“For all its enormous range of space, climate, and physical appearance, and for all the internal squabbles, contentions, and strivings, Texas has a tight cohesiveness perhaps stronger than any other section of America. Rich, poor, Panhandle, Gulf, city, country, Texas is the obsession, the proper study, and the passionate possession of all Texans.” ~ John Steinbeck
Feels like that’s all that needs to be said for our last Texas Roundup of the season. Let’s talk Texas.
Total Domination by TCU
We’ve mentioned it a time or two, but the Horned Frogs have a way of winning games closer than they need to. That didn’t happen this week. TCU manhandled the Iowa State Cyclones. This was a good defense too. Iowa State was eighth nationally in scoring defense, allowing 16.5 points per game. Until this one.
They wanted one, and they got one.
With no Quentin Johnston and Derius Davis limited in action, it was all on Max Duggan and Kendre Miller.
Duggan would step up first finding Geor’Quarius Spivey for the score on TCU’s opening drive.
Kendre was next. He’d score from 25-yards out to make it 17-0.
All the Horned Frogs needed was a turnover to really step on the gas.
On the next Cyclone drive, Hunter Dekkers pass was intercepted and returned for another touchdown by Millard Bradford. It was 24-0 early.
Iowa State would get one score but the Frogs would add 10 more and this one was over by halftime. They’d pour some more gas on the fire but with all of the upsets happening on Saturday it wasn’t really needed. Duggan finished with three touchdowns and Miller added two more.
Now, we’d be remiss to not remind you of 2014. That year, a top ranked TCU beat Iowa State 55-3 only to get passed by Ohio State on the last weekend of the rankings. The frogs would be left out of the playoff. Safe to say that’s unlikely to happen this year and even if TCU loses in the Big 12 championship they still might make it in.
So what’s the feeling going into Saturday? How does this game compare to previous big time games in TCU history?
The stakes are high but let’s get a more philosophical view.
Poetry. The Horned Frogs will play Kansas State in front of the home crowd at Jerry World in Arlington.
No More Seven Win Sark Thanks to New and Improved Second Half Sark
Stop the presses, y’all. The Texas Longhorns and Steve Sarkisian made adjustments and actually played a better second half than first half. Miracles do exist.
Now, to be fair, the first half was pretty bad and Texas fans weren’t afraid to admit it. Ewers would take a safety early on and the noise from the Austin cheap seats was a tad loud.
Baylor fans had a much different tune.
Texas would score on the next two drives, a keeper from Quinn and (yet another) rushing touchdown from Bijan Robinson. But it didn’t matter to most of the Longhorns faithful. The first half was a disaster and nothing could change their minds.
Baylor meanwhile would convert a field goal and a touchdown right before half. Blake Shapen found Ben Sims for the 14-yard touchdown to make it 19-17 Bears going into the half.
But just when you thought the old Second Half Sark would make sure that Seven Win Sark stayed true to his name, the Longhorns shocked the world.
Quinn Ewers started the second half going 6-7 for 82 yards.
Unfortunately he was sacked and fumbled for a Baylor touchdown right after.
The sack was almost a blessing in disguise. Sark took the opportunity to change the play calling up and feed the backfield duo of Roschon Johnson and Bijan Robinson.
After a combined nine carries in the first half, the last 22 plays the Texas offense ran were designed runs to the two backs. Safe to say fans were thrilled.
On the other side of the field, Baylor fans were having strong feelings about watching their defense get shredded on the ground.
Though the biggest play of the game came on the defensive side when Jaylan Ford intercepted Baylor quarterback Blake Shapen.
We respect good puns around here. And we respect Jaylan Ford who is putting together an All-Big 12/Defensive Player of the Year type Junior campaign.
The Texas running backs would combine for 256 yards and 4 touchdowns as Texas was able to put Baylor away 38-27. All of Texas became Jayhawk fans temporarily saturday night, but Kansas couldn’t pull of the upset. Texas will likely make a trip to San Antonio for the Alamo Bowl.
Aggies Shock the Tigers
Give Jimbo another extension! Just kidding. Mostly. Credit where credit is due. On Saturday night, the Fighting Aggies looked every bit like the team that was ranked in the top 10 in the preseason.
After holding LSU to a punt on the first drive Texas A&M would drive 90-yards for a score.
Achane would score the first touchdown, part of a night where he had 215 yards on 38 carries.
Connor Weigman had an efficient night with two touchdowns, his first coming on A&M’s third offensive possession when he found Donovan Green in the endzone.
Donovan Green might prefer Arm & Hammer or Gain but we can all appreciate a big man score.
Texas would go into the break leading 17-10 and cautious optimism was back on the menu.
Keep expectations low. Smart.
In the second half two things kept the Aggies going.
One, Moose Muhammad made a couple different jaw-dropping catches.
Two, and more importantly, the A&M defense found a way to get a few stops and even a turnover.
Texas A&M would win this one 38-23 and maybe, just maybe, Jimbo might have the Aggies trending upwards going into the offseason.
Then again, maybe not.
Even less so when you storm the field after going 5-7.
At least y’all can get an early start on recruiting?
Texas Tech Walks Off the Sooners
A lot happened in this shootout, but really it all came down to overtime. It was tied 48-48 when the clock hit zeroes.
The Sooners started with the ball in overtime and after a little trickeration on the first play, the Red Raiders stepped up. They would tackle OU running back Eric Gray for a loss on 2nd down and then sack Dillon Gabriel on 3rd down.
Oklahoma would line up for a 34-yard field goal attempt.
Delivered. Oklahoma missed the field goal in the first possession of overtime.
Tech would not mess around. Two runs had them facing a 3rd and long but Tyler Shough found Myles Price on the quick screen to set up the game winning attempt. Trey Wolff would walk this one off. A converted 43-yard FG was all she wrote for the Oklahoma Sooners.
Program defining seems excessive but we do need to recognize one milestone that comes from this W.
True story. For the first time in program history Texas Tech beat both the Sooners and the Longhorns in the same season. Interestingly enough they won both on walk off field goals at home.
Houston Ends AAC Era With Loss
Houston faced Tulsa in it’s last contest in the American Athletic before they bolt to the Big 12 next year.
It sure would, wouldn’t it?
Things didn’t go quite as planned though. On the opening drive Houston would miss a chip shot field goal.
The Cougars would get points quickly after they returned Tulsa’s punt for six on the next drive.
Clayton Tune would do Clayton Tune things in the first half. First he found Matthew Golden for the score.
Then Tune would find Nathaniel “Tank” Dell.
At 24-13, Houston felt good but the Cougars defense would let up a Golden Hurrican score before the half.
The second half wouldn’t go much better for Houston. Tulsa would get another score, their fifth straight drive with points.
And while normally Tune can pull enough tricks to make up for the defense, there was no magic against Tulsa in the second half.
After an interception and three straight punts, Houston fans went to the tried and true method of asking for the backup quarterback.
No such shot was given, and a late Cougars field goal didn’t make much of a difference. Houston loses this one 37-30.
Something all college football fans can relate to.
Houston will make the jump to the Big 12 next year and it’s already been announced that they will host the Longhorns in their Big 12 opener. Should be a good one.
Mustangs Squeeze Out a Win Over Memphis
SMU hosted the Tigers on Saturday in front of about fifteen people. After last week’s loss against Tulane it wasn’t a surprise no one showed up. And after Memphis marched down the field on their opening drive, it was even less of one.
Tanner Mordecai would get SMU on the board finding Roderick Daniels, Jr. for the score. Unfortunately, Memphis would strike quickly and Asa Martin would make it 14-7.
On the following kickoff, the one and the same Roderick Daniels, Jr. would catch the kick and then signal fair catch. Unfortunately for Daniels you can’t do that. It was ruled an invalid fair catch signal and SMU took over at the 1-yard line.
Backed up against their endzone, on 3rd down Tanner Mordecai would scramble for 6 yards but take a nasty hit. Some SMU fans were not pleased.
On the next Mustang offensive possession Kevin Jennings would take over at quarterback. He led the team on a 91-yard drive which was capped off by a Tyler Lavine score.
Other Mustang faithful weren’t so thrilled that SMU left time on the clock before scoring.
It was a fair point considering the Tigers used the remaining minute plus to go down and get a field goal right as the half expired. They’d lead 17-14.
Mordecai would return in the second half and get the Mustangs back on top with an opening score. An SMU field goal would make it 24-17, but Memphis would get another touchdown to tie this one at 24 all at the end of the third.
On the Mustangs next drive, Rashee Rice would catch a beautiful 24-yard touchdown pass.
This one wasn’t just significant for this game, it was also significant for Rashee Rice.
Congrats young man.
After an SMU field goal, the Tigers would get a touchdown to make it 34-31 with 2:36 left. They would fail to get the onside kick but would force the three-and-out. The Tigers would drive 76-yards down the field before Brandon Crossley would make the play of the game. On 1st and Goal from the 7, with just 14 seconds left, and needing only a field goal to tie, Memphis took a shot at the win. Crossley would make a leaping interception and the turnover would close this one out.
UTSA’s Big Comeback Seals the Deal Over Miners
In a battle between two cities who have claims for the best Mexican food in the country, this game had plenty of heat and spice. UTEP got out to a huge lead in the first half.
First it was a 15 yard pass by Calvin Brownholtz to James Tupou.
Another touchdown from Brownholtz, this one to Tyrin Smith for 45-yards made it 14-0.
What took you so long, Dimel?
A field goal for the Miners would follow and then Brownholtz would score again, this time on the ground from 23-yards out.
Seriously, what took so long?
After just over 20 minutes had passed in this game, the Miners led the Roadrunners 24-0.
Frank Harris was battling injuries but big time players make big time plays. Finally, he’d get the Roadrunners on the board with a 65-yard connection to Joseph Cephus.
On the ensuing Miners possession, Brownholtz would throw a pick-six with UTSA Linebacker Dadrian Taylor returning it 73-yards to make it 24-14 going into the half.
UTSA would force the Miners into a punt on the first drive of the third quarter but a roughing the kicker extended the drive.
UTEP would score to make it a 17-point lead 31-14.
After that though it was all San Antonio. Frank Harris would find Zakhari Franklin for 14 yds for a touchdown.
They would get a stop and then the Roadrunners would get a field goal. Another defensive stop was followed by another Frank Harris touchdown, this one to Tykee Ogle-Kellogg for a 70-yard score and it was tied 31-31 after three.
Miners fans could do nothing but watch.
Buddy is hurting and I don’t blame him.
With just four seconds left, Jared Sackett would convert the 28-yard field goal and the Roadrunners would win this one 34-31.
Miners fans, thoughts?
UTSA will host UNT for the Conference USA championship next week. The Miners fail to get the sixth win and will likely not be bowling this year.
Owls Fail to Get Bowl Eligible in Close Game Against UNT
North Texas hosted the Rice Owls in some ugly weather in Denton, Texas. The weather only made the game ugly as well. This one started off with a missed field goal, a fumble, and two punts.
Austin Aune would finally open up the scoring on a busted coverage by the Owls defense.
It’s that simple folks. Rice fans can appreciate that levity is needed when you give up wide open touchdowns.
After another missed field goal, this time by Rice, the Owls would force a punt before AJ Padgett would lead the Rice offense down the field to tie this one up 7-7.
Aune would respond, leading his team down the field before running back Ikaika Ragsdale ran it from 7-yards out to make it 14-7 Mean Green.
AJ Padgett didn’t miss a beat. He would hit Bradley Rozner for 20 yards and Braylen Walker for 48 yards to tie it back up 14-14 going into the break.
UNT fans jumped quick on the #FireEveryone bandwagon.
The second half was marred by bad referees. For both sides.
First it was a holding call which negated a made Rice FG with 6 minutes left in the third quarter. The subsequent attempt would miss wide.
Then it was another holding call on Rice, this time on a 1st and goal run. The call would kill the Owls momentum and they would settle for a Field Goal.
Next it was UNT’s turn. With 8 minutes left in the fourth quarter and UNT leading 21-17, Aune found Ragsdale for a 50-yard score. It would be called back on a holding call.
A punt would follow and Rice would take over down just four points. On 3rd and 15 with 1:20 left, AJ Padgett would bobble the snap and appeared to pick it up before continuing the play. Officials would blow the call dead however, and rule that Padgett’s knee touched the ground.
Fans on both sides agreed Rice got screwed.
On 4th down Padgett would throw an interception and UNT would escape with the win.
Rice fails to get bowl eligible this year and UNT will now face UTSA for the C-USA conference championship.