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November 2, 2004North offenses going south: After eight games, Kansas State is the lone Big 12 North Division team in the top half (6) of scoring offense. Minus Baylor, the Big 12 South controls spots one through five (Texas Tech, 36.4 points per game; Oklahoma, 35.5; Oklahoma State, 35.1; Texas, 34.5; Texas A&M, 31.8). Not one North team averages more than 30 points. The Wildcats are the closest at 29.6.
I could've been more than a contender? Nebraska has plenty to be excited about after its 24-3 defeat of Missouri. The Huskers now have sole control of first place in the North with a 3-2 conference record (5-3 overall), but one still wonders what could have been. Nebraska ranks 105th in the nation in turnover margin (-9) having squandered chances 27 times. During the last four games, the Cornhuskers are 2-2 and did not turn over the ball during their Missouri win, or 59-27 victory over Baylor. However, in the two losses, Nebraska gave the ball up a total of 11 times; four in a 45-21 loss to Kansas State and 7 in its 70-10 loss to Texas Tech.
"Bearly Aggie-tated": Heading into the Baylor game, Texas A&M led the nation in turnover margin (+17), led the Big 12 conference in fewest sacks allowed (five) and quarterback Reggie McNeal was the last starting Division 1-A quarterback to not have thrown an interception. Guy Morriss and the Bears changed all that during the 35-34 overtime thriller by recovering two Aggie fumbles and intercepting McNeal, as well as sacking him a season-high four times. The Baylor defense played inspired football at times after allowing 73 points in last year's meeting and a last-minute touchdown in last week's 26-25 loss to Iowa State.
Destiny's Child and the 300-pound defensive tackle that could: With three Big 12 games left, Iowa State has risen from the bottom of the Big 12 North into a tie for second place with Missouri just one game back of Nebraska. During the two-game winning streak, Iowa State has been out-gained 658 to 449 yards, but it has also benefited from two Brent Curvey touchdowns. That wouldn't seem special, unless you knew Curvey was a 6-foot, 300-pound defensive lineman. Even that isn't much of a stretch, but it's not likely you'll read about another 300-pounder breaking out for 65- and 30-yard fumble returns in back-to-back games.
His scores have been crucial for the Cyclones, who now have control of their destiny. Iowa State faces North Division leader Nebraska, followed by title contenders Kansas State and Missouri in the season finale. As sporadic as the teams have been in the North, there's no telling whether or not the Cyclones will be playing in Arrowhead Stadium (Kansas City, Mo.), Dec. 4.
In the stars: This weekend's best based on previous Rivals.com recruiting rankings.
Five stars: Oklahoma running back Adrian Peterson rushed 33 times for a season-high 249 yards and a touchdown (80 yards) in the Sooners' 38-35 win over Oklahoma State. Peterson has 1,272 rushing yards on the season.
Four stars: Texas defensive back Michael Griffin did it all in the 31-7 win over Colorado. He forced a fumble, recorded 4.5 tackles (two for loss), recorded a sack and intercepted a pass.
Three stars: Oklahoma State wide receiver D'Juan Woods caught three passes for 128 yards in the Cowboys' loss to Oklahoma.
Two stars or less: Baylor wide receiver Dominique Zeigler caught 12 passes for 121 yards and two touchdowns in Baylor's 35-34 victory over Texas A&M.
Quotes of the week: "I guess that worked out. Their coach was either going to be the hero or the burro. He's a hero right now." - Texas A&M safety Jaxson Appel on Baylor's decision to go for two.
"We need to get a road win in the Big 12 Conference. We have not won two conference games since Baylor has been in the Big 12. So there are two I would like to get off our back right now." - Baylor coach Guy Morriss on how many monkeys he still wants to get off his back.
"I think GuyMo has had this game circled for some time. Losing Dane definitely wasn't in his plans, but Bell can handle this. He has started big games before. Our defense is due to get some turnovers and Reggie is due for a couple picks (maybe one to the house). Baylor shocks the nation, Sloan pees his pants, and GuyMo gets a lifetime deal. Baylor 31, Aggies 30" - jd021480 on SicEmSports.com Friday afternoon before Baylor upset Texas A&M 35-34.
"I wonder if Baylor is savoring this win like a bowl of Blue Bell ice cream." - tabasco ag on Websider.com after the Aggie loss.
"'Rock Chalk Jayhawk Kaaaaaay UUUUUU.' I started to serenade the visiting KU fans with their own chant near the end of the game ... until my wife slugged me in the arm." - DirtyThirty on CycloneReport.com after Iowa State defeated Kansas 13-7.