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Texas looks to bounce back in top Big 12 game of Week 3


It is fitting, really, that the only watchable game in the Big 12 this Saturday is essentially unwatchable given the limited distribution of the Texas-centric Longhorn Network, while former conference members Texas A&M and Nebraska get national coverage for their marquee games. Only the truly invested will be watching the Big 12 this weekend. Here is a look at each game, ranked from worst to best:

*8. Georgia State at West Virginia, Saturday, 12 p.m. ET *

Rating: 1 star

The skinny: Mountaineers head coach Dana Holgorsen is still trying to get the offense back on track, promising all sorts of changes to spark an attack that managed only one touchdown in the conference opener at Oklahoma State. Having allowed 73 points in its first two games, Georgia State should be the perfect remedy to get WVU rolling again.

7. Massachusetts at Kansas State, Saturday, 7 p.m. ET

Rating: 1 star

The skinny: Wildcats starting quarterback Jake Waters has now thrown more interceptions in two games this season than he did all last season at Iowa Western Community College. That will have to be addressed before K-State enters conference play, otherwise backup Daniel Sams could be elevated above his current role as a change-of-pace runner.

6. Lamar at Oklahoma State, Saturday, 7:30 p.m. ET

Rating: 1 star

The skinny: The Cowboys should be able to name the final score, especially with quarterback J.W. Walsh coming off a nearly perfect performance against UTSA in which he went 24-of-27 passing for 326 yards and four touchdowns with no interceptions.

5. Iowa at Iowa State, Saturday, 6 p.m. ET, Fox Sports 1

Rating: 1.5 stars

The skinny: Recent history would suggest another low-scoring affair between these in-state rivals, but the Cyclones have won five of the last seven meetings in Ames. Safety Deon Broomfeld forced and recovered two fumbles in Iowa State's opener and will need to be active again against the Hawkeyes.

4. Kansas at Rice, Saturday, 7:30 p.m. ET, CBS Sports Network

Rating: 1.5 stars

The skinny: Rice hasn't played since making life interesting for Texas A&M on the opening Saturday of the season. Based on that performance, they are more than capable of knocking off the Jayhawks. Quarterback Jake Heaps will need to be much more accurate after posting very modest numbers in his Kansas debut, though he did avoid turnovers and managed the offense well.

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3. Tulsa at Oklahoma, Saturday, 12 p.m. ET, ESPN2

Rating: 2 stars

The skinny: Blake Bell, a.k.a. the "Belldozer," is set to make his first career start for the Sooners because of a knee injury to starting quarterback Trevor Knight. The hope is that Bell can spark a lagging passing attack ahead of next week's trip to Notre Dame, as OU is averaging only 121 yards through the air. Not surprisingly, being so one dimensional has OU near the bottom of the Big 12 in third-down conversions and red-zone offense.

2. TCU at Texas Tech, Thursday, 7:30 p.m. ET, ESPN

Rating: 2.5 stars

The skinny: Is TCU defensive end Devonte Fields the man to slow down the remarkable story that is walk-on freshman quarterback Baker Mayfield? Mayfield is second in the nation in total offense, but he won't be on scholarship this season because the Red Raiders don't have the flexibility to award one to him. Fields will be making his first start this season and looking to bear down on Mayfield, but must get around rising offensive tackle Le'Raven Clark to do so.

1. Ole Miss at Texas, Saturday, 8 p.m. ET, Longhorn Network

Rating: 3 stars

The skinny: Greg Robinson goes from evaluating tape to running the Texas defense in less than a week. That doesn't exactly bode well for a unit that gave up 550 rushing yards to BYU and now faces a much better caliber of athlete. Rebels running back Jeff Scott showed what he could do with that 75-yard game-winning touchdown run at Vanderbilt in the season opener. Add in the possible absence of Texas starting quarterback David Ash (head/shoulder) and head coach Mack Brown's seat could be scorching after Saturday night in Austin.

Follow Dan Greenspan on Twitter @DanGreenspan.

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