THE BIG 12 REPORT
Can the Big 12 shock the nation this weekend? Must watch games and players in week 3
The Big 12 came out looking strong in week 2 as eight of their 10 teams defeated their opponents and by considerable margins. Nationally ranked teams Oklahoma (5), Oklahoma State (24), TCU (15), and West Virginia (14) remained undefeated and Texas sneaked away with their first win of the season. Week 3 will be an eventful one for the Big 12, with a few of its most popular teams looking at nationally spotlighted matchups. Let’s take a look at exactly what you should look for this coming weekend.
Must watch games week 3
TCU (15) vs. Ohio State (4)
The top matchup to watch of week 3 in the Big 12 and arguably the nation is No. 15 TCU vs. No. 4 Ohio State. TCU has come out strong this season outscoring their opponents 97-15 through their first two games. The Horned Frogs and head coach Gary Patterson will have a chance to knock off one of the nation’s best teams and stamp their name in the college football playoff conversation. One big factor to recognize as a potential advantage for TCU is the fact that Ohio State head coach Urban Meyer will be serving the final punishment of his three game suspension. While Ohio State has looked unaffected by the absence of Meyer, TCU will be their first real challenge of the season and could take advantage of the missing leadership if things come down to the wire.
Texas vs. USC (22)
UT secured its first win of the season at home against Tulsa this past weekend, but things were far from perfect. The Longhorns walked away with a 28-21 victory, but Tulsa missed three field goals in the game that could have spoiled UT’s night. If Texas is not able to work out the kinks in practice this week, they could be looking at a long night vs. a talented USC team. The atmosphere should be electric Saturday night as Longhorn fans have not forgotten about how close their team came to stealing a win away from the Trojans in 2017, which should motivate Texas players to perform in front of their home crowd. This game could be a season defining one for coach Tom Herman, and UT team that received a lot of attention and praise heading into 2018.
Oklahoma State (24) vs. Boise State (17)
The final game I recommend keeping an eye out for is Oklahoma State vs. Boise State. Both teams have cracked the Top 25 early this season, but chances are that one will find themselves on the outside looking in after week 3. The Cowboys have won big in both of their games so far this season but have yet to face a formidable opponent. Boise State and their always reliable defense should provide a good test for an offensive heavy Oklahoma State, led by first year starting quarterback Taylor Cornelius.
Big 12 Players to watch week 3
Texas WR’s Lil’ Jordan Humphrey & Collin Johnson: The University of Texas has yet to find its groove in its first two games this season, and I believe a lot of their offensive struggles have to do with the inconsistent utilization of wide receivers Lil’ Jordan Humphrey and Collin Johnson. Humphrey and Johnson have combined for 287 receiving yard and two touchdowns so far this season and have arguably been the only sources of big play excitement for the Texas offense. If the Longhorns hope to upset the Trojans this coming Saturday, they will need to find life in the passing game by giving these two dynamic athletes opportunities to make plays down the field.
Texas Tech QB Alan Bowman: Texas Tech is looking at an interesting matchup in week 3 vs. a Houston team that seems to be hitting on all cylinders. While the Red Raiders had their way with Lamar University last weekend, they chose to lean on Freshman quarterback Bowman. Bowman finished with nearly 300 yards passing and 2 touchdowns while only throwing three incompletions. With that said Bowman will be facing a much different challenge against a Houston team that has impressed on both sides of the ball so far this season. Tech will have to hope Bowman continues his speedy maturation and can keep his composure against the cougars, who are sure to make things tough for the young quarterback.
TCU Defense: TCU has scored 97 points already this season, but on a considerably more impressive note, have only allowed 15 total points to opposing offenses. Looking ahead at their matchup with the Buckeyes in week 3, the Horned Frogs will need an impressive performance from their defense if they hope to keep up with an Ohio State team that has scored 129 points in their first two games. While it would be crazy for TCU to expect to run stride for stride with the top offense in the nation, the Horned Frogs may be able to grind out a close win if their defense is able to fluster Ohio state’s young quarterbacks. TCU has already collected 7 sacks this season, and will need to add a few more this weekend if they want any chance of taking down the national powerhouse that is Ohio State.