Some things to watch in the Big 12 Conference during Week 3 of the season:
GAME OF THE WEEK
No. 15 TCU (2-0) vs. No. 4 Ohio State (2-0), at Arlington, Texas. Ohio State got into the inaugural College Football Playoff four seasons ago ahead of Big 12 co-champions TCU and Baylor, and won the national title in the home stadium of the NFL’s Dallas Cowboys. The Buckeyes and Horned Frogs play there Saturday night, about 20 miles from the TCU campus where ESPN’s College GameDay will broadcast from that morning. The single game at AT&T Stadium replaced a scheduled home-and-home series. This is the seventh time the schools will play, but the first time since 1973 — and the first time ever outside of Columbus, Ohio. Oklahoma beat the Buckeyes last season.
No. 22 Southern California at Texas. The two teams that played for the national championship a dozen seasons ago are both trying to avoid a 1-2 start this year. The Trojans go to Austin for the first time since 1966. USC beat the Longhorns 27-24 in double overtime at home last year, their only meeting since Texas won the Rose Bowl on Jan. 4, 2006 — and the only time the Longhorns have beaten the Trojans. Texas has 899 wins in its history, and will try to get No. 900 a week after Ohio State became only the second team to reach that mark.
INSIDE THE NUMBERS
No. 24 Oklahoma State, which is home against No. 17 Boise State, is the FBS leader with 675 total yards per game on offense. The Cowboys are ninth in total defense, allowing only 237 yards per game. … Texas Tech has scored at least 50 points in 13 home games since 2015, after a 77-0 win over Lamar last week. No other team in the country has more than nine 50-point games at home in that span. … A week after Kansas won at Central Michigan to end a 46-game road losing streak that dated back to 2009, the Jayhawks play their first non-conference home game against a Power Five opponent since a win over Georgia Tech in 2010. They host Rutgers from the Big Ten. … No. 14 West Virginia’s game at North Carolina State was called off because of Hurricane Florence. It is the second game a Big 12 team has lost this season because of weather. Iowa State had to cancel its opener at home because of severe weather and lightning.
With uncertainty about the status of quarterback Kyle Kempt (left knee), Iowa State is more than a two-touchdown underdog at home against Oklahoma in the Big 12’s first conference matchup this season. The Cyclones upset the league champion Sooners in Norman last year. But in an 82-game series that began in 1928, the Cyclones have won only six times. Their only back-to-back victories came in 1960-61.