Longhorns seek revenge, Sooners seek blowout, Bears seek 4-0
By Krista Pirtle
2 Oklahoma (3-0)
LSU bumped the Sooners from its No. 1 ranking this week, due in part to the wake-up call it received from Missouri.
The Oklahoma defense allowed 532 yards to the young Tiger offense. Its offense, however, saw some struggle, as junior quarterback Landry Jones threw two interceptions. After the first quarter, the Sooners woke up and were ready to play ball.
This week, Oklahoma takes a break from conference play to face Ball State, a sure win to boost its confidence before heading to Dallas for the Red River Rivalry next week.
5 Oklahoma State (4-0)
The Cowboys silenced Kyle Field as they narrowly defeated Texas A&M 30-29.
Despite only 46 rush yards, OSU found the hole in the Aggie zone, running slants over the middle to reach 438 receiving yards. Weeden commanded his troops diligently with 438 yards and two touchdowns. Blackmon was a favored target with 121 yards and a touchdown. Senior wide receiver Josh Cooper stepped up to catch for 123 yards.
Oklahoma State can now relax for a week after such a highly anticipated game before it hosts Kansas next week.
14 Texas A&M (2-1)
The Aggies were celebrating on Monday. Not because of their one-point loss to Oklahoma State, a game in which A&M rolled over in the second half with a total of four turnovers, three of which happened in the third quarter on consecutive drives.
No, it was celebrating its official acceptance in the SEC. Perfect timing too, as Texas A&M heads to Dallas to face SEC member Arkansas (3-1). The Razorbacks are fresh off a loss to No. 3 Alabama 38-14.
People thought the Aggies would prove their talent was worthy of the SEC against OSU. The timing and opponent will provide the perfect setting for the Aggies’ first game against an SEC opponent after their announcement of leaving the Big 12.
15 Baylor (3-0)
Baylor is looking to go 4-0 for the first time since 1991.
Last weekend, the offense showed depth and diversity with five different receivers catching for touchdowns. Robert Griffin III added to his Heisman-caliber numbers with 338 yards and six total touchdowns, five passing and one rushing, leading the offense to 673 total yards.
Nationwide, the Bears are No. 2 in yards per game with 594 and No. 3 in scoring 51 points per game. The defense will really need to step it up from the sloppy coverage last week. The only defensive gem was a 55-yard pick six by nickelback Ahmad Dixon.
Baylor has never won in Manhattan, Kan., and is looking to change that as the Bears face their first road contest of the season against Kansas State.
17 Texas (3-0)
The bitter taste of revenge is in the mouths of the Longhorns this week as Texas heads to Ames, Iowa, to take on Iowa State.
Out of the seven losses the Longhorns suffered last season, the 28-21 upset in Austin by the Cyclones stands against the others for the Longhorn. After the game, Texas head coach Mack Brown openly questioned the knowledge of his coaching staff and the passion of his players.
This year, sophomore quarterback Case McCoy is beginning to shape up like his brother Colt, who now plays for the Cleveland Browns.
The atmosphere at Iowa State should be electric as the Cyclones are hungry to beat the Horns for the second season in a row, something Mack Brown and company hope won’t happen.
Texas Tech (3-0)
The Red Raiders come into conference play off a narrow win over Nevada 35-34. The winning touchdown came with 44 seconds left in the game.
Junior quarterback Seth Doege is slowly conforming to the caliber quarterback expected at Texas Tech, as he led his team with 222 yards and 3 touchdowns, racking up 441 total yards as a whole. Texas Tech was without its leading receiver, Darrin Moore, for most of the game. Moore left early in the first quarter after he injured his left ankle and knee on a deep incompletion. His status against Kansas is still unknown.
With or without him, Texas Tech should have no problem defeating the Jayhawks to open conference play.
Iowa State (3-0)
Iowa State’s 3-0 start surprised many people. Each victory has been close; the team has won by 8 or fewer points each time.
After a bye week, the Cyclones are ready to host Texas. In order to beat the Longhorns in back to back seasons, quarterback junior Steele Jantz needs to improve upon his accuracy. If he begins this game like he did against UConn with 3 interceptions in the first 4 plays, the Longhorns will take control with no mercy.
Kansas State (3-0)
The Wildcats are coming off a huge win against the U in Miami.
After a less than impressive start to their season, that win was the perfect transition between nonconference and conference play.
The Wildcats come into this week with the No. 11 defense in the league, allowing 246 yards per game and 157 passing yards. The true defensive test will be if Kansas State can slow down Heisman-candidate Robert Griffin III.
The Wildcat offense will run out the play clock before snapping the ball to limit the amount of time the Bear offense will be on the field.
After an embarrassing defensive showing against Georgia Tech, allowing 604 rushing yards, the Jayhawks had a much-needed off week to reconvene before starting Big 12 play.
Entering his third season at Kansas, head coach Turner Gill , has high expectations to turn the program around, but it appears he still needs more time. As the Jayhawks enter conference play against Texas Tech this week, the chance to add to their win column becomes slim.
The Tigers shocked the Sooners and the nation as they lead 14-10 at the end of the first quarter last weekend.
Though it eventually lost the game, Missouri took a big step of progress in that game and now has a bye week to build upon it.
Sophomore quarterback James Franklin seems to be getting more comfortable in the pocket, a good sign for the Tigers. Will he continue to improve or will Big 12 defenses break his confidence?