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What's In Store For This Weekend's Big 12 Games
September 20, 2012
By Wendell Barnhouse | Correspondent

There are good memories and bad memories. For Kansas State, one of the best memories came in the 2003 Big 12 Championship game when the Wildcats stunned undefeated and top-ranked Oklahoma.

The other recent memories for Kansas State when it comes to playing the Sooners ... well, uh ... there aren't many. Other than that shocker in Kansas City's Arrowhead Stadium in '03, the Wildcats haven't beaten OU in the last 15 years.

No. 13 Kansas State (3-0) hopes to reverse that trend when it faces the fifth-ranked Sooners (2-0) at 6:30 p.m. Saturday night at Gaylord Family/Memorial Stadium. The challenge for the Wildcats is significant.

Under coach Bob Stoops a former assistant coach at K-State under Bill Snyder Oklahoma is 14-0 at home against ranked opponents. Only one of those 14 teams wasn't decided by less than double digits.

And last year in Manhattan, Oklahoma overcame a 17-14 deficit late in the first half by closing out the game on a 44-point sprint to claim a 58-17 victory.

"We played reasonably well during the course of the first half, but the wheels came off in the second half in all avenues," Snyder said during his weekly Tuesday press conference. "They scored a lot of points, but we gave up a lot of those points as well."

Kansas State finished second in the Big 12 last season thanks to a ball control running game keyed by quarterback Collin Klein. This season, Klein is providing more of a passing threat.He ranks ninth in the nation in passing efficiency.

"They're throwing it more and he's throwing it well," Stoops said, "which isn't surprising as he progresses and gets older. The more work he gets, he's a talented guy."

Oklahoma quarterback Landry Jones, like Klein a senior, dissected Kansas State's secondary last season, throwing for 505 yards and five touchdowns.

"A lot of people talk about last year's game and how we didn't do so well," K-State safety Jarard Milo said. "It's a big game for us ... Last year was a blowout game. This year, there is a fire in all of us. We want to go down there and get the win."

Which, if you go by the history of the series, would be memorable.

Friday's game

Baylor at Louisiana-Monroe | Video Preview
Need to know: 7 p.m., Malone Stadium, ESPN.
Records: Baylor 2-0; Louisiana-Monroe 1-1.

Scouting Baylor: The Bears could gain some national attention and perhaps move into the top 25 with a victory. Baylor overcame a slow start to turn back Sam Houston State in last Saturday's game. The Bears are sixth in scoring offense and eighth in total offense as quarterback Nick Florence has kept things moving; he's second in the Big 12 passing and total offense. The defense is countering giving up yards by forcing turnovers at a high rate.

Scouting Louisiana-Monroe: Junior quarterback Kolton Browning is second nationally in passing and fifth in total offense, averaging 388 yards per game. His top receivers are Brent Leonard and Tavarese Maye. Louisiana-Monroe is 71st in total defense. The Warhawks have kept their offense moving with a high success rate on fourth down, converting nine of 11 attempts.

This and that: During the eight-game winning streak that dates back to last season, Baylor's quarterbacks have 24 touchdowns and four interceptions in 260 attempts. ... Over the last seven games, the Bears have forced 25 turnovers. ... This is the first game between the two schools.

Saturday's games

Virginia at TCU | Video Preview
Need to know: 11 a.m., Amon Carter Stadium, ESPN.
Records: Virginia 2-1; TCU, 2-0.

Scouting Virginia: The Cavaliers scored 43 points in their season-opening victory over FCS school Richmond but have just 37 points in their two games against FBS foes. Quarterback Michael Rocco struggled in last week's loss to Georgia Tech. Backup Phillips Sims, a transfer from Alabama, could see action against TCU if the offense bogs down again.

Scouting TCU: Junior quarterback Casey Pachall leads the nation in pass efficiency. He has completed 33 of 39 passes (84.2 percent) with five touchdowns and no interceptions. The offense is down to one veteran running back (Matthew Tucker); junior Waymon James suffered a season-ending knee injury in last Saturday's victory at Kansas.

This and that: TCU has the nation's longest winning streak at 10 games. ... TCU has won 27 of its last 28 games at Amon G. Carter Stadium. ... The Frogs are facing an Atlantic Coast Conference team for just the third time since 1997. ... Virginia has lost 17 of its last 20 regular-season road games against Top 25 teams. One of those three victories was at Florida State last season.

Maryland at West Virginia | Video Preview
Need to know: 11 a.m., Milan Puskar Stadium, FX.
Records: Maryland 2-1; West Virginia 2-0.

Scouting Maryland: The Terrapins rank sixth in the nation against the pass, allowing 124.3 yards allowed per game but none of their three opponents have the offensive scheme or weapons possessed by West Virginia. Maryland's offense has been struggling. The Terps are 119th nationally in total offense as freshman quarterback Perry Hills has been under constant pressure because of ineffective pass protection.

Scouting West Virginia: The seventh-ranked Mountaineers face their final non-conference opponent before making their Big 12 debut. Quarterback Geno Smith has moved to the top of most Heisman Trophy projection lists. He is second in the nation in passing efficiency. Receivers Stedman Bailey and Tavon Austin rank 1-2 in receptions per game.

This and that: West Virginia has a 64-13 scoring edge in the first half in its two victories but the scoring after intermission is "just" 49-33 in favor of the Mountaineers. ... These schools have met 48 times. West Virginia has a 25-21-2 edge and has won six consecutive games. ... In last year's 37-31 Mountaineers victory, Geno Smith completed 36 of 49 passes for 388 yards and one touchdown.

Kansas at Northern Illinois | Video Preview
Need to know: 2:30 p.m. Huskie Stadium, ESPN3.
Records: Kansas 1-2; Northern Illinois 2-1.

Scouting Kansas: The Jayhawks' running game has been solid and hopes to get a boost from the return of James Sims, who led the team in rushing last season. He missed the first three games serving out a suspension. Kansas has forced 15 turnovers, tied for the NCAA lead. KU is next to last in passing in the Big 12 and has the fewest touchdown passes (two).

Scouting Northern Illinois: Quarterback Jordan Lynch leads the team in rushing yards and passing yards. He has completed 43-of-68 passes for 610 yards and five touchdowns with two interceptions. The defense, particularly against the run, has had problems. The Huskies are 112th in NCAA statistics, allowing 229 yards per game rushing.

This and that: Dave Doeren is in his second year as NIU's coach; he went to high school in Kansas City and was an assistant coach for former KU coach Mark Mangino. ... Northern Illinois has won 16 consecutive home games while Kansas has lost 16 consecutive games played on the road or at a neutral site. ... The Huskies were Mid-American Conference champions last season and their loss this season is a one-point decision to Iowa.

Kansas State at Oklahoma | Video Preview
Need to know: 6:30 p.m. Gaylord Family/Oklahoma Memorial Stadium, FOX.
Records: Kansas State 3-0; Oklahoma 2-0.

Scouting Kansas State: The Wildcats followed one of their best efforts in a blowout of Miami (Fla.) with a mundane victory over North Texas. No. 13 Kansas State will need to ramp up its execution to keep pace with Oklahoma. K-State quarterback Collin Klein is sixth in the Big 12 in passing efficiency. His improved throwing gives the Wildcats' grind-it-out offense another option.

Scouting Oklahoma: In two games against Kansas State, Sooners quarterback Landry Jones has been outstanding 61-of-84 for 799 yards and nine touchdowns. In two victories, fifth-ranked Oklahoma's running game has been sparked by junior-college transfer Damien Williams, who leads the Big 12 with 129.5 yards rushing per game. The defense, which is talented in the back seven, has yet to find its identity for this season.

This and that: Oklahoma has won five consecutive games and eight of the last nine with Kansas State. The only loss was a monumental upset in the 2003 Big 12 championship game. ... After falling behind 17-14 in Manhattan last season, the Sooners scored 44 consecutive points for a 58-17 victory.

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