Some things to watch in Week 10 of the Big 12 Conference:
GAME OF THE WEEK
No. 11 Oklahoma State at West Virginia. The Cowboys (7-1, 4-1 Big 12) quickly rebounded from their first loss and control their own destiny in trying to get to their first Big 12 championship game. They are tied for second place in the conference standings with No. 14 Baylor, a team they beat at home, and still have a game left this month against fourth-ranked Oklahoma, the six-time defending conference champion. The Mountaineers (4-4, 2-3) lost their first three Big 12 games before an open date, but have since won their last two games. West Virginia is coming off a 38-31 win over then-No. 22 Iowa State, which had beaten Oklahoma State 24-21 the previous week. The Cowboys have won six consecutive games in the series that began in 1928, but was only contested three times before they became Big 12 foes in 2012.
The Big 12’s top two running backs, Iowa State’s Breece Hall (league-bests 123.1 ypg and 12 TDs rushing) and Texas sophomore Bijan Robinson (120.9 ypg, 11 TDs rushing), have both rushed for at least 100 yards five times in the last six games. Hall ran for 167 yards against West Virginia last week, when Robinson was held to 43 yards on 17 carries against Baylor. Now Robinson faces one of the Big 12’s top rushing defenses, with the Cyclones allowing 101.4 yards per game and a league-low six TDs. Hall goes against a Longhorns defense that gives up 206.5 yards rushing per game. Hall has a rushing TD in a Big 12-record 20 consecutive games, the nation’s longest active streak.
INSIDE THE NUMBERS
Baylor (7-1, 4-1) and TCU (3-5, 1-4) meet for the 117th time since first playing in 1899. It is the most-played series for both schools. The Horned Frogs have won six of the nine games since becoming Big 12 members to take a 56-53-7 series lead. … Oklahoma, whose 17-game winning streak is the nation’s longest, and Texas Tech have the Big 12’s last open dates of the season. The Sooners won 52-21 last week over the Red Raiders, who played their first game with interim coach Sonny Cumbie. … Iowa State TE Charlie Kolar has catches in 31 consecutive games, the third-best streak in school history.
While Kansas is again a big underdog, first-year Jayhawks coach Lance Leipold won’t face the same immediate fate as the last two coaches who lost to Kansas State. Matt Wells was fired by Texas Tech after a loss to the Wildcats on Oct. 23, then TCU and Gary Patterson mutually agreed to immediately part ways after a loss to the coach’s alma mater last week. Kansas has lost 12 in a row, and 24 of 28, in the Sunflower State showdown.
Kansas State sophomore defensive end Felix Anudike-Uzomah leads the Big 12, and is second nationally, with 10 sacks and four forced fumbles. He had four sacks and two forced fumbles against TCU last week. Both fumbles came on plays that would have counted as two more sacks had the ball been recovered behind the line of scrimmage. He had sacks on three consecutive defensive snaps and is only 1 1/2 sacks short of tying K-State’s single-season school record. His only sack in five games last year came against Kansas.
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