Big 12 games that count, with top defense TCU at Oklahoma St
Some things to watch during Week 4 in the Big 12 Conference in Week 4, when for the first time this season there are three games that will count in the league standings.
GAME OF THE WEEK
No. 16 TCU (3-0) at No. 6 Oklahoma State (3-0). Quarterback Mason Rudolph (11 TD passes, one interception) and Oklahoma State have piled up 607 total yards per game and outscored its opponents 59-0 in the first quarter. The Horned Frogs have the Big 12’s top defense, allowing 265 yards a game. A week after holding SMU standout WR Courtland Sutton to one catch for no gain, the Horned Frogs face an Oklahoma State team that last week had four 100-yard receivers – a first in school history, and the first for an FBS team since Texas Tech’s four against Kansas State in 2005. The Cowboys went from a 10-6 halftime lead to a 31-6 win last year in Fort Worth. Oklahoma and Oklahoma State are the only Big 12 teams that the Frogs haven’t beaten on the road since joining the league in 2012.
Texas Tech coach Kliff Kingsbury vs. Houston. A matchup of former Big 12 quarterbacks in their first head-coaching jobs. While Kingsbury is in his fifth season at alma mater Texas Tech (2-0), former Texas quarterback Major Applewhite is in his first season as head coach of the Cougars (2-0). For Kingsbury, this is also a game against the school that gave him his first coaching job – he was a Cougars assistant from 2008-11 under Kevin Sumlin, then spent a season at Texas A&M before getting hired by the Red Raiders.
INSIDE THE NUMBERS
Junior QB Peyton Bender has played only three games for Kansas and already has 1,030 yards passing, the fastest in the Jayhawks’ 127-year history for a player to pass for 1,000 yards. … Nic Shimonek, Texas Tech’s 23-year-old senior quarterback, has thrown for 927 yards and nine touchdowns without an interception in his first two career starts. … Three Big 12 teams (Texas, Iowa State and Kansas State) have the weekend off.
Baylor (0-3) plays its first conference game for coach Matt Rhule with the Bears a four-touchdown underdog at home against third-ranked Oklahoma (3-0), which has won a nation’s best 13 games in a row. Baylor has lost its last nine regular-season games, including losses already this season to two teams who had never before beaten a Power Five opponent.
PLAYER TO WATCH
West Virginia senior RB Justin Crawford is the Big 12 leader with 109 yards rushing per game and five rushing TDs. He has run for more than 100 yards in all three games this season, and in eight of his 16 games with the Mountaineers.
Compiled by AP Sports Writer Stephen Hawkins in Fort Worth, Texas
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