Five things we learned in Week 6: Houston was worth the wait, Texas was not

By John Hamilton

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Houston was worth the wait

The final score from Houston’s win over Tulane is misleading. After the Cougars went down 24-7 against the Green Wave because of horrific turnovers, Houston came to life with an astonishing 46-7 run to close the game.

While the offense deservedly got a ton of attention, the defense was insatiable. Tulane had 56 straight games with at least 100 rushing yards; Houston held them to 70. Marquez Stevenson looked like the state’s best receiver with 118 yards, a receiving TD and a return TD. Everything clicked. 

It’s just one game, but Dana Holgorsen suddenly looks like he was onto something when he effectively gave his team a mulligan in 2019. The Cougars look fierce. 

Texas Tech’s quarterback competition is open

When Matt Wells took the job at Texas Tech, Alan Bowman was part of the intro press conference. He seemed to be the one sure thing on the roster heading into a difficult rebuild. 

When Henry Colombi went into the game against Iowa State though, it was obvious how much better the offense looked. Colombi threw for 115 yards and the Red Raiders’ lone offensive touchdown in the fourth quarter alone. His 126 yards in two drives nearly matched Bowman’s offensive drives for the whole game. 

Bowman looked shaky in his first game against a Power Five opponent against Arizona before getting hurt. That shakiness has continued through 2020 with the bad performances against Iowa State and inconsistency against Kansas State and Texas. Matt Wells has no choice but to open the competition back up. 

Jeff Traylor is here to fight

UTSA didn’t beat No. 15 BYU. No one expected them to. But in a game where the Roadrunners were five touchdown underdogs, UTSA proved once again that it has no interest in going down quietly. 

When Frank Harris tweaked his ankle injury, Lowell Narcisse came in the game and immediately unlocked the offense. On a night when Sincere McCormick was contained, he threw for 229 yards and two scores. The defense also fought hard and made plays in all the right spots on the road despite being down some key players. 

Whether Frank Harris, Rashad Wisdom, Josh Adkins, Lowell Narcisse, Sincere McCormick or Jaylon Haynes, Jeff Traylor keeps pushing all the right buttons. Even though UTSA didn’t escape with a win, the Roadrunners left looking like a highly competitive Conference USA team. 

North Texas is too good to be this bad

When Seth Littrell first got to campus, he used a bunch of ragtag recruits like Mason Fine, E.J. Ejiya and LaDarius Hamilton to charge to back-to-back 9-win seasons. Now, Littrell has back-to-back top-four C-USA recruiting classes; why are they worse than ever? 

Against a middling Charlotte team, North Texas gave up 49 points and 599 yards. The 49ers nearly reached 300 on the air and on the ground. The score was 28-7 before the Mean Green even knew what hit them – at home. 

It’s easy to point to specific issues on the team like secondary lapses and inconsistent blocking. At the end of it, though, it’s indefensible for North Texas to currently look like the worst team in Texas. Something has to change. 

Texas has some soul searching to do

When is the last time that Texas was the better team heading into a game against Oklahoma? The Longhorns have pulled off some exciting upsets against OU in the past, but the Sooners are in a rebuild for the first time while Texas hopes to win the Big 12. This should be a culmination year. 

Unfortunately, for the first time with expectations in a while, Texas still looked like a disaster. Sam Ehlinger put forward a heroic game to take the Sooners to quadruple-overtime, but Texas was never the better team. Even if they won, all the issues we saw still existed, just like they did after Texas Tech. 

Oklahoma played numerous underclassmen, including a freshman quarterback. If Texas was going to convincingly beat Oklahoma, this needed to be the year, but instead, Ehlinger now has four losses against the Sooners. The Longhorns are 1-2 in Big 12 play. It’s hard to see how Tom Herman can possibly salvage this. There are far better teams than Oklahoma left on the schedule.

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