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K-State Wildcats

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Posted on Sat, Oct. 23, 2004


Big 12 North up for grabs

Missouri, Nebraska lead division but face tests today

The Kansas City Star

The driver's seat in the Big 12 North is unoccupied. Somebody can take it today.

Missouri and Nebraska are tied for first with 2-1 league records. The Tigers play host to Oklahoma State while the Cornhuskers visit Kansas State.

Missouri, coming off a 28-20 loss at Texas, will face a strong rushing game for the second straight weekend.

Cedric Benson last week, Vernand Morency today. Morency ranks only behind Benson among national rushing leaders at 163 yards per game. He's surpassed 100 yards in every game and leads the nation's fourth-leading rushing attack.

“They run the ball as well as anybody in the country,” Missouri coach Gary Pinkel said.

The Cowboys are coming off a stinging 36-20 home loss to Texas A&M that was their first of the season.

Kansas State is 0-3 in the Big 12 for the first time since 2001, when the Wildcats finished with a 3-5 league mark. But playing in a weakened division, K-State could become a contender by stringing together a few victories.

“Every team in the conference still has a chance, and that doesn't preclude Kansas State,” coach Bill Snyder said. “But it's also an uphill battle.”

No word on the health of quarterback Dylan Meier, who couldn't finish last weekend's 31-21 loss to Oklahoma and didn't start the previous weekend against Kansas.

Nebraska recovered from a 60-point loss at Texas Tech two weeks ago with a 59-27 defeat of Baylor in which quarterback Joe Dailey threw for school-record yards (342) and touchdowns (five).

K-State walloped Nebraska 38-9 in Lincoln last season, an outcome that may have sealed the dismissal of Huskers coach Frank Solich.

“We need to rectify some of the some of the road errors we had a couple of weeks ago,” Nebraska coach Bill Callahan said.

Missouri visits Nebraska next week.

Elsewhere in the Big 12, Kansas visits Oklahoma and will be the latest to try to slow down Sooners running back Adrian Peterson. The freshman sensation rushed for 130 yards last weekend and 225 against Texas on the previous weekend.

Texas Tech plays host to Texas in a game that could tip the balance of power in the Big 12 South if the Red Raiders pull out a victory. The game matches the Longhorns' passing defense, ranked second in the Big 12, with Tech's passing offense, which leads the nation.

“People talk about (coach) Mike Leach being a genius in the passing game and he probably is, but no matter who's throwing it or who's catching it, they keep scoring,” Texas coach Mack Brown said.

Brown said Vince Young, who has struggled throwing the ball, will be his starting quarterback.

Texas A&M, which hasn't lost since the opener at Utah, tries to stay hot against visiting Colorado.

Iowa State goes to Baylor, and one streak will come to a close. The Cyclones have lost 13 straight Big 12 games, the Bears 10.

Around the nation, Purdue tries to keep its Big Ten title hopes alive as Michigan visits. North Carolina State plays host to Miami in an important ACC game, and Alabama takes on Tennessee in a Southeastern Conference showdown.

One of the biggest games in the country doesn't involve a team from a BCS conference. Boise State tries to keep its record perfect against visiting Fresno State. It loomed larger three weeks ago, after the Bulldogs had defeated Kansas State. But Fresno's losses to Louisiana Tech and Texas-El Paso have taken some of the luster off this one.


No. 1 Southern Cal vs. Washington, 5:30 p.m.No. 14 Virginia at Duke, noon
No. 2 Oklahoma vs. Kansas, noonNo. 15t West Virginia 27, Syracuse 6 (Thurs.)
No. 3 Auburn vs. Kentucky, 1:30 p.m.No. 15t Louisville 41, S. Florida 9 (Friday)
No. 4 Miami at North Carolina State, 6:45 p.m.No. 17 Texas A&M vs. Colorado, 12:30 p.m.
No. 5 Florida State at Wake Forest, 2:30 p.m.No. 18 LSU vs. Troy, 7 p.m.
No. 6 Wisconsin vs. Northwestern, 11 a.m.No. 19 Boise State vs. Fresno State, 9:15 p.m.
No. 7 California at Arizona, 6 p.m.No. 20 Florida at Mississippi State, 11:30 a.m.
No. 8 Texas at Texas Tech, 6 p.m.No. 21 Arizona State vs. UCLA, 2:30 p.m.
No. 9 Utah vs. UNLV, 6 p.m.No. 22 Oklahoma State at Missouri, 2:30 p.m.
No. 10 Georgia at Arkansas, 6 p.m.No. 24 Notre Dame vs. Boston Col., 1:30 p.m.
No. 11 Tennessee vs. Alabama, 2:30 p.m.No. 25 Iowa at Penn State, 11 a.m.
No. 12 Purdue vs. No 13 Michigan, 2:30 p.m.All games today unless noted

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