What to watch in the Big 12: Week 13

November, 24, 2010
11/24/10
10:15
AM ET
1. Flagging the Huskers ... or the Buffs. There's no avoiding the storyline that's dominated the Big 12 the past week. Plenty of eyes will be tallying the flags for and against Nebraska, with plenty on the line for the Huskers. If Nebraska beats Colorado, expect the scrutiny to only become amplified during the Big 12 title game next week.

[+] EnlargeTaylor Martinez
Thomas Campbell/US PresswireNebraska could be very beatable if Taylor Martinez is not playing at full strength.
2. Taylor Martinez's ankle. You saw once again last week how Nebraska's offense looks without a Martinez at full-strength. It's not pretty. Martinez almost certainly won't be at full strength on Saturday, which gives red-hot Colorado a chance to beat the Huskers.

3. Justin Blackmon versus Ryan Broyles. Arguably the nation's top two receivers, Blackmon and Broyles will be on the same field on Saturday, fighting to push their teams into the Big 12 title game. Expect plenty of wow-worthy catches.

4. Kendall Hunter versus DeMarco Murray. The same goes for Oklahoma State's and Oklahoma's running backs. Hunter leads the Big 12 in rushing and ranks third nationally. Murray is sixth, and 17 yards away from topping 1,000 yards for the second time in his career.

5. Brandon Weeden versus Landry Jones. The pair are Nos. 2 and 3 in the country in passing yards and tied for second in the nation with 30 touchdown passes. My point? Win two of these three matchups, and most likely win the game and the division. All three are of no small significance in the context of the 2010 edition of Bedlam.

6. Rodney takes on the Blackshirts. Texas A&M running back Cyrus Gray wasn't slowed much by the Nebraska defense last week in the Aggies win. Now, Colorado running back Rodney Stewart will take them on. He's playing some of the best football of his career in recent weeks, with 493 yards and five touchdowns in his last three games. The highlight was a career-high, 195-yard day last week in a win against Kansas State. If the Buffaloes pull the upset, Stewart will be a big reason why.

7. Big day for the D-Train? Kansas State running back Daniel Thomas averaged 184 yards a game in his first three starts of the season, but hasn't topped 115 yards in a game since. North Texas ranks 77th nationally in rush defense, so we might see a big finish from Thomas to end the regular season.

8. Rivalries evening the score. They say to throw out the records in rivalry games, but the odds makers don't necessarily agree when it comes to Missouri and Kansas. The Tigers are 25-point favorites, and the Jayhawks most certainly take exception to that. Is that enough to make the Border Showdown a thriller like it's been the past three seasons?

9. Defensive dominance in Austin. Texas A&M defensive coordinator Tim DeRuyter said he kept screaming at his team against Nebraska, "The best defense is going to win this game! The best defense is going to win this game!" That won't change this week against Texas. The Aggies and Longhorns both have pretty good defenses, and this should be a defensive battle unlike the 49-39 footrace that developed last season.

10. Growing Texas offense. Texas needed a Hail Mary and a defensive touchdown to put 51 points on the board against Florida Atlantic last week, but that's a good sign for an offense that hadn't put more than 34 points on the board in any other game this year. Do the Longhorns show some more progress in what might be their final game of the season?

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