From earlier in the week:
Enjoy the day. It should be good, but then again, what Saturday with college football isn't?
Iowa State @ Missouri
- Game time: 1:00
- TV: None (available online at Cyclones.com)
- Sirius Channel: 128
- The Spread: Missouri -15.5
The Lowdown: The Cyclones head to Columbia hoping to end a two game losing streak after dropping games against Texas and Baylor following a 3-0 start to the season. There is still a lot of football to played this season, but every week that goes with Iowa State picking up a win, one has to wonder what it means for ISU's postseason chances with A&M, Oklahoma, and Oklahoma State still on the schedule.
Missouri feels Iowa State's pain having dropped its last two games, both on the road, against Oklahoma and Kansas State. The Tigers hung tough with the country's top team in Norman and had the offense not waited to show up until the fourth quarter last week against KSU, it could have been an entirely different outcome.
The Cyclones continue to be led by quarterback Steele Jantz. Iowa State has seen the best and worst of the junior college transfer in his first season as a starter. He's completing 55 percent of his passes and while throwing 10 TD's and eight interceptions on the season. His turnovers have proved costly at times but he's also been spectacular at other times bringing the Cyclones back for last second wins against Northern Iowa and Iowa to open the season.
The Tigers may be just 2-3 but every loss has come against a team that is now ranked in top 25 which included road games at Arizona State and OU. Missouri has gotten a huge boost in their running game his season from Henry Josey who took over full-time following the injuries to De'Vion Moore and Kendial Lawrence. He's made the most of his opportunity and currently leads the Big 12 averaging 117 yards per game while Missouri is second in the conference overall averaging 225 yards game on the ground.
Iowa State, Keys to the Game: It's no secret in football, turn the ball over more than your opponent and it's tough to win. Iowa State has killed itself with costly turnovers most of the year and currently sits last in the Big 12 with a -8 turnover margin. If Iowa State wants to beat talented teams, it simply can't continue to beat itself. So far ISU has 15 through the first five games. If they continue the trend against the Tigers, expect another mark in the loss column.
Defensively, the Cyclones must do a better job of stopping the run. You can never be sure what to expect from Missouri on offense, but one has to expect for them to come out and pound Josey at ISU's front seven the same way Baylor used Terrance Ganaway. Can Iowa State do anything about it?
Missouri, Keys to the Game: The Tigers came out sleep walking in their last game against Kansas State. They need to come out on fire and put any ideas that Iowa State has of pulling the upset to bed early. A sold out homecoming crowd is expected so hopefully for the Tigers, being back at home will provide the spark they need. They can do it by pounding Josey, running Franklin, and then hitting them with T.J. Moe and Michael Egnew when the time is right.
Final Prediction: These are two teams both desperately needing to end two game losing streaks. What's going to give? Well you have Missouri that runs the ball well and Iowa State that doesn't stop the run well. You have Missouri that doesn't turn the ball over and Iowa State that gives it away three times a game. Missouri is third in the Big 12 giving up 21 points a game, Iowa State is ninth allowing 33.2 points per game. Do you see a trend here? I love Paul Rhoads, but it's simple, his team hasn't been great so far this year. Missouri wins. Tigers 31 Cyclones 20.
#18 Kansas State @ Texas Tech
- Game time: 6:00
- TV: FSN
- Sirius Channel: 117
- The Spread: Texas Tech -3.5
The Lowdown: The Wildcats continued their strong start last week holding off Missouri 24-17 in the fourth quarter. Kansas State continues to get it done with a strong running game provided by quarterback Collin Klein and running back John Hubert. Add to that a defense that is allowing just 16.6 points a game and some Bill Snyder magic and you have recipe for a 5-0 Wildcat team.
Texas Tech suffered their first loss of the season against Texas A&M last week. The Red Raiders not only lost the game, but suffered a huge blow when running back Eric Stephens dislocated his knee and will miss the remainder of the season. Senior Aaron Crawford and freshmen Kenny Williams and DeAndre Washington will have to step up in his place. Tuberville knows losing Stephens was big. "Well, they've got speed, they're elusive like Eric. They just don't know what they're doing half the time," he said this week.
They will have their work cut out of themselves on Saturday going against a KSU defense that is only giving up 94.4 yards on the ground.
On the other side of the ball, Texas Tech's run defense will be put to the test against the Wildcats. Snyder's offense has run the ball 247 times this season against only 107 passes. The return of defensive end Scott Smith from a season long suspension last week should be a big help this week in helping to solidify the front four for Tech.
Kansas State, Keys to the Game: It's no surprise, but Bill Snyder seems to have the finger on a winning formula when it comes to this year's team. They simply don't beat themselves with turnovers or penalties and they play tough, physical defense. That being said, they've yet to see an offense that will attack them the way Texas Tech will. Tech loves to play fast, like really fast, and they'll test the KSU secondary that hasn't seen anything close to what they'll see Saturday. How KSU responds to the tempo will go a long way in determining whether they leave Lubbock with a win. If they don't adjust well early and Texas Tech jumps out to a lead, K-State will be forced to play catch up which is a position their offense isn't exactly built for.
Texas Tech, Keys to Victory: It's simple for Texas Tech. Stop the run. Klein is capable enough of a passer, but it's no secret what KSU is going to do on offense. Run Klein, run Klein again, hand off to Hubert, throw a dink and dunk pass, and then do itall over again. If Tech can stop it on a consistent basis, they stand a very good chance in winning the game.
Final Prediction: This is tough, but I'm going with my gut here. Texas Tech wins. Tech has some talented receivers that the Wildcats will struggle to match up with and Doege knows where to go with the football and will make them pay for their mistakes. Kansas State is good, but this just isn't a great matchup for them and they'll struggle to keep up. Texas Tech 34 Kansas State 27.
#1 Oklahoma @ Kansas
- Game time: 8:15
- TV: ESPN2
- Sirius Channel: 92
- The Spread: Kansas +35.5
The Lowdown: Oh my. Oh my again. This might get ugly. The top ranked Sooners pay a visit to Lawrence this weekend in if the Jayhawks performance last weekend is any indication, this should be over sometime in the first quarter.
Oklahoma State went through Kansas' defense like they were playing on air last week and it's hard to imagine Oklahoma won't do the same thing. KU's defense is giving up almost 50 points per game, a stat obviously not helped out by the 66 and 70 points Georgia Tech and OSU hung on them.
Offensively, Kansas might be able to get a few things done in the running game, but it won't be near enough.
The Sooners' back up quarterback's Drew Allen and Blake Bell should see plenty of action on Saturday night.
Oklahoma 63 Kansas 14
If these previews weren't enough for you, but sure and check out the game day video previews below from the Big 12's official site, Big12sports.com.