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Archive for Saturday, October 31, 2009

Today’s Big 12 capsules

October 31, 2009

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Iowa State (5-3, 2-2 Big 12) at Texas A&M (4-3, 1-2), 2:30 p.m

Line: Texas A&M by 7.

Series Record: Texas A&M leads 8-1.

Last meeting: 2008, Texas A&M 49, Iowa State 35.

What’s at Stake

Both teams are looking to follow up season-saving — and potentially program-changing — road victories last week. The Aggies stunned then-No. 21 Texas Tech 52-30, winning in Lubbock for the first time since 1993. The Cyclones forced eight turnovers in a 9-7 win at Nebraska, where Iowa State hadn’t won since 1977. Iowa State can become bowl-eligible with a victory.

Key Matchup

Iowa State RB Alexander Robinson vs. Texas A&M defense. Robinson is the Big 12’s leading rusher (105.3 yards per game) and has four 100-yard games this season. He sat out last week’s game with a groin injury, but coach Paul Rhoads says he’ll be ready to face the Aggies. A&M gave up 232 rushing yards in a 62-14 loss at Kansas State two weeks ago and ranks 78th nationally in rush defense (152 ypg).

Players to Watch

Iowa State: Junior QB Austen Arnaud. The dual-threat quarterback bruised his right, throwing hand two weeks ago and sat out last week’s win at Nebraska. Rhoads expects Arnaud to play. Backup Jerome Tiller went 9-for-19 for 102 yards in his first career start last week.

Texas A&M: Sophomore WR Jeff Fuller. The Aggies’ big-play receiver returned last week after sitting out four games with a broken right fibula. Fuller caught one pass for 12 yards against Texas Tech and should be ready for a more expanded role against Iowa State.

Missouri (4-3, 0-3 Big 12) at Colorado(2-5, 1-2), 12:30 a.m. (FSKC)

Line: Missouri by 31⁄2.

Series Record: Missouri leads, 39-31-3.

What’s at Stake

Missouri will attempt to snap a three-game skid, while the Buffaloes try to rebound from a 20-6 loss at Kansas State. The Tigers have outscored Colorado by a combined margin of 113-10 in the last two meetings.

Key Matchup

Missouri LBs vs. Colorado RBs. Missouri’s depth at linebacker will be measured after starter Luke Lambert dislocated his shoulder. Will Ebner could see more playing time in the middle. The Buffaloes will be without TB Darrell Scott for a second straight game after he had arthroscopic surgery on his knee Oct. 22. Missouri will see a steady dose of Rodney Stewart, who leads the team with 467 yards rushing.

Players to Watch

Missouri: LB Sean Weatherspoon. The Missouri senior was all over the field in the loss to Texas last weekend, recording 11 tackles and sacking Colt McCoy. He also intercepted a pass in the second half. Weatherspoon has 363 career tackles, just 72 away from breaking James Kinney’s school record.

Colorado: WR Scotty McKnight. The junior wideout has caught at least one pass in a school-record 32 straight games. With his 130 career receptions, McKnight is sixth on CU’s all-time receptions list, just 37 behind leader Michael Westbrook.

Facts & Figures

This will mark the 14th time the Tigers have been Colorado’s homecoming opponent. Missouri is 4-9 in those games. ... The Tigers have made 217 straight extra points. Their last miss was in 2005 when they played in Folsom Field. The NCAA record is held by Syracuse, who had seven different kickers make 262 straight from 1978 to 1989. ... The Buffaloes had their string of 242 straight games with a score halted by Missouri last season in the 58-0 loss. ... CU coach Dan Hawkins will stick with Tyler Hansen as his starting quarterback.

Kansas State (5-3) vs. No. 22 Oklahoma (4-3), 6 p.m. (FSKC)

Line: Oklahoma by 28.

Series Record: Oklahoma leads 69-17-4.

Last meeting: 2008, Oklahoma 58-35.

What’s at Stake

Kansas State can maintain its surprising lead in the Big 12 North if it can snap Oklahoma’s school-record 27-game home winning streak. The Sooners, already eliminated from national championship contention, are trying to keep their hopes alive for a fourth straight Big 12 title.

Key Matchup

Oklahoma coach Bob Stoops vs. Kansas State skipper Bill Snyder. Stoops was a defensive assistant at K-State from 1989-95 while Snyder was building the program. Stoops is 5-1 against his mentor, with the only loss coming in the 2003 Big 12 championship.

Players to Watch

Kansas State: DE Jeffrey Fitzgerald. The senior transfer from Virginia has four of Kansas State’s 10 sacks over the past two games, and he’ll be facing a suspect offensive line that’s had six different starting combinations this season.

Oklahoma: RB Chris Brown. Carrying a heavier load with backfield mate DeMarco Murray out with a left ankle injury, Brown had a season-high 22 carries and scored three touchdowns — two rushing and one receiving — last week. Murray could return this week.

Facts & Figures

Kansas State RB Daniel Thomas leads the Big 12 with 814 yards rushing. He’ll be facing the nation’s third-best rush defense, allowing only 70 yards per game. ... Stoops says RG Tavaris Jeffries, who was suspended last week for breaking team rules, will not start this week but may play. LG Brian Simmons is expected to miss his third straight game with a right knee injury.

No. 3 Texas (7-0, 4-0 Big 12) vs. No. 13 Oklahoma State (6-1, 3-0), 7 p.m. (ABC)

Line: Texas by 9.

Series Record: Texas leads 21-2.

Last meeting: 2008, Texas 28-24.

What’s at Stake

Oklahoma State can claim control of the Big 12 South race and throw a wrench in Texas’ national championship hopes with an upset. In a division dominated by Texas and Oklahoma, the Cowboys have never played for the Big 12 championship.

Key Matchup

Texas pass rusher Sergio Kindle vs. Oklahoma State LT Russell Okung. The Longhorns’ disruptive linebacker/defensive end will face a challenge this week against Okung, an NFL prospect who shut out NCAA sacks leader Von Miller of Texas A&M earlier this season.

Players to Watch

Texas: WR Malcolm Williams. The sophomore had a career-high five receptions last week in his first start of the season and recovered a blocked punt in the end zone for Texas’ sixth special teams’ score of the season.

Oklahoma State: RB Kendall Hunter. The Big 12’s leading rusher from last season has been cleared to play after missing the last five games with a sprained ankle, but coach Mike Gundy says he’ll only get eight to 10 carries if he plays at all. Hunter’s 161 yards rushing were the most allowed by Texas in a game last season.

Facts & Figures

Oklahoma State will be without All-America receiver Dez Bryant for a fifth straight game. The NCAA ruled this week that he will remain ineligible for the rest of the season, pending an appeal by OSU. ... The Cowboys have never had a 4-0 start in league play in school history, with stints in the Southwest, Missouri Valley, Big Eight and Big 12. ... Mack Brown is 11-0 against Oklahoma State, including comebacks from 28, 21 and 19 points within the last five years.

Nebraska (4-3, 1-2) at Baylor (3-4, 0-3), 11:30 a.m. (Versus)

Line: Nebraska by 121⁄2.

Series Record: Nebraska leads 10-1.

Last meeting: 2008, Nebraska 32-20.

What’s at Stake

Nebraska turned the ball over eight times, matching a school record, in a frustrating 9-7 home loss to Iowa State last week. The Cornhuskers, ranked as high as 15th earlier in the month, have scored a total of 17 points in a two-game slide. The Bears, who are 1-3 since losing QB Robert Griffin, have been outscored by 67 in three conference games. Baylor has lost nine a row to Nebraska, including all seven as Big 12 foes.

Key Matchup

Nebraska’s offense vs. Baylor’s defense. While the Huskers couldn’t hold on to the ball against Iowa State, the Bears have created only one turnover in Big 12 play. After Nebraska lost the ball four times inside the Iowa State 5, coach Bo Pelini said there would be personnel changes on offense. .

Players to Watch

Nebraska: NT Ndamukong Suh anchors a defense which ranks eighth nationally and third in the conference.

Baylor: S Jordan Lake is seventh in the Big 12 with 54 tackles.

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