Kliff Kingsbury played in 41 games for Texas Tech and started 36, and he knows which one was his favorite.
By BLAIR KERKHOFF
The Kansas City Star
His first career start, against Oklahoma as a freshman in 1999. Saturday, he takes on the Sooners as Tech’s head coach for the first time and looks for a similar result.
Kingsbury guided the Red Raiders to a 38-28 victory that day in Lubbock, throwing for 259 yards and three touchdowns.
The game was especially memorable to Kingsbury because it was the final game for head coach Spike Dykes. Tech entered the game with a 5-5 record and a victory mean they would be bowl eligible for the seventh straight year.
“That team rallied around me and around him,” Kingsbury said. “And we found a way to get a win against a very good OU team.”
As big as that game was, this one is bigger. The Red Raiders, 7-0, and ranked 10th. Oklahoma is 15th.
Saturday’s Big 12 games
• Oklahoma State at Iowa State, 11 a.m. on Fox Sports KC: The Cowboys lost their national championship bid at Jack Trice Stadium two years ago, and neither team appears to be as good now as then. Both teams shuffled quarterbacks last week. The Cyclones will go with regular starter Sam Richardson, but the Pokes haven’t made a public call between Clint Chelf and J.W. Walsh.
• Texas Tech at Oklahoma, 2:30 p.m. on Fox (Ch. 4): The No. 17 Sooners are a touchdown favorite over the 10th-ranked Red Raiders, who won in Norman in 2011. This is about Tech’s passing attack, which averages 416 yards per game, against Oklahoma’s pass defense, which leads the nation in fewest passing yards allowed (149.7).
• West Virginia at Kansas State, 2:45 p.m. on Fox Sports 1: The schedule break came at a good for the Wildcats, who seem poised to turn around the season. Mountaineers coach Dana Holgorsen got the identity of his quarterback out of the way early this week, choosing Clint Trickett as the starter. He passed for 254 yards in a home loss to Texas Tech last week. K-State wide receivers Tyler Lockett and Tramaine Thompson, who missed the Baylor game, are expected to return.
• Baylor at Kansas, 6 p.m. on ESPNU: The Bears put up obscene offensive numbers (64.7 points per game), and the Jayhawks have been punchless (18.3). But the only way Kansas can stay in the game is to maintain possession and cash in with touchdowns. Easier said than done against an underrated Bears defense that has surrendered the fewest points in the Big 12.
• Texas at TCU, 6:30 p.m. on Fox Sports 1: The Horned Frogs look to break one trend and maintain another. TCU has picked off 34 passes since the beginning of last season, the second most in FBS. But Texas quarterback Case McCoy has thrown only one interception in 123 attempts. Texas likely will be in more throwing situations than usual because the Frogs are excellent against the run (115.3 yards allowed per game). Working against TCU is scoring. The Frogs get off to slow starts, averaging less than a touchdown in the first half.
Saturday’s SEC games
• Vanderbilt at Texas A&M, 11:21 a.m. on KSMO (Ch. 62): Johnny Manziel, who was in a sling earlier this week for a shoulder injury suffered the Auburn loss, will start for the Aggies. Vandy, coming off a victory over Georgia, is having a terrific season on offense, averaging 33.3 points. But quarterback Austyn Carta-Samuels hurt his leg against the Bulldogs and it appears Patton Robinette, a redshirt freshman who played well down the stretch, will get the call.
• Tennessee at Alabama, 2:30 p.m. on CBS (Ch. 5): Butch Jones’ first SEC victory was a big one, over South Carolina on a last-second field goal. Marquez North made a huge catch to keep the game-winning drive alive on his way to the first 100-yard game of his career. The Crimson Tide is coming off its second shutout of the year and 12th under coach Nick Saban.
• South Carolina at Missouri, 6 p.m., on ESPN2: Dylan Thompson gets the start at quarterback for the Gamcocks, although Connor Shaw’s prognosis improved this week and could see action. “I just sort of feel, ‘Let’s give Dylan a shot,’” coach Steve Spurrier said. Missouri made some special-teams errors against Florida, a fumble on a punt and a Gators kickoff return for a touchdown, and the Tigers still dominated the game.
• Furman at LSU, 6 p.m.: A layup for the Tigers, coming off their loss at Mississippi. Furman, in the FCS Southern Conference, is 3-4. LSU has Alabama and LSU after this week, but even overlooking the Paladins shouldn’t be costly.
• Florida Atlantic at Auburn, 6:30 p.m., on Fox Sports KC Plus: The Tigers got two touchdowns rushing and two passing from quarterback Nick Marshall in last week’s victory at Texas A&M. The only other Auburn quarterback to do that was Cam Newton. Florida Atlantic is struggling in its first year in Conference USA. The Owls blew a nine-point fourth-quarter lead in a loss at Marshall last week.
• Idaho at Mississippi, 6:30 p.m.: The Vandals are 1-6 and not doing much of anything well this season. Mississippi broke a three-game losing streak by upsetting LSU last week and quarterback Bo Wallace may have played his best game with 349 passing yards and no interceptions.