What a day of football! Games came down to the wire; bowl eligibility attained, crushing defeat, incredible victory, and all around sportsing.
And a kicker shall save them.
Trevor Moore may never get the credit he deserves, but he's played a huge part in North Texas' eight wins. Moore's field goal with five seconds left gave the Mean Green a 52-49 win over an eight-win Army squad. Mason Fine threw for 386 yards and four touchdowns, becoming the North Texas All-Time single-season passing leader along the way. The Mean Green have a great shot at nine wins before the CUSA title game at Florida Atlantic.
UTSA won its sixth game and became bowl eligible for the second time in two seasons under Frank Wilson. Jared Sackett kicked the game-winner with two seconds to play in a 9-7 win over Marshall. UTSA can go for a seventh win at Louisiana Tech next week.
Bowl Eligible and it feels so good.
Tom Herman's Horns are going bowling after a 28-14 win in Morgantown. Sam Ehlinger returned to the starting lineup and was once again the catalyst for the Texas offense. Connor Williams return bolstered the Longhorn offensive line and Todd Orlando's defense was its usual stingy self. Texas wraps up with a visit from Texas Tech.
Backup quarterback? No problem
Speaking of Tech, the Red Raiders missed a golden opportunity against TCU with Frog quarterback Kenny Hill out as well as leading tackler Travin Howard. The Red Raiders couldn't capitalize and only mustered three points in a 27-3 loss. Highly touted freshman Shawn Robinson didn't make any huge mistakes through the air and ran for 84 yards on the ground in Hill's stead.
What is Houston Doing?
The Cougars continue to be a confounding bunch as they lost to a lesser talented Tulane team on the road 20-17. Houston slept walked through the first half and most of the 3rd quarter before taking the lead with a midway through the fourth, only to give the game away three plays later. D'Eriq King was a bright spot with over 300 yards of total offense, but this is one game that got away.
Ags win at Ole Miss
Texas A&M won in Oxford 31-24 getting to seven wins with a chance for eight yet again under Kevin Sumlin. A&M's defense pitched a shutout in the second half to overcome a deficit against the Rebels. A&M now tangles with LSU in Baton Rouge.
Mustangs can't slow down Memphis.
SMU allowed 66 points to AAC Western Division champ Memphis on Saturday afternoon. The Mustangs scored 45 themselves but never got close to bothering Memphis' high octane offense. Xavier Jones rushed for 175 yards in the loss. SMU finishes up with Tulane at home next weekend.
Rice comes close, can't finish.
Rice gave a good accounting of themselves on the road against Old Dominion but couldn't fire back after Old Dominion took the lead with under 40 seconds to play. Once again Miklo Smalls played up and down as the Owls ran the ball 50 times while passing just twelve times. Emmanuel Ellerbee continues to put in work for the Owls defense with another double-digit tackle day in the 24-21 loss.
Bears drop another one.
Baylor suffered a ten point loss to Iowa State to close out their home slate and drop the Bears to 1-10. Baylor is winless at home this season. Two turnovers doomed their efforts against the surprising Cyclones in a 23-13 loss.
Bobcats bumped on the road.
Texas State hung with a good Arkansas State team for two-plus quarters before play calling, and offensive issues caught up the 'Cats. The 30-12 loss is the ninth of the season for Texas State. Damian Williams couldn't put together a third straight 300-yard performance, and his struggles were indicative of team's issues. The Bobcats also gave away opportunities in the kicking game with turnovers, a bad snap, and poorly thought out fake punt.
Miners have banner day offensively, still, lose.
Winless UTEP put together its best offensive day of the season but still lost 42-21 to Louisiana Tech in the last game at the Sun Bowl this year. True freshman Josh Fields looked like a legitimate FBS back in his first extensive action. Fields rushed for 137 yards and a score. The Miners try to avoid and 0-for at UAB next weekend.
Notes, Quotes, and Numbers
SMU Xavier Jones averaged 8.8 yards on 20 carries.
Texas had its best rushing day in some time with 233 yards on 42 carries.
Emmanuel Ellerbee put up eleven tackles with a sack and 1.5 tackles for loss in the Rice loss.
Texas State's Frankie Griffin made thirteen stops with a pass breakup against Arkansas State.
Tech's Justin Stockton ran for 124 yards on 21 carries.
UTSA's Dalton Sturm passed for 264 yards in the win over Marshall.
TCU linebacker Sammy Douglas had ten tackles, nine solo.
UTEP's Joshua Fields rushed for 137 yards on 23 carries and a score.
Miner linebacker Alvin Jones registered 15 stops, a sack, a tackle for loss, and a pass defensed.
Houston's D'Eriq King threw for 225 yards and rushed for 141.
NT quarterback Mason Fine passed for 386 yards and four touchdowns.
Kliff Kingsbury, “I’ll take the majority of the blame on that, I’ve got to have better plays and put them in situations that they feel comfortable with and can execute at a higher level, because we’re not doing it and I’m calling the plays.”
Tom Herman, “I thought our defense, to hold them to zero points offensively until mid-way through the fourth quarter, I think (that) was definitely something that kept us in the game.”
Gary Patterson, ''Our goal is for our seniors to have the best season they can have. They have a chance to win 10, 11 or 12 ballgames, which is really cool.''
Seth Littrell, "Playing games like that aren't very good for your health. But this team perseveres and has each other's backs. It's awesome to see them pull these games out."
Mike Price, "We were able to run the football and that was really good to see. Then we executed and made some spectacular catches and runs with the ball, that was fun to see."
UTSA Defensive end Marcus Davenport on UTSA kicker Jared Sackett, "He actually came up to me about a couple series before and said, 'Hey, man, we're going to win this.' "
Chad Morris, "I am extremely proud offensively of the way our guys played. The fight that they had, the fight that they continue to battle with, I'm very proud of that. Very disappointed defensively and very disappointed special teams-wise. It's not our standard, not who we are. It's very disappointing."