Saturday, September 21, 2013
Big 12 Week 4 primer
By Jake Trotter
Today, Kansas State will attempt to make it six in a row against Texas, West Virginia will look to knock off one of its mild rivals, and Baylor will try to keep its offense steamrolling after a week off.
Those are the Big 12’s major storylines for Week 4:
Louisiana Tech at Kansas, 11 a.m. CT (FS1): After a disappointing loss at Rice, coach Charlie Weis shook up the depth chart this week. That won’t have much of an effect if quarterback Jake Heaps doesn’t play better than he did last week. The firepower is there for the Jayhawks to be more explosive offensively. But through two games, it has yet to come together. Louisiana Tech is the last chance to get the offense going before Big 12 play begins.
West Virginia vs. Maryland (Baltimore), 2:30 p.m. (ESPNU): Today, the Mountaineers could find out a lot about Ford Childress. The freshman quarterback was solid in his debut against Georgia State, but this offers an obvious uptick in competition. The Terrapins are ailing at cornerback, which should open opportunities for Childress in the quick passing game, then ultimately downfield. If he can take advantage of them, West Virginia could resume Big 12 play with a two-game winning streak and some momentum after the loss at Oklahoma.
Louisiana-Monroe at Baylor, 3 p.m. (FS1): Monroe gave the Bears everything they wanted in a shootout last season. But this is hardly the same Baylor team that traveled to Monroe last September. The Bears have yet to show a single weakness offensively, and since last November, the defense has been playing as well as any Baylor defense since the days of the Southwest Conference. With every performance, these Bears look more and more like a viable Big 12 title contender.
Texas State at Texas Tech, 6 p.m. (FSN): Texas Tech came out of the TCU game with a big win. But the Red Raiders also exited with some questions -- namely, is Baker Mayfield really the quarterback Tech should be playing? Kliff Kingsbury is sticking with the true freshman walk-on, who could use a confidence-boosting performance this evening, especially with former projected starter Michael Brewer easing his way into the mix again from a back injury.
Kansas State at Texas, 7 p.m. (ABC): This looks like a bad matchup for Texas across the board. The Longhorns can’t stop the quarterback run game, and K-State’s change-of-pace QB Daniel Sams runs the ball as well as any QB in the Big 12. The Longhorns, historically, always struggle against K-State, which has won five straight in the series. Plus, who would you rather have on the sidelines right now, Mack Brown or Bill Snyder? But after suffering beat-downs the last two weeks, the Longhorns ought to come out playing angry. That kind of emotion could go a long way in taking a little heat off Brown until the Oklahoma game. But only if the Longhorns can avoid the sixth straight loss to K-State, and third consecutive defeat this season.