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Big 12 Fearless Predictions, Week 2, Part Two

CollegeFootballNews.com
Posted Sep 6, 2006


Big 12 Fearless Predictions, Previews and Analysis for Every Game ... Week 2, Part 2


Big 12
North Colorado | Iowa St | Kansas | Kansas State | Missouri | Nebraska
South Baylor | Oklahoma | Oklahoma State | Texas | Texas A&M | Texas Tech

Big 12 Week Two Fearless Predictions | Week One

Northwestern State
(0-1) at Baylor (0-1)  7 pm EST Saturday, September 9th
Why to watch: Northwestern State is making the rounds of mediocre Big 12 teams going to Waco after losing 49-18 to Kansas last week. The Bears are coming off a tough 17-7 loss to TCU with its new passing offense struggling to click after a decent first half. This is the relatively light portion of the BU schedule going to Washington State next week followed up by winnable games against Army and Kansas State. If the offense is ever going to get a chance to start producing, this has to be the game.
Why Northwestern State might win: If Baylor starts making mistakes all over the place trying to get the passing game to work, the Demons should be able to hang around for a while. BU QB Shawn Bell only threw one interception against TCU, but he didn't get much going deep averaging 9.2 yards per completion. If NSU can force Bell to dink and dunk, it might have a crazy shot to pull this off if everything else bounces the right way.
Why Baylor might win: Kansas was just this close to blowing Northwestern State off the map early, but couldn't close until late. NSU gave up several big plays, so if BU is hoping to hit a few home runs and stretch the field with its offense, this would be the game to do it.
Who to watch: All the attention on Baylor's offense has been about the passing game, but it needs a running attack to help smooth things out. The Bears got nothing going on the ground against TCU with Paul Mosley leading the way with a mere 34 yards on ten carries. It can't all be Shawn Bell throwing left, Shawn Bell throwing right, and Shawn Bell throwing again. Mosley has to become more of a factor.
What will happen: This is the game Baylor should've played before facing a good team like TCU. The offense will put up its best numbers of the year.
CFN Prediction
:
Baylor 45 ... Northwestern State 19 ... Line: No Line
Must See Rating:
(5 skip the birth of your first born - 1 Fashion House) ...

UL Lafayette
(0-1) at Texas A&M (1-0)  7 pm EST Saturday, September 9th
Why to watch: Texas A&M won its opener over The Citadel without any problem, but after years of disappointment, the hope was to get off to a splashier start than just a 35-3 win over a D-IAA team. The schedule doesn't get any more challenging over the next few weeks with UL Lafayette and Army before facing Louisiana tech, but that's a major plus to get all the pieces in place before dealing with Texas Tech. Even so, for the overall confidence of the program, the team could use a big win over a Ragin' Cajun team that might be the best in the Sun Belt. After getting pasted by LSU 45-3 last week, any positive steps would be nice before finally getting a nice cupcake in North Carolina A&M next week.
Why UL Lafayette might win: A&M didn't exactly stop The Citadel running game cold allowing 115 yards. While that might not seem like a lot, it did show that the Aggie D can be moved on a little bit, and ULL has the ground game to tear off yards in chunks once it gets going. The Ragin' Cajun run defense did an excellent job in the first half against the LSU ground game and needs to stuff the Aggies early to force QB Stephen McGee to try to win through the air.
Why Texas A&M might win: ULL did next to nothing offensively against LSU and isn't likely to blow up in College Station. There are enough good parts in the running game to put up 200-250 yards, but A&M is most susceptible to passing teams. ULL, even with veteran QB Jerry Babb, can't throw. The Citadel game was kept relatively close because A&M couldn't hold on to the ball. No turnovers equals a huge blowout here.
Who to watch: The three-headed Aggie rushing monster of Courtney Lewis, Jorvorskie Lane and Mike Goodson combined for 127 yards and three touchdowns last week on 25 carries. While that's fine, the ground game needs to be more explosive against lousy defenses. If the Aggies don't average around six yards a pop this week, there might be a little cause for concern. On the other side, ULL's Tyrell Fenroy is a special back playing behind a decent offensive line. If he's doesn't generate close to 100 yards, ULL will lose in a blowout.
What will happen: A&M will stretch its legs a little bit and put up some big numbers in the first half. The ULL offense won't have enough to keep up the pace.
CFN Prediction
: Texas A&M 38 ... UL Lafayette 13
... Line: Texas A&M -21
Must See Rating:
(5 skip the birth of your first born - 1 Fashion House) ... 1.5 

UL Monroe
(1-0) at Kansas (1-0)  7 pm EST Saturday, September 9th
Why to watch: Kansas completes the warm-up portion of the program with what should be an easy day against a UL Monroe team coming off a 24-6 win over Alcorn State. The Warhawks are going to need a few weeks to jell with several new starters playing key roles, but there's just enough overall talent to make this a battle if KU isn't sharp. The Jayhawks blew out Northwestern State last week 49-18 and has to use this game to get the passing game in place before facing a Toledo team that pushed Iowa State in three overtimes.
Why UL Monroe might win: Kansas has to sputter and cough. The Jayhawks took a while to get the machine rolling against a far inferior team. If if takes a while for KU to get start scoring, ULM should be able to get some confidence early on and should allow its running game to stay in the game. ULM took advantage of every mistake Alcorn State made last week, and it has to do the same in Lawrence. However ...
Why Kansas might win: ... it's not like the Warhawk offense was a consistent machine against ASU. ULM's passing game was non-existent and the offense only gained 310 yards. It needed every break to put up points, so if Kansas can hold on to the ball and not screw up, this should be a blowout by halftime.
Who to watch: ULM's Kevin Payne is one of the Sun Belt's most interesting players. The one-time running back isn't just a hard-hitting, ball-hawking NFL safety prospect, he's also one of the Sun Belt's best punters. He
led the defense with seven tackles with an interception and a broken up pass against ASU, and he also averaged 42.2 yards per punt on four kicks. It'll be up to him to keep the average KU offense pinned deep, and to also force at least one big play defensively.
What will happen: Kansas won't have any problems coming away with the win, but it might take three quarters to breathe easily.
CFN Prediction
:
Kansas 38 ... UL Monroe 10 ... Line: Kansas -21.5
Must See Rating:
(5 skip the birth of your first born - 1 Fashion House) ... 1.5 

Oklahoma State (1-0) at Arkansas State (1-0) 7:05 pm EST ESPNU Saturday, September 9th
Why to watch: It's amazing what one walk-in-the-park win can do. Oklahoma State beat Missouri State 52-10 last week, but it could've easily have been 82-0 if the starters played more than a half. Now the hope is to keep the momentum going over the next few weeks in apparent breathers against Arkansas State and Florida Atlantic before dealing with Houston. Arkansas State gave the Cowboys a good run last year in a 20-10 loss, but the defending Sun Belt champions went to a bowl game last year; OSU didn't. The Indians beat Army 14-6 last week and can have sky-high confidence for the rest of the first half of the season.
Why Oklahoma State might win: OSU's biggest issue in the first game was the pass defense. Fortunately for the Cowboys, ASU can't throw. This is a running Indian team that uses the forward pass only when it absolutely has to. If the OSU run defense can keep Reggie Arnold and the ASU runners to under 200 yards, it'll be an easy Cowboy win.
Why Arkansas State might win: Either the Army offense is totally inept, or the Arkansas State defense is solid, or both. Army only gained 164 yards last week with a mere 69 coming on the ground. While the Cowboys were balanced against Missouri State, it'll want to run the ball if it can to ease things up for Bobby Reid and the passing game. ASU LB Josh Williams and safety Tyrell Johnson are next-level talents who'll surprise Cowboy fans by how many big plays they'll make.
Who to watch: OSU has been waiting for it all to come together for Reid ever since arriving as a much-ballyhooed super-recruit. He started to look like a franchise quarterback last week with four touchdown passes on only eight completions. However, to beat the better teams on the schedule, the Cowboys need Reid to be a more consistent passer and use his legs a bit more. He has to show in this game that he's continuing to progress.
What will happen: It'll be the Cowboys over the Indians.
CFN Prediction
: Oklahoma State 28 ... Arkansas State 14
... Line: Oklahoma State -14.5
Must See Rating:
(5 skip the birth of your first born - 1 Fashion House) ... 2 

Florida Atlantic
(0-1) at Kansas State (1-0)  7:10 pm EST ABC Saturday, September 9th
Why to watch: What looked like a sure-thing joke of a game for Kansas State when the schedule first came out now appears to be a potential battle. The debut of the Ron Prince era was almost a total disaster needing a punt return for a score and some timely defense to slip by mighty Illinois State 24-23. The Wildcats could use a confidence boost and can't afford to slip against an Owl team hungry for anything positive after being pounded 54-6 by Clemson. Howard Schnellenberger's program needs time to build, not rebuild, and will be looking to survive game two of a five game road stretch to open the season.
Why Florida Atlantic might win: Not only should Kansas State have been beaten by Illinois State, it should've been blown out. The Wildcats averaged a mere 1.6 yards per carry and was outgained 346 yards to 207 in total offense. Florida Atlantic might not have much of an attack, but if the defense can prevent the big plays from the KSU defense and special teams, this could stay close late into the game.
Why Kansas State might win: Forget about any threat of a running game from the Owls. FAU was only able to gain 47 on Clemson, and it doesn't have the horses to combine for more than 100 or so against the Wildcat D. Against Clemson, one of the Owls' biggest issues was punting the ball netting a mere 20.67 yards per boot. After one week, KSU leads the nation in punt returns thanks to the big day from Yamon Figurs against ISU.
Who to watch: The return of Thomas Clayton should mean the Wildcats will have a living, breathing offense again. The team's top running back was suspended for the opener after being convicted this summer for misdemeanor battery. After KSU gained a total of 44 rushing yards last week, Clayton will be provide a much-needed boost.
What will happen: Is Kansas State really that bad? We'll know after this week. Clayton will run for 150 yards, but the Wildcat offense will turn it over four times to keep the score from getting out of hand.
CFN Prediction
:
Kansas State 35 ... Florida Atlantic 14 ... Line: Kansas State -22
Must See Rating:
(5 skip the birth of your first born - 1 Fashion House) ... 1.5 

Texas Tech
(1-0) at UTEP (1-0) 9 pm EST CSTV Saturday, September 9th
Why to watch: Despite what you may have heard, Ohio State at Texas is not the only big game being played in the Lone Star State this weekend.  Texas Tech at UTEP won’t have nearly the same national appeal, however, both teams have a gunslinger’s mentality on offense, helping make the meeting one of Saturday’s must-see games.  UTEP needed a total team effort to hold off San Diego State on the road last Thursday in a 34-27 win.  FS Quintin Demps picked off two passes to be named Conference USA Defensive Player of the Week, MLB Troy Collavo was all over the field, and the Miners failed to commit a penalty on either side of the ball.  UTEP hasn’t beaten a Big 12 team in almost half a century, so a win here would give an enormous lift to the rising program.  As expected, Tech got little resistance from SMU, but the play of new QB Graham Harrell was better than expected.  Starting his first game, the sophomore tossed five touchdown passes and rarely misfired.  He focused a little too much on Robert Johnson, who set a school-record with 15 receptions, and will need to get the rest of his receivers involved as the season develops.           
Why Texas Tech might win: Yeah, we all know about Mike Leach’s vaunted passing attack, but the Red Raiders have become a perennial Top 25 resident because of Lyle Setencich’s defense.  That’s right, the defense.  Tech held SMU to just 189 yards, 10 first downs and a single field goal in last week’s 35-3 win.  Miner QB Jordan Palmer has a penchant for forcing passes, which will translate into yet another multi-pick game for the senior.         
Why UTEP might win:  The Miners are one of the few teams on Tech’s schedule that has the playmakers to go stride for stride with the Red Raiders.  For all his mistakes, Palmer can move a team up and down the field with his big arm, and is surrounded by talented playmakers, such as WRs Johnnie Lee Higgins and Lorne Sam.  The key will be springing Marcus Thomas, who only managed 24 yards on 17 carries against an average San Diego State run defense.                 
Who to watch: Even without ineligible star receiver Jarrett Hicks, Harrell was near flawless in the home opener, but now he’s got to venture out on the road in front of what’s sure to be a packed and electric Sun Bowl crowd.  If the mammoth Red Raider line gives him time to survey the field, mark him down for 300 yards and three touchdowns.       
What will happen: With most of the country fixated on Austin Saturday night, Tech will pick off at least two of Palmer’s errant passes, turn those into quick points and quietly pick up a quality road win.                              
CFN Prediction
: Texas Tech 41 ... UTEP 23
... Line: Texas Tech -7
Must See Rating:
(5 skip the birth of your first born - 1 Fashion House) ... 3 

Big 12 Week Two Fearless Predictions