Things to watch in Week 4 of the Big 12, with the first two games that count in the conference standings — No. 3 TCU at Texas Tech, and No. 24 Oklahoma State at Texas — and the last regular-season games against other leagues:
GAME OF THE WEEK: No. 3 TCU (3-0) at Texas Tech (3-0). When the two teams met last season in Fort Worth, the Horned Frogs set a school record with 82 points and Trevone Boykin had a record seven touchdown passes. This is now a matchup of the Big 12’s best offenses behind Baylor’s nation’s-best 754 total yards and 61 points a game. TCU averages 599 total yards and 50 points a game, while Texas Tech is gaining 590 yards with 54 points a game. Patrick Mahomes was 5-of-11 passing for 45 yards with a TD and an interception off the bench last season against TCU, but is now the Red Raiders’ No. 1 QB and third in the Big 12 with 386 total yards a game, just ahead of Boykin’s 378 a game.
BEST MATCHUP: West Virginia (2-0) vs. Maryland (2-1). This is the last scheduled meeting until 2020 between schools that are only about 200 miles apart, and the first significant test this season for the Mountaineers after beating Georgia Southern and Liberty. West Virginia ran 108 plays in last year’s game against Maryland. The Mountaineers have won eight of the last nine games in the series.
INSIDE THE NUMBERS: The road team has won each of the past six matchups in the series between No. 24 Oklahoma State (3-0) and Texas (1-2). … Kansas goes to Rutgers for its first road game of the season. The Jayhawks have lost 33 consecutive games outside of Lawrence, Kansas, since 2009 — when their current true freshmen were all eighth-graders. … For the second week in a row, three Big 12 teams have open dates (this time No. 15 Oklahoma, Kansas State and Iowa State). No more than two teams are off at the same time again until the first Saturday of December, when six teams will have already finished their regular season.
LONG SHOT: The end of fifth-ranked Baylor’s 17-game home winning streak that is the longest among FBS teams. The Bears are more than four-touchdown favorites against former Southwest Conference rival Rice, which has lost its last 24 games against Top 25 teams — by an average margin of 31 points.
IMPACT PLAYER: Texas freshman QB Jerrod Heard set a school record with 527 total yards in a 45-44 loss to California, when he had a 45-yard touchdown run with 1:11 left before the Longhorns missed the tying PAT. Heard ran 24 times for 163 yards and three TDs, and completed 20 of 31 passes for 364 yards.