After three weeks of play, the Big 12 Conference will start to see it members go head-to-head this weekend.
One of the top matchups is likely No. 16 TCU traveling to play No. 6 Oklahoma State at 2:30 p.m. at Boone Pickens Stadium. The game, set to be televised on ESPN, is pitting a pair of teams looking to keep their undefeated marks intact.
The Cowboys (3-0) are hot off a 59-21 road win against Pittsburgh.
Mason Rudolph continued to add to his Heisman Trophy résumé by throwing for 497 yards, five touchdowns and only one interception. In three games, the senior signal caller has recorded 1,135 yards, 11 touchdowns and one interception on 68 of 94 passing.
Oklahoma State head coach Mike Gundy believes his quarterback has succeeded thanks to countless amounts of reps and experience he’s gained while playing under center the past four years.
“He understands, he knows what we’re trying to accomplish,” Gundy said of where Rudolph has made his biggest strides during the Big 12 media teleconference. “He got out of his box one time Saturday and threw an interception. He didn’t progress like he’s been coached. He pre-determined a throw prior to the snap and he didn’t progress. And it cost him an interception. Other than that, he’s been really really good.”
The Horned Frogs (3-0) certainly have a difficult task ahead, when it relates to slowing down the Cowboys’ offense that hasn’t been challenged when you look at the final scores.
TCU did have some stellar performances from its defense earlier this season — giving up seven total points in its first two games against Jackson State and Arkansas — before yielding 36 to SMU in a victory over the weekend.
“They’ve been at a high level,” TCU head coach Gary Patterson said of the Cowboys offense led by Rudolph. “They’re scoring 50 points a game. You’ve got to get ready to play. For me, it’s how do I stop it and how do I slow it down? But he’s doing a great job and that’s what you get with a senior quarterback.”
Other conference games
Oklahoma travels to Baylor, while West Virginia makes the trip to Kansas to round out the rest of the Big 12 conference schedule this weekend.
The No. 3-ranked Sooners (3-0) are looking to continue their roll, which included a key road win against Ohio State, following a 56-14 win over Tulane last weekend. The Bears (0-3) are hoping to earn their first victory of the season.
“They’re definitely different schematically,” Oklahoma head coach Lincoln Riley said of the Bears. “I know the quality of coach that Matt Rhule is. And that’s been a good program. And they’ve still got a lot of good players. We’ve got a lot of respect for them. Had respect for them when we came into the league and still certainly do.”
Behind the arm of transfer quarterback Will Grier, the Mountaineers (2-1) are poised to make a run in the Big 12. The Jayhawks (1-2), meanwhile, are hoping to get back to .500.
“I’ve been studying all three sides this (Monday) morning. They look better,” West Virginia head coach Dana Holgersen said of the Jayhawks. “I know they’re disappointed in the outcomes of the last two games. But they were both incredibly competitive games. You know, a couple of breaks here and a couple of breaks there they’d been sitting right there at 3-0. … We need to be prepared for their best game this season.”
Oklahoma State’s Mason Rudolph was selected as the Offensive Player, while Texas’ Deshon Elliot (Defensive Player), Texas Tech’s Ja’Deion High (Special Teams) and Oklahoma’s Marquise Brown (Newcomer) also garnered Big 12 Conference weekly accolades.
Rudolph recorded 497 yards — including a school record 423 in the first half — and five touchdowns in a win at Pittsburgh over the weekend. Elliot notched two interceptions and also had seven tackles, five solo, and two pass breakups in a double-overtime loss at USC.
High blocked a punt before halftime that led to a crucial Texas Tech scoring drive and aided the Red Raiders to a home win against Arizona State. Brown tallied a game-high six catches for 155 yards and one touchdown in the Sooners win over Tulane.
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