Oh, it’s going so fast. Week three is in the books and an eventful Saturday it was. Here are the highlights and lowlights.
Do you believe in the Mean Green?
If you don’t, you should. North Texas traveled up to Arkansas and blasted the favored Razorbacks in Fayetteville 44-17. Here’s the scary thing, it could’ve been so much worse. It’s time for North Texas to start dreaming big. The unflappable Mason Fine was, unflappable, even in the face of pressure and punishment. He looked his usual self, in control, picking his spots, and guiding the Mean Green to a steady, dominating performance. Seth Littrell will find some way to motivate this team come Monday. Chances are he’ll focus all points they left out there, even in the face of a massive win for the program.
The Longhorns beat down the Men of Troy on Saturday night in Austin, 37-14. USC fell to 1-2 and might be in a death spiral this season. Texas scored on two Sam Ehlinger touchdown passes and another Ehlinger touchdown run. The Horns added a blocked field goal touchdown to flip a close game at halftime deficit into a convincing win.
Texas’ defense harassed USC true freshman quarterback J.T. Daniels with three sacks and ten total tackles for loss. Todd Orlando’s unit held the Trojans to -5 yards rushing on sixteen carries.
TCU helps Ohio State beat TCU.
The Frogs were every bit up to the task of taking on Ohio State, but significant mistakes doomed their chances in a 40-28 loss. The Buckeyes scored on a fumble return, an interception return, and after TCU’s punter dropped a snap. Shawn Robinson played well at times, but mistakes plagued his efforts as well.
Next week TCU and Texas meet in Austin in a critical matchup to determine who’ll challenge Oklahoma for the Big 12.
Texas Tech and Houston in a Shootout.
Get to know Alan Bowman, the redshirt freshman threw for 605 yards, and Antoine Wesley caught a school record 261 yards worth of that total in a 63-49 win over Houston. We posed the questions whether the victory was more significant for Kingsbury or the loss was worse for Applewhite, the answer depends on how both schools respond. Houston’s defense, a strength through two weeks was overmatched and undisciplined against the Red Raiders. The two teams combined for 1,339 yards of offense, so neither defense will enjoy watching film on Sunday.
Texas State Falters.
The Bobcats were on their way to a 1-0 conference record and their second win in three tries, but South Alabama scored 25 unanswered points in the final 20 minutes to win 41-31. Once again the offense struggled to find footing and left the defense exposed to too many plays. Willie Jones III continues to flash special abilities, and other Bobcats are talented no doubt, but Everett Withers team cannot seem to finish games.
UTSA blown out in Kansas.
The offensive struggles of UTSA continued against Kansas State in a 41-17 loss. Skylar Thompson torched the Roadrunner secondary for two scores and 11.8 yards per completion. UTSA won the turnover battle, but couldn’t slow the Wildcats attack.
Texas State and UTSA meet next win in a huge game for the direction of both schools this season.
Baylor outclassed by Duke.
Whatever goodwill Matt Rhule won by his team’s 2-0 start, the Bears lost in a 40-27 home loss to the Blue Devils. Baylor outgained Duke and won the time of possession, but two turnovers and inconsistent offensive output doomed the Bears. Duke led 23-0 at halftime and in spite of a Baylor second-half rally, weren’t bothered as they coasted to a 3-0 record.
Jimbo Fisher’s team ran over Louisiana Monroe in the one week “hiatus” between the challenge of last week’s Clemson loss and next week’s trip to Alabama. Kellen Mond continued his efficient play with over 270 yards of total offense, and Trayveon Williams rushed for 128 yards. The Aggies led 24-10 at the break before shutting the War Hawks out in the second half and winning 48-10.
SMU Falls in the Big House.
The Mustangs hung tough for three quarters with 19th ranked Michigan before falling 45-20. The game was a two-score proposition late into the the 3rd when the Wolverines pulled away. The big news for SMU may well have been the insertion of Willie Brown into the lineup at quarterback. Brown replaced Ben Hicks after a pick-six from the incumbent and Brown performed well. Whether the next week brings a change at quarterback, the 0-3 Mustangs need a boost heading into a date with Navy.
UTEP’s Offense Fails.
For UTEP the score was closer than expected but the Miners never challenged home-standing Tennessee offensively in a 24-0 shutout. The good news for UTEP fans, who are in desperate need of some, is that the defense played very well, especially against the run, making the Vols work for everything they got. The offense averaged just 1.7 yards per pass attempt and less than four yards per carry.
Alan Bowman finished Saturday completing 43 of 59 passes for five touchdowns and 605 yards for the Red Raiders.
Tech receiver Antoine Wesley made thirteen catches for 261 yards and three scores.
D’Eriq King completed 30 of 51 passes for 431 and five touchdowns for Houston. He ran for another score.
Marquez Stevenson’s hot start continued with nine catches for 177 yards and two scores.
Ja’Deion High of Texas Tech added seven catches for 120 yards.
North Texas Keegan Brewer returned a punt 90 yards for a score, dekeing the Razorbacks into believing he’d asked for a fair catch, then breaking untouched for the TD.
Tackling Machine Clay Johnston led the Bears with eleven stops including eight solo tackles.
TCU’s Darius Anderson rushed for 154 yards on just twelve carries. He notched a 93-yard touchdown run to give the Frogs a lead.
UTSA’s Darryl Godfrey made eight tackles including 2.5 tackles for loss with a sack.
Texas linebacker Gary Johnson made six tackles, but four of those tackles were for loss including a sack. He also registered a quarterback hurry.
A.J. Hotchkins continues his consistent play for UTEP with another double-digit (10) tackle day.