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October 2, 2013

Around the Big 12: previews & predictions

It's week six of the college football season and finally the ten Big 12 teams are paired off for five conference games for the first time this season. Here's a preview.

Texas at Iowa State

Texas (2-2) will be traveling to Ames on Thursday to play Iowa State (1-2) and open up the Big XII's first real week of conference play. The Longhorns have had some trouble on defense this year while Iowa State's offense has been shaky. Last week, the Cyclones won on the road at Tulsa, 38-21, as the Cyclone offense finally looked like the fans in Ames wanted it to. Iowa State racked up 434 total yards, rushing for 179. The Cyclones had two backfield stars last week in emerging Aaron Wimberly with 137 yards and 7.3 yards per carry, plus power back who Jeff Woody pounded in three scores, all in true hard-nosed Woody fashion.

Texas won last week beating Kansas State, 31-21, in Austin. Texas produced 452 total yards on a good Kansas State defense. Texas won last week because they owned the turnover battle, forcing three fumbles, and David Ash (out this week) and the Longhorn offense didn't turn the ball over the entire game. Texas ran for 227 yards last week, and for Iowa State's run defense, this will be a problem. The key to this game for both teams will be the turnover battle. Both teams have proven that if they don't turn the ball over, they will compete in the ball game for the full 60 minutes. The Cyclones will win the game because it forces turnovers and the fact Richardson has cut down on his turnovers.

Iowa State 27, Texas 21

West Virginia at Baylor

#17 Baylor (3-0) will play host to the upset-minded Mountaineers of West Virginia (3-2). Two weeks ago Baylor hosted LA-Monroe, winning 70-7, and once again putting up video game numbers. Baylor had 781 total yards and averaged 13.1 yards per pass. Lache Seastrunk ran for 15.6 yards per carry, shredding the Warhawks defense and running away with a win.

West Virginia upset Oklahoma State last week, beating the Cowboys after being outplayed, but won because of Oklahoma State mistakes. West Virginia's running game was sub-par, rushing for only 39 yards and 1.7 yards per carry. With West Virginia's lack of a running game, the Mountaineers will have to look to the air this week, and try to pass against Baylor, which gave up 220 yards through the air to ULM. Baylor will win this week by outscoring West Virginia and not turning the ball over or making the mistakes that Oklahoma State did that allowed West Virginia to win the game.

Baylor 52, West Virginia 20

Texas Tech at Kansas

Kansas (2-1) will be at home in week six as #20 Texas Tech (4-0) is traveling to Lawrence to play the Jayhawks. Kansas won last week after it squeezed out a victory over Louisiana Tech on a last second field goal. Kansas was outgained by Louisiana Tech and gave up 443 yards in the air. Kansas was helped out by some Tech mistakes, including one on what could have been the game winning drive as Louisiana Tech was in field goal territory before its flub.

Texas Tech has looked very strong all season, including last week's win against Texas State. The Red Raiders had 552 total yards, including 434 yards through the air, with two different quarterbacks (Coach Kingsbury pulled his starter Mayfield in the first half). Texas Tech will win this game with its offensive firepower and its defense will look good against Kansas' bad offense.

Texas Tech 41, Kansas 14

Kansas State at Oklahoma State

Kansas State (2-2) will travel to #21 Oklahoma State's (3-1) house to take on the Cowboys. Both Kansas State and Oklahoma State are looking to come back off a loss and turn their seasons around. Kansas State lost two weeks ago to Texas in a game many feel like Kansas State lost, instead of Texas winning. Kansas State lost that game because of turnovers and if K-State would have cleaned that up, it very well would have won in Austin. K-State's defense was not good at Texas, giving up 452 yards, including 227 yards on the ground.

OSU was upset last week playing West Virginia and really dominating the game, but losing, 30-21. OSU outgained WVU by 45 yards but failed to capitalize on scoring opportunities and turned the ball over three times. If OSU's kicker comes through for the Cowboys, it's probably an overtime game. Pokes will win this week after a fluky loss for last week. Expect OSU Coach Mike Gundy to have his men playing well and for OSU to pick apart the K-State defense.

Oklahoma State 38, Kansas State 23

TCU at Oklahoma

TCU (2-2) will be on the road this week traveling to Norman to face the #11 Oklahoma Sooners (4-0). A lot is at stake the week for both teams. TCU needs a victory to better its chances of winning six games, and Oklahoma needs to win to stay in contention for a BCS title shot. Oklahoma won last week after taking care of a pretty good Notre Dame team in South Bend. The Sooners started Blake Bell at quarterback again and he came through, throwing for 232 yards and two touchdowns and running for another 59 yards.

TCU won last week beating a pretty good SMU team, 48-17, on a great defensive performance from that included five turnovers and an interception return for a touchdown. And the Frogs also held the Mustangs to 16 yards rushing on 31 plays on the ground. TCU's offense was good but not great, netting 335 total yards; but was a weak 2-for-12 on third down conversions. Oklahoma will win this game by overpowering TCU's good defense and holding TCU's offense mostly in check.

Oklahoma 38, TCU 17

Record Last Week: 3-1

Season Record: 29-5

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