Memphis

No. 9 Baylor leading, but not dominating, No. 9 K-State at the half

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Here’s the ridiculous standard No. 6 Baylor is playing against tonight: the Bears lead No. 9 Kansas State 24-14 at the half, and they have to wonder if it’s going to be good enough.

Baylor jumped out to a 14-0 lead on one-yard plunges by Bryce Petty and Shock Linwood, but it could have been worse as Petty was intercepted in the Kansas State end zone by Randall Evans.

Kansas State dented the scoreboard in the second quarter with a one-yard plunge of its own by Charles Jones, but the Bears responded with a 70-yard drive (its fourth of the half), punctuated by a two-yard Johnny Jefferson run. Jake Waters hit Zach Trujillo for a 36-yard catch-and-run to pull the Wildcats back within one score, but Baylor responded with a 46-yard field goal by Chris Callahan as time expired.

Baylor has won 15 straight at home and 29 straight when leading at the half.

Kansas State is playing very conservatively on defense, and Petty has responded by completing 24-of-29 passes for 260 yards and that interception.

Overall, Baylor has out-gained K-State 375-179.

Kansas State will get the ball to open the second half.

No. 11 Kansas State clobbers Oklahoma State 48-14, sets up Big 12 showdown in Fort Worth

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Oklahoma State accepted the opening kickoff in Manhattan and moved 84 yards in eight plays, finding pay dirt with a two-yard touchdown run by Tyreek Hill.

And then Kansas State woke up.

The No. 11 Wildcats ran off 45 unanswered points over the visiting Cowboys, cruising to a 48-14 victory and setting up a date in Fort Worth next week against No. 10 TCU with major Big 12 and College Football Playoff implications.

Morgan Burns started the onslaught by returning a kickoff 86 yards for a touchdown to tie the game at 7-7, and the Wildcats added two more touchdowns before half, a six-yard dash by Charles Jones and a 17-yard pass from Jake Waters to Curry Sexton. Waters pushed the score to 28-7 with a 20-yard strike to Tyler Lockett, and Jones’ second score pushed the lead to 38-7 with 13:28 to go.

Oklahoma State’s second touchdown came on a 38-yard interception return of a Joe Huebner pass by Ramon Richards.

Waters completed 19-of-28 passes for 223 yards and those two touchdowns, and added 34 yards on nine carries. Jones rushed 10 times for 43 yards and two touchdowns.

Daxx Garman struggled, again, completing 12-of-23 passes for 148 yards and two interceptions. Hill continues to be a bright spot in a lost season for Oklahoma State, leading the club in rushing (18 carries for 102 yards) and receiving (one grab for 34 yards.)

The loss drops Oklahoma State to an uncharacteristic 5-4 heading into an off week.

Kansas State, meanwhile, is 5-0 in Big 12 play for the second time in three seasons, with a winner-take-the-Playoff-driver’s-seat game against TCU waiting next weekend after the Frogs escaped Morgantown with a last-second 31-30 win.

The degree of difficulty rises significantly from here, as K-State closes at TCU, then at West Virginia on a Thursday night, and ends the season at Baylor on Dec. 6, with a home breather against Kansas mixed in on Nov. 29.

No. 11 Kansas State leading Oklahoma State 21-7 at the half

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Oklahoma State took the opening kickoff in Manhattan and immediately shoved it down No. 11 Kansas State’s throat, going 84 yards in eight plays over three minutes and 12 seconds to take a 7-0 lead.

Since then it’s been pretty much all Wildcats as K-State leads 21-7 at the half.

Morgan Burns returned Oklahoma State’s kickoff 86 yards for a touchdown to tie the score, and then Charles Jones gave the Wildcats a 14-7 lead on a six-yard scoring plunge.

Jake Waters hit Curry Sexton with a 17-yard scoring strike with 12:36 to go in the first half to give us our halftime score.

The key play came when Oklahoma State intercepted Waters shortly before halftime, but the play was called back when Jimmy Bean has tagged with a late hit on Waters.

Waters has completed 9-of-17 passes for 77 yards and the aforementioned touchdown, while three Wildcats runners have managed just 13 carries for 65 yards.

Tyreek Hill leads the Pokes with 14 carries for 91 yards and a touchdown, while Daxx Garman has completed 8-of-16 passes for 110 yards and two interceptions – one on a Hail Mary just before the halftime gun.

Oklahoma State will receive the ball to open the second half.

The Fifth Quarter: Week 5 Rewind

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As is the case each and every season, each and every week, any omission below is not on purpose, it’s merely intentional.

THUMBS UP

Exorcising the Raleigh ghosts
When it comes Raleigh, NC, that college town has served as Florida State’s kryptonite over the past couple of decades.  Six times since 1998 a ranked FSU squad lost to North Carolina State, the most recent coming in 2012.  The Wolfpack were looking to continue that rather bizarre run of success, jumping out to a 24-7 first-quarter lead and holding a 10-point lead with just over six minutes remaining in the third quarter.

The reigning Heisman winner and one of his backfield sidekicks, however, weren’t having any of that.

In his first game since a one-game suspension, Winston tossed a pair of third-quarter touchdown passes to give the ‘Noles their first lead of the game at 42-38.  A Karlos Williams one-yard touchdown run three minutes into the fourth quarter essentially put the game away — Winston’s inexplicable interception, which had Jimbo Fisher downright irate, notwithstanding — while Williams’ 12-yard scamper with just over two minutes remaining put the exclamation point on the closer-than-it-looked 56-41 win.  Winston wound up completing 26-of-38 passes for 365 yards and four touchdowns while Williams added 126 yards and three touchdowns to stave off the upset bid.

The win kept FSU’s winning streak alive, extending its school record to 20 straight.  However, the Seminoles have already seen its stranglehold on the top spot in the Top 25 rankings loosened over the past couple of weeks; it’s highly likely that support will weaken yet again when the polls are released Sunday afternoon.  Will it be enough to knock them off the perch?  Probably not this week, but it certainly wouldn’t be surprising if a team like Oklahoma or Alabama leapfrogged the defending BCS champions.

Good gawd Gurley
You would have to do a pretty damn good job to convince me that Todd Gurley is not the best football player in the country this year.  In Georgia’s nail-biting  35-32 win over Tennessee Between the Hedges, the junior running back rushed for a career-high 208 yards and a pair of touchdowns; 129 of those yards came in the pivotal fourth quarter.  One of the scores was a 51-yard thing of beauty that put the back’s exceptional vision and cutting ability on full display.   On his next run after that, he hurdled a Vols defender on his way to a 26-yard gain midway through the fourth quarter.  Provided he stays healthy the remainder of the season, there’s simply no way Gurley won’t at least receive a mid-December invitation to New York City for the Heisman Trophy ceremony.  If Mark Richt & Company continues to feed the beast, that is.

Elementary, my dear Watson
Against North Carolina Saturday, Deshaun Watson became the first true freshman to start at quarterback for Clemson in 20 years (Nealon Greene, 1994 vs. South Carolina). Watson’s debut as a starter was a monster one as the five-star 2014 signee completed 27-of-36 passes for 434 yards and six touchdowns.  The scoring tosses are a school record for a freshman, or for any other class for that matter, as well as an ACC record for a frosh. According to a note from the school, the Tigers are now 5-12 all-time in games started by first-year freshman quarterbacks; three of those five wins have come at the expense of the Tar Heels.  Based on Watson’s play in his first outing, it appears likely he’ll get the opportunity to add to that overall win total as, barring injury, there’s little doubt it’s his job moving forward.

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Ex-Husker DT Chase Rome lands at Memphis

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Sunday night, quarterback Jacob Karam announced via Twitter that Chase Rome would be transferring to Memphis.

A day later, the player himself has confirmed as much, telling MemphisRoar.com that he will be moving on from Nebraska to the Tigers.

I’m really excited,” said Rome told the website. “Seeing the passion that the players have for the program is something I haven’t seen anywhere. They are so optimistic despite a few tough seasons and have such great drive there.”

Memphis has yet to announce the addition of Rome to its roster.

As Rome will graduate from Nebraska this summer, he will be eligible to play immediately in 2013.  The defensive tackle will have three years of eligibility.

Rome’s departure from the Cornhuskers earlier this offseason was actually the second time he had left the program in less than a year.  In early September, it was announced that Rome had left in order to deal with personal issues.  A week later, he returned.

After redshirting as a true freshman in 2010, Rome played in 21 games the past two seasons.  He started five of those contests and was credited with 32 tackles, 1.5 tackles for loss and a sack.

Coming out of Columbia, Missouri, Rome was a four-star member of NU’s 2010 recruiting class.  Rivals.com rated him as the No. 30 defensive tackle in that class and the No. 7 player at any position in the state of Missouri.

(Photo credit: Nebraska athletics)