Week 3 Big 12 - Kansas-Rice & More Part 2

Posted Sep 12, 2013

Week 3 - Big 12 Fearless Predictions, Kansas at Rice & More, Part 2

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

Massachusetts (0-2) at Kansas State (1-1) Sept. 14, 7:00

Why You Should Give A Hoot: Kansas State was able to be Kansas State again with a dominant performance over Louisiana-Lafayette to get over the pain of losing to North Dakota State. Now comes another tune-up for the Wildcat machine before diving into Big 12 action at Texas next week. UMass got obliterated in the opener at Wisconsin and didn't get the offense moving in a 24-14 loss to Main last week. It could get uglier before anything gets better – there's a shot against Miami University on October 12th and Akron on November 16th - but it's acknowledged it's a process. It's going to be a while before Charley Molnar's program starts to be competitive, and this could be another rough step.

Why Massachusetts Might Win: So how did North Dakota State do it? The Bison managed to control the clock, owned third downs, and didn't screw up. The problem for UMass has been a painful lack of long, sustained drives because the offense hasn't been able to connect. The Minutemen have to do everything possible to shorten the game. Slow, slow, slow, milk the clock, and keep the defense on the sidelines. And then, hope Kansas State isn't sharp.

Why Kansas State Might Win: UMass isn't getting anything out of the offense. There's no scoring punch, little passing game and nothing from the ground game on a regular basis – what does Kansas State have to gameplan for? Even when the offense was moving a little bit against Maine, it couldn't stop screwing up with three turnovers; you can't do that against Kansas State. The Wisconsin running game is going to make everyone look awful, but the Minutemen don't have much on the defensive front seven to handle the power of the Wildcats.

Who To Watch Out For: Kansas State's Tramaine Thompson has started the season on fire. The veteran wide receiver has been fine for the offense, catching eight passes for 154 yards and a score, but he's been unstoppable on special teams returning a kickoff for a score against Louisiana-Lafayette and two punts for 94 yards. The UMass special teams have been great, but it has to contain Thompson's home run hitting ability.

What Will Happen: UMass will have a nightmare of a time trying to move the ball, and the run defense won't be able to hold up. Kansas State will have this well in hand by halftime.
Prediction: Kansas State 51 … Massachusetts 7
Line: Kansas State -38.5 o/u: 52.5
Must See Rating: (5 Boardwalk Empire – 1 Teen Beach Movie) ... 1.5

Lamar (1-1) at Oklahoma State (2-0) Sept. 14, 7:30

Why You Should Give A Hoot: Is anything happening around Oklahoma State lately? If the program can take time from its busy schedule and slight distraction to get around to playing football, it should have another layup after blowing away UTSA last week and with Big 12 play coming up next against West Virginia. Lamar is a mid-level Southland team that destroyed Oklahoma Panhandle 75-0 and gave Louisiana Tech a bit of a fight in a 27-14 loss, but it's about to be in for a bad, bad day before facing Bacone.

Why Lamar Might Win: The Cardinal passing game is clicking in time to possibly keep up in a shootout. Caleb Berry was able to push around Louisiana Tech a little bit, throwing for 272 yards, and Jordan Edwards is a dangerous playmaker of a target who caught five passes for 119 yards and a score. No, Lamar doesn't have the firepower to beat Oklahoma State, but it could put up some nice numbers and make it more than just a light scrimmage.

Why Oklahoma State Might Win: The Lamar offense wasn't bad against Louisiana Tech and it didn't matter. The Cardinals only put up 14 point and couldn't slow down the run. The defensive front is going to have a long, long day if Oklahoma State decides to come out and start pounding away, but the offense is hitting on all cylinders and should be able to come out with a flash of points to make the Cardinal offense press. OSU blinked and was up 35-7 on UTSA, it might be able to do the same if there isn't a lack of focus.

Who To Watch Out For: For all the talk about the Oklahoma State quarterback situation, it looked just fine last week. The offense was a bit sluggish against Mississippi State, but it rocked and rolled against UTSA with J.W. Walsh taking target practice completing 24-of-27 passes for 326 yards and four scores. A baller, he ran for a touchdown, too, while Clint Chelf was also sharp completing 11-of-16 passes for 192 yards and two touchdowns. Both will see time.

What Will Happen: Enjoy the first quarter, and then get back to the Sports Illustrated pieces – they'll be far more interesting.
Prediction: Oklahoma State 62 … Lamar 14
Line: Oklahoma State -47 o/u: 63
Must See Rating: (5 Boardwalk Empire – 1 Teen Beach Movie) ... X

Kansas (1-0) at Rice (0-1) Sept. 14, 7:30, CBS Sports Network

Why You Should Give A Hoot: Kansas and Rice meet in Houston, both looking to generate some momentum before conference play begins later in the month. The Owls return to work for the first time since putting a scare into Texas A&M in the Aug. 31 opener. Their a veteran team, with an eye on capturing the West Division of Conference USA now that Houston is gone and Tulsa and SMU are down. The Jayhawks defeated South Dakota, 31-14, last week to kick off Charlie Weis' second season in Lawrence. Kansas is still adjusting to a depth chart featuring 16 transfers currently occupying spots on the two-deep.
Why Kansas Might Win: It might take some time before everyone gels, but Weis' offense has a shot to be pretty good this year. Former BYU QB Jake Heaps and returning 1,000-yard rusher James Sims give the Jayhawks an important dose of versatility out of the backfield. Rice may have a lot of familiar faces on defense, but it has a lot of weaknesses and areas of vulnerability as well.
Why Rice Might Win: While Kansas is still adjusting to a lot of new faces in key places, on both sides of the ball, the Owls have one of the more seasoned rosters in the FBS. At times in the opener, the Owls were gashing A&M, a ranked SEC team, to finish with 306 yards on the ground. Plus, Rice got contributions from multiple sources, such as RB Charles Ross and dual-threat QB Taylor McHargue.
Who To Watch Out For: A steady diet of runs from Rice will mean a big day from LB Ben Heeney, Kansas' middle linebacker and best all-around defender.

- The Jayhawks are going to learn very quickly that the Owl D-line is better than advertised. DE Cody Bauer and NT Christian Covington possess the quickness to make Heaps miserable Saturday night.

- When McHargue drops backs to pass, he'll be looking for big No. 15, Jordan Taylor. The 6-5 junior has picked up where he left off in the Armed Forces Bowl.
What Will Happen: In November, Kansas would be a lot more dangerous. In September, though, Rice's extra seasoning will serve it well. The Owls will sustain drives and eat clock on the ground, testing the depth of the Jayhawks. Heaps has a bright future ahead of him, but needs more reps to get comfortable with his targets.
Prediction: Rice 31 … Kansas 24
Line: Rice -6.5 o/u: 59
Must See Rating: (5 Boardwalk Empire – 1 Teen Beach Movie) … 2

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