Unexpected happenings in Big 12 before Red River rivalry
Some things to watch during Week 7 of the Big 12, the first time this season with all 10 teams playing in conference games:
GAME OF THE WEEK
Texas (3-2, 2-0 Big 12) vs. No. 12 Oklahoma (4-1, 1-1). Something unexpected happened on the way to the State Fair of Texas for the Red River rivalry game with two new head coaches. The two-time defending Big 12 champion Sooners started 4-0 under Lincoln Riley, extending their winning streak to 14, before a 38-31 home loss to four-touchdown underdog Iowa State last weekend. After three straight losing seasons, Texas lost two of its three non-conference games under coach Tom Herman before starting 2-0 in Big 12 play. Third-year Oklahoma starting quarterback Baker Mayfield has thrown for 1,635 yards and 15 touchdowns without an interception. Shane Ehlinger, the true freshman who grew up in the shadow of the Texas campus , led the Longhorns to a double-OT win over Kansas State last week.
No. 6 TCU (5-0, 2-0) at Kansas State (3-2, 1-1). When Horned Frogs coach Gary Patterson faces his alma mater, it’s a matchup of the two active coaches with the most wins at their current schools. Only Bill Snyder’s 205 wins at Kansas State are more than Patterson’s 153 at TCU. Patterson played for the Wildcats from 1980-81 and his first coaching gig was as a grad assistant there in 1982, seven years before the 78-year-old Snyder got to K-State.
INSIDE THE NUMBERS
This is the first of seven consecutive weeks to end the regular season that all 10 Big 12 teams will play conference games. ... Of Baylor’s 110 starters through five games, 51 have been freshmen or sophomores . ... Texas Tech leads the league with a plus-nine turnover margin. The Red Raiders have already forced 14 turnovers, one more than their 2016 total. ... West Virginia WR David Sills V is the national leader with nine receiving TDs. He has multiple TD catches in four of five games. ... Kansas, which plays at Iowa State, has lost 45 consecutive games away from Lawrence, including 42 straight true road contests. The Jayhawks’ last road win was 34-7 at UTEP on Sept. 12, 2009.
Kansas, which has allowed 121 points in its two Big 12 games, is a nearly three-touchdown underdog at Iowa State. Though a nice reversal for the Cyclones, this is also a fair warning for coach Matt Campbell’s team. Iowa State was a four-TD underdog when it shocked then-No. 3 Oklahoma last week.
PLAYER TO WATCH
Oklahoma State quarterback Mason Rudolph has thrown for a Big 12-leading 382 yards per game, with 16 touchdowns and four interceptions. The 14th-ranked Cowboys play Baylor, the team against which the quarterback made his OSU debut unexpectedly late during the 2014 season.
Compiled by AP Sports Writer Stephen Hawkins in Fort Worth, Texas