Big 12 Report: Week 4 Previews

Game: West Virginia vs. Kansas
Last Week: West Virginia 59, Delaware State 16 | Ohio 42, Kansas 30
Date & Time: Saturday, September 23rd @ 11:00 p.m.
Location: Memorial Stadium
Television: ESPNU
Line: West Virginia -22.5
Expert Commentary: Kansas Kansas’d as hard as they could last week against Ohio, and ended up trailing by 3 scores for 3 quarters of the game. It was bad enough that we’re already seeing posts like this from the Jayhawk faithful devotees obligated. Needless to say, West Virginia is really getting to ease into Big 12 play like a hot tub, a simile which is probably all to accurate & comfortable for Holgorsen’s sensibilities. Junior QB Will Grier has three 300-yard games, and running back Justin Crawford has crested 100 yards rushing over the same stretch. Against the Bobcat’s offense, Kansas mostly seemed to be distracted by an existential crisis, allowing Ohio receivers to have the run of the field with little resistance. As of right now the Mountaineer defense is relatively middle of the road, but against a Kansas offensive line that does this and some weird uncertainty at QB, I think they’ll turn in a fine performance. The line is huge and it’s tempting to take the points, but Kansas has so many glaring weaknesses right now that I think I’ll lay the points and take WVU — BDC
Game: TCU vs. Oklahoma State
Last Week: TCU 56, SMU 36 | Oklahoma State 59, Pittsburgh 21
Date & Time: Saturday, September 23rd @ 2:30 p.m.
Location: Boone Pickens Stadium
Television: ESPN
Line: Oklahoma State -11.5
Expert Commentary: Generally speaking, I think Oklahoma State is the better team. My concerns about TCU were a bit true with TCU and Oklahoma State is a significantly better team. Mason Rudolph should be in the Heisman conversation and the weapons that OSU has offensively really are second to none. James Washington and Justice Hill lead that group, but they are deep and come at you in waves. Defensively, OSU is okay, top 60 in S&P+, but I don’t think the competition for OSU has been great thus far. For TCU, all of the advanced stats say that the Horned Frogs are good and better than last year, and maybe I should but I’ve just seen too much from last year. TCU really doesn’t have much of a running game to speak of (no player has even close to 100 yards rushing). Defensively, TCU is supposed to be better, or at least they have the history of being better, but the Horned Frogs didn’t exactly shut out SMU after absolutely shutting down Arkansas. I’m not sure if this says more about Arkansas or TCU. I’ll take Oklahoma State and the points. –Seth
Game: Oklahoma vs. Baylor
Last Week: Oklahoma 56, Tulane 14 | Duke 34, Baylor 20
Date & Time: Saturday, September 23rd @ 5:30 p.m.
Location: McLane Stadium
Television: FS1
Line: Oklahoma -28
Expert Commentary: This one could get pretty bloody on the Brazos this Saturday. Oklahoma avoided having too much of a hangover from the Ohio State game and thrashed Tulane pretty soundly. Meanwhile, Baylor broke in a new starter in QB Zach Smith, who threw for 263 yards with 3 TD’s & 3 INT’s. The Bears were feast or famine, and depended on big plays to reach their 320 yards of total offense; those plays will be few and far between against this Oklahoma team. The ray of hope for Baylor comes in the form of starters returning from injury, including RB Terrance Williams and CB Grayland Arnold among others. While completely settled at QB, the Sooners have rotated out running backs at a steady pace, and will probably do so again against a Baylor D that has shown issues with stopping the run. I doubt the starters stay in for Oklahoma in this one and I think the OU 2’s are probably on par with most of the Baylor 1’s, so I’m taking Oklahoma and laying the points for this one. — BDC
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