Ah, yes. It’s time for the “holiday” I don’t celebrate. Some of you do, though, so…Halloween has arrived! It’s time for spoooooooky, ghoulish things to cross our paths (including some current or former coaches). We had a bye week last week, so we won’t recap any prior games. With that said, let’s move on to a very special — and veeeeerrrry scaaaaaaary — week!
IT’S SPOOKY GAMES WEEK, Y’ALL!
We’ll do the usual treatment of three games here and three on the podcast, and we’ll ask a trivia question. My apologies in advance for these games, but if we’re going to have this “holiday”, we might as well celebrate! Click the handy play button below you to hear our podcast, and scroll down for the remaining three games!
Keyword Search (all times Eastern and rankings AP, but don’t worry, no rankings required this week!)
Arkansas (2-5, 0-4 SEC) at Ole Miss (3-4, 1-3 SEC)
Noon | SEC Network
- Shea it ain’t so: Star sophomore quarterback Shea Patterson will miss this one — and the rest of the season — for Ole Miss, after suffering a devastating knee injury last week against LSU. Patterson tore his MCL in his right knee in the loss. Patterson leads the SEC in passing offense, and is eighth in the nation, throwing for nearly 323 yards per game. Hawaiian junior Jordan Ta’amu will take the reins for the Rebs, having thrown just 11 passes — completing seven — in his first season in Oxford.
- Substitute signal callers: Injuries have also bitten Arkansas at the quarterback position, as junior Austin Allen will miss this game — coincidentally enough, with a right knee injury. Freshman Cole Kelley has completed 57 percent of his throws (49-for-86) in Allen’s absence, tallying 549 yards and four scores against two picks. Kelley comes off his least-productive outing thus far as a starter, having gone 15-for-26 in a 52-20 loss to Auburn. The first-year player threw for 163 yards in the contest, throwing for neither a touchdown nor an interception.
- Coaching concerns: Both coaches are on the hot seat a bit, for different reasons. Arkansas coach Bret Bielema has gone just 27-31 (10-26 in the SEC) since taking over in Fayetteville, and the Razorback faithful has long since grown restless. There is a large amount of confusion on the amount of money it would require for Bielema to be sent packing, as the widely-reported buyout of nearly $16MM has been whittled down to fewer than six million dollars by FootballScoop. A number of up-and-coming coaching stars across the region have been mentioned for the job, including Memphis’ Mike Norvell and SMU’s Chad Morris. Ole Miss’ Matt Luke, meanwhile, took over on an interim basis after the school’s rapid termination of Hugh Freeze, and has battled quite a bit of adversity since doing so. NCAA restrictions may heavily dictate the direction in which Ole Miss proceeds with its coaching job.
Print that, tweet that, whatever: With Patterson, Ole Miss would be a prohibitive favorite here. The sophomore’s injury considerably levels the playing field.
Kansas State (3-4, 1-3 Big 12) at Kansas (1-6, 0-4 Big 12)
3:00pm | FS1
- Scoring in the sunflowers: Kansas’ defense has struggled much of the year, but those struggles have been particularly pronounced in league play. Big 12 foes have outscored the Jayhawks 209-53 in league play, with an especially painful 88-0 result in the team’s last two losses at Iowa State and TCU. Kansas is next-to-last in the nation in scoring defense, besting only East Carolina. Opponents average 44.6 points per game against KU, and tally nearly 475 yards per tilt, good for 116th-best in America.
- Reversing the rivalry: Kansas State has won just 45 of the 110 games in the Sunflower Showdown, but a deeper dive reveals just how dominant the Wildcats have been against the Jayhawks of late. K-State has won eight in a row against its Sunflower State brethren, while legendary coach Bill Snyder has been victorious in 21 of the 25 outings he has led against Kansas. Nine of Snyder’s 21 wins came in Lawrence.
- Dumb stat of the week: If you know this feature, you know that there has to be a dumb stat every week here, and we thank Kansas’ sports information department for this week’s edition. (Note: They’re not dumb, but this stat certainly is!) The teams have played on October 28 five times in the series’ history. There have been more ties (two) than Kansas wins (one) on this date in history. KSU hammered Kansas, 41-7, in 1995, the last time the teams played on this date. The Jayhawks’ only win on this day was a 6-0 decision in 1933.
Print that, tweet that, whatever: The Jayhawks have won three of their last 31 contests. As much as they’d love #4 against their rival, don’t count on it.
Louisiana Tech (3-4, 1-2 C-USA) at Rice (1-6, 1-2 C-USA)
3:30pm | FloTV
- Close calls: The Bulldogs have been a bit star-crossed this season, as three of their four losses have come by a combined nine points. Tech is 1-3 over its last four games, with two of those losses (17-16 at South Carolina and 23-22 at UAB) coming by a single point. Rice, however, has not been so fortunate. Five of the Owls’ six losses have come by 13 points or greater, with the most painful a 62-7, season-opening dismantling by Stanford in Australia.
- The century mark: Rice’s sports information department notes that the Owls will play their 100th game as a member of C-USA Saturday. Unfortunately for the Owls, this is the only positive application of the number 100 with Rice this weekend. Rice is 119th nationally in passing offense (142.9 yards per game), 123rd in total offense (298.7), 128th in scoring offense (11 points per game), 104th in scoring defense (34.0 points per game), 120th in pass efficiency defense (158.56), and worse than 100th in 14 other combined categories.
- Passing fancy: Louisiana Tech’s primary area of struggle is in pass defense, as the Bulldogs rank 11th in C-USA, allowing 233-plus yards per game. However, Rice seems highly unlikely to take advantage of that shortcoming. The Owls’ leading passer, Sam Glaesmann, has attempted just 54 passes (completing 25) for 313 yards. The Owls have thrown for greater than 148 yards exactly once this year, going for 222 in a 42-10 loss at Pittsburgh on September 30.
Print that, tweet that, whatever: A long season for David Bailiff’s Owls looks to get even longer at the hands of Skip Holtz’ Bulldogs on Saturday.
Music break!: We’ve made it clear in this space that we’re celebrating the music of 25 years ago, when the SEC fielded its first championship game. This week’s selection isn’t a Halloween song, per se, but it certainly has its Halloween-like elements. Former Bananarama member Siobhan Fahey fronted the band Shakespear’s Sister in 1992, and their first chart hit — of two — “Stay” enjoyed a meteoric rise to number four in the charts. The song had fallen to number 41 by this time, though, and it was thankfully still around to let us witness this haunting song and downright creepy video. If the video isn’t creepy enough for you already, go to 2:04 in the clip. Trust me.
Until next week, be safe, and enjoy your games. Oh, and click the handy little Twitter follow button right below you!