Baylor on break, plenty of Big 12 football to watch

Photos by Associated Press Graphic by Matt Hellman
Photos by Associated Press
Graphic by Matt Hellman

By Daniel Hill
Sports Writer

Kansas at Kansas State: This is a highly uneven Sunflower Showdown as No. 7 Wildcats host the Jayhawks in Manhattan. The Wildcats are coming off a monumental road win over Oklahoma and have won 12 straight home games. Conversely, the Jayhawks have lost an astounding 14 consecutive road contests. Kansas has had problems defending the rush, and the Wildcats will be too much for them with Collin Klein, and John Hubert will power the rushing attack to a Wildcats victory. Prediction: Kansas State 42, Kansas 10

Oklahoma at Texas Tech: With No. 17 Oklahoma coming off a disappointing upset loss to Kansas State, rest assured the Sooners are out for vengeance and looking to get back on track against the Red Raiders. Texas Tech is coming off of an impressive road win over Iowa State. Tech’s defense looks much improved this season, and this could be a litmus test game for Tommy Tuberville’s squad. Texas Tech could prove to be a formidable opponent, but ultimately, the Sooners have the edge in this matchup. Oklahoma has never lost back-to-back games in the Bob Stoops era and Saturday won’t be the first. Prediction: Oklahoma 38, Texas Tech 24

Iowa State @ TCU: Both 3-1 Iowa State and 4-0 No. 15 TCU are teams that are struggling to find their offensive rhythm. Both defenses are stout, and this should be a low-scoring affair between the Cyclones and Horned Frogs. Iowa State fans are not pleased with the play of quarterback Steele Jantz this season and are clamoring to see backup Jared Barnett take over the starting role for the struggling Jantz. The season-ending injury to TCU star running back Waymon James has left the TCU offense at a standstill and trying to find its identity. While both offenses should struggle in this one, TCU’s defense will be the difference in the game. Prediction: TCU 17, Iowa State 13

West Virginia at Texas: The Longhorns present a perfect style of play to contrast with West Virginia. West Virginia will have to play more physical on defense in order to contain Texas’ rushing attack. Longhorns’ backup running back Malcolm Brown has been ruled out for this game because of a sprained ankle. Even without Brown, Texas’ stable of running backs will still provide enough of a ground attack to test WVU’s interior defense. Starting running back Joe Bergeron will carry the load, while five-star freshman Jonathan Gray will be the backup. WVU is coming off of a much-hyped 70-63 victory over Baylor in which quarterback Geno Smith threw for 656 yards and eight touchdowns. WVU and Geno Smith have been glorified all week in the national media and must be careful to avoid a letdown in Austin. Keep in mind that WVU’s defense did concede 63 points to Baylor, and its defense has been far from stellar this year. The juggernaut offense that WVU possesses could be slowed by Texas’ 40th ranked scoring defense. The Mountaineers defense is ranked 94th in scoring. West Virginia does have the third ranked scoring offense, but Texas has the ninth ranked scoring offense. All things considered, the Texas rushing attack and defense will be the key to this game. WVU’s defense has been poor this season. With those two things in mind, No. 11 Texas will beat No. 8 West Virginia in Austin. Prediction: Texas 48, West Virginia 45

Teams on bye this week:

Baylor: The Baylor defense surely needed a bye week after West Virginia roasted them for a whopping 70 points in a loss in Morgantown. The Bears next game is against TCU at 6 p.m. Oct. 13 at Floyd Casey Stadium.

Oklahoma State: The Cowboys are coming off a heartbreaking 41-36 home loss to the Longhorns. OSU showed fight and gave its fan base reason to believe in this team. The Cowboys have a bye this week and next play at Kansas at 2:30 p.m. Oct. 13 in Lawrence.