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Texas Tech's Alan Bowman looks for a receiver during the first half of the team's NCAA college football game against UTEP on Saturday, Sept. 7, 2019, in Lubbock, Texas. (Brad Tollefson/Lubbock Avalanche-Journal via AP)
Texas Tech's Alan Bowman looks for a receiver during the first half of the team's NCAA college football game against UTEP on Saturday, Sept. 7, 2019, in Lubbock, Texas. (Brad Tollefson/Lubbock Avalanche-Journal via AP)|Associated Press
NCAAF

Big 12 college football: Eckel picks North Carolina St. at West Virginia and Texas Tech at Arizona

Games are Saturday at noon and 10:30 pm EDT.

Mark Eckel

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The Big 12 takes on the ACC and the Pac 12 in two games that highlight this Saturday’s slate.

Here’s a look at both.

North Carolina State (-6 1/2) at West Virginia, Noon, Fox Sports 1

This game was canceled last year because of Hurricane Florence. And West Virginia probably wishes it was again.

If you haven’t figured it out yet, West Virginia is bad. The Mountaineers were outplayed, barely beat and failed to cover against FCS James Madison in their opener and then were embarrassed last week against Missouri.

New head coach Neal Brown, who appears over his head in the Big 12, said he’s disappointed, but not discouraged by his team’s play. If the Mountaineers get blown out by the Wolfpack he might change his mind.

West Virginia’s problem is two-fold. It can’t run the ball — 64 yards rushing in two games ranks next to last in all of Division I — and it can’t stop anyone. Missouri did whatever it wanted last week.

NC State has rolled in wins over East Carolina and Western Kentucky, rushing for over 500 yards and you can expect a similar result Saturday afternoon.

Here’s another stat that leans toward the ‘Pack. NC State is 4-0 in its last four games against the Big 12, while WVU is 0-5 in its last five against the ACC.

Pick: North Carolina State -6 1/2

Texas Tech (-2) at Arizona, 10:30 p.m. ESPN

The Red Raiders, off to a 2-0 start under first-year head coach Matt Wells, are going to score points. It's what they do. And Arizona gives them up. The Wildcats allowed 45 in an opening-game loss to Hawaii and 41 in a win over Northern Arizona.

Expect Texas Tech and sophomore quarterback Alex Bowman to put up at least 40, and maybe 50, Saturday night in Tucson.

The difference in this one — because Arizona can score as well — is the Red Raiders defense looks to be improved and could and should keep Arizona in the 30s.

This will be the first time since 1989 the two schools have played each other, and Texas Tech holds a commanding 26-4-2 lead in the series. Look for the Red Raiders to make it 27-4-2 when the night ends. And if you want to add the over 77 parlay go right ahead.

The Pick: Texas Tech -2