Week one is almost in the books; just A&M is left to play. Not a great schedule for the Roundup, but a bad Saturday of football is better than a bad day doing just about anything else. A few thoughts:
Texas is...um...we have no idea.
The Longhorns opened the 2017 slate with a loss to Maryland. For all the hoopla and hype, Texas struggled to stop the running game in a performance that looked eerily similar to 2016. We have no idea how good Maryland is, or how good Texas is for that matter. The Terps could be very good in year two under D.J. Durkin. Folks in the know at the Big 10 seem to think they scheme well, but lack the old Jimmy's and Joe's.
Shane Buechele threw for 375 yards and two scores. The Longhorns trotted out a plethora of big, fast, talented receivers, including Reggie Hemphill-Mapps who looked comfortable in his first college game, bordering on dominant. Texas running backs had just 14 carries, compared to 15 carries by Buechele alone. Those 14 carries garnered just 52 yards.
Texas lack of physicality on the line of scrimmage was disconcerting. You can't fix that without an infusion of new dudes. Tom Herman is calling those dudes right now.
Oklahoma is who we thought they were.
UTEP traveled to Norman and the rolling ball of butcher knives that is the Oklahoma Sooners. OU rolled to a 56-7 win, but hey, it was 7-7 at one point.
Positives for UTEP were few but start with Walter Dawn who averaged eight yards a carry in his first feature-back performance. Dawn also score the Miners only touchdown. Ryan Metz was sharp but not deadly, completing 10 of 18 for 56 yards.
UTEP's defense struggled to cover or even stay near OU's receivers. Oklahoma tight end Mark Andrews seemed to be running free all afternoon, and Baker Mayfield hit on 19 of his 20 attempts for 329 yards in just two-quarters of work.
The Southwest Conference/Southland Challenge
North Texas, SMU, and Texas State each played Southland opponents. Each won, though some more impressively than others.
North Texas 59 Lamar 14
The Mean Green hit on all cylinders against Lamar. Jeffery Wilson rushed for 176 yards, and Mason Fine threw for another 224. The bigger news was Nic Smith stepping into the backup role once occupied by now academically ineligible Willie Ivory. Smith, a redshirt freshman from Arlington Martin, ran for 101 yards in his first college game.
SMU 58 SFA 14
SMU dominated the Lumberjacks Saturday night, thanks to four offensive touchdowns of 20 or more yards and two defensive touchdowns by Jordan Wyatt. SMU distributed the ball to a number of receivers, including LSU transfer Trey Quinn. Courtland Sutton finished the game with just two catches, but his first reception went for the Mustangs first score. Wyatt had an 85-yard interception return as well as a fumble recovery for a score. Braeden West rushed for 86 yards on just six attempts.
Texas State 20 HBU 9
Texas State struggled early, but ultimately put together a win in their home opener. The Bobcats spotted HBU a nine point advantage but rallied behind true freshman Anthony Smith's 71 yards rushing and one score. Mississippi State grad transfer Damian Williams ended the night 18 for 28 with 135 yards and a rushing touchdown.
Texas Tech isn't upset
It seems like everyone and their dog picked FCS opponent Eastern Washington to beat Texas Tech in Lubbock, but Tech didn't succumb to popular opinion and blew out the Eagles 56-10. Tech's Nic Shimonek looked like almost every other Tech quarterback for the last two decades, throwing for 384 yards and three scores in his first start.
Tech's defense held Eastern Washington to just ten points in an impressive performance, albeit against a Big Sky opponent. EWU makes a habit of beating FBS opponents, but couldn't ever get started against Tech.
TCU Pummels Jackson State
Gary Patterson picked up his 150th career win as the Horned Frogs demolished FCS foe Jackson State 63-0. Kenny Hill threw for 206 yards in limited duty and true freshman back Shawn Robinson threw for another 94 yards as the two quarterbacks combined for six TD passes. Fourteen Frogs caught passes in the win. TCU's defense allowed just 65 yards and pitched their 12th shutout during Patterson's tenure.
Buckshot Calvert Takes Down the Bears
If you never heard of Buckshot Calvert before Saturday night, you know of him now. The Liberty quarterback helped orchestrate one of the biggest upsets of the opening weekend as the FCS Flames beat Baylor 48-45 in Waco. Calvert threw for a school record 447 yards and three scores as Liberty held on to ruin Matt Rhule's Baylor opener. Anu Solomon wracked up 375 yards of total offense in his first start for Baylor.
Texas - 88,396
Texas Tech - 54,988
Baylor - 45,784
TCU - 42,709
SMU - 20,478
North Texas - 19,592
Texas State - 15,560
Numbers and Notes
- Baylor's Anu Solomon passed 7,000 career passing yards.
- North Texas' Jeffery Wilson averaged 14 yards per carry in twelve attempts.
- Wilson pushed to ninth all-time in Mean Green rushing yards. He's also seventh in rushing touchdowns.
- Mason Fine's 44-yard touchdown pass to Michael Lawrence is his longest in his career.
- SMU's 58 points were the most scored by the Mustangs since 2013.
- Including Saturday, SMU's scored first in 10 of its 13 games since 2016.
- Texas scored three non-offensive touchdowns on Saturday, three more than all of 2016.
- Two of the three Texas scores came via Holton Hill who had a pick six and a field goal return for a touchdown.
- Shane Buechele's 300-yard game was his second in his career.
- Buechele completed 12 straight passes at one point on Saturday.
- TCU quarterback Kenny Hill completed his first eight passes.
- TCU's KaVontae Turpin’s 39-yard scoring run was the first rushing touchdown of his career. He has nine receiving scores and two punt return touchdowns.
- The Horned Frogs were without the services of usual starting running back Kyle Hicks due to injury. Darius Anderson got his first start at running back.
- Texas State's Anthony Smith's 48-yard touchdown run was the longest Bobcat touchdown run since 2015.
- The Bobcats Easy Anyama had two sacks and a blocked extra point and forced a fumble.
- Dakota Allen served as a Texas Tech captain Saturday. Allen was dismissed from the team due to a burglary charge and spent last season at "Last Chance U" - East Mississippi Junior College.
- The win over Eastern Washington makes 25 career wins for Kliff Kingsbury.
Texas Tech will donate $11,200 to Hurricane Harvey relief as a result of their #ScoreonHarvey initiative.
- UTEP's Walter Dawn rushed for a career best 56 yards.