Game Of The Week Preview: Week 9


K-State Wildcats vs. West Virginia Mountaineers

2:45 p.m. CDT, Fox Sports 1

On Saturday, two very inconsistent football teams take the field to battle it out in K-State’s homecoming game against the West Virginia Mountaineers. The match up between these two last year in Morgantown, W. Va, was a blowout of epic proportions on a national stage.

Both quarterbacks, K-State’s Collin Klein and the Mountaineer’s Geno Smith were in the running for the Heisman. Klein accumulated 323 yards through the air for three touchdowns and added four more on the ground to lead the Wildcats to an astonishing 55-14 victory. Smith was held to a just 143 yards, and threw his first two interceptions on the year. The Wildcats would march on to become No. 1 in the nation, while West Virginia struggled to find themselves during the rest of their season losing four of their last six.

This year is a different story. Both teams have had a difficult time finding their rhythm. Two of West Virginia’s three wins came early, with a 24-17 win over William and Mary in their season opener and a 41-7 rout against Georgia State in week 3. However, their victory against Oklahoma State on Sept. 28 was impressive. K-State has had a hard time closing out games all season, leading North Dakota State, Oklahoma State and then-No. 15 Baylor late, but coming up short.

This one will be fun to watch and it’s a game that the Wildcats desperately need to win to ensure that they don’t lose control of this season entirely.

No. 17 Oklahoma Sooners vs. No. 10 Texas Tech Red Raiders

2:30 p.m. CDT, FOX

The No. 17 Oklahoma Sooners will take on the red-hot No. 10 Texas Tech Red Raiders in Norman, Okla. on Saturday afternoon.

Oklahoma has reason for concern. After starting the season 5-0, the Sooners were stopped in their tracks by Mac Brown and the Texas Longhorns. By itself, this wouldn’t be reason for worry this season as the Longhorns find themselves near the top of the Big 12 standings, but the Red Raiders sit even higher.

Last week, the Sooners managed to pull out a 34-19 victory at 2-4 Kansas Jayhawks, while Tech destroyed the Jayhawks 56-14 two weeks prior. Even more concerning, Texas Tech’s freshman phenom quarterback Davis Webb made Red Raider history as he tallied 462 yards through the air, leading Tech to 21 straight points and a victory over the West Virginia Mountaineers in Morgantown, W. Va., last week.

However, Oklahoma will present Tech with one of the most stout passing defenses they will see all season. The Sooners lead the nation, allowing just under 150 yards through the air and roughly 5.27 yards per pass attempt in their first seven games.

If the Sooners want to bring the Raiders’ march to the top of the Big 12 to a screeching halt, they need to contain Webb and maintain the defensive dominance that they have displayed thus far this season.

No. 2 Oregon Ducks vs No. 12 UCLA Bruins

6:00 p.m. CDT, ESPN

A deflated UCLA Bruins team will be heading to Eugene, Ore. to take on the No. 2 Ducks who have the national title in their sights. The Bruins suffered a tough loss to No. 8 Stanford last week, losing both their first game of the season and a slew of players to injury. Linebacker Eric Kendricks left the game after taking a hard hit in the first half, tackle Simon Goines left with a knee injury and his replacement, Conor McDermott, left with a shoulder injury.

Oregon, on the other hand, is continuing their title-caliber play. They have outscored most opponents by a margin of three to one and average 643.1 yards per game. Defensively, UCLA is 32nd in the country in yards allowed, giving up 359.7 yards on average.

Despite UCLA’s relatively high ranking, this game may not be for the faint of heart, as Ducks may fly past the Bruins for a blowout win.

No. 5 Missouri Tigers vs No. 20 South Carolina Gamecocks

6:00 p.m. CDT, ESPN2

Coming off of a loss to Tennessee, the No. 20 South Carolina Gamecocks will be looking for redemption. Although I don’t believe they will find it in Columbia, Mo., when they take the field against Missouri on Saturday night.

The No. 5 Tigers are rocking and rolling in their second year adjusting to a new conference. After a dismal 5-7 showing last year, the Tigers have made all the right moves and are only the second team in all of Division I college football to be outscoring each of their opponents by at least 15 points — Oregon being the only other team doing so.

With two wins against perennial SEC powers Florida and Georgia, Missouri is making a case for itself without the help of anyone else. The Gamecocks, however, aren’t a program to sleep on. Mike Davis is a solid running back and defensive end Jadeveon Clowney is still labeled as a top draft prospect for 2014. His stick on Vincent Smith in last year’s Outback Bowl has a half-million views on YouTube and pulled in Sportcenter’s Top Play for the bowl season.

Expect the Tigers to continue their journey to the SEC Championship game.

Oregon State Beavers vs No. 8 Stanford Cardinal

9:30 p.m. CDT, ESPN

Coming off of a tough loss to Utah two weeks ago, their first of the season, Stanford rebounded with a rugged win over UCLA and will look to deliver the same type of physicality against Oregon State this Saturday. On the flip side, Oregon State will be looking to continue their winning ways as well.

After losing a heartbreaker in their season opener 46-49 to FCS foe Eastern Washington, the Beavers have been on a rampage, winning their next three games against Hawaii, Utah and San Diego State. They’ve turned it up a notch even more lately, doubling-up on Colorado, Washington State and Cal.

Late in the fourth quarter last week, Cal defensive end Todd Barr pushed through the Oregon State O-line and delivered a scary blow to quarterback, and Heisman candidate, Sean Mannion. Mannion regained his composure and carried on to finish out the Beavers’ 49-17 victory but Oregon State needs to be ready to stop Stanford’s experienced front seven.

No. 14 Texas A&M; Aggies vs Vanderbilt Commodores

11:21 a.m. CDT, ESPN3,

With Texas A&M; being handed their second loss of the season last week, you can fully expect Johnny “Football” Manziel to come out with his rage face on against Vanderbilt in College Station, Tex., on Saturday morning.

Vanderbilt orchestrated a beautiful comeback against Georgia last week in the fourth quarter. Down 14-27, the Commodores scored 17-straight to win 31-27, clinching their first win against a Top-25 opponent since they beat Auburn back on Oct. 4, 2008. Vanderbilt’s impressive defensive showing, aided by several injuries to Bulldog offensive starters, held Georgia quarterback Aaron Murray to just 114 yards through the air.

Don’t expect as much of a defensive hold on Texas A&M.; The Aggies, led by the infamous and incredibly athletically gifted Manziel, will be out for blood. Despite two losses, the Aggies stayed within the Top-15. Anticipate a show from the A&M; offense, as for most of the season the Aggies have averaged 588.7 yards per game and trail only Oregon and Baylor in total offense for the year.

Anticipate a lot of trash talking as Manziel and crew topple over the Commodores at home.