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What's In Store For This Weekend's Big 12 Games
October 05, 2012
By Wendell Barnhouse | Correspondent

What some teams might take three games to accomplish scoring 10 touchdowns West Virginia has accomplished three times in its last five games.

The seventh-ranked Mountaineers played their first Big 12 game last week and outscored Baylor 70-63. West Virginia's first Big 12 road game is Saturday at No. 9 Texas, which won its own shootout last week. The Longhorns got a touchdown in the final minute to beat Oklahoma State 41-36 in a game that featured 1,016 yards in total offense.

West Virginia quarterback Geno Smith threw for eight touchdowns against the Bears and gets a national stage in Austin as the game will be televised on FOX. Smith is the Heisman Trophy favorite. Last season, Baylor's Robert Griffin III locked up the iconic award with his season-ending performance against the Longhorns.

"I think as good as our quarterbacks have been [in the Big 12], he's playing as good or better than any quarterback we've ever had," Texas coach Mack Brown said. "He hasn't made a mistake, and there's a tremendous amount of pressure on him with trying to handle all the hype and the Heisman stuff. We've been through that here, and it's a very difficult thing to do, and he just seems unbothered by it."

UT sophomore quarterback David Ash is second in the Big 12 (behind Smith) in passing efficiency. Last Saturday in Stillwater, he made two clutch throws on the Longhorns' game-winning drive.

Both defenses have spent the week answering questions about "what's wrong?" The Longhorns are seventh in the Big 12 in total defense while the Mountaineers are ninth. Smith's performance overshadowed the fact that Baylor quarterback Nick Florence passed for 581 yards and five touchdowns.

"It was terrible," West Virginia safety Darwin Cook said after Baylor scored nine touchdowns. "It gets you down. We don't like giving up points like that, at all, but you just have to get back up and play the next game. We have to get better on defense."

Against Oklahoma State, Texas allowed 300 yards passing and 275 yards rushing in the same game for the first time since 1950. The Longhorns have surrendered five touchdowns of 44 yards or longer this season.

"We haven't played to the standard we think we're capable of playing," UT junior defensive back Carrington Byndom said. "I think there is a little frustration to get back to the way we know we're capable of playing. Giving up big plays and things like that with missed tackling and stuff like that is just not things that we expect."

Saturday's Games
All times CST

Kansas at Kansas State
Video Preview
Need to know: 11 a.m., Bill Snyder Family Stadium, FX.
Records: Kansas 1-3, 0-1; Kansas State 4-0, 1-0.

Scouting Kansas: The Jayhawks are last in the conference in scoring and next to last in total offense. Senior quarterback Dayne Crist has struggled; he has thrown four interceptions with just two TDs. The running game has potential with Tony Pierson, Taylor Cox and James Sims a solid trio. The defense has forced 13 turnovers, tied for second-most in the Big 12.

Scouting Kansas State: The seventh-ranked Wildcats are coming off a bye week following their impressive victory at Oklahoma. K-State is playing efficiently just eight penalties and three turnovers. Running back John Hubert and quarterback Collin Klein form a fordable one-two rushing punch, combining for 180 yards per game.
This and that: This will be the 110th meeting in the Sunflower State Showdown. It's the most-played current series in the Big 12. ... Kansas State has won the last three meetings, outscoring Kansas by an average of 32.3 points. ... The Jayhawks have lost 14 consecutive road games. Three of those losses have been to ranked opponents by the aggregate score of 141-51.

Iowa State at TCU
Video Preview
Need to know: 2:30 p.m., Amon Carter Stadium, FSN.
Records: Iowa State 3-1, 0-1; TCU 4-0, 1-0.

Scouting Iowa State: Quarterback Steele Jantz is coming off a loss in which he threw three interceptions and lost a fumble. The Cyclones must get better production at quarterback if they hope to hang with the better teams in the Big 12. Iowa State's defense is capable of keeping the team in most games. It's allowing 309 yards and just 14 points per game.

Scouting TCU: The 13th-ranked Horned Frogs will have to regroup and rally around redshirt freshman Trevone Boykin. He steps in as the starter with Casey Pachall suspended indefinitely. TCU's offense has been mistake-prone, averaging two lost fumbles per game. Despite just one senior on the depth chart, the Frogs' defense has been outstanding.

This and that: Both teams are coming off anemic offensive performances. TCU had 156 yards of total offense in a victory at SMU while Iowa State had 189 yards of offense in a 24-13 loss at home to Texas Tech. ... The teams are meeting for the first time since a 27-24 TCU victory in the 2005 Houston Bowl. The Frogs have won all three meetings in the series.

Oklahoma at Texas Tech
Video Preview
Need to know: 2:30 p.m., Jones AT&T Stadium, ABC/ESPN2.
Records: Oklahoma 2-1, 0-1; Texas Tech 4-0, 1-0.

Scouting Oklahoma: The Sooners are in desperate need of a victory. Oklahoma has had a week off since losing at home to Kansas State and makes a road trip to a venue where it has struggled. OU's defense has forced just one turnover and seven sacks. Quarterback Landry Jones and the offense has struggled to find a rhythm that produces consistency.

Scouting Texas Tech: The Red Raiders' defense has been transformed and enter the game ranked No. 1 in the country. Texas Tech has had speed, discipline and fundamental play under coordinator Art Kaufman. The offense is more balanced between running and passing. Texas Tech has three running backs averaging five yards or better per carry.

This and that: The Sooners haven't won in Lubbock since 2003 and are just 3-4 against Texas Tech since 2005, including last season's stunning loss that ended OU's 39-game home-field winning streak. ... Texas Tech, though, is just 1-6 in Big 12 games under coach Tommy Tuberville. ... The Red Raiders have six receivers with at least 10 receptions and 12 with five catches.

West Virginia at Texas
Video Preview
Need to know: 6 p.m., Darrell K. Royal/Memorial Stadium, FOX.
Records: West Virginia 4-0, 1-0; Texas 4-0, 1-0.

Scouting West Virginia: The seventh-ranked Mountaineers can make a huge statement in their first Big 12 road game. Quarterback Geno Smith leads the nation in passing efficiency and total offense. For the third consecutive game, WVU is expected to be without senior running back Shawne Alston. The defense, after allowing 63 to Baylor's up-tempo offense, needs to adjust against Texas' ground-oriented attack.

Scouting Texas: The ninth-ranked Longhorns are in the midst of their toughest part of the schedule. Texas showed its grit and an explosive offense in last week's victory at Oklahoma State. Quarterback David Ash is second in the Big 12 in passing efficiency. The defense, which has under-performed thus far, has had issues with missed tackles and allowing big plays.

This and that: UT sophomore quarterback David Ash is just the fourth quarterback in school history with back-to-back 300-yard games (630 total yards). West Virginia quarterback Geno Smith threw for 656 yards last week against Baylor. ... Texas has won just two of its last eight home games vs. Big 12 opponents. ... The teams' only meeting came on Oct. 6, 1956. West Virginia won 7-6.

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