Last week: 1-3
Last Saturday was, by far, our worst week of the season, and only our second losing week. Only three games this week, and hoping to turn things back around.
#4 TCU @ Kansas
After last week’s win against Kansas State, TCU is in the top-4 of the College Football Playoff. The Horned Frogs have a fairly easy final three games (Kansas, Texas, Iowa State). There is no good reason to believe Kansas has a chance in this game… but covering a 28.5 point spread is another issue.
The Jayhawks are coming off their only Conference win of the season, beating Iowa State 34-14. Coach Clint Bowen had to beat the Cyclones to have a chance to remove the interim tag. The Jayhawks are second in the Conference in time of possession, and go up against a TCU defense that is ranked 4th in the Big 12 against the rush.
A key part of this game could be the weather. There is a 70% chance of snow in Lawrence, which is expected to start around kick off. The last time TCU QB Trevone Boykin played outside the state of Texas, in tough weather conditions, he struggled a couple weeks ago against West Virginia. Granted, Kansas can’t be compared to West Virginia, but we are just trying to cover a 4+ touchdown spread. The cold temperatures (wind chill in the 20’s) and potential snow, should have some affect on the TCU passing attack. The other fear for TCU, who has faced five ranked opponents in their last six games, is that they take the foot off the pedal, and let up. It’s easy for that to happen to college kids who have been praised for nearly a month.
In addition, TCU coach Gary Patterson has always hated “style points”, and insists he won’t play for them the next 3 weeks. We will see if that holds true this weekend…
The pick: Kansas +28.5
Oklahoma @ Texas Tech
The Sooners come off one of the worst weeks in the Bob Stoops’ era. They’ve lost two straight home games for the first time in Stoops’ tenure, and fans are questioning the program’s future under him. This is the type of game where Stoops lays the wood on an opponent … and Texas Tech is the ideal match up.
With Trevor Knight out with injury, OU’s Cody Thomas gets his first career start at QB. But, it won’t matter. Oklahoma is averaging 225 rushing yards per game, the most ever under Stoops. They go up against Texas Tech, who is allowing 247 yards per game on the ground, the worst in the Big 12. Against the best rushing teams they’ve faced (Arkansas, West Virginia, and TCU), Tech allowed an average of 330 rush yards.
Kliff Kingsbury says he will have quarterbacks Davis Webb and Patrick Mahomes available. But, if Webb does get the start, he will still likely be cautious on his sprained ankle. After last week’s debacle against Baylor, you’d like to think the Sooner secondary has a chip on their shoulder, and will be more inclined to press this week. Plus, Webb isn’t Bryce Petty, and he doesn’t have nearly the weapons Petty does. The Stoops brothers have something to prove in this one … and they will do just that.
The Pick: Oklahoma -12.5
Oklahoma State vs. Texas (2.5)
This game includes two desperate teams, both one win away from bowl eligibility. And for each, this game is their best chance for a win. After this weekend, Texas only has one game left, against TCU, and Oklahoma State has Baylor and Oklahoma remaining. But, these two teams are trending in opposite directions, Texas has won two straight, including their best win of the season Saturday against West Virginia, while Oklahoma State has lost three in a row.
With colder than usual conditions expected (wind chills around 30 degrees), and a chance of snow showers, that’s an advantage for the Longhorns. Texas’ run game has finally come to life the past two weeks. The young offensive line continues to improve, and has opened holes for Johnathan Gray and Malcolm Brown, who have combined for 384 yards the last two weeks against Texas Tech and West Virginia. Their success will help take the pressure off QB Tyrone Swoopes, who is still learning on the job.
Meantime, the potential weather could hurt Oklahoma State QB Daxx Garman’s best quality: his deep ball. Plus, they are going up against the Longhorns #1 pass defense in the Big 12, and the #3 total defense in the Big 12. The Longhorns can be had on the ground, allowing 177 YPG. It’ll be up to RB Desmond Roland to lead the Cowboys offensive attack.
The Pick: Longhorns -2.5