#15 Texas vs. #10 Oklahoma at Dallas
Oklahoma climbed back into the top 10 in the coaches poll with an impressive win at Texas Tech last week. The Red River Rivalry game has had one or both teams ranked in the top 10 every year since 1999.
The Oklahoma offense rolled up 380 yards of total offense in beating Texas Tech 41-20. Sooners quarterback Landry Jones was 25-40 for 259 yards, two touchdowns and no interceptions.
"I think we did get into a better rhythm," Oklahoma coach Bob Stoops said this week. "We were a little behind in that was only our fourth game. We’re still a work in progress."
Oklahoma had two bye weeks over the course of the first five weeks of the season.
The Texas defense was the latest to get dominated by Geno Smith and the Mountaineer offense.
"I don’t think anybody in this building ever said this would be one of our best defenses ever," said Texas coach Mack Brown. "I’ve constantly said that we are young down the middle. I thought this would be a defense that would struggle some but get better. They are getting better. It’s hard to believe when you play Oklahoma State and West Virginia, two of the best offenses in the country. "
#5 Kansas State at #25 Iowa State
It could be a rare, low scoring Big 12 game here as the Iowa State defense forced five turnovers in beating TCU 37-23 last week.
"They are the smartest team in the Big 12," said Iowa State coach Paul Rhodes of Kansas State. "They make good decisions. They don’t make risky throws and they have good ball security.
"There is no way we can count on five turnovers to help us win this game," Rhodes said.
He will count on sophomore quarterback Jared Barnett. who replaced senior Steele Jantz last week.
"He runs the ball a little bit better," Rhodes said. "He throws the ball on time a little bit better than Steele does. If we can keep those things happening we can be productive as an offense."
Barnett threw for 183 yards and three touchdowns in the TCU win last week.
Rhodes talked about the smarts of this Kansas State team. The statistics prove it as the Wildcats have committed just nine penalties all season. That total is 11 fewer than any other Big 12 team. Also, Kansas State is a league best +10 in turnover margin. The Wildcats have given the ball up just three times all season.
"It really is about those intrinsic values," said Kansas State coach Bill Snyder. "One of those intrinsic values is discipline. Penalties is one of those things. Turnovers is another. We’ve done reasonably well in both areas. That’s a tribute to the discipline of the young people in our program."
#23 TCU at Baylor
TCU coach Gary Patterson was forced to go with freshman Trevone Boykin at quarterback last week against Iowa State as Casey Pachall left the program to get help for substance abuse.
Boykin threw for 270 yards and rushed for 39 more, but he threw three interceptions.
"Trevone runs better but he just needs the experience of seeing the field better," said Patterson.
Top running back Matthew Tucker was also held out of the game as freshman Aundre Dean and B.J. Catalon had most of the carries.
"We ran 83 plays and had 455 yards against a pretty good (Iowa State) defense," Patterson said. "The key is, you can’t throw interceptions and turn the ball over, especially for touchdowns."
Baylor was off last week following its 70-63 loss at WVU.
"We would have like to have kept playing," said Baylor coach Art Briles. "Our schedule has been a little bit erratic with two open dates and with games on Sunday and Friday. From here on out, we’ll be eight straight (weeks) with Saturday games. We just need to get back on the field. That’s what were anxious about."
Oklahoma State at Kansas
Oklahoma State led 35-7 after the first quarter of last year’s game en route to a 70-28 victory.
This year, Kansas has been in some games early only to be blown out in the second half. That’s what happened last week in a 56-16 loss to Kansas State.
"They are an improved team," Oklahoma State coach Mike Gundy said of Kansas. "They’ve really run the ball well each week. They’ve obviously had some trouble in the third and fourth quarter of games up to this point. They’ve been able to move the ball but turnovers have limited them from scoring enough points."
Kansas coach Charlie Weis did something interesting with his team for its Sunday practice. Weis removed the seniors as he conducted most of the workout with the under class players only.
"When you (have) a team that is down in the bottom of the league, development is one of the key ingredients in becoming competitive," Weis said. "There is only so much developing you can do with the seniors. They are already five games into their last year. It is what it is. But for everybody else, you have to see progress made on a daily basis if we are every going to get any better."