College quick hits
Jake Shaw quickly surveys this weekend's college action across Texas.
Don't mess with Texas. Or at least don't drop your affiliation with a Texas-centric conference and expect to go unpunished.
Four programs left the Big 12 in the past two years. Those four schools -- Texas A&M, Missouri, Colorado and Nebraska -- combined for an 0-4 record on Saturday. It's hard to gauge which loss was the worst: The Aggies dropped another second-half lead; Missouri crumbled to a Georgia team missing four defensive starters; Nebraska lost on the road to UCLA; and Colorado fell to Sacramento State, an FCS program.
Shoot, you might as well toss in Arkansas, which bolted the SWC more than a decade ago. Maybe karma had a wicked sense of humor and included the #8 Hogs, which were shocked at home by Louisiana-Monroe.
But enough about those out-of-staters. Below, I recap every game that involved Texas FBS programs from this weekend, summing up each game in 100 words or less. Onward we go …
Rice 25, Kansas 24
Forget that Kansas has the worst-team-in-the-Big-12 title wrapped up. Rice should gain tons of confidence from this win, sealed by Chris Boswell's 35-yard field goal on the game's final play. Rice's defense shut down Kansas after the Jayhawks scored three minutes into the second half to take a 24-13 lead. That allowed Rice to mount the comeback, getting a 93-yard scoring drive to trim its deficit to 24-22 (Rice missed the two-point conversion). Bryce Callahan's INT with four minutes left then set up Rice's game-winning drive. Rice's Charles Ross (14-94, TD) and Jordan Taylor (8-92 receiving) delivered huge games.
Florida 20, Texas A&M 17
New conference, new coach, same old story. Kevin Sumlin will need time to make his mark on Texas A&M, but he obviously hasn't corrected the Aggies' second-half mindset. The team defined by second-half collapses in 2011 once again blew a lead in the final two quarters. This loss was equally painful, as a raucous Kyle Field crowd that had watched a dominant Aggie offense stake a 17-10 halftime lead saw that same offense go completely cold. QB Johnny Manziel (233 total yards) looked electric in the first half, but he led A&M to only 44 second-half yards.
Louisiana Tech 56, Houston 49
For a program that had grown very accustomed to winning, Houston had to settle for a moral victory Saturday night. Houston's offense moved the ball so much better than it did in the disastrous loss to Texas State, racking up 692 yards of offense, including 581 through the air from QB David Piland. And Houston went down swinging, getting a touchdown with 44 seconds left, then coming a yard away from recovering an onside kick that would've given Houston a Hail Mary's chance of tying the game. A better performance, no doubt, but UH's 0-2 start was still quite unexpected.
Ole Miss 28, UTEP 10
The night UTEP puts it all together on offense, look out. Last week, the Miners rushed all over Oklahoma but couldn't get it going in the air. It was the reverse Saturday in Mississippi. It didn't help that UTEP didn't have Nathan Jeffery, out with an injury after getting nearly 200 yards against OU. With Jefffery absent, UTEP rushed for only 37 yards as a team, getting most of its offense from QBs Nick Lamaison (21-33, 213 yards, TD) and Carson Meger (6-7, 61 yards), whose only non-completion was intercepted by Ole Miss in the end zone.
Texas Tech 58, Texas State 10
Another effort like this, and the media will have to treat Texas Tech like a Big 12 contender. Texas State's hopes for a second-straight shocker were dismissed quickly. Texas Tech ran out to a 21-0 lead, getting two scores 51 seconds apart after safety Cody Davis jumped a route and returned a pick 88 yards for a touchdown. Texas State fumbled the ensuing kickoff, and Tech scored two plays later. Tech QB Seth Doege (25-32, 5 TDs) had a huge night, while his counterpart, Shaun Rutherford, struggled. Texas State's win over Houston now seems like a distant memory.
Texas 45, New Mexico 0
As expected, Texas completely over-powered New Mexico. But it did take some time to get going. The Texas offense scored 28 of its 45 points in the second half; if not for a 22-yard David Ash touchdown pass with 38 seconds left in the second quarter, the Longhorns would've only led by two possessions at halftime. And though New Mexico only reached Texas territory four times, three of them came on UNM's first three drives of the game.
North Texas 34, Texas Southern 7
Had it not been an off night for UNT QB Derek Thompson (11-24, 139 yards, INT), the Mean Green would've won this by twice the margin, because UNT was clicking in every other facet. UNT racked up 490 yards -- against the top FCS defense from the past two years -- while holding Texas Southern to just 191. A week after WR Brelan Chancellor was the big-play guy for UNT, the Mean Green went heavy on the ground, getting 100-yard games from RBs Brandin Byrd (23-111, 3 TDs) and Antoinne Jimmerson (14-135, TD).
TCU 56, Grambling State 0
Gary Patterson won his 110th game as TCU's head coach, and this may have been among his easiest. Patterson's defense was as good as ever, limiting Grambling State to only 76 yards of total offense. Grambling State averaged a pitiful 1.9 yards per play. Meanwhile, the TCU quarterbacks were perfect. Starter Casey Pachall completed all nine of his attempts for 201 yards and 3 TDs, while his backup, Trevone Boykin, went 8-for-8 for 73 yards and another score. TCU as a team averred 6.3 yards per carry, led by Waymon James (5-69, TD) and B.J. Catalon (13-64).
SMU 52, SFA 0
Looks like the Mustangs have cured their takeaway problems. A week after failing to create a turnover, SMU had an amazing 10 takeaways against the Lumberjacks, five in each half. Three of them were returned for defensive touchdowns. Yet don't read too much into this win; SMU's defense was great, but the Mustangs were somehow out-gained by 150 yards by the Lumberjacks. QB Garrett Gilbert (20-39, 241 yards, TD, INT) still hasn't found a rhythm in SMU's offense, and Zach Line (18-57) was off his game as well. It's still too early to judge this SMU team.
UTSA 27, Texas A&M-Commerce 16
The Roadrunners won with far less flare than they did against South Alabama. UTSA led by the final score going into the fourth -- too close for comfort for an FBS program playing a DII school -- but the defense completely shut down Commerce in the final frame, yielding only 30 yards of offense. To UTSA's credit, it scored on five of its first six possessions, but the offense pretty much stalled after that. QB Eric Soza was only 12 of 22 passing, and UTSA's rushing game (42-173) was only OK against a team that gave up 195 last week.
Believe it or not, SMU might wind up being the easiest of Baylor's non-conference opponents. The Bears host Sam Houston State (the #1 FCS team) next weekend, then travel to Louisiana-Monroe, which stunned Arkansas on the road.
Jake Shaw is a special contributor to TexasFootball.com