Football

The Big 12 Report: Week 5 Previews

Your weekly review and preview of this week’s Big 12 games.

Baylor Bears (4-0, 0-0) vs. Iowa State Cyclones (1-3, 0-0)
What Happened Last Week for Baylor: Baylor 35, Oklahoma State 24 (Box Score)
What Happened Last Week for Iowa State: Iowa State 44, San Jose State 10 (Box Score)
Location: Jack Trice Stadium | Ames, Iowa
Date and Time: Saturday, October 1st at 1:00 am
Television: FS1
Line: Baylor -17

Brian: Iowa State, if you’re going to get your first win of the season 4 games in, you might as well do it in style by looking absolutely ferocious in those Stormfront jerseys last weekend (#fashionblog). Things started finally coming together for the Cyclones on offense, which is very good considering that what has been a somewhat suspect Baylor defense is coming into Jack Trice on Saturday. ISU found a lot of success running both Park & Lanning at QB, and their offensive line started to come together to give Mike Warren some running lanes. To Baylor’s credit, while they gave up plenty of yards to the Pokes, their defense held fast when it counted and kept OSU out of the end zone their fair share of times. Baylor QB Seth Russell started to look a bit more like his old self after looking a bit shaky through 3 games, and was able to pick up where he left off with Ish Zamora, who returned last Saturday from a 3 game suspension. You know, the one he served for beating a dog? On video? Look for Zamora to be the go-to receiver with KD Cannon possibly unavailable after suffering a muscle injury last weekend. The Cyclones will have to hope that Russell returns to his early season self and create some turnovers much like they did against SJSU, otherwise Baylor may pick up too much steam for them to handle. Also, fun fact: Baylor has lost 2 of the last 3 games they’ve played in Ames.

Texas Longhorns (2-1, 0-0) vs. Oklahoma State Cowboys (2-2, 0-1)
What Happened Last Week for Texas: BYE
What Happened Last Week for Oklahoma State: Baylor 35, Oklahoma State 24 (Box Score)
Location: Boone Pickens Stadium | Stillwater, Oklahoma
Date and Time: Saturday, October 1st at 11:00 am
Television: FOX
Line: Oklahoma State -3

I thought for sure that Texas had turned the corner a bit, but I didn’t happen and now, I’m not sure what to think. The pass defenses for both teams are pitiful and this makes me think that the team with the better quarterback should win, and that’s Oklahoma State. Mason Rudolph is the second most talented quarterback in the Big 12 and although I like Shane Buchele, he’s a freshman and he’ll make freshman mistakes, especially on the road.  And although I tend to criticize Texas Tech for rough road performances, I think it’s the norm to simply not be as good on the road and I expect OSU to play much better than they did last week, especially on offense.  For Texas, I think their best shot is to run the heck out of the ball, but that somewhat plays into Oklahoma State’s hands as they’ve got another terrific defensive line that’s probably as equipped as anyone in the conference to stop the Longhorns.

Kansas State Wildcats (2-1, 0-0) vs. West Virginia Mountaineers (3-0, 0-0)
What Happened Last Week for Kansas State: Kansas State 35, Missouri State 0 (Box Score)
What Happened Last Week for West Virginia: West Virginia 35, BYU 32 (Box Score)
Location: Milan Puskar Stadium | Morgantown, West Virginia
Date and Time: Saturday, October 1st at 2:30 pm
Television: ESPNU
Line: West Virginia -5.5

Brian: The Mountaineers are entering conference play as one of 27 undefeated teams in the country after almost blowing a 16 point lead over BYU last Saturday, while Kansas State looked ho-hum against an outclassed Missouri State team. This year’s iteration of the ‘Eer offense is absolutely chugging along under Skylar Howard, who is surrounded by weapons such as RB Rushel Shell & WRs Shelton Gibson & Daikel Shorts. As for the Wildcats, stop me if you’ve heard this before: Bill Snyder’s team this year features a tall, experienced QB that hovers around average, sports a decent running game, and is anchored by a sound & veteran defense. The best chance for the Cats this game is to have Jesse Ertz manage the game, take tiny chunks of yards out of the Mountaineer 3-3-5, which may be a little sore from BYU’s similar approach. As for WVU, they’re going to have to keep the pedal to the floor the entire game and not let up like they did against the Cougars. The worst news is that Tech won’t get to take advantage of a bruised WVU defense after 2 weeks of power running teams due to the Mountaineer’s bye week next weekend.

Oklahoma Sooners (1-2, 0-0) vs. TCU Horned Frogs (3-1, 0-0)
What Happened Last Week for Oklahoma: BYE
What Happened Last Week for TCU:TCU 33, SMU 3 (Box Score)
Location: Amon G. Carter Stadium | Ft. Worth, Texas
Date and Time: Saturday, October 1st at 4:00 pm
Television: FOX
Line: Pick’Em

What happens if TCU pulls out the win here?  This game started out as a pick’em, but now has Oklahoma favored by 3.5. Even though TCU doesn’t have much of a home field advantage, I think I like the Horned Frogs here, but by a razor thin margin. The TCU offense has been inconsistent, but they’re coming along and the TCU defense had a terrific week last week against SMU, allowing only 3 points. Granted, it was against a true freshman at quarterback, but it was a good performance. The Sooners are coming off a bye week and I expect them to be incredibly focused after getting their tails handed to them by Ohio State. I still think that Oklahoma has the best chance to win the conference, but that starts with this game. Mike Stoops has come under fire for a defense that hasn’t performed, but it’s all about players and last year OU had a top 5 defense, but they also had a ton of excellent players. Don’t think that attrition can’t affect your team.  The Oklahoma offense has struggled with consistency and turnovers, particularly against Houston and Ohio State. Baker Mayfield is trying to do too much, he’s got to let those other parts of the offense do their jobs too.

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