This week in college football: Texas edition
Texas Longhorns vs. West Virginia Mountaineers
The Mountaineers have the edge in this matchup. Yes, the Longhorns are coming off back-to-back wins and are undefeated at home, but West Virginia’s defense is stronger than theirs. Overall, really, the Mountaineers are a more complete team than Texas. D’Onta Foreman is the one major player who will keep Texas in the game Saturday. He’s the nation’s leader in rushing yards per game, with 180.8. Still, the Mountaineers – with quarterback Skyler Howard and running backs Justin Crawford and Kennedy McKoy – have only fallen once this season. I don’t see it happening again, not against a struggling Texas team.
Baylor Bears vs. Oklahoma Sooners
The Bears (6-2, 3-2) and the Sooners (7-2, 6-0) are pretty evenly matched this season – though obviously, only Oklahoma is undefeated in Big 12 matchups. After a rough start to the season, the Sooners need to defeat their rival Baylor to keep their momentum and head for the College Football Playoff. The Bears, while they’ve had a pretty good season, are coming off a humiliating 62-22 loss to TCU, so they’ll need to set that aside this Saturday. They’ve certainly got a powerful defense on their side; they rank sixth nationally with 541.8 yards per game. Oklahoma’s defense had a major setback against Texas Tech, but they bounced back with two of their best performances against Kansas and Iowa State. Should be an intense matchup.
Texas A&M Aggies vs. Ole Miss Rebels
The Aggies are having a good season. They’re 7-2 (4-2 in the SEC) and have recorded 26 sacks, which ranks 21st nationally out of 128 FBS teams. They have to keep going without quarterback Trevor Knight, however, as he’s out for the rest of the season; Jake Hubenak will step in for Knight. The Rebels are also out a starting quarterback; Chad Kelly will miss the rest of the season with a torn ACL. Both A&M and Ole Miss need a win this weekend to help them clinch a bowl game. The Rebels need a couple of tough SEC wins, including this one, to get a bowl game invitation.
Texas Tech Red Raiders vs. Oklahoma State Cowboys
As with every team that faces Texas Tech, Oklahoma State will need to overcome quarterback Patrick Mahomes this weekend. Mahomes leads the nation with 3,886 passing yards and is third with 31 touchdown tosses. The Red Raiders rank second in total offense (587.1 yards per game) and fourth in scoring (46.2 points per game). While the Red Raiders don’t have a stellar record this season, their opponents have struggled against the Tech quarterback and aerial attack. Where both the Red Raiders and the Cowboys have struggled is in running the ball. Oklahoma State ranks 101st with an average of 141.2 yards rushing per game, while Tech is 124th with 101.3. For Texas Tech, this will be a tough game. They haven’t beaten the Cowboys since 2008 and are coming off a 45-37 loss to Texas last week. If you check out this game, you’ll want to keep an eye on the quarterbacks; Mahomes, of course, as well as Mason Rudolph, who’s been outstanding this season.