Big 12 Football: 5 Head-to-Head Matchups to Watch for in Week 2

Sean FryeFeatured ColumnistSeptember 2, 2014

Big 12 Football: 5 Head-to-Head Matchups to Watch for in Week 2

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    Michael Thomas/Associated Press

    Week 1 of the new college football season is in the books, and there have already been some huge developments in and around the Big 12.

    The biggest news surrounds the Texas Longhorns. Quarterback David Ash's career could now be in jeopardy after it was announced that he will miss the team's Week 2 contest against BYU with a concussion.

    Other developments include the emergence of West Virginia after hanging in against Alabama, as well as the fall of Iowa State following its embarrassing loss to North Dakota State.

    The only Big 12 matchup in Week 2 features Kansas State traveling to Ames to face the Cyclones. TCU has a bye week, while the rest of the conference faces opponents outside the league.

    With so many intriguing games, from BYU-Texas to the lone Big 12 contest, there are sure to be some interesting head-to-head matchups on the field. Let's check out the top five in Week 2.

Allen Lazard vs. Morgan Burns

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    David Purdy/Getty Images

    Iowa State not only lost to the North Dakota State Bison on Saturday, it also lost its top receiver.

    Quenton Bundrage tore his ACL in the Cyclones' loss to the Bison, and head coach Paul Rhoads announced he'll miss the rest of the season.

    That means receiver Allen Lazard will be left to pick up the pieces.

    We'll see exactly where he stands on Saturday when he goes up against Kansas State defensive back Morgan Burns. The top cornerback for the Wildcats, Burns deflected three passes in his squad's blowout win over Stephen F. Austin.

    Burns spent the majority of the last two years on special teams, so he's still looking to prove that he's a Big 12-caliber secondary member.

    Meanwhile, Lazard is hoping to prove that he can carry the load in Bundrage's absence.

Dane Evans vs. Oklahoma Secondary

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    USA TODAY Sports

    Considering they slaughtered Louisiana Tech in Week 1 and then face Tulsa this week, the Oklahoma Sooners' first two games look pretty easy.

    However, the Sooners' secondary needs to be wary of Golden Hurricane gunslinger Dane Evans, who racked up 438 yards in Week 1 against Tulane and has tremendous big-play ability.

    Tulsa beat Tulane 38-31 in double overtime, and Tulsa's rush defense leaves a lot to be desired.

    But if Tulsa can get the pass game going, one of the Big 12's top teams could be facing an early upset bid. It'll be up to Zack Sanchez, who had an interception and blocked field goal in Week 1, and the rest of the Sooner secondary to limit Evans' impact on the game.

Charles Jones and DeMarcus Robinson vs. Iowa State Rush Defense

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    Charlie Riedel/Associated Press

    Kansas State is in the process of undergoing a running-back-by-committee process, with Charles Jones and DeMarcus Robinson battling to get reps.

    Both players stood out in K-State's win over Stephen F. Austin, and there appeared to be little separation between the two.

    Meanwhile, the Iowa State defense as a whole gave up 302—yes, 302—rushing yards to North Dakota State on Saturday. It appears to have taken a step back in 2014, and this could prove to be the perfect opportunity for either Jones or Robinson to take charge.

Taysom Hill vs. Texas Defensive Line

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    USA TODAY Sports

    In the Texas Longhorns' loss to the BYU Cougars last year, BYU quarterback Taysom Hill went off on a struggling Longhorns front line, rushing for 259 yards and three touchdowns.

    Now, behind Cedric Reed, the Longhorns are looking for revenge in 2014. They'll get to chase it at home this time.

    Hill had a decent game against UConn in Week 1, passing for 308 yards, running for another 97 and leading BYU to a 35-10 win. However, Texas' defensive line took care of business against North Texas, limiting its opponent to just 94 total yards (79 on the ground).

    The Longhorns are a better team defensively than they were last year, but Hill also has another year of experience under his belt. Something's got to give in this matchup, and only time will tell who will break first.

Tyrone Swoopes vs. BYU Secondary

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    USA TODAY Sports

    Tyrone Swoopes will have countless eyes on him against BYU as he looks to prove he's an adequate replacement for David Ash.

    Well, he'll have a great opportunity to do so against the Cougars, as BYU's secondary struggled in Week 1, giving up 284 yards through the air against UConn.

    Granted, UConn trailed most of the game and was forced to throw the ball in a comeback attempt, but this nevertheless points to the fact that Swoopes has an advantage he can prey on in Week 2.

    There are plenty of storylines surrounding Swoopes, but ultimately his performance will be his judge and jury. BYU's weak secondary swings the odds in his favor.