Week three is highlighted by a Big 12-SEC showdown between Texas and Ole Miss along with TCU’s Big 12 debut in Lawrence. Here’s a look at how this weekend will shakeout.
BYE Week: Oklahoma Sooners
Louisiana-Lafayette Ragin’ Cajuns (2-0, 1-0) vs. Oklahoma State Cowboys (1-1, 0-0)
(Boone-Pickens Stadium; Saturday – Noon; FSN)
Game Overview: After jumping out to a 14-0 lead against Arizona last Saturday, the Cowboys struggled to do anything right. Oklahoma State look bad and over exposed. Wes Lunt looked like a true freshman quarterback last week. Yes he threw for 436 yards, but also threw three critical interceptions. The Cowboys defense also has to get things right, they looked like they never defended the zone read before. With all of that said, this is the week Oklahoma State has to correct those mistakes before they get into conference play. For the Ragin’ Cajuns they come off of a conference win over Troy on the road. Alonzo Harris ran for 137 yards and a touchdown in that game for Louisiana-Lafayette.
Coach Speak: “We had so many personal fouls we basically took ourselves out of the game on defense. Then offensively we had either three or four holding penalties that put our backs against the wall,” said Oklahoma State Coach Mike Gundy about the Cowboys’ mental mistakes. Oklahoma State had fifteen penalties that cost them 167 yards, making it a lot easier on Arizona to move the football.
Key Matchup: Oklahoma State Run Defense vs. Louisiana-Lafayette Run Offense; The Oklahoma State defense got torn apart last week by the Arizona Wildcats run game. Arizona rushed for 181 yards last week. Louisiana-Lafayette has a solid offensive line, so OK State has to be prepared to get their defensive line to keep the Lafayette offensive line off of their linebackers like Alex Elkins and Caleb Lavey.
Prediction: Oklahoma State Cowboys 52, Louisiana-Lafayette Ragin’ Cajuns 17
No. 16 TCU Horned Frogs (1-0, 0-0) vs. Kansas Jayhawks (1-1, 0-0)
(Memorial Stadium; Saturday – Noon; FX)
Game Overview: TCU makes its Big 12 debut on Saturday when they travel up to Lawrence to take on Kansas. TCU comes off of a huge blowout win over Grambling State, while Kansas is still trying to figure how to win after a disappointing one-point loss to Rice. The Horned Frog starters will get their full week of work on Saturday after having an easy day this past weekend against Grambling. For Kansas this will be a wakeup call. TCU should be able to move the ball up and down the field behind Casey Pachall, Waymond James and Matthew Tucker. Kansas’ defense will have a hard time getting to the quarterback. Also, a quick note, TCU offensive linemen, Blaize and Brady Foltz return to their home state to play this game.
Coach Speak: “He’s a big strong physical quarterback, that has a strong arm,” said Kansas Coach Charlie Weis about TCU’s Casey Pachall. The gunslinger, Pachall comes into the game with a 397.6 passer rating. Yes, all TCU has done is played Grambling, but nevertheless, Pachall can throw the ball up and down the field as good as any in the Big 12.
Key Matchup: TCU DE Stansly Maponga vs. KU Offensive Tackles; Gavin Howard and Tanner Hawkinson will both have their hands full trying to keep Dayne Crist upright this Saturday. Maponga is so much faster than both of these guys and should be able to hit Crist in the mouth. And if KU wants to have any shot at winning this game and pulling the upset, than they will have to protect Crist.
Prediction: TCU Horned Frogs 47, Kansas Jayhawks 20
(FedEx Field; Saturday – 4:30; Root Sports)
Game Overview: West Virginia is 12-0 in their last 12 games against FCS (1-AA) schools as they come into Saturday’s matchup with James Madison. This is kind of a weird game in the fact that it is being played at an NFL Stadium. For the players it’s cool that they get to play in an NFL venue, but other than that it doesn’t make too much sense. One good platform a game like this provides is the fact that WVU can make an impact recruiting in the DC, Maryland and Virginia area. As far as x’s and o’s wise for WVU, the Mountaineers offense will have no problem moving the football against an undersized defense. Geno Smith should be way to talented for the JMU defense to even think about slowing down. For the WVU defense this will pose as a game to get things right. The young defense struggled to finish strong in game one, look for that to change this week.
Coach Speak: “James Madison, they’re sound. They’re a good ball club. Mickey Matthews has been there 14 years now and has built one of the top 1-AA programs in the country,” said WVU Head Coach Dana Holgorsen. Holgorsen knows that JMU is a quality program at the FCS level. He knows that WVU cannot sleep on the Dukes.
Key Matchup: JMU QB Justin Thorpe vs. WVU Secondary; In week one, Marshall’s Rakeem Cato was able to pick on the West Virginia secondary a little bit. Cato threw for 413 yards and two touchdowns. Thorpe’s offense has put up 97 points in two games. He is a guy that can run it and throw it. If JMU wants to find a little success it may be, Thorpe picking on Brodrick Jenkins or Pat Miller.
Prediction: West Virginia Mountaineers 73, James Madison Dukes 16
North Texas Mean Green (1-1, 0-0) vs. No. 15 Kansas State Wildcats (2-0, 0-0)
(Bill Snyder Stadium; Saturday – 7:00; FSN)
Game Overview: Kansas State just continues to prove that they belong in the conference contender talk. With a dominant smash mouth offense in addition a balanced stout defense, there is no reason for people to keep underrating the Wildcats. The K-State defense has forced six turnovers in just two games, and should be able to smother North Texas this week. Jarard Milo and Arthur Brown lead the defense with 16 and 15 tackles each. These are the guys that shutdown a Miami (FL) offense last week that looked dangerous in their opener. Kansas State should be able to continue to flex their muscle this week against North Texas.
Coach Speak: “He is comfortable, but he also is an extremely wise young guy, he’s wise enough to understand not to take his performance level for granted,” Kansas State Coach Bill Snyder said about quarterback Collin Klein. The dual-threat Klein, has accounted for more than half of the Wildcats’ total offense. Klein should only get better even throwing the ball throughout the remainder of the season.
Key Matchup: North Texas Head Coach Dan McCarney vs. KSU Head Coach Bill Snyder; Both McCarney and Snyder were both assistants for Hayden Fry at Iowa for ten seasons. McCarney moved to Wisconsin while Sndyer went to coach at K-State. These two guys have a similar coaching style that should make for an interesting chess match.
Prediction: Kansas State Wildcats 44, North Texas Mean Green 7
New Mexico Lobos (1-1, 0-0) vs. Texas Tech Red Raiders (2-0, 0-0)
(Jones AT&T Stadium; Saturday – 7:00; Fox College Sports)
Game Overview: New Mexico comes off of an ugly loss to the Texas Longhorns. For Texas Tech, the come off of a blowout win over Texas State. The Red Raiders should be able to handle this game without many problems. This is another game to Tech to get geared up before Big 12 conference play. The Red Raiders will try to continue to have balance on the offensive side of the football. Kenny Williams, Eric Stephens and SaDale Foster all have over 100 rushing yards. Add the fact that quarterback Seth Doege is the best player on the team, and Texas Tech could be a tough team to stop.
Coach Speak: “What separates good teams from very teams is technique and fundamentals, we got some speed, some depth, some guys that make plays but we have to continue to get better with our technique,” said Texas Tech Coach Tommy Tuberville. Texas Tech started out 4-0 last season, so this year’s 2-0 start doesn’t phase Tuberville. He’s looking for the consistency that they couldn’t keep last season.
Key Matchup: Texas Tech O-Line vs. New Mexico Pass Rush; New Mexico comes into the game with four sacks already in just two games. The Texas Tech offensive line still is young and still has some inexperience. Last season Tech took a step back when they couldn’t protect Seth Doege, this game will be their first test of keeping Doege upright, expect Tech to succeed.
Prediction: Texas Tech Red Raiders 43, New Mexico Lobos 16
Sam Houston State Bearkats (1-0, 0-0) vs. Baylor Bears (1-0, 0-0)
(Floyd Casey Stadium; Saturday – 7:05; Fox College Sports)
Game Overview: Baylor comes off the BYE week with an easier game against Sam Houston State. The BYE week gave Baylor just an extra week to get better. After this week if the Bears have a good performance like they should, Baylor will probably be ranked. They have a ton of talent at the receiver position. And after they crushed SMU, it was real clear that they weren’t going to have a problem replacing Robert Griffin III. With Nick Florence’s arm and experience for a guy who didn’t play a ton, the Bears should be set on offense.
Coach Speak: “Robert (Griffin) is a great football player, he won the Heisman, he is staying good at what he does,” Baylor Coach Art Briles said about RG3’s NFL debut. He was one of the few not surprised about Griffin’s debut. (That quote has nothing to do with the game)
Key Matchup: Baylor vs. Themselves; There is no reason for Baylor to lose this game. Baylor is miles and miles better than Sam Houston State. If Baylor struggles in this game it’ll just be because they come out flat.
Prediction: Baylor Bears 65, Sam Houston State Bearkats 6
Western Illinois Leathernecks (2-0, 0-0) vs. Iowa State Cyclones (2-0, 0-0)
(Jack Trice Stadium; Saturday – 7:00; Cyclones.TV)
Game Overview: Iowa State found a way to win against in-state Iowa and get the Cy-Hawk Trophy even if it was real ugly. Steel Jantz turned the football over twice throwing two interceptions, the Cyclones couldn’t run the football effectively either. They had problems moving the ball up and down the field. This is a game for Iowa State where they can try to fix those things. Iowa State just needs to just hand the ball of to Shontrelle Johnson and James White. They need to get back into a routine.
Coach Speak: “Every victory is fantastic, every victory is the same, but winning in a rivalry game is special,” Iowa State Coach Paul Rhoads said about beating rival Iowa this past weekend. Rhoads knows how important each game is, but it’s good to see a coach care about a rivalry game.
Key Matchup: Western Illinois Run Game vs. ISU LB’s Jake Knott & AJ Klein; Iowa State linebackers AJ Klein and Jake Knott are the best linebackers in the Big 12. If Western Illinois wants to hang around in this game they will have to run the football with Caulton Ray and Nikko Watson. AJ Klein and Jake Knott will shut them down.
Prediction: Iowa State Cyclones 38, Western Illinois Leathernecks 10
(Vaught-Hemingway Stadium; Saturday – 9:15; ESPN)
Game Overview: The Longhorns travel in SEC country for a Saturday night showdown in Oxford with Ole Miss. Texas is 5-1 all-time against the Rebels. Last season Mack Brown took a young team on the road and played well at UCLA, this year, the test is a little tougher. Ole Miss, quarterback is 35/46 this season throwing for 438 yards and five touchdowns. The fact that he has such good chemistry with Donte Moncrief who’s caught 176 of those yards. The Texas safeties, Kenny Vaccaro and Adrian Phillips are going to have to spotlight where Moncreif is on the field because he’s a threat all the time to make a play. For the Texas offense, it’s all about David Ash and seeing how he reacts to a big time situation. Vaught-Hemingway will be rocking, and there will be a critical situation where David Ash has to make a play. Yes, he’ll still be managing the game, and the Texas run game will try to control time of possession, because Joe Bergeron, Malcolm Brown and DJ Monroe.
Coach Speak: “I know they’re excited about going into the SEC, they’re excited about Ole Miss, they’re impressed by them, they’re happy that they’re 2-0 so they’ll be two undefeated teams playing,” said Texas Coach Mack Brown about his team’s excitement level going into Oxford. Texas seems mentally and ready to play this game.
Key Matchup: The Texas D-Line vs. Ole Miss O-Line; Texas’ depth on the defensive line is what will win them this game. The Ole Miss offensive line is inexperienced at tackle with first year start Emmanuel McCray and City of Sacramento College transfer Pierce Burton, which means problems all night long. Jackson Jeffcoat and Alex Okafor will get to the quarterback all night long. On the interior side of things Chris Whaley on the nose will matchup with Rimington Award Watch list center Evan Swindle. Texas does have the clear advantage in this matchup.
Prediction: Texas Longhorns 39, Ole Miss Rebels 20