Some things to watch during Week 9 of the Big 12 Conference, when two of the league’s five games Saturday are matchups of Top 25 teams:
GAME OF THE WEEK
No. 4 TCU (7-0, 4-0 Big 12) at No. 25 Iowa State (5-2, 3-1). The Big 12’s only undefeated team is the first opponent Iowa State will face after getting ranked for the first time since 2005 . Jack Trice Stadium in Ames will be rocking for the first matchup of Top 25 teams there since 2002. The Cyclones have won three straight Big 12 games since Kyle Kempt took over as the starting quarterback. This is the first time since 2012 they have won three league games in the same season. TCU is coming off a 43-0 win at home last weekend over Kansas, with the Horned Frogs setting a Big 12 record by allowing only 21 total yards a week after Iowa State beat the Jayhawks 45-0.
West Virginia quarterback Will Grier , the national leader with 26 touchdown passes, against the Oklahoma State defense. The 11th-ranked Cowboys have allowed a Big 12-low four TD passes, which is tied for third nationally. Grier, in his first season starting for the 22nd-ranked Mountaineers, has thrown for 352 yards per game with only five interceptions. The only Big 12 quarterback with more yards per game is Oklahoma State’s Mason Rudolph at 379 yards per game. He has 19 TDs with four picks.
INSIDE THE NUMBERS
Kansas State’s Bill Snyder has a 22-4 record against Kansas, the most wins by a current head coach over any opponent. … Baylor has had a chance to tie the game or go ahead in the fourth quarter in six of its seven losses. … When No. 10 Oklahoma played at Texas Tech last year, both teams had 854 total yards, and combined for an FBS record 1,279 yards passing. The Sooners won 66-59. … West Virginia WR Gary Jennings Jr. leads the Big 12 and is fourth nationally with 8.0 catches per game. Teammate David Sills V has a national-leading 15 TD catches.
Kansas again, after lopsided shutout losses in consecutive Big 12 road games (45-0 at Iowa State and 43-0 at TCU). They are home for the Sunflower State rivalry against Kansas State. The Wildcats have won eight straight in the series, the last seven by an average margin of 34 points.
PLAYER TO WATCH
Oklahoma LB Ogbonnia Okoronkwo has a Big 12-leading six sacks and 12 tackles for loss, which ranks second in the league. The 10th-ranked Sooners host Texas Tech this week. The Red Raiders have allowed 15 sacks this season – only Texas and Baylor have given up more in the Big 12.
Compiled by AP Sports Writer Stephen Hawkins in Fort Worth, Texas.
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