Taking a look at the Big 12 matchups: Week 8 edition

Iowa State at Oklahoma State

This matchup comes down to offense versus defense. Iowa State’s defense has been spectacular so far this season, and Oklahoma State’s spread offense always seems to put up points. OSU quarterback J.W. Walsh is questionable for the game, and head coach Mike Gundy has been keeping Walsh’s health under wraps. The Cowboys should be fine whether Walsh or Wes Lunt are handling the quarterback duties. For the Cyclones, Jared Barnett has proven to be a winner. This should be a tightly contested game with an interesting contrast of styles between the two teams. Iowa State defense should top Oklahoma State’s offense.

Prediction: Iowa State 28, Oklahoma State 24

Texas Tech at TCU

Two 5-1 teams battle it out in an unexpected contest for Big 12 supremacy. TCU’s new starting quarterback Trevone Boykin threw for four touchdowns and no interceptions while also running for a touchdown in last week’s 49-21 win over Baylor. After pulling off perhaps the upset of the season by defeating West Virginia 49-14, the Red Raiders now have to prove that they are for real and that they can be consistent.

This matchup features statistically the two best defenses in the Big 12 with Texas Tech’s defense ranked 17th in the nation and TCU’s defense ranked 11th. TCU freshman defensive end Devonte Fields has been a huge addition, and he has 6.5 sacks on the season. Texas Tech dismantled the Mountaineers, but now they have to prove they can win on the road in what should be a raucous TCU crowd.

Prediction: Texas Tech 41, TCU 24

Kansas at Oklahoma

With Kansas at 1-5, head coach Charlie Weis has decided to play two quarterbacks this Saturday against Oklahoma, Dayne Crist and backup Michael Cummings. Although the record does not show it, the Jayhawks are showing improvement this season. Meanwhile, Oklahoma is coming off of its most impressive win of the season as they toppled Texas in the Red River Rivalry, 63-21. With No. 5 Notre Dame looming next week for OU, it wouldn’t be surprising if they came out with a sluggish effort against a struggling Jayhawks team. Oklahoma’s talent and depth will prove to be too much for Kansas.

Prediction: Oklahoma 52, Kansas 17

Kansas State at West Virginia

The No. 4 undefeated 6-0 Kansas State Wildcats travel to Morgantown to take on the No. 17 Mountaineers.

The Wildcats play a physical brand of conservative football behind the consistent rushing attack of John Hubert and Heisman hopeful quarterback Collin Klein to batter the opposition into submission.

The Mountaineers quarterback Geno Smith had been virtually unstoppable this season until Texas Tech humbled WVU by holding them to only 14 points in a loss. Since they are coming off of that embarrassing loss, the Mountaineers should be hungry and ready for a fight.

Kansas State has moxie and leadership with Collin Klein. The Wildcats defense is also stout, ranking 19th in the nation. Although West Virginia is capable of scoring multitudes of touchdowns, Kansas State’s physical style should slow the game down and lead to the Wildcats staying undefeated.

Prediction: Kansas State 31, West Virginia 30

Baylor at Texas

The 3-2 Bears are still looking for their first conference win after falling to WVU and TCU. Baylor quarterback Nick Florence struggled versus TCU’s defense by throwing four interceptions. It should be much easier sledding for Florence and the Baylor offense against the weak Texas defense.

For Texas, they were just humbled by Oklahoma, and the home crowd could be restless should the Longhorns get off to a slow start.

Baylor’s historically awful defense should help Texas put points on the board. Texas quarterback David Ash is coming off of a wrist injury but is expected to start the game. The Longhorns lost starting defensive end Jackson Jeffcoat for the season. This is truly a coin-flip game and both teams are capable of winning.

The Texas defense is barely better than Baylor’s defense. Baylor relies on the big play on offense and Texas depends on the rushing attack on offense. Texas’ ground game could prove to be too much for the Baylor Bears, but this should be a really close game either way.

Prediction: Texas 47, Baylor 35