Week 3 Big 12 - Iowa-Iowa St & More, Part 1
TCU QB Trevone Boykin
TCU QB Trevone Boykin
Posted Sep 12, 2013

Week 3 - Big 12 Fearless Predictions, TCU at Texas Tech & More, Part 1

- Ole Miss at Texas | Iowa at Iowa State & More, Part 1
- Kansas at Rice & More, Part 2

TCU (1-1) at Texas Tech (2-0) Sept. 12, 7:30, ESPN

Why You Should Give A Hoot: It's very, very early in the process, but call this a defining moment for these two teams in the Big 12 season. Yes, Texas might be shaky, but it's still the most talented team in the league, and Oklahoma and Oklahoma State are strong enough to win the conference race. Texas Tech and TCU appear to be strong enough to beat anyone in the league, but they probably don't have quite enough juice to win the whole thing and get to the Fiesta Bowl. Basically, this isn't an elimination game in the Big 12 title race, but it's not far off.

TCU battled hard in a good loss to LSU, and struggled a little too much in a win over SE Louisiana, and soon the defense needs to start playing like the TCU defense again. It hasn't been a smooth start to the season, but playing a national title-good team like LSU had something to do with that. Meanwhile, Texas Tech has been brilliant offensively in head coach Kliff Kingsbury's first two games at the helm. However, now it's on. TCU isn't SMU or Stephen F. Austin.

Texas Tech won a wild 56-53 overtime thriller last season; a far cry from the 12-3 TCU win in 2006 and a wee bit different than the 70-35 Tech win in 2004. Before that, the two Texas schools didn't face each other since they were each in the Southwest Conference in 1995.

Why TCU Might Win: Texas Tech, welcome to a pass rush. It hasn't exactly gotten rolling yet like it should in the near future, but the Horned Frog pass rush has generated four sacks in the first two games. Texas Tech has allowed four sacks so far, but that's to be expected for the pass-happy attack. What hasn't happened is a QB Baker Mayfield being under a ton of regular pressure, but that might happen soon against a defense with a secondary good enough to cover his normally-open targets. If he has to read through his progressions to a second or third target on a regular basis, he's going to get popped and he'll have to be even quicker on his decisions. Jason Verrett and the Horned Frog defensive backs are as good as any the Red Raiders will face.

Why Texas Tech Might Win: What if the Texas Tech passing game gets rolling like it did last season? In last year's game, Seth Doege threw for 318 yards and seven touchdowns with no picks. Zach Mettenberger only completed half of his passes in LSU's opening weekend win, but he threw for 251 yards and a touchdown. Most importantly, he was able to connect on third downs. So far, Mayfield and the Red Raiders have been outstanding on third downs, ranking 12th in the nation hitting 60% of their attempts. Mayfield doesn't have to be spectacular, but he has to be steady and make the throws that are there for the taking. He's only two games into his young career, but he can do that. TCU doesn't hold on to the ball for long, keeping it around 27 minutes per game, and the Texas Tech offense has to take advantage to help out its defense.

Who To Watch Out For: Now there's no question; it's Trevone Boykin's TCU offense to run. The junior had to split duties over the first two games, but with Casey Pachall out with a broken arm, Boykin doesn't have to look over his shoulder. Last year he kept pace with Doege, throwing for 332 yards and four touchdowns, but he also threw two interceptions. So far this season he has yet to throw a pick, and while he looked sharp against SE Louisiana, he wasn't able to do much through the air against LSU. However, he showed good mobility against the Tigers, even if he only ran for 19 yards. His defense has to be the key to the game, but he also has to outplay Mayfield. He doesn't have to come up with more yards, but he needs to be better.

What Will Happen: The TCU defense will be the difference. Gary Patterson and his coaching staff won't be ripped up by the same passing attack two years in a row. Expect more aggressiveness from the secondary as it doesn't let short plays turn into long ones. Boykin will be good, and the Horned Frog running game will be great.
Prediction: TCU 37 … Texas Tech 24
Line: TCU -3 o/u: 64
Must See Rating: (5 Boardwalk Empire – 1 Teen Beach Movie) ... 3.5

Georgia State (0-2) at West Virginia (1-1) Sept. 14, 12:00

Why You Should Give A Hoot: West Virginia gets a chance to take target practice. The first few weeks have been rough for the normally high-octane Mountaineers, now should be a fun week off against a Georgia State team that's having a wee bit of a tough go in the FBS world. The Panthers lost by double digits against Samford in the opener and were blown out 42-14 last week against Chattanooga, and now it's West Virginia's turn at bat. After sputtering in the win over William & Mary, and coming up with just seven points against Oklahoma, if the Mountaineer attack doesn't work now, it's uh-oh time.

Why Georgia State Might Win: The West Virginia passing game just isn't clicking. Oklahoma's defense is among the best in the country, and while William & Mary didn't slow things down, it wasn't destroyed. West Virginia is used to Geno Smith-like massive numbers, even when things aren't working quite right, but Paul Millard only came up with 237 yards and one score in the win. Even though Georgia State's defense isn't stopping anyone, Samford's passing game was pedestrian, while Chattanooga didn't throw much because the ground game was so effective. The GSU secondary has potential, and it hasn't been awful – yet. However …

Why West Virginia Might Win: Georgia State lost in different ways. The run defense wasn't even close last week against Chattanooga, and it couldn't come through with any key plays against Samford. The Panthers don't have the players up front on defense to get to the quarterback, and now it's time for the Mountaineer midrange passing game to work. If it leads the way to a few early scores, Georgia State won't have the ability to come back. West Virginia should be able to move the offense however it wants to.

Who To Watch Out For: Is Paul Millard still the answer at quarterback for West Virginia? He connected on 21-of-41 passes against Oklahoma, but he only threw for 218 yards and didn't throw for any touchdowns. The offense hasn't been explosive under his watch, and now he needs to show that he can at least look like the one who can be the main man for the rest of the season. If he's not fantastic, Clint Trickett is waiting in the wings.

What Will Happen: For one week, at least, West Virginia will look the part. Georgia State will put up big passing yards, but it'll have to deal with a big mid-game run that will turn a tight early game into an ugly blowout.
Prediction: West Virginia 55 … Georgia State 13
Line: Line: West Virginia -38.5 o/u: 57.5
Must See Rating: (5 Boardwalk Empire – 1 Teen Beach Movie) ... 1.5

Tulsa (1-1) at Oklahoma (2-0) Sept. 14, 12:00, ESPN2

Why You Should Give A Hoot: In-state foes Tulsa and Oklahoma renew acquaintances in a series that the Sooners have dominated of late. No. 14 OU has won its first two games of the year, but last week's 16-7 escape of West Virginia generated far more questions than answers. This week marks the starting debut for popular QB Blake Bell, who's stepping in for the injured Trevor Knight. This is not the same Golden Hurricane team that stood near the top of the mid-majors the past few seasons. Tulsa was blown out in Week 1 before narrowly getting by Colorado State in a game it was heavily favored to coast.
Why Tulsa Might Win: It used to take a lot of points to hang with the Sooners, but that might not be the case in 2013. Oklahoma is one-dimensional right now, unable to balance the running of Brennan Clay, Damien Williams and the quarterbacks with any kind of a passing attack. In fact, the Sooners have completed just 44.4% of their throws. If the Hurricane can unleash its own backfield duo of Trey Watts and Ja'Terian Douglas, it has a shot to pull out a low-scoring scrum.
Why Oklahoma Might Win: Yeah, both offenses are misfiring, but the Sooners have the much tougher D. They also don't have to contend with Tulsa's best target in the passing game, injured WR Keyarris Garrett. Coordinator Mike Stoops has done a terrific job so far with the OU defense, which has allowed seven points in eight quarters. It's been especially tough against the pass, clamping down with an air-tight secondary led by CB Aaron Colvin.
Who To Watch Out For: You've got your shot, Belldozer. Now, what are you going to do with it? Everyone knows what Bell can do as a glorified fullback, but he also needs to show the staff that he can get receivers Jalen Saunders and Sterling Shepard more involved with the attack.

- As well as the OU defense has played so far, where's the pressure? The Sooners have just two sacks, none from one of the defensive linemen.

- Tulsa QB Cody Green was already struggling to complete passes downfield, a familiar problem for the former Nebraska Husker. Without Garrett on the outside, the Hurricane will be doubly impotent on third-and-long.

What Will Happen: There's no reason for Oklahoma to get exotic this weekend in order to dispose of Tulsa. Ground-and-pound will work just fine. The Sooners will bludgeon the Hurricane with a mix of Clay, Williams and Bell to end any threat of an upset from an opponent that does not thrive when forced into comeback mode.
Prediction: Oklahoma 31 … Tulsa 10
Line: Oklahoma -24.5 o/u: 47.5
Must See Rating: (5 Boardwalk Empire – 1 Teen Beach Movie) … 2.5

Iowa (1-1) at Iowa State (0-1) Sept. 14, 6:00, FOX Sports 1

Why You Should Give A Hoot: There are must-win rivalry games, and then there's 2013 Iowa vs. Iowa State. It'll never be Auburn-Alabama, and it's not exactly a hate-fest – Iowans just don't quite roll like that - but it's a big deal for an early season, intrastate showdown, especially this season. Iowa bounced back from a tough season-opening loss to Northern Illinois with a win over Missouri State, even if it wasn't exactly convincing. With a layup against Western Michigan next before the Big Ten opener at Minnesota, there's a chance to go on a decent run before diving into October. Iowa needs this, but Iowa State really needs a win after dropping the opener to Northern Iowa 28-20. There's no real layup for the Cyclones in Big 12 play until, maybe, late November against Kansas, and they need all the wins they can get. Iowa State has won the last two meetings in totally different ways, coming up with an ugly 9-6 victory last year and winning 44-41 in 2011.

Why Iowa Might Win: Iowa State … defense? It was a concern coming into the season, especially at linebacker after losing the key parts, and the Northern Iowa game didn't exactly start things off with a bang. The defense was ripped apart by UNI's David Johnson, who came up with 199 rushing yards and two touchdowns, while the passing game provided a near-perfect balance – 229 yards to 228 rushing. The Cyclones couldn't get into the backfield, and the defensive interior was beaten up. Iowa got its power ground attack going last week and needs to take control from the start.

Why Iowa State Might Win: Iowa is hardly doing all the little things right. It's not good enough to not be great at things like turnover margin and other mistakes, and they're having problem with penalties – committing 17 in the first two games, while having a few issues with turnovers with the three giveaways against Northern Illinois a killer. Offensively, the points have been hard to come by so far; the Hawkeyes can't get down early.

Who To Watch Out For: The Iowa State offense can't be all Sam B. Richardson all Sam B. Time. The quarterback is the team's most dangerous playmaker, but against Northern Iowa there was a problem. He led the team in rushing, running back James White led the team in receptions, and Richardson had to spread the passing game around and go a little of everything else. He's fantastic, and he needs to have a huge game to get by, but he also has to get more help from the skill players around him. More than anything else, he needs help from the defense.

What Will Happen: Get ready for the Mark Weisman show. The tough Hawkeye back has been a steadying force over the first two games with 100 yards against Northern Illinois and 180 and two touchdowns against Missouri State. Expect 30 carries from No. 45, a controlled passing game, and a tough, ugly Iowa win.
Prediction: Iowa 31 … Iowa State 27
Line: Line: Iowa -3 o/u: 47
Must See Rating: (5 Boardwalk Empire – 1 Teen Beach Movie) ... 2.5

- Ole Miss at Texas | Iowa at Iowa State & More, Part 1
- Kansas at Rice & More, Part 2