Saturday, November 23, 2013
Big 12 primer: Week 13
By Jake Trotter
Kansas State and Oklahoma will battle for fourth-place in the Big 12; Iowa State and Kansas will fight to avoid the Big 12 basement; and Oklahoma State and Baylor will vie for control of the Big 12 title.
Those, among others, will be the storylines to watch in Week 13 of the Big 12:
No. 20 Oklahoma at Kansas State, 11 a.m. CT (FS1): Oklahoma’s Trevor Knight will get his first start at quarterback since losing the job the second week of the season. In relief of injured starter Blake Bell last week against Iowa State, Knight had the best game of his career. But in Manhattan, he will be without two key weapons, as suspended running back Damien Williams and receiver Lacoltan Bester are both expected to miss this game. While the Sooners have sputtered the last month, the Wildcats have been red-hot, winning four straight after a 2-4 start.
Kansas at Iowa State, 7 p.m. CT (FS1): The Big 12 basement will be on the line in this one. Kansas finally snapped a 27-game Big 12 losing streak last week by taking out West Virginia with a convincing 31-19 victory. Tailback James Sims has been putting the Kansas offense on his shoulders, and freshman quarterback Montell Cozart shined in his first career start. The Cyclones are still searching for their first Big 12 win. Iowa State jumped to a 10-3 lead at Oklahoma, but after giving up a punt return touchdown late in the second quarter, got outscored 45-0 the rest of the way.
No. 4 Baylor and No. 10 Oklahoma State, 7 p.m. CT (ABC): The winner of the Big 12 game of the year will also control its destiny for the league’s automatic BCS bowl berth. There’s even more on the line for the Bears, who hold aspirations of sneaking into the national title game. An impressive performance here would help position Baylor as the clear No. 3 team in the BCS behind Alabama and Florida State, should either the Crimson Tide or Seminoles lose down the stretch. But winning in Stillwater won’t be easy. Baylor hasn’t knocked off a Top 25 team on the road since 1991, and hasn’t defeated the Cowboys in Stillwater in 74 years. Since inserting Clint Chelf at quarterback, Oklahoma State has been a different team, too, averaging 48 points their last four games with him in the lineup. But this will also be his biggest challenge of the season. On top of a record-setting offense, Baylor’s defense has held six of its nine opponents to two touchdowns or less.