By Wendell Barnhouse
Big 12 Digital Correspondent
One would think that there's another Harry Potter novel being written. Texas Tech's game at No. 15 Oklahoma Saturday has a story line that echoes Lord Voldemort, aka "He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named."
The Sooners' starting quarterback is junior Baker Mayfield. He started his career at Texas Tech before transferring to Oklahoma. With the Red Raiders visiting Norman, Mayfield's past and present piqued the interest of writers seeking an angle.
Kliff Kingsbury, though, is ready to move on.
"That happened two years ago, really 21 months, something like that," Kingsbury said this week. "It's two good football teams. I don't want to take away from that [meeting] based on that storyline."
Mayfield is fourth in the nation in both yards per attempt (9.87) and touchdown percentage (10.0), and he's also run for four scores. The Sooners bounced back from a 24-17 loss to Texas with a 55-0 romp at Kansas State. OU's quarterback acknowledges that facing his former team matters.
"It's human nature to try and get revenge. That's just how everybody works," Mayfield said. "But I've got to focus on doing my job - and my job only - and that's executing my stuff and helping our team win."
Texas Tech's only losses have come to TCU and Baylor – two of the Big 12's three remaining undefeated teams. The Red Raiders need one more victory to become bowl eligible after going 4-8 last season.
Mayfield decided to transfer after Davis Webb took over as Texas Tech's quarterback when the Red Raiders went to their last bowl game. Webb got his opportunity when Mayfield was sidelined by injury during the 2013 season. Ironically, Webb is now the second-team quarterback as sophomore Patrick Mahomes has taken over.
"Things tend to work themselves out," Kingsbury said of Mayfield and Mahomes. "Two really good kids and really good players. It's been good to see both guys have success."
All Times Central
Iowa State at Baylor
Need to know: 11 a.m., McLane Stadium, Waco, Texas, ESPN.
Records: Iowa State 2-4, 1-2; Baylor 6-0, 3-0.
Scouting Iowa State: The Cyclones are showing improvement but this is their third game against the Big 12's top offensive teams, playing Texas Tech and TCU prior to Baylor. Iowa State will need to get running back Mike Warren back on track. He was held to 78 yards by TCU after averaging 182 yards rushing in the three previous games.
Scouting Baylor: The second-ranked Bears lead the nation in scoring and total offense. Opposing coaches are saying Baylor's attack is close to unstoppable. Quarterback Seth Russell leads the nation with 27 touchdown passes, receiver Corey Coleman has an FBS-best 16 touchdown receptions while running back Shock Linwood is eighth nationally in rushing.
This and that: The Bears have won by an average of 36.5 points during a 19-game home winning streak that is the longest active in the nation. … The Cyclones have dropped six straight road games and have lost by an average of 38.3 points in their last three in Waco, including 71-7 in October 2013.
Kansas State at Texas
Need to know: 11 a.m., Darrell K. Royal/Memorial Stadium, Austin, Texas, FS1.
Records: Kansas State 3-3 overall, 0-3 Big 12; Texas 2-4 overall, 1-1 Big 12.
Scouting Kansas State: K-State has baffled observers with its play calling in the second half of the loss to TCU and the start of the Oklahoma game. The Wildcats had six consecutive pass plays and trailed 14-0 before its first running play. K-State's defense has allowed 143 points in its three Big 12 losses. The Wildcats lead the Big 12 in rush defense but are ninth in pass defense.
Scouting Texas: The Longhorns have only beaten K-State once since 2003 but Texas is coming off its most complete game of the season. Maintaining the momentum of the upset of Oklahoma will be crucial to UT's second-half hopes. Texas ran for 313 yards against the Sooners but stopping the run is the strength of the Wildcats' defense.
This and that: The Wildcats have only committed 34 penalties in six games and average 47 yards in penalties per game. … Texas is 8-1 under coach Charlie Strong when it scores first and 0-10 when allowing the first points. … Redshirt freshman QB Jerrod Heard leads the Longhorns in rushing.
Texas Tech at Oklahoma
Need to know: 2:30 p.m., Gaylord Family/Memorial Stadium, Norman, Okla., ABC/ESPN2.
Records: Texas Tech 5-2 overall, 2-2 Big 12; Oklahoma 5-1 overall, 2-1 Big 12.
Scouting Texas Tech: The Red Raiders can become bowl eligible with a victory; that would be even more significant if the victory comes over Oklahoma in Norman. Texas Tech is second in the Big 12 in total offense and third in scoring. While the Red Raiders' defense is improved, they still struggle to stop the run, allowing 5.8 yards per carry.
Scouting Oklahoma: The 15th-ranked Sooners got well last week, following their loss to Texas with a 55-0 victory at Kansas State. Oklahoma quarterback Baker Mayfield ranks fourth nationally in passing efficiency and ninth in total offense. The Sooners' defense figures to be challenged by Texas Tech's passing game and sophomore quarterback Patrick Mahomes.
This and that: Oklahoma leads the Big 12 in scoring defense, total defense, pass defense and interceptions. The Sooners are ninth nationally in pass defense. … Texas Tech is allowing 553.6 yards per game; that ranks 122nd in FBS. … In his 11 starts, Texas Tech QB Patrick Mahomes has thrown for 4,046 yards and 34 touchdowns with just eight interceptions.
Kansas at Oklahoma State
Need to know: 2:30 p.m., Boone Pickens Stadium, Stillwater, Okla., FS1.
Records: Kansas 0-6 overall, 0-3 Big 12; Oklahoma State 6-0 overall, 3-0 Big 12.
Scouting Kansas: The Jayhawks are coming off their best game of the season but are still seeking their first victory. Freshman Ryan Willis has taken over as KU's quarterback and has displayed the ability to move the offense. Kansas held Texas Tech's offense to just 23 points in last week's 30-20 loss.
Scouting Oklahoma State: The 12th-ranked Cowboys start the second half of their season in prime position to make a run at the Big 12 championship. One of the keys to achieving that goal is improving a running game that has been average thus far. The defense, led by defensive end Emmanuel Ogbah, has been outstanding. The Cowboys lead the nation in sacks and are second in tackles for loss.
This and that: Kansas quarterbacks have connected with 15 different wide outs twice in games and the Jayhawks lead the FBS with 13 different receivers tallying at least 38 yards. … Oklahoma State is one of just eight teams in the country to rank in the top 31 nationally in both scoring offense and scoring defense. … The Cowboys are one of only 14 unbeaten FBS teams.