Big 12 Football Notes and Picks: Week Seven
Three of last week’s four Big 12 games were decided by six or fewer points. Two were decided on last-minute field goals, including Baylor’s win over Kansas State and Texas’ upset of Oklahoma.
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Oklahoma State running back Justice Hill set the Big 12 record for rushing touchdowns in consecutive games (12) by a running back. His streak is tied with former K-State quarterback Collin Klein for the second-longest by a Big 12 player. The record is 15.
Given OSU’s prowess on offense, he would seem to have a chance to break it, but will have to dent the end zone against Texas’ defense in a visit next week in order to keep the string going.
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Kansas’ three interceptions against West Virginia gave the Jayhawks 11 on the year, but they aren’t even within shouting distance of the Big 12 mark. Nebraska picked off 32 passes in 2003, undoubtedly fueled by desperate comeback attempts.
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Oklahoma and Kansas get the week off, with the former doing a bit of scoreboard watching and hoping for losses by West Virginia and Texas, which lead the league standings with 3-0 marks. At Kansas, head coach David Beaty was watching for the shadow of athletic director Jeff Long at his door, but it appears he is safe through the bye week, which is typically a time for a coaching change to be made, were that to happen. Beaty is 5-37 overall and 1-29 at Kansas. Maybe it was the successful two-point conversion against West Virginia after time expired, which closed the final gap to 16 points, that did the trick.
Texas Tech at TCU
Thurs., Oct 11 7:30 PM* ESPN
It seems a bit early to label games as separation contests, or critical ones for bowl eligibility, but this Thursday night prime-timer might qualify on both counts. Typically a match-up of Horned Frog defense vs. Red Raider offense, might this one come down to the team that can do more on the side of the ball where they sometimes have issues? Winning in Ft. Worth is tough, but Kliff Kingsbury’s squad is the upset pick to start off the weekend.
Oklahoma State at Kansas State
Sat Oct 13 12:00 PM ESPNU
It wasn’t a huge surprise to see the Wildcats struggle, as their quarterback situation continues to be an issue. The Cowboys looked great early on, but have given up 41 and 48 points in losses to Texas Tech and Iowa State. Even if they can’t get the defense back to its earlier level, K-State doesn’t have the weapons to keep up. Only once this season has OSU scored fewer than 42 points, and only a snail’s pace of a game would keep it from doing so in Manhattan.
Baylor at Texas
Sat., Oct 13 3:30 PM ESPN
This automatically gets labeled as the “trap game of the week” but in order move into the realm of possible upset, the underdog has to have something to hang its hat on. The Bears have two league wins, but they have come over Kansas and Kansas State, which currently sit ninth and 10th in the league. Texas’ slate has been an order of magnitude tougher, and even if UT’s adrenaline isn’t pumping for the Bears, it shouldn’t be seriously threatened.
West Virginia at Iowa State
Sat., Oct 13 7:00 PM FS1
Jack Trice Stadium is a difficult venue to play in when the Cyclones give their fans something to cheer about. A night game, with plenty of warm-up time for the fans, plus a freshman quarterback who splashed onto the scene last week, certainly fills that bill. West Virginia has been handling business, but hasn’t played quite up to expectations yet. They’ll get close enough to that mark to get a difficult road win.
* All Times Eastern