Big 12 Week 12 Preview - WVU Football, WVU Basketball, News - Mountaineer Sports

Big 12 Week 12 Preview

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MORGANTOWN -

The Big 12 will get an opportunity to shine under the lights this weekend.

 

Three of the four scheduled games will be kicking off in the evening, but most eyes will probably be on Waco, where #1 Kansas State (10-0, 7-0) will look to remain undefeated against Baylor (4-5, 1-5).

 

The Wildcats have run through the toughest part of their schedule, and now they are two games away from representing the conference in the National Championship Game. Oklahoma State had an opportunity to do the same last year, though, but was tripped up by Iowa State in Week 12. Baylor will be looking to play the role of Iowa State this weekend.

 

The Bears will have to show a lot of improvement on defense if that's going to be a possibility. Nick Florence has led an offense that's been explosive all season, but the team is sitting near the bottom of the Big 12 standings because the defense has given up 44 points per game in conference games. Now, that unit will have to face a Heisman Trophy contender in Collin Klein.

 

Because of that, Kansas State should leave Waco with a win. That would leave the Wildcats with a bye week before finishing the season at home against #15 Texas. The Longhorns have this weekend off.

 

The lone Baylor win came against a Kansas team that is still winless in league play. The Jayhawks (1-9, 0-7) have been close to pulling a few upsets in recent weeks, but time is running out to get that first conference win. Saturday night, they'll look to knock off Iowa State (5-5, 2-5) in order to get it.

 

Iowa State's defense has dropped off as the season's gone on. In the first three conference games, no team was able to score more than 27 points against the Cyclones, including Kansas State. Since then, the team has given up 30 or more points in three of its last four games. The offenses they've faced in those four games are all better than the one they'll face on Saturday, so this defense needs to end that streak.

 

A Kansas offense that has been pretty bad all year probably won't have to win a shootout, at least. Iowa State's offense has struggled, too. If the game remains low-scoring, it should stay close, and Kansas could have a shot at its first conference win.

 

The other primetime game will take place in Morgantown where West Virginia (5-4, 2-4) will look to get back on track against #12 Oklahoma (7-2, 5-1). The Mountaineers haven't won a game since beating Texas on the road and entering the top five. Oklahoma's probably not the team they want to be facing to try to end that four-game losing streak.

 

The Sooners have just two losses on the year, but they've each come against teams in the top three in the nation, Kansas State and Notre Dame. In the other seven games, this team is winning by an average of 29 points. The offense is one of the best in the country, and the defense is among the best in a conference that doesn't play a whole lot of defense.

 

Landry Jones hasn't necessarily had the year many thought he could, but he should be able to have a lot of success against a West Virginia pass defense that has been terrible all season. The Mountaineers won their first two Big 12 games by winning shootouts. The defense is still giving up the points, but the offense is no longer scoring at the pace we saw at the beginning of the year. If that doesn't change, this team will drop to 5-5, and not making a bowl game becomes a real possibility.

 

Last week, it was Oklahoma State that took advantage of the West Virginia defense. This week, the 24th-ranked Cowboys (6-3, 4-2) will take on #23 Texas Tech (7-3, 4-3) in the only afternoon game in the Big 12. This game got ugly last year, when Oklahoma State won, 66-6.

 

This Oklahoma State team isn't as good, though, and this Texas Tech team is much better. Both offenses can score almost at will, so this should be another high-scoring conference game. It doesn't seem to matter who steps in at quarterback for the Cowboys, because this team puts up points either way.

 

The winner of that game will remain in the top 25, which will be nice. The stakes are much higher for Kansas State, though. The Wildcats are now just two wins away from playing for a National Title.

 

But can Baylor create another Big 12 Week 12 nightmare?

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