I’ve got some mixed feelings about the Big 12 this week.
Baylor returned their starting QB Bryce Petty at Buffalo and the Bears looked kind of flat on the road. Art Briles was forced to blow two timeouts on the Bears’ opening drive – after they received the first kick. The Bulls were able to put 21 up on Baylor, but I wouldn’t read much into it. The Bears get to rest this week.
Equally as flat as Baylor on Saturday was Texas Tech. I know last week I focused on their inability to tackle (which was glaring in their game against Arkansas), but that wasn’t the biggest issue against Bret Bielema’s Razorbacks. The Red Raiders’ front seven on defense was just unable to clog up any holes that the Arkansas offensive line wanted to make. The size differential was astronomical in this game and it was just blatantly obvious if you watch the Raiders struggle to stop the power run. If you watched the game and felt like the Red Raiders were almost always on defense, well, they were. They lost the possession battle with only 19:21 to Arkansas’ 40:39 (if you don’t believe me, look at the box score), in part due to Davis Webb’s two interceptions and Jakeems Grant’s fumble on 1st down.
Oklahoma looked good against Tennessee, as expected against a rebuilding SEC program. Trevor Knight led the Sooners to a quick 10-0 lead in Norman before toppling “Rocky Top” at home. I really didn’t find anything in this game that everybody didn’t already know about this year’s Sooners except a little bit of validation after blowouts over a Conference USA and American Athletic Conference opponents. This should give Bob Stoops’ team more confidence and momentum (because that’s what they need) headed into this week’s Big 12 opener.
West Virginia survived a scare at Maryland, where they lost 37-0 a year ago. Not much of a takeaway at all here except my thoughts from last week that the Mountaineers would struggle through conference play were validated. They need to fix that issue, and fast. They open Big 12 play this week against Oklahoma.
Oklahoma State. At times, the Cowboys looked really good against UTSA at home. At other times, the Pokes were shaky. With Daxx Garman starting in place of the injured JW Walsh (literally, Walsh sat on top of the stadium Saturday) who underwent surgery on Thursday. Garman was 16-for-30 after starting 0-for-4. Not bad, but not great. I’m curious to see if Garman can gain a little more control on his throws, but I feel like asking him to be more mobile is just out of the question.
Kansas looked awful at Duke as expected. Iowa State pulled off the win for the Cy-Hawk trophy. TCU blew out a mediocre Big Ten team in Minnesota, and Texas lost to UCLA late in Arlington.
Week 2 Scores:
No. 8 Baylor 63, Buffalo 21
West Virginia 40, Maryland 37
Duke 41, Kansas 3
Iowa State 20, Iowa 17
Arkansas 49, Texas Tech 28
TCU 30, Minnesota 27
Oklahoma State 43, UTSA 13
No. 4 Oklahoma 34, Tennessee 10
UCLA 20, Texas 17
Week 2 Record: 9-0
2014 Record: 16-1
Week 3 Matchups and Predictions:
No. 5 Auburn over No. 20 Kansas State – Bill Schneider is a better coach than Gus Malzahn in my opinion, but Auburn just has too much power. I think the Wildcats will match the Tigers’ size a little better than Texas Tech did Arkansas, but I fully expect Auburn to win this game on Thursday night in Manhattan.
Kansas over Central Michigan – No matter how bad they looked at Duke, I think even Kansas can beat a mediocre MAC team, especially at home.
No. 4 Oklahoma over West Virginia – Conference opener for both teams in Morgantown. The Sooners have so many more weapons than West Virginia, the only thing I see possibly hindering OU in this game is the construction of Milan Puskar Stadium that channels wind right through the field.
Idle in Week 3: No. 7 Baylor, No. 25 Oklahoma State, Texas Tech, Texas, Iowa State, TCU