Big 12 Football Preview: Week 2

Early returns were mostly good for the Big 12. Week two sees the start of league play as well as a couple of other games that could spell trouble for conference members.

EARLY LEAGUE PLAY

Kansas State travels to Iowa State for the first Big 12 conference game of the year. Getting a leg up with the first league win can be a vital springboard to success in October and November.

EARLY JUDGMENTS

The Big 12 went 6-3 on opening weekend, with two teams (Oklahoma State and West Virginia) dropping competitive contests to the top two ranked teams in the nation. Still, those are two losses on the ledger. The third, Iowa State's loss to three-time FCS national champion South Dakota State, wasn't an embarrassment, but it still is a game that league teams need to win.

EARLY QB PLAY

Big 12 starting quarterbacks completed 202 of 315 passes (.641) for 2,835 yards and 16 touchdowns with seven interceptions on the opening weekend. With a number of new passers in play, this was a strong start to the season. However, two returnees, David Ash and Bryce Petty, suffered injuries that could keep them out in the coming weeks.


PICKS

  • Iowa State might not be as bad as its loss to North Dakota State might suggest, but the loss of its best two offensive players puts it at an even bigger disadvantage against visiting Kansas State. Even the howling Iowa winds won't help the Cyclones hold off the invading Wildcats.

  • Oklahoma hits the road for a shortish trip to Tulsa to face the Golden Hurricane. If the Soooners fly to the game, they might score more points than minutes their plane is in the air, which will be more than enough to move to 2-0.

  • Oklahoma State and West Virginia face similar challenges -- keeping focus and coming up with maximum effort at home after a hard-fought loss to a national power at a neutral site. The Cowboys are up first in mid-afternoon, and while the performance might not be optimum, they will make the home crowd happy with a win.

  • When a team has more than one modifier in its name (e.g., South Central Louisiana State University), it's usually a underdog to a Big 12 team. However, when the opponent is Kansas, it's not an automatic. The Redhawks crushed Missouri Baptist 77-0 last week, and thus have the tuneup edge over the Jayhawks, who are playing their opener. Still, KU has to win this one, doesn't it? Count a shaky pick for the home team.

  • Even if Petty doesn't play (he says he will be available), the Bears have far too much offense for Northwestern State to cope with.

  • Texas wants revenge against a BYU team that pounded it a year ago. Texas is at home. But Texas is breaking in a new QB. Which factors hold more weight? The feeling here is that the Cougars will ride a tough offensive line and better quarterback play to a narrow upset win.

  • West Virginia has too much talent for a Towson team that made a trip to the FCS finals a year ago. The Tigers gave up an ugly late score to lose to Central Connecticut State last week, and while they'll be motivated, won't have enough to slow the Mountaineer passing game.

  • It wasn't that long ago tht UTEP was a team to be reckoned with, but after a narrow win over moribund New Mexico, the Miners don't have the look of an upsetter. The Red Raiders have their own concerns following an up and down win over Central Arkansas, but the feeling is that Kliff's Kids will put forth a more polished effort in week two and gather the win.



    Baylor

    1-0 / 0-0
    vs Northwestern St
    Sat Sep 6
    7:30 PM E / 6:30 PM C
    Fox Sports Net
    Senior quarterback Bryce Petty has thrown for at least two touchdowns in each of his 14 starts and he broke Robert Griffin III’s record with a TD pass in 14-consecutive games.

    The 45-0 win over SMU marked the first defensive shutout for Baylor against an FBS opponent since 1995.


    Iowa State

    0-1 / 0-0
    vs Kansas State
    Sat Sep 6
    12:00 PM E / 11:00 AM C
    Fox Sports 1
    Running back Aaron Wimberly recorded the second multi-touchdown performance of his career (2013, Texas). Wimberly scored both of the Cyclones’ rushing touchdowns in the season-opener

    Last week’s sellout crowd at Jack Trice Stadium (54,800) marked the Cyclones’ 20th-consecutve home game with at least 50,000 in attendance.


    Kansas

    0-0 / 0-0
    vs SE Missouri State
    Sat Sep 6
    7:00 PM E / 6:00 PM C
    Jayhawk TV Network
    Kansas starts the 2014 campaign against Southeast Missouri State on Saturday. The Jayhawks have won three consecutive season-openers.

    Sophomore quarterback Montell Cozart, who played seven games and started three last season, has been named the 2014 opening-day starter.


    Kansas State

    1-0 / 0-0
    at Iowa State
    Sat Sep 6
    12:00 PM E / 11:00 AM C
    Fox Sports 1
    Kansas State’s 55 points against Stephen F. Austin were the most in a season-opener since scoring 64 against New Mexico State on Sept. 22, 2001.

    Quarterback Jake Waters completed 19-of-28 passes for 223 yards and four touchdowns, a career-high, in the win.


    Oklahoma

    1-0 / 0-0
    at Tulsa
    Sat Sep 6
    12:00 PM E / 11:00 AM C
    ABC/ESPN2
    The Sooners’ trio of running backs - Alex Ross, Keith Ford and Samaje Perine - combined for 183 yards and five touchdowns in Oklahoma’s 48-16 season-opening win over Louisiana Tech

    The Sooners currently own the conference’s longest winning streak, having won five-consecutive games dating back to last season.


    Oklahoma State

    0-1 / 0-0
    vs Missouri State
    Sat Sep 6
    3:30 PM E / 2:30 PM C
    Fox Sports Net
    Tyreek Hill ammassed 278 all-purpose yards in his debut for the Cowboys against Florida State, the most in school history for a player making his debut. The junior averaged 12.6 yards per touch.

    Of the 22 players who started on offense or defense for Oklahoma State against No. 1 Florida State, 11 were making the first start of their career as a Cowboy.


    TCU

    1-0 / 0-0
    Open Date
    Next Game
    Sat Sep 13
    vs Minnesota
    TCU racked up 555 offensive yards in the season-opening win over Samford, including 200 yards on the ground by eight different rushers.

    Quarterback Trevon Boykin completed 29 of 41 passes for 321 yards and two touchdowns. Boykin also ran for 29 yards and added a score on the ground.


    Texas

    1-0 / 0-0
    vs BYU
    Sat Sep 6
    7:30 PM E / 6:30 PM C
    Fox Sports 1
    The Longhorns put together a dominant defensive performance, giving up 94 total yards, including just 15 passing yards, the ninth-fewest in school history

    The Texas defense picked off four passes against North Texas, the team’s most interceptions since 2009. The Longhorns registered 10 interceptions in the 2013 season.


    Texas Tech

    1-0 / 0-0
    at UTEP
    Sat Sep 6
    11:00 PM E / 10:00 PM C
    Fox Sports 1
    Sophomore signal caller Davis Webb completed 39 of 52 passes in the season-opening win over Central Arkansas for 452 yards and four touchdowns.

    Running back Deandre Washington put up the first 100-yard rushing performance of his career with 104 yards on 20 carries and the first of the season for the Big 12.


    West Virginia

    0-1 / 0-0
    vs Towson
    Sat Sep 6
    7:30 PM E / 6:30PM C
    Root Sports
    Clint Trickett opened the 2014 season with a career day, completing 29 of 45 passes for 365 yards and a touchdown against No. 2 Alabama.

    Wide receiver Kevin White was one of the beneficiaries of Trickett’s career performance. White caught nine passes for a game-high 143 yards and a touchdown.

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