WVU And The Big 12: Week Six
MORGANTOWN — Kansas comes to West Virginia for this week’s game.
So, if you have something to do ….
No, really the tailgating is the same if it’s Kansas or Oklahoma in town, so you might as well go out and have fun enjoying a stress-free football atmosphere for a change.
How many ways can you say the Jayhawks are bad? They come into this season 3-33 since David Beaty was named coach and no one’s sure he will still be coaching when this game comes around.
What is sure is that the big game this week — no matter what the standings say — is the annual battle between Texas and Oklahoma at the Texas State Fair in Dallas.
This is one of those rivalries that gives college football its unique flavor … Pitt/WVU, Army/Navy, Ohio State/Michigan, Alabama/Auburn, anyone playing Notre Dame.
If things are going the way they’d like them to go in Austin, however, this one may have a say in the final conference standings and that makes it a really big deal.
Oct. 6 — Kansas at WVU; Time, TV TBA
First prediction is that WVU will be facing an interim coach right now with Beaty sent packing after having gone 4-37 since being hired. Not that it will matter. WVU should have no trouble here but I look for them to keep the ball on the ground as much as they can — despite the Heisman Trophy campaign for Will Grier — to keep all the pieces of the passing game ready for a key trip to Iowa State the following week.
This might even give WVU a chance to get a good look at its backup QBs, Jack Allison and Trey Lowe. A year ago, on the road, WVU turned it on only when it had to against the Jayhawks, scoring 28 second-quarter points to go into the locker room with a comfortable lead and then, when Kansas crept to within 35-27, the Mountaineers added three more fourth-quarter scores for a 56-34 victory.
Prediction: WVU 49, Kansas 10
Non-WVU Big 12 Game of the Week
Oct 6— Texas vs. Oklahoma at Dallas; Time, TV TBA
In the Big East when WVU was there, the biggest rivalry was West Virginia against Pitt in the Backyard Brawl. But in the Big 12, the biggest and most anticipated show of the year is the Red River Showdown in the Cotton Bowl in Dallas, played in conjunction with the Texas State Fair.
This is an intense shootout that has had 112 previous renewals with Texas holding 61-46-5 advantage. Oklahoma has won the last two, and while Texas was suffering through a down spell and Oklahoma at the top of its game, the Sooners could win by only 5 points each year. Oklahoma’s 29-24 win last season came on a fourth quarter touchdown pass from Heisman Trophy winner Baker Mayfield after the Sooners blew a 20-point lead. The previous year the Sooners built their 45-40 victory on three TD passes of more than 40 yards from Mayfield to Dede Westbrook, who set a Sooner record with 232 yards on 10 receptions. Neither Mayfield nor Westbrook are there now, though, so ….
Prediction: Texas 28, Oklahoma 24
Oct 6 — Iowa State at Oklahoma State, Time, TV TBA: This is a pivotal game for both teams in the Big 12 race but all the positives are on Oklahoma State’s side. The Cowboys first of all hold the home field advantage and that normally looms very large. They also are coming off an easy game against Kansas while Iowa State had to play another tough road game being at TCU. To win, Iowa State will have to ride its ground game against Oklahoma State, control the ball, the tempo and the crowd … and all of that is just asking too much against a quality opponent.
Prediction: Oklahoma State 28, Iowa State 21
Oct. 6 — Kansas State at Baylor, Time, TV TBA: Baylor, which won only one game last season, has shown improvement but has played an easy schedule to this point but now they take the step up that comes in the Big 12. True, the Bears are at home but K-State coach Bill Snyder has learned how to win on the road and has the patient approach and kind of defense and special teams that will frustrate the Bears and take advantage of the mistakes a team on the rebound invariably makes.
Prediction: Kansas State 31, Baylor 7.