Another chance for No. 23 WVU vs. No. 15 Oklahoma in Big 12
Things to watch in Week 5 in the Big 12, with the calendar turned to October and the first weekend when every game counts in the conference standings:
GAME OF THE WEEK: No. 23 West Virginia (3-0) at No. 15 Oklahoma (3-0). The first time the Mountaineers played Oklahoma as Big 12 foes, Geno Smith threw four touchdowns to Stedman Bailey in a 50-49 loss three years ago. Last season, Oklahoma freshman Samaje Perine had his breakout game, with 242 yards and four TDs, three of them in the second half of a 45-33 win. WVU coach Dana Holgorsen believes his defense is more capable of stopping the run in the third straight year the teams meet in a Big 12 opener. ”I doubt I’m going to have to say a whole lot to our guys,” Holgorsen said. ”They understand what Norman’s like, the great tradition that Oklahoma has, and the opportunity that we had to win the previous three years.”
BEST MATCHUP: Texas Tech (3-1, 0-1 Big 12) vs. No. 5 Baylor (3-0, 0-0). The league’s two highest-scoring teams play again at the home of the Dallas Cowboys, where in a post-Thanksgiving matchup last year they combined for 94 points as the Bears won 48-46. Baylor leads the nation with 64 points a game while the Red Raiders are third with 54 points a game. The Red Raiders and Bears are two of the four Big 12 teams that have both a running back and receiver averaging 100 yards a game. Texas Tech lost 55-52 last week at home to No. 4 TCU, the other defending Big 12 co-champion.
INSIDE THE NUMBERS: Kansas State (3-0) plays its Big 12 opener at No. 20 Oklahoma State (4-0, 1-0), where the Wildcats have lost in their last four trips. … TCU quarterback Trevone Boykin leads the nation in total offense with 415 yards a game, with Oklahoma QB Baker Mayfield second at 400.3 yards per game. … Texas had two defensive touchdowns against Oklahoma State last week, the first time the Longhorns did that in the same game since Oct. 31, 2009.
LONG SHOT: The Big 12 opener between Kansas and Iowa State will give one of the teams some much-needed confidence. Kansas (0-3) is the only Big 12 team without a victory this year, and Iowa State (1-2) was the only one that didn’t win a conference game in 2014. Neither has finished better than eighth place since the Big 12 became a 10-team league in 2011.
IMPACT PLAYER: TCU receiver Josh Doctson matched a Big 12 record with 18 catches last week for 267 yards and three touchdowns. He is one of only five players with at least 70 yards receiving in four games this season. With one more receiving TD, Doctson will match Josh Boyce’s TCU career record of 22.
Compiled by AP Sports Writer Stephen Hawkins in Fort Worth, Texas.