Week 7 Big 12 - KU-TCU & Iowa St-Texas Tech

Posted Oct 10, 2013

Week 7 Fearless Predictions - Kansas at TCU & Iowa State at Texas Tech

- Oklahoma vs. Texas | Baylor at Kansas State

Kansas (2-2) at TCU (2-3) Oct. 12 12:00, FOX Sports 1

Why You Should Give A Hoot: If either team has any interest in getting involved in the Big 12 bowl picture, this is a must win. Kansas started out well against Texas Tech last week, and then the pass defense went bye-bye in a 54-16 loss. There's still plenty of time to turn things around, but with Oklahoma and Baylor up next, followed up by road games at Texas and Oklahoma State, it could be a rocky next several weeks for a program looking for its first Big 12 win since beating Colorado in early November of 2010. Kansas is the free space game in the conference – at least at the moment – and TCU desperately needs to take advantage of it starting out 0-2 in the conference with losses to Texas Tech and Oklahoma. At 2-3, there isn't a huge margin for error, and if the Horned Frogs blow this, it might all but end the season.

Kansas has won three of the last four in the series, but TCU won the first time the two were in the Big 12. The two teams first played in 1942 – a 41-6 TCU win – and they opened the season against each other every year from 1945 to 1964.

Why Kansas Might Win: The TCU offense has been fizzling. Facing Texas Tech – the D is playing well – LSU and Oklahoma hurts the overall stats, but the Horned Frogs are having a hard time on third downs and aren't moving the chains well. The offensive line isn't bad, but there's no room for the running game and there isn't enough production coming from the league's worst passing attack to pick up the slack. Unlike last week, if Kansas can do well early, there's a good chance the explosion won't come like it did against the Red Raiders.

Why TCU Might Win: The Kansas offensive line is having a really, really hard time keeping defenses out of its backfield. There's too much pressure on the quarterback, and there's not enough time for everyone to get the offense going. That's going to be a problem against an ultra-aggressive TCU defense that's been fantastic at hitting the passer on a regular basis from all sides. The Horned Frogs have generated 18 sacks on the year, raking third in the country, with 14 in the last three games. What makes it all the more impressive is that they're doing it without …

Who To Watch Out For: Devonte Fields, the star pass rusher of 2012 who'll have season-ending foot surgery. Fortunately for TCU, five different players have two sacks or more with linemen John Lewis and Terrell Lathan each checking in with three. Lathan's a 6-5, 280-pound dream of a five-technique who can get into the backfield by barreling in, coming up with a sack in each of the last three games he has played in.

What Will Happen: Here's where the TCU offense shows up. It was fine against SE Louisiana and rolled against SMU, and it'll come up with a big day both on the ground and through the air against a KU defense that won't be able to hold up for a full four quarters. The Jayhawk offense will bog down under the TCU defensive pressure.

Prediction: TCU 38 … Kansas 10
Line: TCU -25 o/u: 44.5
Must See Rating: (5 Muhammad Ali's Greatest Fight – 1 I Dream of NeNe: The Wedding) … 2.5
Buy tickets for this game at TicketCity

Iowa State (1-3) at Texas Tech (5-0) Oct. 5, 12:00, FOX Sports 1

Why You Should Give A Hoot: Iowa State is still trying to get over the depression of not quite getting the right break with a missed recovered fumble call in the loss to Texas, and now it has to try to gear it back up in an hurry with road games at Baylor, Kansas State, Oklahoma and West Virginia still to deal with, along with a home game against Oklahoma State. The Cyclones have played relatively well in the 1-3 start, but it's way overdue to catch a little luck. Unfortunately, getting a red-hot Texas Tech might not be what the team needs.

The Red Raiders are known more for their dreamy head coach than their tremendous start, but they've been fantastic. Not only are they unbeaten, but they've beaten everyone, including TCU, by double digits. Kliff Kingsbury has been fantastic for the program so far, but the really, really big tests are coming soon with all the Big 12 big boys still to play. For now, getting by Iowa State and becoming bowl eligible in early October would be good enough. The red Raiders are 8-3 all-time in the series including a 24-13 win last season.

Why Iowa State Might Win: Texas Tech isn't Oregon or Baylor when it comes to striking quickly, but it likes to score in a relative hurry. Yeah, who doesn't, but at its best, it's also a ball control attack at times when it's working at its best. How do you slow it down? You keep it off the field, and while Iowa State isn't an offensive juggernaut, it's great at hanging on to the ball and controlling the clock, ranking second in the Big 12 in time of possession. To have a shot at keeping up the pace, the Cyclones have to win the turnover battle and own the clock, and they should be able to do both.

Why Texas Tech Might Win: The defense. Everyone likes the fun of the Texas Tech offense, but one of the biggest keys to the great start has been a defense that's doing a phenomenal job of not breaking after bending a little bit. Iowa State isn't a quick-strike, home run hitting offense, needing to get within scoring range to generate points. The Cyclones might be perfect in the red zone so far, but Texas Tech is third in the nation in red zone defense – this group finds ways to come up with the big stops, allowing offense to score on just 6 of 11 trips inside the 20 and just one of four times over the last two weeks.

Who To Watch Out For: Texas Tech's new star quarterback Baker Mayfield suffered a knee injury against Kansas, and it looks like he's going to be out for the foreseeable future. Fortunately, it seems like Davis Webb is ready to pick up the slack and start being the main man, but can he be as accurate? He threw for 310 yards against Texas State, but he struggled to get there. He throws a great ball and he has excellent upside, but can he be consistent? Can he be accurate? If he has a lousy game, Iowa State has a shot.

What Will Happen: Texas Tech will try to keep the offense going like it's business as usual, but expect more of an emphasis on the running game and defense to get through a bit of a fight. Texas won't beat Iowa State twice, but don't be shocked if last Thursday took something out of the program.

Prediction: Texas Tech 30 … Iowa State 17
Line: Texas Tech -15 o/u: 56
Must See Rating: (5 Muhammad Ali's Greatest Fight – 1 I Dream of NeNe: The Wedding) … 3
Buy tickets for this game at TicketCity