Some things to watch in Week 7 of the Big 12 Conference:
GAME OF THE WEEK
No. 12 Oklahoma State at No. 25 Texas. The Cowboys are 5-0 for the first time since 2015, and have a chance to win three consecutive games over Top 25 teams for the first time in program history. Oklahoma State had double-digit wins over ranked teams in their first two Big 12 games before last week’s open date. Texas (4-2, 2-1 Big 12) is coming off a 55-48 loss to fourth-ranked Oklahoma, which overcame a 28-7 deficit after the first quarter to stay undefeated. The Cowboys and Longhorns have running backs averaging more than 100 yards a game. Texas sophomore Bijan Robinson leads the league at 132.3 yards per game and eight rushing TDs. Oklahoma State senior Jaylen Warren averages 102.4 yards per game.
Baylor and former BYU offensive coordinator Jeff Grimes against the No. 19 Cougars. This preview of a future Big 12 matchup also includes several reunions. Grimes and offensive line coach Eric Mateos are in their first season at Baylor after coming from BYU. Second-year Bears head coach Dave Aranda was defensive coordinator at Southern Utah in 2008, when BYU assistant head coach Ed Lamb was head coach of the Thunderbirds. Aranda was on the same Utah State staff in 2012 with current BYU defensive coordinator Ilaisa Tuiaki. BYU accepted an invitation last month to join the Big 12, and is expected to begin conference play in 2023.
INSIDE THE NUMBERS
Fourth-ranked Oklahoma has the nation’s longest active winning streak at 14 games. But the Sooners’ last four games, and five of six this season, have been decided by a touchdown or less. ... TCU, which plays at Oklahoma, has won five of its last 11 games played against teams ranked in the top five. ... Before Iowa State’s bye week, Brock Purdy became the first player in school history, and sixth in Big 12 history, to go over 10,000 yards passing in his career. ... Cyclones RB Breece Hall has a rushing TD in a Big 12-record 17 consecutive games. ... The Big 12 is 23-6 (.793 winning percentage) in non-conference games this season. ... Texas Tech (4-2) is playing its seventh consecutive unranked opponent, its longest such season-opening streak since 2008.
It seems very unlikely that Texas Tech will become the first team since 2008 to lose in consecutive trips to Kansas. The Red Raiders lost two years ago as the homecoming opponent in Lawrence, like they are again Saturday. But the Jayhawks (1-4, 0-2) have been outscored 104-14 in their two Big 12 games this season. Texas Tech (4-2, 1-2) has averaged 33 points in its two league losses. The Jayhawks are a 16 1/2-point underdog, according to FanDuel Sportsbook.
Kansas State junior Malik Knowles has returned kickoffs for touchdowns in each of the past two games, and is the nation’s leading returner at 39.3 yards per return. The Wildcats’ 57 punts or kickoffs returned for TDs since 2005 are 20 more than any other FBS team.