Big 12 Football Previews and Predictions for Week 4
Big 12 Football Week 4 Previews and Predictions
Week 4 of the 2013 college football season is a light week for the Big 12 with several conference teams including the Oklahoma Sooners, Oklahoma State Cowboys and TCU Horned Frogs having a week off to recover and prepare for the stretch run of conference play which starts in earnest next Saturday. The marquee matchup in the conference this Saturday is arguably between the Texas Longhorns and Kansas State Wildcats on Saturday evening in Austin.
The Longhorns haven't beaten the Wildcats since 2003, and have lost to them in every matchup consecutively since 2006. Texas will be without five key starters and will have to get back on track behind backup quarterback Case McCoy who will again stand in for an injured David Ash.
The Baylor-Louisiana-Monroe matchup is particularly interesting as well, especially given the nail-biter they engaged in last October in Monroe that brought the Warhawks program into the national consciousness. This year's Louisiana squad may not be as strong as the last, but it'll make for an entertaining game, nonetheless.
Check out our predictions of how this week's Big 12 matchups will shake-out and grab your Vegas lines and television times as well in the following slides!
Kansas Jayhawks (1-1) v.s. Louisiana Tech Rebels (1-2)
Vegas Line: Kansas is a 9.5 point favorite.
Television: 12 Noon EASTERN on Fox Sports 1
The 1-1 Kansas Jayhawks welcome the 1-2 Louisiana Tech Rebels to Lawrence for an early kickoff on Saturday. After an easy opening week win over South Dakota, Charlie Weis' squad struggled offensively last week against the Rice Owls, managing only 270 yards total offense in a 23-14 loss. Kansas has one of the nation's worst passing offenses, but luckily is salvaged by the strong running of senior James Sims who has
Apart from a win over a low-level Lamar Cardinals team, the Louisiana Tech Rebels have played some miserable football, getting wiped out by the North Carolina State Wolfpack in Week 1 and, unexpectedly, to in-state rival Tulane last week. The Rebels have been outscored 78-56 so far this season and will need to find an offensive spark to knock off a Kansas team who has the nation's 34th best statistical offense.
Our Prediction: With a golden opportunity to rise above .500 for the first time in a while, the Jayhawks will come ready to play and win, but not without a fight.
West Virginia Mountaineers (2-1) v.s. Maryland Terrapins (3-0)
Vegas Line: Maryland is a 3.5 point favorite.
Television: 3:30 PM EASTERN on ESPNU
The 2-1 West Virginia Mountaineers travel to College Park, Maryland on Saturday fresh off a 41-7 whipping of D-I newcomer Georgia State last Saturday. The Mountaineers are 3.5 point underdogs in Vegas to a Maryland team that's off to a surprising 3-0 start to the 2013 season. Maryland has trounced their first three much weaker opponents by a combined total of 122-41 and are riding high into Saturday's contest behind the electric play of true freshman wideout Stefon Diggs and improved quarterback play from senior C.J. Brown.
West Virginia's struggles at quarterback could be further exposed by the nation's 18th best overall defense and 28th best passing defense through Week 3. A road test for an unproven offense could be too much for the Mountaineers to handle if they can't score early and find a way to slow down the lethal Brown/Diggs combination.
Our Prediction: West Virginia struggles early, and Maryland covers plus some in the second half to drop the Mountaineers to .500.
Baylor Bears (2-0) v.s. Louisiana-Monroe Warhawks (2-1)
Vegas Line: Baylor is a 27 point favorite.
Television: 4:00 PM EASTERN on Fox Sports 1
The 2-0 Baylor Bears are flying high with the nation's best offense, averaging 69.5 points per game and over 735 yards of total offense per contest, albeit against totally over-matched opponents in Wofford and Buffalo. It won't be quite as easy for the Bears to score against a Louisiana-Monroe defense that gave them fits in 2012, and is giving up only 21 points per game through three contests, but their weapons should be way more than the Warhawks can handle as the day wears on.
For Louisiana-Monroe to have any chance in this one, quarterback Kolton Browning will have to play perfect football and the Warhawks' D will have to find a way to slow down not only quarterback Bryce Petty who has been on fire in the early going, but also Heisman Trophy candidate running back Lache Seastrunk, who has put his money where his mouth is.
Our Prediction: Baylor wins in a blowout and continues to work their way up the Top 25 ranks.
Texas Tech Red Raiders (3-0) v.s. Texas State Bobcats (2-0)
Vegas Line: Texas Tech is a 26 point favorite.
Unless you're there in person, you won't be able to watch two undefeated Lone Star State teams square off on Saturday evening as the 3-0 Texas Tech Red Raiders welcome the 2-0 Texas State Bobcats to Lubbock. Tech has been impressive so far in 2013 with three wins coming in very different ways, but led by true freshman walk-on quarterback Baker Mayfield, who has quickly become one of the conference's more interesting storylines. As expected the Raiders are averaging almost exactly 400 yards passing per contest, and have already posted 122 points through three games. The defense is much improved as well, and can no longer be taken for granted as Kliff Kingsbury takes his squad into Big 12 play.
Dennis Franchione's Texas State squad knocked off Southern Miss and traditional weakling Prairie View A&M in their first two contests with ease. Statistically, they have the nation's 4th best scoring defense, but obviously this number is skewed. A solid defense will certainly be given all they can handle on Saturday, and they won't be able to handle it well at all. Too much firepower. Plain and simple.
Our Prediction:Tech covers with ease and this one's a yawner by the 3rd.
Texas Longhorns (1-2) v.s. Kansas State Wildcats (2-1)
Vegas Line: Texas is a 5.5. point favorite.
Television: 8:00 PM EASTERN on ABC
The 1-2 Texas Longhorns invite the 2-1 Kansas State Wildcats to Austin in a Week 4 contest that no one through would be a must win for Mack Brown's squad, but has become one. In the wake of turmoil in the coaching ranks and an inept defense that has been gashed by consecutive opponents, Texas will be looking to get back on the right track without six important players who will all miss the game with different injury issues. Senior backup Case McCoy will start for the Longhorns and will not have the option of senior wideout Mike Davis who will miss the game with a lingering upper ankle sprain.
Kansas State is searching for some consistency from newcomer QB Jake Waters, but has shown some sparks of brilliance in impressive offensive performances against Louisiana-Lafayette and UMass. Bill Snyder's squad will be well-prepared-- you can count on that -- and will smell the blood in the water on the Forty Acres. K-State has dominated this series since 2003, and with all the turmoil in Austin should tally on another win.
Our Prediction: Texas plays with heart, but just doesn't have enough, losing a close one to fall to 1-3 for the first time since 2010.