Five things we learned in Week 12: Jeff Traylor's success, Stephen F Austin's potential

UTSA Athletics

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Brady McBride is BACK! 

At one point, Brady McBride was seen as the obvious quarterback of the future in San Marcos. Finally, in a long-awaited win over Arkansas State, McBride looked the part again thanks to one of the best games by a quarterback ever at Texas State. 

McBride completed 32-of-45 passes for 443 yards and five touchdowns in the win. He also made a handful of plays with his legs to keep the offense rolling. Four different receivers caught at least five passes. 

It’s felt like Texas State has been right on the edge of having a breakout moment all season long. We won’t know if this can be something to build on until we see McBride again next season, but finally getting an emotional release and win is a good start. 

UNT’s defense looks good

Heading into Saturday against Rice, North Texas ranked among the worst defenses in college football. After five weeks off to work on it, the Mean Green came back to the field against the Owls looking much better. 

The Mean Green held Rice to just 1.4 yards per carry and top rusher Khalan Griffin to 4.6 YPC. Dion Novil led a crazy defensive effort as UNT sacked Mike Collins six times and tackled Rice for loss 12 times. Collins played well when he got time to throw, but it wasn’t often. 

North Texas coach Seth Littrell said after the game that he might have to write a book about how crazy things have been on defense with all the injuries and COVID-19 protocols complicating development. Finally, against the Owls, we got to see some of what Clint Bowen’s defense is supposed to look like. 

SFA confirmed its season against Memphis

Late in the third quarter, Stephen F. Austin was doing the impossible: sticking with Memphis. The Lumberjacks fought like hell in the second quarter to cut the lead to just 20-14, forcing the talented Tigers to sit up straight. 

Sophomore receiver Xavier Gipson posted 74 yards and a touchdown. Sophomore linebacker Brevin Randle had a pick-six off elite FBS quarterback Brady White. Sophomore defensive back Tkai Lloyd led the team in tackles and sacks. The youth movement came through in a big way. 

Unfortunately, Memphis went on a 22-0 run over a four minute stretch between the third and fourth quarters, so the scoreboard looks dominant. However, this unpredictable fall season has been a success. The Lumberjacks leave it looking like a more talented and developed team. They’ll be a tough out in 2021. 

Give Jeff Traylor a medal

UTSA’s win over Southern Miss was not good. Quarterback Frank Harris’ passing was nothing short of a liability. The defense didn’t do enough to contain an anemic Southern Miss offense. At the end of the day, though, it doesn’t matter. 

Against all odds, the Roadrunners are bowl eligible for just the third time in program history in Jeff Traylor’s first season. Granted, the bounds for bowl eligibility will be a little weirder than normal with the wonky scheduling around the country, but we’ll celebrate it in San Antonio just the same. 

This has been far from a smooth season for Jeff Traylor to navigate. Quarterbacks suffered injuries. Players and a game were lost to COVID-19 and contact tracing. But still, this first-time college head coach found a way to pull his team through. 

UTSA hired Traylor at his lowest value. Today. San Antonio is reaping the rewards. 

Stay safe this Thanksgiving

I won’t lie to you, this Saturday sucked for Texas schools. More than half of the FBS games in Texas were postponed or cancelled because of Covid, and that was already with three of the Power Five teams on bye. 

During the North Texas game, we got the report from Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins that nearly 2,200 people reported testing positive for COVID-19 on Saturday, by far the worst day of the pandemic. Case numbers in El Paso are, of course, still horrific. 

So heading into this holiday week, please enjoy it, but also be mindful of protecting those you love. If that means having a smaller group, distancing when you are together or anything else, just keep it in mind. This is the worst period of our collective lives, but let’s ensure that we give everyone we love the best chance possible to make it through.

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