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Josh Stewart rescues Oklahoma State offense still finding its way
Week 8 was another typical week in an atypical year for the Big 12.
Baylor scored 70. Texas Tech kept winning. Oklahoma couldn’t stop the run. TCU couldn’t find an offense. Oklahoma State couldn’t find a quarterback. And Kansas took an early lead before losing decisively.
That about sums up the Big 12 in 2013, especially in a week when unpredictable Texas and scrappy Kansas State stayed at home.
Big 12 Week 8 Recap and Awards
Offensive Player of the Week: Josh Stewart, Oklahoma State
With a quarterback change in Stillwater, Josh Stewart remained the constant. The Cowboys struggled with passers again this season, but no matter who is taking snaps, the goal should be to get the ball to Stewart. The junior caught 10 passes for 141 yards, including a 27-yard pass from receiver Charlie Moore that set up a touchdown. Stewart flourished in his matchup with Jason Verrett and the standout TCU secondary, but he found the end zone on a 95-yard punt return for a touchdown in the first quarter.
Defensive Player of the Week: Charles Tapper, Oklahoma
With starters Jordan Phillips and Corey Nelson out, Oklahoma has struggled at times to stop the run. Thanks to defensive end Charles Tapper, OU clamped down on Kansas after falling behind 13-0. Tapper finished with six tackles, two sacks and three tackles for a loss in a 34-19 win. With 15 yards passing and three sacks, Kansas quarterback Jake Heaps accounted for minus-3 yards of total offense.
Freshman of the Week: Davis Webb, Texas Tech
At this point, the Big 12 freshman of the week should be renamed the Baker Mayfield/Davis Webb freshman of the week award. Red Raiders quarterbacks have owned this spot this season. Webb completed 35 of 50 passes for 462 yards with two touchdowns in a 37-27 road win over West Virginia. Webb had a potentially game-turning fumble at the 1-yard line in the second quarter, but he rebounded to lead three unanswered scoring drives in the final 17:26.
Team of the Week: Texas Tech
The meat of Texas Tech’s schedule begins next week with a road trip to Norman, but the Red Raiders continue to answer the call. West Virginia led by 11 at home, but Tech scored the final 21 points to preserve a 7-0 start. In his first season, coach Kliff Kingsbury has matched Tommy Tuberville’s best regular season and has brought Texas Tech into the top 10 for the first time since the magical 2008 season.
Coordinator of the Week: Phil Bennett, Baylor
The Baylor offense had its fourth 70-point day of the season, a milestone that is quickly becoming routine in Waco. What wasn’t routine was Baylor’s defense. The Bears had their best defensive game of the season, holding Iowa State to 174 total yards and 2.9 yards per play. Both were season-bests for the Baylor defense. Iowa State didn’t find the end zone until the final 47 seconds.
• Baylor’s 64-point win over Iowa State was the largest margin of victory for the Bears in a conference game, Big 12 or Southwest Conference.
• If Baylor defeats Kansas next week, it will have the longest win streak in school history at 11 games.
• Baylor quarterback Bryce Petty picked up his first red zone touchdown of the season with a four-yard score to Antwan Goodley in the first quarter.
• Texas Tech’s 7-0 start overall and 4-0 start in the Big 12 are both the best for the Red Raiders since 2008. Kliff Kingsbury is the first Big 12 coach to start his career 7-0.
• Texas Tech was ranked ninth in the coaches’ poll and 10th in the AP poll Sunday, the first time the Red Raiders have been in the top 10 since the 2008 season.
• TCU forced four turnovers and lost. The Horned Frogs are 35-2 in the last 37 when forcing at least three turnovers.
• Oklahoma allowed Kansas quarterback Jake Heaps to complete only 5 of 13 passes. The Sooners hadn’t allowed five or fewer passes since Chattanooga went 3 of 17 on Aug. 30, 2008. OU has allowed single-digit pass completions twice this season, giving up nine to Notre Dame.