What to watch: Week 8

TCU head coach Gary Patterson looks towards the field during the football game between Kansas State and TCU on Oct. 10, 2015, in Bill Snyder Family Stadium. (File Photo by Parker Robb | The Collegian)

TCU vs. No. 12 West Virginia

This Big 12 matchup features a surprise undefeated team and a team that could easily be undefeated.

We’ll start with the latter. TCU has two losses on the season, one to Arkansas and one to Oklahoma, but lost both games by a combined nine points. A play or two in each game and the Horned Frogs may be sitting at 6-0 instead of 4-2.

Junior quarterback Kenny Hill has been the playmaker for the TCU offense, throwing for 2,142 yards and 12 touchdowns halfway through the regular season. Hill has also added seven scores on the ground, tied for the team lead with junior running back Kyle Hicks. Hill has taken plenty of risks, though, throwing eight interceptions.

West Virginia currently sits at 5-0, recently escaping with a one-point win against Kansas State and shutting down Texas Tech’s explosive offense, holding them to just 17 points.

A star for West Virginia has been junior wide receiver Shelton Gibson. In a three-game stretch this year, Gibson caught 13 balls for 419 yards and two scores. He has been a reliable vertical threat for senior quarterback Skyler Howard. There is a little cause for concern, though, as in the other two games, Gibson only has 53 yards. If Gibson shows up to play, the Mountaineers could roll over the Horned Frogs.

This Big 12 battle will kick off at 2:30 p.m. Saturday.

Eastern Michigan vs. No. 20 Western Michigan

Didn’t expect to see this one on the list, did you? Yeah, me neither. But after taking a closer look, this game is more intriguing than one would think.

Eastern Michigan currently sits at 5-2, with its only losses coming at Missouri, a game in which the Eagles were just simply outmatched, and a 35-20 loss against Toledo.

Eastern Michigan’s X-factor lies in its wide receivers. So far, the Eagles have four receivers with three touchdown receptions in juniors Sergio Bailey II, Antoine Porter and John Niupalau and freshman tight end Nigel Kilby. Having that much talent all over the field makes any quarterback’s job just a little bit easier.

The other Michigan team, Western Michigan, has been unblemished this year, winning its first seven games to start the season. Granted, the Broncos haven’t really played anyone that good, but winning seven games in a row is impressive nonetheless.

The force behind the Broncos’ winning streak is due in large part to senior quarterback Zach Terrell. Terrell has thrown for 1,597 yards and 17 touchdowns. What’s more impressive is that he has yet to throw an interception this year. Terrell has also ran for five touchdowns, which is tied for second on the team.

This MAC showdown will kick off at 2:30 p.m. Saturday.

No. 6 Texas A&M vs. No. 1 Alabama

This game features two undefeated top-10 teams that are somewhat polar opposites. Texas A&M started the season unranked, but has worked all the way up to No. 6. On the other hand, Alabama started the season at No. 1 and hasn’t moved since.

Texas A&M has knocked off three top-20 teams this year in No. 16 UCLA in overtime, No. 17 Arkansas and most recently No. 9 Tennessee in double overtime.

Senior quarterback Trevor Knight has been nothing short of a stud for the Aggies. Knight has thrown for an even 1,500 yards this season, and has accounted for nine touchdowns through the air and nine more on the ground.

Alabama will look to pick up its fifth win over a top-20 team this year. In the previous two weeks, the Crimson Tide beat No. 16 Arkansas 49-30 and No. 9 Tennessee 49-10, both on the road.

Freshman quarterback Jalen Hurts is the catalyst for Alabama’s offense, throwing for 1,385 yards and nine touchdowns this year. He’s also been one of the most dynamic running quarterbacks this year, rushing for 428 yards, including eight touchdowns, which leads the team.

These two SEC West schools will kick off at 2:30 p.m. Saturday.