Predicting the 2016 Season: Week 1
Preseason camp has not begun, so making predictions may seem like folly. In the past, some of our annual Big 12 season predictions have been on the money while others have been way off base. But why should that stop us?
Over the next couple of weeks we will be making predictions for every Big 12 game this season. We kick off our predictions with Week 1:
Baylor 56, Northwestern State 13: The Bears try to put an offseason of uncertainty behind them with an easy win. Quarterbacks Seth Russell andJarrett Stidham each throw a pair of touchdowns as Baylor cruises.
Stanford 34, Kansas State 17: Christian McCaffrey is simply too much for the Wildcats defense. The Heisman candidate finishes with over 200 yards and three touchdowns as the Cardinal cruise. Receiver Byron Pringle is the lone bright spot for the Wildcats with 121 yards and one touchdown in his K-State debut.
West Virginia 34, Missouri 31: Milan Puskar Stadium plays a major role as the Mountaineers get their season started with a quality win over the Tigers. Mountaineers running back Rushel Shell is the star of the show with 125 rushing yards and a pair of touchdowns.
Oklahoma 45, Houston 42: The Sooners barely survive against a Cougars squad that brings its “A” game in the season opener. A late Baker Mayfield touchdown scramble is followed by a interception by cornerback Jordan Thomas on Houston’s final possession to cement Oklahoma’s season-opening triumph. Mayfield’s play is the highlight for the Sooners, accounting for five touchdowns in the win.
Oklahoma State 63, Southeastern Louisiana 10: The Cowboys roll as quarterback Mason Rudolph and receiver James Washington connect for three touchdowns and running back Barry J. Sanders has a stunning debut with 130 rushing yards including a 75-yard gallop for a score.
Kansas 31, Rhode Island 21: The Jayhawks earn the first win of the David Beaty era after a pair of touchdowns from Texas A&M transfer LaQuvionte Gonzalez. Quarterback Ryan Willis has a solid start to his sophomore season with 343 passing yards, a pair of touchdown passes and no interceptions.
TCU 58, South Dakota State 7: The Horned Frogs defense is dominant, only allowing South Dakota State inside its 40-yard line after halftime. Three TCU takeaways in the first half help Gary Patterson’s team to a 30-point halftime advantage along with a pair of touchdown runs from running back Kyle Hicks.
Texas Tech 49, Stephen F. Austin 17: The Red Raiders offense struggles initially, going scoreless in the first quarter before a four-touchdown explosion in the second quarter. Junior quarterback Patrick Mahomes is terrific with three touchdown passes and a touchdown run to lead the way.
Iowa State 27, Northern Iowa 17: Early season matchups with FCS teams haven’t been the Cyclones’ forte in recent seasons, but new coach Matt Campbell — with the help of running back Mike Warren and receiver Allen Lazard — puts a stop to that trend. Warren and Lazard score the first two touchdowns of the contest as the Cyclones control the game throughout in a relatively easy win.
Notre Dame 30, Texas 21: The Irish leave Austin, Texas with a win but there are moments of hope for Longhorns fans. Quarterback Shane Buechele, who comes in off the bench, looks good but inexperienced with a long touchdown throw to fellow true freshman Collin Johnson to go along with a pair of interceptions, and the defense has a solid game, but four Longhorn turnovers are ultimately the deciding factor in Texas’ second-straight season-opening loss to Notre Dame.
Week 1 standings
1. Baylor — 1-0
2. Iowa State — 1-0
3. Kansas — 1-0
4. Oklahoma — 1-0
5. Oklahoma State 1-0
6. TCU — 1-0
7. Texas Tech — 1-0
8. West Virginia — 1-0
9. Kansas State — 0-1
10. Texas — 0-1