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2021 Season

Previewing The Big 12’s Marquee Matchups In Week 2

What are the big non-conference contests this week?



Getty Images - Christian Peterson

The second week of CFB action is here, and plenty of Big 12 teams have matchups with respectable opponents. Below we preview a few of this week’s contests.

Kansas (1-0) vs. No. 17 Coastal Carolina (1-0)

  • Location: Brooks Stadium, Conway, SC
  • Date & Time: Friday, September 10th at 6:30 PM CST
  • TV, Betting Line: ESPN2, CCU -26.5 (O/U 58.5)

Coastal Carolina had a fairly strong start to their season last week, defeating The Citadel 52-14 in their home opener. The powerful Coastal offense racked up 610 yards total on the day, with quarterback Grayson McCall averaging 13.8 yards per passing attempt. The Chanticleers come into this matchup with plenty of hype, and are hoping to continue the momentum from last year’s 11-1 Cinderella season.

Kansas started off the Leipold Era off right with their comeback win over South Dakota, but the slate gets a lot tougher from here on out. The Jayhawks are definitely establishing the fundamentals of a strong culture, but this is a long term rebuild for the new staff. Kansas is likely to have a fine showing defensively, but they might struggle to be competitive in this game.

Prediction: Coastal covers.

Oklahoma State (1-0) vs. Tulsa (0-1)

  • Location: Boone Pickens Stadium, Stillwater, OK
  • Date & Time: Saturday, September 11th at 11:00 AM CST
  • TV, Betting Line: FS1, OSU -12.5 (O/U 51)

Tulsa quarterback Davis Brin made his starting debut with 2 interceptions and a 53.6 completion percentage, and the Golden Hurricane were shutout in the second half despite rushing for 247 yards on the day. UC Davis needed kicker Isaiah Gomez to make all four of his field goals to get this upset, which puts Tulsa ambitions for conference play in doubt.

Oklahoma State didn’t exactly shine on offense last week, either, and a big home win here would show that they’re back on track. Quarterback Spencer Sanders is reportedly out of COVID protocols, and should be available for this game. An offensive explosion is likely what the Pokes want here, but Tulsa looks like they have a fairly solid defense.

Still, if Oklahoma State can take care of the ball and play sound from the start, things should start to open up for this offense late in the contest.

Prediction: Pokes by a couple of scores.

No. 9 Iowa State (1-0) vs. No.10 Iowa (1-0)

  • Location: Jack Trice Stadium, Ames, IA
  • Date & Time: Saturday, September 11th at 3:30 PM CST
  • TV, Betting Line: ABC, ISU -4.5 (O/U 46.5)

The Cy-Hawk rivalry returns after a year’s hiatus, and the stakes have probably never been higher. Iowa this year seems like a really good version of most Hawkeyes teams – a stifling defense combined with a steady quarterback and power running game. Junior quarterback Spencer Petras will go head to go with Brock Purdy in a game that will be feature on ESPN’s College Gameday this week.

After a scare against Northern Iowa, the Cyclones are definitely hoping to play better against the No. 10 Hawkeyes. Iowa State almost always gets off to slow starts in their schedule, but beating Iowa at home would legitimize the Cyclones as a Top 10 football team. In his time in Ames, Matt Campbell’s never beaten Iowa, and this is a Hawkeyes team that looked dominant in last week’s 34-6 win over then-No. 17 Indiana.

This should be a close game with two teams that have similar philosophies. Don’t anticipate many points, but do expect to see more tight end receptions than you have in a while.

Prediction: I’ll take the Cyclones to win, but Iowa to cover. Iowa State by a field goal.

TCU (1-0) vs. California (0-1)

  • Location: Amon G. Carter Stadium, Fort Worth, TX
  • Date & Time: Saturday, September 11th at 2:30 PM CST
  • TV, Betting Line: ESPNU, TCU -11.5 (O/U 47)

If there were any points scored the last time these two teams played, it’s almost difficult to remember. TCU and Cal are very similar in their overall profile and the way their respective staffs have tried to build each squad. Like Gary Patterson, Justin Wilcox is defensive-minded head coach, and his team once again will be lead by its defense.

Cal lost to Nevada 22-17 last week in a game where the Golden Bears were held to 177 yards passing on 38 attempts from quarterback Chase Garbers. That is really the polar opposite of the performance by the Horned Frogs passing attack last week, which pushed the ball downfield against Duquesne with relative ease.

Prediction: TCU by ten.

No. 15 Texas (0-0) at Arkansas (0-0)

  • Location: Razorback Stadium, Fayetteville, AR
  • Date & Time: Saturday, September 11th at 6:00 PM CST
  • TV, Betting Line: ESPN, UT -7.0 (O/U 56.5)

Texas probably had the best win of any Big 12 team last week with their three possession win over then-No. 23 Louisiana. Redshirt freshman quarterback Hudson Card was solid in his college debut, and ballyhooed running back Bijan Robinson had a 100-yard game on the ground. New head coach Steve Sarkisian now faces his first road test as the Longhorns travel to a hostile environment of an old rival in Arkansas.

The Razorbacks struggled a bit early with Rice last week before pulling away to get the 38-21 win. KJ Jefferson is the name to know at quarterback here. The sophomore is the most athletically gifted QB that the Longhorns will see all season. The coaching combination of offensive coordinator Kendall Briles and defensive coordinator Barry Odom is top notch, and they are thought to have Arkansas on the upswing after the program went 4-20 under the previous staff.

There’s definitely momentum building in Fayetteville under head coach Sam Pittman, and this is likely to be a close game. Sark can get his second win in a row if the Longhorns avoid turnovers and keep from putting the game solely on Card’s shoulders.

Prediction: Longhorns by a touchdown.