Big 12: Texas or Okla St will become bowl eligible
Things to watch in Week 12 of the Big 12 Conference season, when league co-leaders Baylor and Kansas State are among the four teams not playing:
GAME OF THE WEEK: Texas at Oklahoma State. The Longhorns or Cowboys will become the Big 12’s sixth bowl-eligible team. Since being shut out for the first time in 10 years, Texas (5-5, 4-3 Big 12) has won consecutive games for the first time under coach Charlie Strong. The Cowboys (5-4, 3-3) have their first three-game losing streak since five losses in a row in 2005, Mike Gundy’s first season as head coach. But Oklahoma State is trying to become bowl eligible for a school-record ninth year in a row since then. While the Cowboys have won 26 straight at home against unranked opponents since 2009, Texas has won its last seven games at Oklahoma State – all when the Longhorns were ranked. They aren’t this time.
BEST MATCHUP: With Oklahoma quarterback Trevor Knight ruled out Saturday after being carted off the field last weekend following a hard hit against Baylor, the Sooners’ ground game against Texas Tech’s rush defense could be huge. The Sooners are third in the Big 12 in rushing with 225 yards per game, while Texas Tech has allowed 247 yards rushing per game. Texas Tech has allowed nine individual 100-yard rushers, with three teams having two 100-yard runners against the Red Raiders. Two weeks ago against Iowa State, Oklahoma had three 100-yard rushers, including Knight.
INSIDE THE NUMBERS: For the first time this season, there were no touchdowns by defense or special teams in the league last weekend. … Four teams have their final bye weeks of the season – No. 6 Baylor, No. 13 Kansas State, Iowa State and West Virginia. …Oklahoma has won 10 straight road games against unranked Big 12 foes and is 30-9 in such games under coach Bob Stoops. … Kansas linebacker Ben Heeney leads the FBS with eight solo tackles per game. He leads the Big 12 with 11.2 tackles per game.
LONG SHOT: Kansas vs. No. 5 TCU. While the Jayhawks are coming off their first Big 12 victory, they are four-touchdown underdogs at home against TCU, playing for the first time since moving up to fourth in the latest College Football Playoff rankings. The extended forecast for Saturday calls for snow. While that could affect the Horned Frogs’ offense, Trevone Boykin is a dual-threat who is an effective runner with seven rushing touchdowns. TCU has won both games over the Jayhawks since joining the Big 12, including the Frogs’ first-ever win as a member of a power-five league when they played two years ago in Lawrence.
IMPACT PLAYER: Oklahoma State defensive end Emmanuel Ogbah has six sacks and 10 1/2 tackles for loss the last four games. The sophomore leads the Big 12 with 14 1/2 TFLs and his nine sacks are tied for the league lead.
Compiled by AP Sports Writer Stephen Hawkins in Fort Worth, Texas.
Follow Stephen Hawkins on Twitter at www.twitter.com/hawkaptexas.