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Big 12 Preview: Week 3

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Looking ahead to this weekend's Big 12 games that don't involve a certain team wearing green and gold

Randy Sartin-USA TODAY Sports

Tulsa @ Oklahoma
Gaylord Family Oklahoma Memorial Stadium (Norman, OK)
11:00 AM CT (Sat.), FS1
Line: Oklahoma (-30.5)

We have a Philip Montgomery sighting! The former Baylor offensive coordinator has Tulsa's offense humming through its first two games as the Golden Hurricane are already one win shy of last season's total. They'll take a big step up in competition though when they square off with OU in Norman. The Sooners are coming off a gritty comeback win at Tennessee last Saturday, becoming the first team to ever come back from 17 down to beat the Vols at Neyland Stadium. Oklahoma has gotten off to some sluggish starts this year and Tulsa has the ability to put up some points but the talent disparity is too great for this to be a competitive game. But just for fun, let's remember how badly Monty broke Oklahoma the last time he brought an offense to Norman.

Prediction: Oklahoma 48 Tulsa 21

Louisiana Tech @ Kansas State
Bill Snyder Family Stadium (Manhattan, KS)
2:00 PM CT (Sat.), FSN
Line: Kansas State (-9.5)

K-State looks to move to 3-0 as they take on a solid Louisiana Tech squad in the Little Apple. The Wildcats struggled early last week with UTSA down in San Antonio but were able to pull away in the 2nd half behind a defense that has only allowed 3 points in the first two games of the season. KSU will look for a bit more explosiveness from their offense as they continue to get familiar with Joe Hubener being under center. Hubener is only completing passes at a 51.2% clip thus far but is also the team's leading rusher as he is looking to fill more of the Collin Klein mold from a few years ago. Louisiana Tech is led by RB Kenneth Dixon and is a threat as both a running back and a receiver. If K-State can control the clock, I think they'll be fine. But if they don't, LA Tech is capable of winning this game.

Prediction: Kansas State 26 Louisiana Tech 17

UTSA @ Oklahoma State
Boone Pickens Stadium (Stillwater, OK)
2:30 PM CT (Sat.), FS1
Line: Oklahoma State (-24.5)

Oklahoma State cracked the AP Top 25 this week and will host UTSA in Stillwater. The Cowboys have been a bit slow out of the gates offensively, averaging just 28 points per game through two contests with Central Michigan and Central Arkansas. Having said that, OSU did put up almost 600 yards last week so there are positive signs as well. Mason Rudolph is still a young QB and Mike Gundy's teams have a history of coming on very strong as the season progresses. The Cowboys have been strong defensively, led by a stout front allowing just 2.5 yards/carry thus far. UTSA is capable of putting up points like they did in week 1 at Arizona, but I think they'll get shut down by a Big 12 defense for the second straight week.

Prediction: Oklahoma State 35 UTSA 10

Texas Tech @ Arkansas
Donald W. Reynolds Razorback Stadium (Fayetteville, AR)
6:00 PM CT (Sat.), ESPN2
Line: Arkansas (-12)

MAHOMIES STILL. In case you haven't been paying attention, Patrick Mahomes is good at sports. But particularly football. He's really good at football. Mahomes is the second leading passer in the nation with 786 yards through the air and 10 total touchdowns in Tech's first two games. Obviously, Arkansas' defense will be a bit of a step up from Sam Houston State and UTEP but there is reason to believe that the Tech offense can be outstanding. Couple that with a defense that is beginning to force some turnovers and the Red Raiders become a dangerous out in the Big 12. They roll into Fayetteville to take on an Arkansas team that lost a shocker last weekend to Toledo and will probably be out for blood. The Hogs were expected to be a strong running team again in 2015 but QB Brandon Allen has been the lone bright spot thus far. It would be a big boost for the Big 12 to win another road game against the SEC, and I certainly think the 12 point spread is a bit high, but Arkansas *squeaks* this one out as they get their ground game going.

Prediction: Arkansas 35 Texas Tech 33

California @ Texas
Darrell K Royal-Texas Memorial Stadium (Austin, TX)
6:30 PM CT (Sat.), FOX
Line: California (-6.5)

Any big news come out of Austin this week? Asking for a friend. As the rest of the Big 12 mourns the loss of getting to make fun of Steve Patterson's money whoring decisions all the time, the Longhorns have a key non-conference game against Cal. As was expected, Jerrod Heard took over for Tyrone Swoopes at QB and while UT still struggled to move the ball at times last week against Rice, there were some signs of life with a few explosive plays and Heard showed his ability to get out of the pocket and beat you with his legs. Still, the Horns needed 5 Rice turnovers to be able to pull away from the Owls. In fact, Rice outgained Texas 462-277 and had 30 1st downs to 11 for UT. Charlie Strong's crew faces a tougher challenge this week with high flying Cal coming to Austin. The Bears have been an explosive offense the last couple of years behind QB Jared Goff but this year it looks like they have a semblance of a defense to go with it. I think Cal has too many offensive weapons against UT's defense which has been susceptible to big plays thus far. I can't see Texas' offense being able to keep up.

Prediction: California 38 Texas 24

SMU @ TCU
Amon G. Carter Stadium (Fort Worth, TX)
7:00 PM CT (Sat.), FSN
Line: TCU (-37)

TCU is probably going to mollywhop SMU by more points than Baylor did, then act like it means something when CFP rankings roll around. Prepare yourself.

Prediction: TCU 63 SMU 14

Iowa State @ Toledo
Glass Bowl (Toledo, OH)
7:00 PM CT, ESPNEWS
Line: Toledo (-7.5)

The Cyclones look to bounce back from their loss in El Assico with a trip to the Glass Bowl to take on a Toledo team that is coming off a win at Arkansas. So given the venue this is being played in, I vote we all refer to this as El Glassico. As for the actual game on the field, this appears to be a good matchup on paper but we will have to see how consistent Iowa State can be with their offensive attack and if Toledo has a hangover effect at all after pulling off a stunner last week and being back at home. I think this will come down to who's defense plays the better overall game and at this point, I think I trust the Rockets more than I do ISU.

Prediction: Toledo 31 Iowa State 28

AROUND THE COUNTRY

Georgia Tech 35 Notre Dame 24
LSU 23 Auburn 20
USC 34 Stanford 13
Alabama 41 Ole Miss 31
UCLA 48 BYU 35