Following Iowa State’s 38-21 defeat of Tulsa on Thursday, the Big 12 features just three games on its Week 5 Saturday, the last before conference play gets underway in earnest.
There promises to be some quality action on the field throughout the three-game, including; the Iron Skillet, Oklahoma looking for revenge in South Bend, and preseason favorite Oklahoma State kicking off Big 12 play.
No. 14 Oklahoma vs. No. 22 Notre Dame (2:30 p.m. CT NBC)
Notre Dame Stadium, South Bend, Ind.
In 2012, Notre Dame put a stamp on its intentions to be in the national spotlight with a 30-13 dismantling of the Sooners in Norman.
This time around, Oklahoma is trying to make the same claims in South Bend when it travels to face the Irish. The Big 12 is still searching for a Top 25 victory this season and this will be its last opportunity to pick one up before teams head into conference play across the board.
Blake Bell shined against Tulsa, throwing four touchdown passes (including the first of his career) and 451 yards overall in his first-career start for the Sooners offense. For Oklahoma to have a chance to win this one, he is going to have to do it again.
The Irish have had just one loss on their card this season, a 41-30 defeat to No. 17 Michigan and are battle proven against tough opponents. Michigan attacked Notre Dame’s defense with a consistent passing attack from Devin Gardner, a scheme Bell must follow.
This is Oklahoma’s first opponent of quality this year (not counting a struggling WVU) and the first time for Bell to be in a challenging environment like he will see Saturday in South Bend.
The Rest of the Field:
SMU vs. TCU (11 a.m. FS1)
Amon G. Carter Stadium, Fort Worth, Texas
The Battle for the Iron Skillet has proved that despite a team’s record, either team has a chance. This is one of the nation’s longest going rivalries (especially with conference realignment wrecking some) and these two schools continue to strongly dislike each other.
The meeting is the first for SMU as a member of the American Athletic Conference. For an indication into the caliber of game ahead, look at prior meetings.
TCU survived — to put it best — in 2012 in Dallas. SMU upset the Frogs in 2011, and the Mustangs handed one of TCU’s worst losses in 2005, after the Frogs had defeated Oklahoma and had eyes on the BCS.
TCU’s defense is going to keep SMU from putting much up on the board, but will the offense step up to the table?
TCU coach Gary Patterson said after a 20-10 defeat to Texas Tech that there will be some changes on offense, specifically the play calling. If TCU’s offense does show up, the Frogs should win by double digits, however, if they do not, it may be a close contest.
Oklahoma State vs. West Virginia (11 a.m. ESPN)
Milan Puskar Stadium, Morgantown, W.V.
Oklahoma State hung 55 points on West Virginia in 2012, expect much of the same this time around as they meet in Morgantown. The West Virginia defense has been suspect at best, allowing 37 points last week in a shutout to Maryland is proof of that. On the other side of the ball, the Mountaineers rank 110th overall in scoring offense in scoring 18 points a game.
The Cowboys have put up 45.3 points per game this season — 56 or more in the last two — and could reach that feat for a third game in a row. J.W. Walsh has accounted for five touchdowns through the air and is throwing for a 70.2 completion percentage, those numbers should rise on Saturday.