After last week’s 59-16 bludgeoning by No. 10 Oklahoma State, Baylor is thrilled to return to McLane Stadium for the first time in nearly a month against No. 23 West Virginia.
In their last home game, the Bears gave then-No. 3 Oklahoma a huge scare. The Sooners hung on for a 49-41 win, but the Bears proved they could hang with a highly ranked team.
The Bears will need to play with the same emotion to have a shot to beat the Mountaineers, who feature one of the most dynamic offenses in the country. Baylor blew away West Virginia by scores of 72-42 and 62-38 in their previous two games at McLane Stadium. This year they’d be happy with a one-point win.
No. 23 West Virginia (-9.5) at Baylor
With quarterback Will Grier leading the way, the Mountaineers have the ability to put up big numbers against any defense in college football.
Grier has passed for 2,092 yards and a nation’s best 21 touchdowns while Gary Jennings tops the Big 12 with 48 catches and David Sills leads the country with 12 touchdown catches. Justin Crawford ranks second in the league with 609 yards rushing and seven touchdowns.
The Bears should be able to run the ball, but they need balance to stick with West Virginia. For Baylor to pull off the upset, Zach Smith must play at a high level after hitting just 11 of 28 passes against the Cowboys. But he’s certainly got that capability after throwing for a career-high 463 yards and four touchdowns against the Sooners.
Baylor 42, West Virginia 38
Iowa State (+6) at Texas Tech
Following its 38-31 shocker over Oklahoma, Iowa State followed up with a 45-0 beatdown of Kansas last weekend in Ames.
If the Cyclones can win in Norman, they should have confidence playing against Texas Tech in Lubbock. But they’ll likely run into a Texas Tech squad that’s eager to rebound after letting West Virginia rally for a 46-35 win last weekend in Morgantown.
Texas Tech’s passing game led by quarterback Nic Shimonek and wide receiver Keke Coutee will be too much for the Cyclones to handle.
Texas Tech 42, Iowa State 34
No. 10 Oklahoma State (-7.5) at Texas
The Cowboys have historically played well in Austin, winning the last four games.
With the nation’s most productive offense, Oklahoma State will have another great shot to win. After facing Oklahoma quarterback Baker Mayfield last week, the Longhorns will face another major challenge against Oklahoma State’s Mason Rudolph who has passed for 2,368 yards and 19 touchdowns.
Freshman quarterback Sam Ehlinger has played admirably for the Longhorns. But it’s not a fair test to match his inexperience against Rudolph’s vast experience.
Oklahoma State 35, Texas 31
No. 9 Oklahoma (-13.5) at Kansas State
After opening up a 20-0 lead against Texas, the Sooners needed a late touchdown pass by Mayfield to hang on for a 29-24 win in the Red River rivalry.
The Sooners will face a Kansas State squad that looked lost offensively in a 26-6 loss to TCU in a weather delayed game last weekend in Manhattan.
For the Sooners to make a run for the College Football Playoff, they need to get on a roll. The Wildcats are usually tough at home, but Oklahoma should pull this one out.
Oklahoma 35, Kansas State 17
Kansas (+37.5) at No. 4 TCU
Despite fielding some bad teams, Kansas has given TCU several tough games in recent years. Last year, the Horned Frogs were fortunate to walk away from Lawrence with a 24-23 win.
But there’s no reason why the free falling Jayhawks should stick close to TCU this season. The unbeaten Horned Frogs have moved in position for a College Football Playoff spot, and they won’t let their guard down against the Jayhawks.
TCU 52, Kansas 7
Last week: 5-0 overall, 4-1 against the line
Season: 22-8 overall, 17-12-1 against the spread