Friday, September 5

Big 12 Week 2 Games

The Big 12 spent most of week 1 doing what they were supposed to do. Three flagship teams won by giant margins. Missouri beat Illinois. Tech's game was closer than they'd like, but Harrell still got halfway to his first 1000 yards. A&M looked worse than expected, but OSU and CU looked better. In the end, one week into the season, they appeared weaker than the SEC but slightly ahead of the rest of the pack - this season should be tougher than usual for teams trying to make it through the Big 12.

San Jose State @ Nebraska
Joe Ganz threw for four TDs and 345 yards last week as Nebraska struggled to run the ball against Western Michigan. SJ State was barely able to sneak by Cal-Davis and shouldn't provide as much of a challenge to the Huskers' defense as Western Michigan somehow did. (which will be a real concern later in the season) Expect a blowout here as Pelini will want Nebraska to ramp up their execution with an upcoming game against Virginia Tech followed by conference play.

Cincinnati @ Oklahoma
Both teams had impressive week 1's, but we know who the juggernaught here is. The game is also played in Norman, where OU now has a 55-2 record under Stoops. This game will probably be more ugly than midwest fans think, as the Sooners will dominate both lines and Sam Bradford looks even better than he did a season ago. I'm expecting big games from him and Demarco Murray, while Cincy gets held to 14 or less.

Eastern Washington @ Colorado
Colorado looked sharp in an unusual rout of inter-state rival Colorado State. Dan Hawkins clearly liked the production of Darrell Scott and will probably increase his workload as the season goes on. Cody Hawkins looked very efficient and accounted for three TDs, showing a new wrinkle in the offense by running the ball a little more often than we've seen in the past. EWU threw the ball with great success against Texas Tech but was held to just 23 yards rushing. Colorado's defense appeared susceptible to the power run but relatively good against the pass (high completion percentage due to many flares and bubble screens), so I'm not sure what to expect from the EWU offense. Probably not enough to upset the Buffs.

Texas A&M @ New Mexico
Can they go 0-2? Sadly this is going to be a good game; I expect A&M will win but it will be something like 16-10 as both teams showed horrible offensive ineptitude in week 1. If you're reading this for fantasy, do not start any A&M players. In fact, don't do that ever again for the rest of this season.

SE Missouri @ Missouri
This has all the makings of a Spurrier-esque week 2 blowout. Jeremy Maclin is probable, and that's a tough call for fantasy owners because if he plays he'll probably put up big numbers. Of course Daniel, Washington, Coffman, and anybody else on this offense are going to have big games. The defense will probably be looking for some respect after giving up 42 points last week - expect a single-digit score given up on their part.

La Tech @ Kansas
La Tech won an improbable victory over Mississippi State, and their reward is to play a much tougher opponent in Kansas. The Jayhawks didn't have the strongest offensive outing against FIU but surrendered just 139 yards and created 3 turnovers. The secondary in particular was fearsome, allowing a 35% completion rate for 0 TD and 2 picks. I expect a better offensive performance out of Reesing, but I'm not sure how the ground game will fare. Regardless, the defense isn't going to allow many points to a team like La Tech.

Kent State @ Iowa State
Kent State was shut out by Boston College in their opener and now face an improved Iowa State team. Austen Arnaud had a strong week 1 outing but it was the Cyclones defense with five interceptions that made the lopsided score. The reality is that, while improved, ISU is still in the cellar of the division. This is a possible upset, but I'd still give ISU the nod.

Northwestern State @ Baylor
Baylor gave a pathetic performance against Wake Forest, turning the ball over 5 times while getting blown out at home. The bright side is that the yardage differential was just 126, something they'll more than reverse against the likes of NW State. Robert Griffin appears to be the focal point of this offense; keep an eye on him... um, if for some reason you watch this.

Montana State @ Kansas State
Montana State looked amazing in their opener, just blowing out Adams State 59-3. Oh what am I saying, I don't even know what division Adams State is in. It'll probably play out like the North Texas game did, which means big numbers for Josh Freeman and Brandon Banks.

Houston @ Oklahoma State
OSU was very impressive on the road against Washington State, even if the Cougars are expected to take one of the bottom spots in the Pac 10. Kendall Hunter had a strong first game and should be utilized effectively again -- I'm not reading too deeply into UH allowing just 35 yards rushing vs Southern. Of course I expect Zac Robinson to throw a couple TDs this time, perhaps to favorite target Dez Bryant who WSU had no answer for.

Texas Tech @ Nevada
The Red Raiders' defense was embarassed by Eastern Washington's passing game, now they face a Nevada team who ran the ball for 426 yards in their opener against Grambling State. I'm not making picks on GSU's point totals either way, but is Nevada really going to stop Graham Harrell fresh off a 536 yard outing? The answer is no. Harrell has found his new targets and it'll be another 500 yard performance -- enough offensive firepower that the defense merely determines how close this one is.

Texas @ UTEP
Texas gave one of the stronger week 1 performances in the Big 12. John Chiles gave the offense more of an option look, but indeed Colt McCoy showed that he also has wheels as the team's leading rusher! McCoy's performance was everything Longhorn fans wanted to see last season. The Horns used three backs and really spread the ball out amongst receivers - great for an offense, not great for a fantay owner. McCoy is probably in for a big game against UTEP though. Meanwhile the Miners lost a blowout to MAC foe Buffalo. How does that even happen? This week's game will be a blowout of epic proportions.