The Norman Transcript

National Sports

September 17, 2013

Big 12 teams take time off to make tweaks

DES MOINES, Iowa — The season is three weeks old, and yet there seems to be as many questions marks in the Big 12 now as there were in August.

It’s probably a good thing that nearly half the league has the weekend off.

Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, TCU and Iowa State started bye weeks on Monday — and each is doing its best to take advantage of its early-season break.

Oklahoma State coach Mike Gundy would rather have one bye week in the middle of the season rather than one this week and another in October.

Still, the Cowboys (3-0) head into their first break on a roll after pounding Lamar 59-3. Gundy noted improvements in tackling, special teams coverage and overall fundamentals against the FCS Cardinals.

Oklahoma State, ranked No. 11 in the nation, has two weeks to prepare for their Big 12 opener at West Virginia (2-1) on Sept. 28.

The Mountaineers don’t have it nearly so easy. They face regional rival Maryland in Baltimore on Saturday.

“I think we’re about where we would expect to be. We obviously have a plan for our football team,” Gundy said. “It’s obviously a long-term plan. It’s to try to make us the best team we can in the end of November and December, and I feel like were close to being on track.”

For TCU, the bye will give it additional time to bounce back from a 1-2 start.

The Horned Frogs were 4 of 16 on third-down conversions and picked up 13 penalties for 115 yards in a 20-10 loss to Texas Tech — which helped the Red Raiders snag the final spot in this week’s Top 25.

TCU is allowing nearly 25 points a game, is ninth in the Big 12 with 190.7 yards passing per game and has just two TD passes this season.

The Horned Frogs host SMU on Sept. 28.

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