The Big XII Game of the week
Miami (1-0) @ #21 Kansas State (1-0)
The Hurricanes are coming off a strong performance on the road against Boston College in which they overcame an early 14-point deficit and put up 41 points in Al Golden’s debut as head coach. Considering all the off-season turmoil and the fact that Miami was missing six players due to suspension, this win came as something of a pleasant surprise for “the U.” Freshman running back Duke Johnson announced his presence loudly versus BC, ripping off two 50+ yard touchdown runs en route to 135 for the game on only seven carries. Miami will need more of the same in Manhattan if they hope to avenge last year’s 28-24 loss to the Wildcats.
Kansas State will be the favorite at home, but this should be a close and entertaining game to watch. They have their own stud tailback, John Hubert, who ran for 152 yards on just 12 carries in a 51-9 win against Missouri State, and junior quarterback Collin Klein, who looked very comfortable in the pocket during the opener. The difference in this one may be turnovers, which favors the more experienced Wildcats.
Prediction: Miami 27 – Kansas State 34
Games to watch
With a pair of giant receivers doing most of the heavy lifting on offense, Rich Rodriguez’s bunch was able to overcome incredibly sloppy play and beat Toledo by a touchdown. They must improve quickly if they want to keep up with the Cowboys. 6-4 senior Dan Buckner and 6-3 sophomore Austin Hill combined for 17 receptions and 255 yards, while KaDeem Carey churned out 147 yards on the ground, but the Wildcats kept themselves out of the end zone with 2 fumbles and an interception.
It’s difficult to gauge how good the Cowboys are at the beginning of the post-Weeden/Blackmon era given that they haven’t played against an FBS school yet. But 84 points is 84 points. At the very least, head coach Mike Gundy’s offense is in sync. Playing on the road against a Pac 12 opponent should reveal a bit more and fans who like to see the ball chucked around the yard should definitely tune in.
Prediction: Oklahoma State 42 – Arizona 21
One of the best things about college football is the passion of the players and fans for in-state rivalry games. Where else can you see a game called the Iowa Corn Cy-Hawk Series? Last year’s 44-41 upset win by the Cyclones was one of the best games to watch in 2011. The game dates back to 1894, and for those who think this is usually a cake walk for the Hawkeyes, think again. The Cyclones have won eight of the last 14 meetings between the teams, including three of the last four in Ames.
Iowa will rely heavily on sophomore running back Damon Bullock, who toted the rock 30 times versus Northern Illinois for 150 yards. Iowa State will feature quarterback Steele Jantz, who looks much improved in his second year as the starter.
Prediction: Iowa State 16 – Iowa 24
Games to watch if you are an inveterate gambler/rooting for your favorite team
New Mexico (1-0) @ #15 Texas (1-0) – Longhorns have multiple 100 yard rushers
Florida A&M (0-1) @ #5 Oklahoma (1-0) – Sooners look to tune up sputtering O
Rice (0-1) @ Kansas (1-0) – Owls D torn up by UCLA
Open Date: Baylor, West Virginia