Big 12 opener for Oklahoma, WVU part of light week
Things to watch in Week 4 of the Big 12 season with a light schedule – a Thursday night game and only two games Saturday.
GAME OF THE WEEK: No. 4 Oklahoma at West Virginia. While six Big 12 teams are getting the weekend off before conference play kicks into full gear, the Sooners (3-0) leave the state of Oklahoma for the first time this season to take on West Virginia (2-1) in a league opener for both teams. The last time the teams played in Morgantown two years ago, the Sooners pulled out a 50-49 victory after Landry Jones threw his sixth TD pass with 24 seconds left. The Mountaineers, who opened this season with a tough 33-23 loss to No. 3 Alabama, are coming off a 40-37 win over regional rival Maryland on Saturday. WVU got a field goal as time expired after blowing a 22-point lead.
BEST MATCHUP: West Virginia QB Clint Trickett vs. Oklahoma defense. Trickett leads the Big 12 with 408 yards passing per game, with seven TDs and one interception. The senior has thrown for at least 300 yards in four consecutive games. The Sooners defense has more interceptions (six) than touchdowns allowed (four).
INSIDE THE NUMBERS: No. 5 Auburn on Thursday night is only the second ranked non-conference opponent to visit No. 20 Kansas State in Bill Snyder’s 23 seasons as coach. The other was in 2002, when K-State beat No. 11 USC 27-20. The Wildcats lost at home to No. 8 Louisville in 2006, the first of Snyder’s three-year retirement when Ron Prince was their coach. … Oklahoma, coming off a decisive 34-10 win over SEC team Tennessee, goes for its eighth victory in a row. Bob Stoops tries to become the first coach to win 100 Big 12 regular-season games.
LONG SHOT: A lopsided victory for Kansas (1-1) in its last non-conference game. The Jayhawks are only slight favorites at home against Central Michigan (2-1), and have only an 8-6 edge in games against Mid-American Conference teams. Both teams are coming off lopsided losses, the Jayhawks 41-3 at Duke, and Central Michigan 40-3 at home to Syracuse.
IMPACT PLAYER: West Virginia senior receivers Kevin White and Mario Alford, who are 1-2 in the Big 12 in receptions per game. White leads the league and is second nationally with 10.7 catches per game, and his 153.3 yards per game is fourth nationally. Mario has seven catches a game.
Compiled by AP Sports Writer Stephen Hawkins in Fort Worth, Texas.
Follow Stephen Hawkins on Twitter at https://twitter.com/hawkaptexas