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Big 12 Fearless Predictions, Sept. 29, Part 2

CollegeFootballNews.com
Posted Sep 27, 2007


Previews and Predictions for the Week 5 Big 12 Games, 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 Fearless Predictions Sept. 1Sept. 8 | Sept. 15Sept. 22
Oct. 6Oct. 13 | Oct. 20Oct. 27 | Nov. 3Nov. 10 | Nov. 17Nov. 24Dec. 1

Big 12 Week Five Predictions, Part 1

How are the picks so far? SU: 30-8 ... ATS: 16-14

Big 12 Saturday, Sept. 29

Iowa State (1-3) at Nebraska (3-1)  2:05 PM
Why to Watch: Everyone raise your hands if you thought Nebraska was on the verge of being something special and was about to turn into a sleeper national title team. Guilty as charged. After shaky performances against Wake Forest and Ball State, and getting blasted by USC, the bloom is off the rose. That can quickly change with a win in Columbia next week over Missouri, but first, the Huskers have to keep the misery going for Iowa State, who followed up the shocking win over Iowa to lose in brutal fashion at Toledo last week. The Cyclones haven't won in Lincoln since 1977, and before that, you have to go back to 1960, and with the way the team has played over the first month, there isn't going to be any streak breaking without an all-timer of a bad game from Nebraska. However, it's possible if the Huskers are looking ahead to Missouri.
Why Iowa State Might Win: 
Bret Meyer isn't Ball State QB Nate Davis, but if the Cardinals could chuck it for 422 yards and three touchdowns, then there's hope for the Cyclone passing game. Nebraska's pass rush isn't even generating even a slight breeze, while the run defense has been shoved around all over the place by anyone who's given it a shot. The numbers might not show it, but the Cyclones actually have a few good skill players in Meyer, RB J.J. Bass, and WR Todd Blythe. Bass has been great, but the passing game has yet to break out. The O line has been more than good in pass protection, and it should give Meyer all the time he wants to operate.
Why Nebraska Might Win: For whatever reason, the Iowa State offense simply isn't clicking. It broke out a bit against Toledo last week, but the Rocket defense is at a whole other level of bad. The passing game isn't clicking, the running game, despite a nice start from Bass, isn't consistent enough, and there simply aren't a lot of good scoring drives to get excited about. While ISU has the receivers to crank up the air attack, it hasn't been working, so even a little bit of an early Husker lead should end this. Nebraska's offense might not be consistent, but it moves the ball in chunks. Iowa State's D will have a hard time getting off the field.
Who to Watch: It's all about the high-profile transfers. Sam Keller has put up yards for the Huskers, but he hadn't done enough to make his good receiving corps shine until last week, when he threw for 438 yards and three touchdowns against Ball State. That was the game the Huskers needed him for, and that was the game that showed off what he could potentially do for the offense throughout the Big 12 season. For Iowa State, Bass has been a godsend.  With Meyer and the passing game struggling, the star JUCO transfer has saved the day with two 100-yard games and four scores in the first four games. He's barely averaging four yards per carry, but he's giving the offense something to rely on.
What Will Happen: Meyer will have his best game of the year, and it won't matter. The Nebraska offensive balance will rip through the Cyclone defense early before easing up off the gas late.
CFN Prediction: Nebraska 34 ... Iowa State 14
... Line: Nebraska -21.5
Must See Rating: (5 Ken Burns' The War - 1 The Big Bang Theory) ... 2

Northwestern State (2-1) at Texas Tech (3-1)  7:00 PM
Why to Watch: It's the passing game vs. the running game, as Northwestern State's ground game will try to keep down a Texas Tech offense  that's playing some of the best ball yet under head coach Mike Leach. Tech QB Graham Harrell threw for 646 yards last week against Oklahoma State, but couldn't come up with a final big throw in the 49-45 loss. The defeat meant a change at defensive coordinator, and now the team is looking to get back on track with home games against Iowa State and Texas A&M to follow. NSU just got blasted 42-14 by Northeastern and will allow 75 points if the Red Raiders are trying hard.
Why Northwestern State Might Win: 
The loss to Oklahoma State should mean Texas Tech will pay attention this week, but it'll be hard for this to not be an "overlook" game. Northwestern State will be mentally penciled in as a win by the Red Raiders, but he Demons can play a little bit of defense, ranking third in the FCS in pass defense and eighth in pass efficiency defense. However ...
Why Texas Tech Might Win: ... Texas Tech isn't Henderson State, Central Arkansas, or Northeastern when it comes to throwing it. NSU doesn't have any pass rush whatsoever, and will do nothing special to get into the backfield. Harrell will be able to take a nap, have a sandwich, and read the paper while his receivers have time to get open. The Red Raider offensive line won't allow Harrell to be touched for the half he's playing.
Who to Watch: Harrell is getting all the national attention, but it's his number one target, redshirt freshman Michael Crabtree, who might end up being the bigger star. How's this for a first four games? 12 catches for 106 yards and three touchdowns in the win over SMU. 15 for a buck-eighty-eight and two scores against UTEP. 11 for 244 and three touchdowns against Rice, and 14 for 237 and three scores against Oklahoma State. That's 53 catches for 775 yards and 11 touchdowns in four games. While the competition will soon get a lot tougher, if you project his stats out over 12 games, he'll make 159 catches for 2,325 yards and 33 touchdowns.
What Will Happen: Don't get there late, or you'll miss all the fun. The Tech backups will be in after a 49-point first half.
CFN Prediction: Texas Tech 58 ... Northwestern State 17
... Line: No Line
Must See Rating: (5 Ken Burns' The War - 1 The Big Bang Theory) ... 1

Sam Houston State (2-1) at Oklahoma State (2-2)
  7:05 PM
Why to Watch: It's been interesting around Oklahoma State lately. Just when the season is all but left for dead after a blowout loss at Troy, the Cowboys turn things around with a tremendous shootout win over Texas Tech, followed up by a blowup by head coach Mike Gundy over an article written about QB Bobby Reid. Now the team has to try to keep its head together, hit the apparent layup against Sam Houston State, and get ready for a nasty two-game road stretch against Texas A&M and Nebraska. Sam Houston State isn't a pushover, playing well two weeks ago in a 41-38 loss to a very good North Dakota State team.
Why Sam Houston State Might Win: 
Passing and punting. The best quarterback in this game isn't on the Oklahoma State sidelines, and Cowboy fans know him all too well: Rhett Bomar. The former Oklahoma quarterback, who was booted off the team for taking a few dollars for being Rhett Bomar, has bombed away for 819 yards and eight touchdowns with just two interceptions, and ran for 103 yards against North Dakota State last week. OSU's secondary has just been torched by Texas Tech, and couldn't do much against Troy or Georgia, either. Bomar will crank out a 300-yard game and will keep the pressure on for a full sixty minutes. SHSU lead the nation in net punting, with Michael Capparelli averaging 43.6 yards per pop.
Why Oklahoma State Might Win: It's not like the SHSU secondary is stopping anyone. North Dakota State bombed away for five touchdowns, while everyone's been able to complete any pass they want to. No matter who's slinging the ball for OSU, the passing game will be able to crank out big yards, while the running game that got on track last week against the Red Raiders, should be able to come up with a few big home runs early on. Defensively, it's all about getting to Bomar. Everything the Bearkats do flows through him.
Who to Watch: Is this when Adarius Bowman breaks out? The star OSU receiver could've left early for the NFL, but chose to come back for his senior year to up his stock. He lit up Florida Atlantic for 135 yards and two touchdowns, but for the most part, he's been held in check over the last two weeks. It's not like new starting QB Zac Robinson hasn't been looking for him; it's just a question of time before he comes up with a monstrous performance. This might be the week.
What Will Happen: OSU will give up more points and yards than it might like, but the offense will be too balanced to blow this.
CFN Prediction: Oklahoma State 45 ... Sam Houston State 30
... Line: No Line
Must See Rating: (5 Ken Burns' The War - 1 The Big Bang Theory) ... 1.5

Big 12 Week Five Predictions, Part 1