Week 2 Big 12 - ULL at Kansas State & More

Posted Sep 5, 2013

Week 2 Fearless Prediction - Big 12. ULL at Kansas State & More

Louisiana-Lafayette (0-1) at Kansas State (0-1) Sept. 7, 6:30, FS1

Why You Should Give A Hoot: Well that didn't exactly go as planned, for either team. Louisiana-Lafayette might be one of the Sun Belt's best teams, and it was supposed to give Arkansas a hard time, but it was ripped apart for 522 yards in a 34-14 loss. That was bad, the Wildcats losing to North Dakota State was worse. The Bison might be two-time defending FCS champions, but Kansas State is the defending Big 12 champion and playing at home. However, with UMass up next, Bill Snyder's team should be able to turn things around in a big hurry, while the Ragin' Cajuns should be able to go on a run with Nicholls State, Akron and Texas State up next before the road showdowns at Western Kentucky and Arkansas State.

Why Louisiana-Lafayette Might Win: So how did North Dakota State do it? It played Kansas State football with just one penalty, one turnover, two takeaways, and time of possession, time of possession time of possession. The Bison had the ball for over 36 minutes and converted 10-of-17 third down chances, and while ULL wasn't good on third downs against Arkansas, it only committed one penalty. The two turnovers didn't help, but they weren't the problem. Like NDSU, the running game is in place to come up with a big game.

Why Kansas State Might Win: Time of possession, time of possession, time of possession. It's how Kansas State wins games, and it should be able to Arkansas it up by controlling the clock with a strong ground game and good third down conversion plays. The Hogs had the ball for over 37 minutes by grinding it out with the run and helped by Brandon Allen keeping the chains moving. If K-State can be more consistent on key downs after going 2-of-10 last week, the formula should work.

Who To Watch Out For: Where was the Kansas State running game? Jake Waters had a nice day completing 21-of-29 passes for 280 yards and two touchdowns, but he threw two picks and didn't run well. He had problems with the pass rush and didn't do a good job of keeping drives alive. He didn't get a whole bunch of help from John Hubert, who ran ten times for 23 yards, and if the Wildcats can't get the ground game going this week, it'll be panic time.
What Will Happen: Kansas State will get its groove back – sort of. Louisiana-Lafayette will play better than it did last week, and the running game will have a few big moments, but the Wildcats will be far tighter on the way to a good, but unconvincing win.
Prediction: Kansas State 31 … Louisiana-Lafayette 16
Line: Kansas State -10.5 o/u: 60
Must See Rating: (5 Olbermann – 1 Total Divas) … 2

South Dakota (1-0) at Kansas (0-0) Sept. 7, 7:00, ESPN3

Why You Should Give A Hoot: It's a new year, is it a new Kansas team? South Dakota already showed that things can change over the course of an offseason, at least a little bit, putting a miserable 2012 in the rearview mirror with a 10-7 win over UC Davis to open things up, and now it's up to the Jayhawks to be ready to hit the ground running after being off next week. Could this be another FCS over FBS upset? It'll take something major for that to happen, but it's been a solid start to the year for the lower level.

Why South Dakota Might Win: The pass defense did a terrific job of keeping the UC Davis offense from keeping the chains moving. The Coyotes allowed several midrange passes, but they didn't give up anything big. Kansas is going to be patient with the offense, but it's going to want to stretch things out a bit to open things up for the ground game. Linebacker Tyler Starr is a good one who'll be in on everything.

Why Kansas Might Win: South Dakota doesn't have much of an offense. Veteran quarterback Josh Vander Malen isn't bad, but he only threw for 91 yards last week; the running game didn't pick up the slack. There's little to not pop to the offense, so if KU can get up early, it should be able to coast. South Dakota doesn't have the ability to mount much of a comeback.

Who To Watch Out For: The wait is over. The Kansas passing game went nowhere last season with its top quarterback, Jake Heaps, waiting in the wings after transferring over from BYU. Considered the No. 1 quarterback recruit in the country in 2010, he was supposed to be the next big thing at BYU, and he got his chances right away and wasn't bad throwing for 2,316 yards and 15 scores with nine picks as a true freshman. The talent and skills are there, but he's only 6-1 and 210 pounds and he has to show he can consistently lead an offense. With a year to learn under Charlie Weis and groom for the job, he should be ready.
What Will Happen: Kansas will look great. It'll be an improved team that should make a little bit of noise, and it'll all start with a good performance from Heaps the KU offense.
Prediction: Kansas 45 … South Dakota 10
Line: Kansas -23.5 o/u: 51
Must See Rating: (5 Olbermann – 1 Total Divas) … 1

Stephen F. Austin (0-1) at Texas Tech (1-0) Sept. 7, 7:00, FSN

Why You Should Give A Hoot: Get ready for a fun and wild shootout. Texas Tech took a little while to get going against SMU, but the offense rolled once it found its groove on the way to a 41-23 win. Meanwhile, Stephen F. Austin bombed away in a crazy 50-40 loss to Weber State. Getting down 23-7 in the first quarter and coming up with a furious rally in the second half, the Lumberjacks can keep up the pace. The

Why Stephen F. Austin Might Win: Throw and throw and throw some more. Brady Attaway throws a lot of interceptions – a LOT of interceptions – giving away three in last week's loss, but he can ball, cranking up 450 yards and four scores as he tried to bring the team back. The attack can be balanced once in a while if Gus Johnson is rolling. He ran for 110 yards and a score against WSU, and he's good enough to make the Red Raiders take attention away from Attaway.

Why Texas Tech Might Win: Can Stephen F. Austin get out of its own way? Last week was a penalty-filled problem with nine for 94 yards to go along with Attaway's three picks. Texas Tech isn't above a few screw-ups, but the Lumberjacks will match them step for step. Offensively, the Red Raiders, as usual, will throw and throw some more, and while SFA will have its moments, it doesn't have the secondary to hold up. Weber State spent most of its time running the ball, but Tech will chop away at the other part of the Lumberjack defense thanks to …

Who To Watch Out For: Baker Mayfield, who wasn't even on the radar this offseason as the Texas Tech starting quarterback. It took him a little while to heat up, but when he did, he was fantastic completing 43-of-60 passes for 413 yards and four touchdowns. He also led the team in rushing with 16 yards and a score on 12 carries, but that's not his game in any way. Tough, competitive, and fiery, he's not a typical walk-on freshman; he's making this his team from the start.
What Will Happen: Expect 700 yards of passing between the two teams, but over 400 of them will be on Texas Tech's side.
Prediction: Texas Tech 54 … Stephen F. Austin 20
Line: Texas Tech -38 o/u: 62
Must See Rating: (5 Olbermann – 1 Total Divas) … 2