome

Listen Live

Houston's offense once again obliterated Baltimore in Wednesday's finale. Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images

Owners of a nine-game winning streak, the Astros tried to keep the train rolling to make it double digits and complete the three-game sweep of the Orioles in Baltimore. Not only would they get the win, but they also did it by dominating on both sides of the ball again in a one-sided shutout.

Final Score: Astros 13, Orioles 0

Astros' Record: 46-28, first in the AL West

Winning Pitcher: Jose Urquidy (6-3)

Losing Pitcher: Thomas Eshelman (0-1)

Houston keeps mashing

Unlike Tuesday's game which ended 3-1 in a much closer affair, the finale on Wednesday was once again a lopsided affair like Monda's opener, favoring the Astros. Houston once again put up double-digit runs in an offensive explosion. It started right off the bat, with three runs scoring in the top of the first on a two-RBI double by Carlos Correa and an RBI single by Kyle Tucker to grab a 3-0 lead.

Yuli Gurriel extended it to 4-0 with a two-out RBI single in the second, then Jose Altuve made it a six-run game with a two-run blast in the top of the fourth. Michael Brantley joined in with an RBI single in the top of the sixth, then Yordan Alvarez led off a four-run seventh with a solo bomb before a three-run homer by Abraham Toro made it 11-0.

Urquidy cruises through seven scoreless

Jose Urquidy was cruising all the while, allowing just three baserunners over that span, a double to start his night, which he erased, then a one-out walk in the second and leadoff single in the sixth. He returned at the bottom of the seventh with a manageable pitch count, where he'd erase a one-out single to keep Baltimore scoreless. With the insurmountable lead, he'd be given the rest of the night off. His final line: 7.0 IP, 3 H, 0 ER, 1 BB, 6 K, 84 P.

Astros complete the sweep and grab tenth straight win

Chas McCormick, who came off the bench defensively in the bottom of the seventh, made it a twelve-run lead with a one-out solo homer in the top of the eighth, then later Abraham Toro notched his fourth RBI with a run-scoring single to make it 13-0. Brandon Bielak took over for Urquidy in the bottom of the eighth, and after loading the bases with no outs, was able to escape with a strikeout and double play.

Ralph Garza Jr. was Houston's third pitcher, wrapping things up at the bottom of the ninth. He erased a one-out walk and a single with a double play to end the game, giving Houston the three-game sweep and extending their winning streak to ten games as they continue to look like baseball's best team.

Up Next: The next stop on this road trip for Houston is Detroit, where they will kick off a four-game set with the Tigers on Thursday at 6:10 PM Central. The pitching matchup for the opener will be Luis Garcia (5-4, 2.82 ERA) for Houston and Jose Urena (2-7, 5.79 ERA) for Detroit.

SportsMap Emails
Are Awesome