By Wendell Barnhouse | email@example.comBig12Sports.com Correspondent
Texas Tech has as many mottos as its coach has swag. First-year coach Kliff Kingsbury wants his team to be "Fearless" – the word, in heavy, bold type is at the top of each week's football release. Now, a 2,000-year-old Latin phrase is becoming a Tech touchstone.
"Fortune favors the bold." The school's video department produced this 92-second clip
that shows how the Red Raiders have embraced a play to win philosophy. So far, the team and its 33-year-old coach are undefeated and ranked in the top 10.
Texas Tech (7-0, 4-0) will attempt to keep its dream season alive when it faces No. 12 Oklahoma (6-1, 3-1) in a nationally televised game in Norman, Okla.
"It's a challenge any time you play in that stadium," said Kingsbury, who was Texas Tech's quarterback when the Red Raiders lost a key game at OU in 2002. "We'll have to play our best game. The exciting part for me right now is I know we haven't played close to our best game."
Texas Tech is off to its best start since winning its first 10 in 2008 before losing at Oklahoma 65-21 – a Sooners team that went on to play for the BCS title.
The Red Raiders have thrived despite inexperience at quarterback. Freshman Baker Mayfield started the first five games before suffering a leg injury. Davis Webb took over and became the first freshman in Texas Tech history with back-to-back 400-yard passing efforts (415 vs. Iowa State and 462 last week against West Virginia).
Of the top five teams in the Big 12 standings, Texas and Oklahoma are the only teams that have played each other. While the Longhorns' victory two weeks ago gives UT a head-to-head tiebreaker edge, the Sooners are far from out of the race.
While OU's defense has been outstanding, the offense has sputtered, particularly at the start of games. Oklahoma has scored just three first-quarter points in its last three games. The Sooners haven't scored a first-quarter touchdown since the Sept. 28 win at Notre Dame and have just 30 first-quarter points through seven games.
"It's not like we're not capable of moving the ball; It's nothing that a defense has done in the first three or four drives; We're hurting ourselves," co-offensive coordinator Josh Heupel said. "At the end of the day, we've got to do a better job as players and staff of starting fast. It's going to be critical in this ballgame. You certainly don't want them to get off to a fast start and us struggle offensively."Saturday's gamesAll time CentralOklahoma State at Iowa StateNeed to know:
11 a.m., Jack Trice Stadium, FSN.Records:
Oklahoma State 5-1, 2-1; Iowa State 1-5, 0-3).Scouting Oklahoma State:
The No. 13 Cowboys are uncertain who will start and play quarterback. Coach Mike Gundy said this week he'll make a game-time decision between sophomore J.W. Walsh and senior Clint Chelf. Halfway through the schedule, Oklahoma State's offense has not produced at recognizable levels. The defense has been solid and leads the Big 12 in turnover margin.Scouting Iowa State:
Under coach Paul Rhoads, the Cyclones have a history of bouncing back after lopsided losses (they lost at Baylor 71-7). Rhoads said this week he is sticking with sophomore Sam B. Richardson as the starting quarterback. Iowa State averaged just 2.9 yards per play in last week's loss.This and that:
A victory would make Oklahoma State bowl-eligible for a school-record eighth consecutive year. … Iowa State's inexperience on defense is showing; the Cyclones are allowing 492 yards per game, which ranks 117th in FBS. … The Cowboys have forced twice as many turnovers (16) as the Cyclones have committed (8). Iowa State has lost just two fumbles.Texas Tech at OklahomaNeed to know:
2:30 p.m., Gaylord Family/Oklahoma Memorial Stadium, FOX.Records:
Texas Tech, 7-0, 4-0; Oklahoma 6-1, 3-1.Scouting Texas Tech:
The Red Raiders figure to start freshman Davis Webb at quarterback; he's 2-0 as a starter with five touchdowns and 877 yards of passing. Junior Jace Amaro is averaging eight receptions and 106 yards per game.Texas Tech's defense leads the Big 12 in stopping foes on third down and is third in the Conference in rushing defense and sacks. Scouting Oklahoma:
The Sooners need to solve some offensive woes, particularly in the passing game. Quarterback Blake Bell is averaging just 157 yards passing per game. OU is eighth in the Big 12 in passing offense. Conversely, Oklahoma leads the Conference in total defense and leads FBS in pass defense. That could come in handy considering Texas Tech is the nation's second-best passing team.This and that:
Texas Tech is 7-0 record for the first time since the 2008 season and just the fourth time overall. Tech's previous 7-0 starts came in 2008, 1976 and 1938. … OU coach Bob Stoops is 22-1 in games where he is facing a Big 12 coach for the first time. … The Red Raiders lead the nation in forcing seven three-and-outs per game.West Virginia at Kansas StateNeed to know:
2:45 p.m., Bill Snyder Family Stadium, FS1.Records:
West Virginia 3-4, 1-3; Kansas State 2-4, 0-3.Scouting West Virginia:
The Mountaineers are coming off back-to-back losses to ranked teams and are seeking their first victory away from Morgantown. Junior quarterback Clint Trickett is growing more comfortable in the offense. West Virginia's defense has allowed 147 points in the team's last three losses.Scouting Kansas State:
While both Daniel Sams and Jake Waters are expected to play, the Wildcats might have their best chance with Sams at quarterback. West Virginia has struggled to stop the run (8th in the Big 12 with 196 yards allowed per game). K-State's offense also hopes to get a boost with the return of injured receivers Tyler Lockett and Tramaine Thompson.This and that:
At minus-9, Kansas State is last in the Big 12 in turnover margin; the Wildcats led the Big 12 in that statistic last season. … West Virginia allowed at least 322 yards passing in the last three games, including a season-high 462 yards in last weekend's loss to Texas Tech. … Kansas State is averaging 216 yards per game passing. Baylor at KansasNeed to know:
6 p.m., Memorial Stadium, ESPNU.Records:
Baylor 6-0, 3-0; Kansas 2-4, 0-3.Scouting Baylor:
Quarterback Bryce Petty he leads the nation in pass efficiency (221.8) and yards per completion (19.83). He also leads the Big 12 in completion percentage (70.8). The junior has been a big factor directing the nation's most-productive offense. And the defense is coming off an impressive shut-down of Iowa State.Scouting Kansas:
The Jayhawks have given up 88 points in its two losses to ranked teams (Texas Tech and Oklahoma) and both of the losses came in Lawrence. For the most part, though, KU's defense has been improved. The offense? Not so much. Kansas managed just 16 passing yards in last week's loss to Oklahoma and is last in the Big 12 in scoring and total offense.This and that:
A Baylor victory would be the team's 11th in a row. The school record of 10 was set in 1936-37. … Kansas has lost 24 consecutive Big 12 games; the Big 12 record of 29 was set by Baylor from 1998 to 2002. … Baylor running back Lache Seastrunk is averaging 9.2 yards per carry. He ranks ninth nationally with 126 yards per game but he's the only back in the top 13 with fewer than 100 carries.Texas at TCUNeed to know:
6:30 p.m., Amon G. Carter Stadium, FS1.Records:
Texas 4-2, 3-0; TCU 3-4, 1-3.Scouting Texas:
The Longhorns have had a week off after disposing of Oklahoma. Senior Case McCoy, with David Ash still sidelined, will start at quarterback. Sophomore Johnathan Gray is the Big 12's second-leading rusher and is providing steady production. The defense has shown vast improvement. Over the last three games, UT has 13 quarterback sacks after recording just two in the first three games.Scouting TCU:
The Horned Frogs changed play callers in the second half at Stillwater and the offense started moving the chains. Consistency continues to plague sophomore quarterback Trevone Boykin, who has thrown five touchdown passes and seven interceptions. TCU's defense is tops in rushing defense and leads the Big 12 with 13 interceptions.This and that:
TCU coach Gary Patterson said this week that senior quarterback Casey Pachall will be available to play against Texas. Pachall has been out since Sept. 7 after breaking his non-throwing left arm. … TCU has held 12 of its last 13 opponents to less than 60 percent completion percentage. … UT defensive end Jackson Jeffcoat, who didn't play in last year's loss to TCU, has 17 sacks over his last 19 games.