Big 12 Football Preview: Week 3

Seven league teams face Power 5 conference foes as the football schedule heads into high gear.

NARRATIVE

While the examination, analysis and attention focused on the performance of conferences has gone way overboard in the national and local media, there's no denying that Big 12 teams have some big opportunities to make a name for themselves this weekend. Unfortunately, a undue amount of attention will be placed on how the league's results stack up as a whole, rather than on the individual teams. While it's true that the relative strengths of the conferences will have a bit of an impact in determining the participants in the college football playoff and the matchups in other bowls, it won't be one that cuts the final decision.

That said, Texas Tech, West Virginia, Oklahoma, Kansas, Iowa State, TCU and Texas all have chances to add a good win to their own resumes. The kicker? The foes of those seven teams are a combined 13-1 this year. Add in the other two games, and Big 12 opponents this week sport a strong 15-3 record.


MORE ON THE SCHEDULE

This marks the first time in Big 12 history that it will face seven teams from the peer conferences in the same week. The next-closest was five on September 21, 1996.


GROUND ATTACKS

Big 12 teams have been stronger on the ground in the early going than in years past. Last week, touchdowns were evenly split between the run and the pass (20 each), but in week one the total was 25-17 in favor of the run.

With three QBs out in week two (Bryce Petty, David Ash and J.W. Walsh), a heavier than expected does of the run might have been expected -- with the exception of Baylor, which continued to shred defenses through the air without missing a beat.


PICKS

  • As demonstrated last week, it doesn't matter who is playing quarterback for Baylor. Bryce Petty or Tom Petty, and the Bears will roll against competition of the likes of Buffalo.

  • West Virginia shouldn't have any trouble getting motivated for a Maryland team that blasted it in Baltimore a year ago. The Terps still have a lot of offensive firepower, and probably won't turn it over as they did a week ago. Still, the feeling is this is a different WVU team, so the Mountaineers are the narrow pick.

  • The Cy-Hawk Series game shouldn't present any motivational problems in and of itself, but can Iowa State respond after two tough losses, including a gut-punch conference defeat to Kansas State a week ago? Iowa might not be much better, having to score twice in the fourth quarter to rally against Ball State. Picking either to win is fraught with difficulty, but the Hawkeyes get the narrow call.

  • Kansas travels to Duke for a matchup in Cameron Indoor Stadium ... er ... wait a minute. Let's reset to football, which drops this encounter from marquee status to interesting sidelight. The Blue Devils lost some key players from its team of a year ago but still figure to be a bowl contender. That's too much for the Jayhawks, who will battle almost every week to overcome a talent deficit.

  • In a battle of two teams that appeared headed for mid-pack finishes, at best, in their respective leagues, it will be the Red Raiders wo seize the initiative and come away with a win over Arkansas. Does any team in the league feed off its home fans more than Tech?

  • TCU welcomes an apparently improving Gopher squad to Fort Worth, and should have enough offense to keep the Big Ten struggling in out-of-conference play.

  • UTSA should be feeling good after an ultra-competitive loss to Arizona, but will it be difficult to get up for a tough road game at Oklahoma State? Had the Roadrunners knocked off the Wildcats, or better yet, had a tuneup game just prior to this one, they would have gotten the upset call. It's just tough to see them mustering such a strong effort in consecutive weeks.

  • This is the first time UT and OU have played in 46 years. While that hardly seems possible, what is very possible is that the Sooners will dominate. The Vols are improving under Butch Jones, but they aren't far enough down that path to threaten a Sooner squad at home.

  • Texas looked abysmal last week against BYU. While a better effort is expected, it won't be enough to knock off UCLA, which is clearly a Top 20 squad.



    Baylor

    2-0 / 0-0
    at Buffalo
    Fri Sep 12
    8:00 PM E / 7:00 PM C
    ESPN
    Quarterback Seth Russell threw for 438 yards and five touchdowns in just one half of action in the Bears’ win over NSU. Both numbers marked BU records for a half.

    Baylor held opponents scoreless through the first 77:06 of game time this season before an NSU field goal in the second quarter. The Bears have yet to surrender a touchdown.


    Iowa State

    0-2 / 0-1
    at Iowa
    Sat Sep 13
    3:30 PM E / 2:30 PM C
    ABC/ESPN2
    Against K-State, receiver Jarvis West became the first collegiate player since 2010 to record a punt return touchdown, a receiving touchdown and a passing touchdown in the same game. Allen Lazard is the first Cyclone true freshman on off ense to start a game since Josh Lenz in 2009.


    Kansas

    1-0 / 0-0
    at Duke
    Sat Sep 13
    3:30 PM E / 2:30 PM C
    ACC Network
    Sophomore quarterback Montell Cozart threw the first touchdown pass of his career and was the first Jayhawks QB with three touchdown passes in a game since 2011. The Jayhawks rolled up 297 rushing yards against Southeast Missouri State, lead by De’Andre Mann with 121 yards on 15 rushes.


    Kansas State

    2-0 / 1-0
    Open Date
    Next Game
    Thu Sep 18
    vs. Auburn
    Quarterback Jake Waters threw for 239 yards and ran for a career-high 138 yards at Iowa State, including what would prove to be a game winning 8-yard touchdown with 1:30 remaining in the game. The ISU victory was K-State’s first come-from-behind win since a 53-50 four-overtime shootout against Texas A&M in 2011.


    Oklahoma

    2-0 / 0-0
    vs Tennessee
    Sat Sep 13
    8:00 PM E / 7:00 PM C
    ABC/ESPN
    The Sooners were dominant on the ground for the second-consecutive week, running for 273 total yards and four touchdowns. OU now has nine rushing touchdowns on the year to lead the Conference.

    OU has the best point diff erential (+77) and turnover margin (+3) among the AP Top 5 teams. The Sooners have scored a combined 100 points in their first two games.


    Oklahoma State

    1-1 / 0-0
    vs UTSA
    Sat Sep 13
    7:00 PM E / 6:00 PM C
    Fox Sports Net
    Backup quarterback Daxx Garman, in the first major action of his Cowboy career, was 16-of-26 for 244 yards and two touchdowns against Missouri State. The Cowboys set a school record on special teams with three blocked kicks against Missouri State. OSU blocked a field goal, a punt and an extra point attempt in the game.


    TCU

    1-0 / 0-0
    vs Minnesota
    Sat Sep 13
    4:00 PM E / 3:00 PM C
    Fox Sports 1
    TCU racked up 555 off ensive yards in the season-opening win over Samford on Aug. 30, including 200 yards on the ground by eight diff erent 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

    1-1 / 0-0
    vs UCLA
    Sat Sep 13
    8:00 PM E / 7:00 PM C
    Fox
    Quarterback Tyrone Swoopes was 20-of-31 passing for 176 yards and a touchdown against BYU in the first start of his collegiate career in place of injured starter David Ash. Receiver Jaxon Shipley became just the eighth player in school history to go over 2,000 receiving yards in a career. Shipley caught five passes for 36 yards in the game.


    Texas Tech

    2-0 / 0-0
    vs Arkansas
    Sat Sep 13
    3:30 PM E / 2:30 PM C
    ABC/ESPN2
    Sophomore signal caller Davis Webb threw three touchdown passess to receiver Bradley Marquez in the Red Raiders’ 30-26 win at UTEP. Running back Justin Stockton had 135 yards on eight carries and became the first Texas Tech freshman to rush for 100 yards since Taurean Henderson ran for 141 yards on 21 carries in 2002.


    West Virginia

    1-1 / 0-0
    at Maryland
    Sat Sep 13
    12:00 PM E / 11:00 AM C
    Big Ten Network
    Clint Trickett was 35-of-40 passing for 348 yards and three touchdowns against Towson. After two weeks, he is 64-of-85 with no interceptions and 713 yards. Wide receiver Kevin White had his second-consecutive 100-yard receiving game as he hauled in 10 passes for a game-high 101 receiving yards.

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