OU delivers Red River Massacre; more early Snap Judgments
Oklahoma's 63-21 win over Texas might have been Bob Stoops' best yet
Kansas State survived an upset scare at Iowa State to remain undefeated
Big East teams Louisville and Rutgers are still perfect and impressing
No. 13 Oklahoma 63, No. 15 Texas 21: The Texas State Fair is largely a family-friendly event, but Oklahoma coach Bob Stoops has turned the Cotton Bowl into a frequent staging ground for the Texas Longhorns Massacre.
It may seem hard to believe with Oklahoma previously posting blowouts of 63-14 (in 2000), 65-13 (2003) and 55-17 (2011) against Mack Brown's Texas teams, but Saturday's 63-21 decision may have been Stoops' most thorough Red River beatdown yet. A Sooners offense that had its share of early-season questions racked up 407 first-half yards against Manny Diaz's rapidly deteriorating defense and jumped to a 36-2 halftime lead. Following the blueprint of Oklahoma State and West Virginia before them, the Sooners turned to the ground game and found out very quickly that Texas ... cannot ... tackle. Running back Damien Williams broke a 95-yard touchdown run, while backup quarterback Blake Bell finished off four first-half drives with rushing scores.
But the real takeaway is just what an impact defensive coordinator Mike Stoops has made in his return to Norman. Oklahoma's secondary, so prone to breakdowns in recent years, was spectacular Saturday, intercepting Longhorns quarterback David Ash twice and limiting him to 13 completions for 116 yards and no touchdowns. Texas managed just 67 yards in the first half. The Sooners came in ranked in the top 20 defensively and will likely move up.
After its Sept. 22 loss to Kansas State, Oklahoma (4-1, 2-1 Big 12) does not control its destiny in the Big 12, but at least it has reason to believe it can remain in the race. (Though Stoops' teams do have a history of playing far better against the 'Horns than some lesser foes.) Meanwhile, Texas (4-2, 1-2) is in danger of letting a once-promising season fall apart. Brown, now 5-9 against Oklahoma, will take some heat this week in Austin -- though of course that's nothing new. [RECAP | BOX]
No. 6 Kansas State 27, Iowa State 21: Kudos to Bill Snyder's Wildcats. These days, it's an accomplishment if any highly ranked team can make it out of the upset pit that is Jack Trice Stadium with its undefeated record intact. And there were certainly moments Saturday when it appeared the Cyclones, who knocked of TCU last week, might have another upset in them.
But Collin Klein was Collin Klein, rushing 25 times for 105 yards and three touchdowns and completing 16-of-24 passes for 187 yards through the air. And the Kansas State defense was the Kansas State defense: Twice Iowa State took over in the final minutes with a chance to drive for the lead, and twice linebacker Arthur Brown and the Wildcats denied even a first down. And so, K-State (6-0, 3-0) moves on to a potentially enormous game next week in Morgantown. [RECAP | BOX]
No. 18 Louisville 45, Pittsburgh 35: The Panthers threatened early, taking a 21-14 lead late in the first half. But starting with a 45-yard John Wallace field goal two seconds before halftime, Teddy Bridgewater and the Cardinals reeled off 24 unanswered points. Louisville (6-0) was playing its first conference game of the year, while the Panthers (2-4) have begun 0-3 in the Big East for the first time since 2001. [RECAP | BOX]
No. 20 Rutgers 23, Syracuse 15: Khaseem Greene is the man. The reigning Big East Defensive Player of the Year and prospective All-America forced three fumbles and intercepted a pass in a typically Rutgers-esque game in which the Scarlet Knights won despite gaining just 237 yards of offense. Rutgers is 6-0. Repeat, Rutgers is 6-0. [RECAP | BOX]
Wisconsin 38, Purdue 14: A warm welcome back to 2011 Heisman finalist Monteť Ball. The Wisconsin star, who had been averaging a modest (by his standards) 94.8 yards per game, burst for 247 yards and three touchdowns on 29 carries. This was an important win for the Badgers (5-2, 2-1 Big Ten), who are now the lone postseason-eligible Leaders Division team with fewer than two conference losses. [RECAP | BOX]
Northwestern 21, Minnesota 13: Wildcats running back Venric Mark is becoming a weekly staple of the 12 p.m. ET television window. The junior broke first-half touchdown runs of 26 and 48 yards en route to a 182-yard rushing day. Northwestern (6-1, 2-1) went up 21-10 at halftime on a rainy afternoon in Minneapolis, then survived a second-half slogfest by keeping the Gophers out of the end zone on four plays from inside the 10 late in the fourth quarter. [RECAP | BOX]
Virginia Tech 41, Duke 20: The Blue Devils continue to tease. Needing just one more win to become bowl eligible for the first time since 1994, Duke jumped to a 20-0 lead at Lane Stadium ... and then watched the Hokies (4-3) score the next 41. Virginia Tech freshman tailback J.C. Coleman, who came in with just 136 yards on the season, exploded for 182 yards and two touchdowns on 13 carries. [RECAP | BOX]
Ole Miss 41, Auburn 20: The Rebels (4-3) ended their two-year, 16-game SEC losing streak and scored their most lopsided win over the Tigers since 1992. That's a bit deceiving, though: The score was 27-20 with just more than five minutes remaining before Boo Wallace hit Jeff Scott for a 55-yard touchdown. Auburn falls to 1-5. Gene Chizik's approval rating nears negative territory. [RECAP | BOX]
Iowa 19, Michigan State 16 (2OT): A tipped pass-turned Hawkeyes interception gave an appropriately ugly ending to an ugly game. Michigan State (4-3, 1-2) will not be ending its 25-year Rose Bowl drought anytime soon. [RECAP | BOX]