UTEP (0-1) at Texas Tech (1-0) (2 p.m. Saturday, KDFW/Ch. 4): The Red Raiders can put points on the scoreboard. QB Patrick Mahomes threw for 425 yards (33-of-53 passing) with four touchdowns and an interception last week. But Texas Tech also gave up a lot of scores in a 59-45 win against Sam Houston State. For the Red Raiders to return to bowl season this year, they will have to find their defense. Texas Tech could struggle at linebacker — Micah Awe (Mansfield Summit) left last week’s game with a shoulder injury. And UTEP features a power running back in Aaron Jones, who ran for 1,321 yards and 11 touchdowns last season on 242 carries. Jones had 70 yards on 15 carries in last week’s 48-13 loss at Arkansas.
Stephen F. Austin (0-1) at No. 3 TCU (1-0) (2:30 p.m. Saturday, FS1): Even though TCU won at Minnesota last weekend, the Horned Frogs didn’t look like College Football Playoff contender at times, especially on offense. TCU, which averaged 46.5 points a game last season, scored just 23 in a close battle. As a result, Alabama jumped the Horned Frogs for No. 2 in the AP poll. Expect TCU to come out firing against the Lumberjacks, who lost to Northern Arizona 34-28 to start the season. TCU QB and Heisman candidate Trevone Boykin, along with the Horned Frogs receiving corps led by star Josh Doctson, should run up the score quickly this week.
Ball State (1-0) at No. 16 Texas A&M (1-0) (6 p.m. Saturday, ESPNU): The Aggies are fresh off a big win against then-No. 15 Arizona State in Houston. The A&M defense, sparked by defensive ends Myles Garrett and Daeshon Hall, finished with nine sacks and two fumble recoveries that helped sway the game. A&M will christen its new Kyle Field against a Ball State team that scored 48 points in its opening win against VMI.
Lamar (1-0) at No. 4 Baylor (1-0) (6:30 p.m. Saturday, FSN): For the Bears, winning non-conference games isn’t enough. Even a 56-21 victory against SMU last week left Baylor with a lot of work to do. QB Seth Russell showed he is ready to lead Baylor’s quick-strike offense, which pulled away in the second half against SMU. But the Bears need to separate from Lamar in the first possessions today. When you play a fluffy non-conference schedule (Baylor doesn’t play any Power 5 programs outside of the Big 12), you must dominate from kickoff.
Rice (1-0) at Texas (0-1) (7 p.m. Saturday, Longhorn Network): The Texas offense is on life support. Head coach Charlie Strong has transferred playcalling to wide receivers coach Jay Norvell for this week. QB Tyrone Swoopes was ineffective last week in a disastrous 38-3 loss at Notre Dame. If Texas struggles early today, Rice will be primed to pounce. The Owls won’t lack motivation, and Texas’ season could get a lot worse if it can’t top Rice at home.