Big 12 Week 3 Preview
By Vaughan Sheffey
With another glorious September Saturday comes another slate of Big 12 games. Let’s highlight a few of the key matchups of Week 3.
#4 Ohio State vs. #15 TCU – 8:00 pm EST
The TCU defense and star DE Ben Banogu have been as advertised this season as they’ve easily handled Southern and SMU the first couple weeks. Their play got a little sloppy against SMU at points and it was immediately called out by Head Coach Gary Patterson as something the staff would hammer relentlessly in preparing the Horned Frogs for Ohio State this week. The TCU defensive unit will be tested early and often by Ohio State QB Dwayne Haskins who has been fantastic in the first 2 games tallying 546 yards, 9 touchdowns, and 1 interception with a stellar 79% completion percentage. Suffice it to say, the Buckeye offense is still a total wrecking machine despite the turmoil swirling around the program and Urban Meyer’s suspension. On the offensive side, TCU has been almost completely reliant on QB Shawn Robinson who on top of his passing leads the team in rushing yards and has the team’s only rushing TDs (3). WR KaVontae Turpin is the leading receiver and has also been electric on special teams. The Horned Frogs have the defensive chops to potentially contain Ohio State for a time but quite frankly Robinson and the supporting cast need to keep up on the scoreboard which could prove tough to sustain for a full game.
The Pick: Ohio St. 31 – TCU 20
They will put up a fight and Gary Patterson will have the team as ready as he can make them, but Ohio State is too deep and too explosive in this one.
#22 USC at Texas – 8:00 pm EST
The Longhorns had to fight a tougher than expected battle against Tulsa last weekend but pulled out the 28-21 win. Sophomore QB Sam Ehlinger had an efficient day going 21-27 for 237 yards with 2 TD passes. He also added 51 of his own rushing yards and a rushing TD as well. The Texas defense had a great first half but came a little unraveled in the second, allowing all 3 Tulsa touchdowns and a couple big plays. The young secondary came up big with 2 interceptions of Tulsa QB Luke Skipper which is promising for the continued growth of what should still be a solid Longhorns defense moving forward. For their part, the USC Trojans will come into this game against Texas hungry after being held to only 3 points last weekend against Pac-12 rival Stanford. Their offense has been middling thus far and Stanford got plenty of pressure on freshman QB J.T. Daniels, forcing 2 picks in the game and stifling any offensive momentum the Trojans tried to build. The overall athleticism of USC can never be overlooked however and they can produce playmakers seemingly out of nowhere at times. This should be a close contest resembling last year’s game in which USC won in overtime, 27-24.
The Pick: Texas 31 – USC 27
This one is really tough to pick as both teams have been so up and down in the early games. Could go either way but giving it to the home squad and coach Tom Herman.
Cover Photo Credit: Kelsie LeRose, BGS