Five things we learned in Week 7 of college football

By John Hamilton

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Texas has a lot of work to do

The final score might have been just one touchdown, but the game was not that close. Oklahoma took it to Texas in all the most important factors of the game. 

Despite forcing Jalen Hurts into a pair of bad turnovers, Texas struggled to create much of anything offensively. At the half, the Longhorns had just 83 yards. True freshman Roschon Johnson led the Longhorns with 95 rushing yards. No one else could consistently win matchups, either inside or outside. That doesn’t even count what CeeDee Lamb did. 

Texas had its first measuring stick game against LSU a few weeks ago, and looked admirable against a a high level LSU squad. Getting beaten up so thoroughly on the offensive line was disappointing. Something has to change if Texas is going to compete for the Big 12.

UNT only gets more disappointing

One year ago, North Texas started 4-0 with wins over SMU and Arkansas. The Mean Green really could have – and arguably should have – won every game on the schedule. They had a double-digit lead in every regular season game. 

Six games into 2019, the Mean Green are 2-4. A brutal schedule has played a big part, but this team simply is not as good as we hoped. The rush game struggled after Tre Siggers went down. The defense has been horrible this season, and allowed Southern Miss to post 563 yards on 7.7 yards per play. And now, Mason Fine might be seriously hurt. 

The thought process always seemed to be that North Texas would be able to run it back, to an extent, and build on the success of last season. Halfway through the year, 2018 looks so much more like a missed opportunity than a foundation to build on. 

Kellen Mond is not the issue

Texas A&M moved to 3-3 after losing by 19 points to Alabama. The Aggies played a decent game, but were simply outclassed by a better opponent on their home field. 

After the game, plenty of blame continued to fall on quarterback Kellen Mond’s shoulders. To some extent, it makes sense. The quarterback is the centerpiece of the offense and typically receives the lion’s share of the blame. Even at his best, Mond is a somewhat limited player. 

But still, Mond was the only reason Texas A&M was even in this game. He was responsible for 354 of Texas A&M’s 389 yards and all three touchdowns. The two running backs combined for 35 yards on 12 carries. It doesn’t help that Alabama has one of the most terrifying offenses ever. Mond hasn’t been great, but the blame that continues to follow him is befuddling. 

The state’s best defenders are in surprising places

The numbers may not show it this week, but the two best defensive players in Texas played on Saturday afternoon in Waco – and the teams they play for is still unbelievable. 

Texas Tech linebacker Jordyn Brooks had another good game with eight tackles and a tackle for loss. He led a Texas Tech defensive effort that helped make Baylor quarterback Charlie Brewer as uncomfortable as we’ve seen him, and held the Bears to just 20 points in regulation. 

However, the best overall defensive player in the state through six weeks just might be Baylor defensive end James Lynch. Lynch’s numbers are good – four tackles, three tackles for loss, 2.5 sacks, a pass breakup and QB hurry. Even when the numbers don’t credit him, he impacts every play. His effort is the single most important reason that Baylor has been able to thrive with only three down linemen. 

Texas State’s QB issues will linger

When Texas State came into the season, the coaching staff wasn’t shy about the fact that it was not thrilled with the state of the quarterbacks. Jake Spavital brought in Gresch Jensen as a JUCO transfer during the offseason, and then added Brady McBride from Memphis. 

Well, Jensen has been inconsistent, and then went out against Louisiana-Monroe on Thursday evening with concussion symptoms. When he went out, Tyler Vitt completed 3-of-8 passes in a 24-14 loss. The next day, McBride was officially told that his waiver for immediate eligibility was denied, and he can’t play until 2020. 

Spavital was hired to fix the offense. He worked with quarterbacks like Will Grier, Johnny Manziel and David Webb in the past. At this point, it’s becoming clear – neither of the two starters are ready to be “the guy” heading into the future. 

College Power Poll

  1. SMU Mustangs
  2. Texas Longhorns
  3. Baylor Bears
  4. Texas Tech Red Raiders
  5. Texas A&M Aggies
  6. Houston Cougars
  7. North Texas Mean Green
  8. TCU Horned Frogs
  9. Texas State Bobcats
  10. Rice Owls
  11. UTSA Roadrunners
  12. UTEP Miners

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