What to watch: Week 12

Baylor running back Shock Linwood stiff-arms junior defensive back Donnie Starks as he rushes in the fourth quarter of the Wildcats' 24-31 loss to the Bears Nov. 5, 2015, in Bill Snyder Family Stadium. (File Photo by Parker Robb | The Collegian)

Kansas State vs. Baylor

Even though this game features two unranked teams, the implications for bowl games for these two teams are high.

Kansas State currently sits at 5-4 on the year, but could easily be 7-2, letting wins slip away against West Virginia and then No. 18 Oklahoma State. K-State lost both by a combined seven points.

Look for junior quarterback Jesse Ertz to be the focal point of the Wildcats’ offense. He has thrown for 1,165 yards and seven touchdowns this year, but Ertz has proven his worth on the ground, rushing for a team-leading 630 yards and nine touchdowns.

Baylor started red hot this year, winning its first six games. Since then, the Bears have struggled, dropping their last three, including a 40-point loss at home.

A key player to watch in this game will be freshman quarterback Zach Smith. Smith will take over for senior Seth Russell. Russell provided 28 touchdowns for Baylor’s offense, so it will be interesting to see how well Smith can run the Bear’s offense.

The game will kick off at 11 a.m. Saturday.

No. 22 Washington State vs. No. 10 Colorado

This is a big-time matchup, as this game features the two teams atop the North and South divisions in the Pac-12.

Washington State started the season 0-2, losing to Eastern Washington and Boise State by three points each. Since then, it’s been eight straight wins for the Cougars, who currently sit in first place in the Pac-12 North.

Junior quarterback Luke Falk has been a machine for Washington State this year. He’s thrown for 3,610 yards this season and has found the end zone 33 times through the air. If Washington State knocks off Colorado, Falk will play a major role in it.

Colorado’s only two losses this year have come to the hands of No. 4 Michigan and USC, both on the road. The Buffaloes will need to finish strong, as after this game they finish the regular season at home against No. 12 Utah.

Junior running back Phillip Lindsay has been the star for Colorado this year. He’s run for 937 yards this year, averaging 5.6 yards per carry. Lindsay has also ran for 13 touchdowns this year and has caught 37 passes, which ranks fourth on the team.

This Pac-12 showdown will kick off at 2:30 p.m. Saturday.

No. 9 Oklahoma vs. No. 14 West Virginia

To say this is a big game would be a major understatement. The winner of this game will put itself in prime position to capture a Big 12 Title.

Since Big 12 play has started, Oklahoma has looked nearly unbeatable. Week in and week out, the Sooners have put on a show in a quest to try and sneak into the College Football Playoff.

OU’s success starts with junior quarterback Baker Mayfield. The Heisman-hopeful has been outstanding this year, throwing for 3,212 and 33 touchdowns. Mayfield has also rushed for four touchdowns. He won’t take all the credit, though, as Mayfield has a strong running game and star wide receiver helping him out.

West Virginia’s only loss this year came to Oklahoma State, which if the Mountaineers win out, would be the only team that could deny them the Big 12 Championship as the Cowboys own the head-to-head tiebreaker.

If you look up the definition of ‘game manager’ in the dictionary, you’ll probably find a picture of senior quarterback Skyler Howard. Howard’s numbers aren’t eye-popping, throwing for 2,562 and 23 total touchdowns, but Howard knows his limitations and how to use his teammates effectively. West Virginia has a very balanced offense, throwing for more than 2,500 yards and rushing for just shy of 2,000 yards on the season.

The Sooners and Mountaineers will kick off at 7 p.m. Saturday.