The 411: QB Controversy in Austin, Wrecking Crew is Back, A TCU Prediction

Courtesy of Texas State Football

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Week 2 of the college football schedule provided some humble pie for many of the 12 FBS programs inside the state of Texas. The Longhorns were knocked out by Arkansas. Texas A&M scratched past Texas A&M. Even Texas Tech and SMU struggled against inferior competition. 

There was some good news. UTSA set records in a blowout win over Lamar. TCU earned a hard-fought win over Cal. Houston rebounded from an embarrassing second half against Texas Tech to dominate Rice. And Texas State went to FIU and came home with a victory in overtime. 

Welcome back to the 411 of Texas football where we provide four truths, one question and one prediction from an action-packed weekend of football. 

Four truths

A quarterback controversy is brewing in Austin: Hudson Card was efficient in the 20-point win over Louisiana in Week 1. He was anything but efficient in the Week 2 loss at Arkansas. Card, behind a porous offensive line, could never build any consistency or rhythm in the passing attack. The redshirt freshman finished the game 8-of-15 for 61 yards. Casey Thompson, a more mobile threat, enjoyed more success in his few drives. Admittedly, the Arkansas defense wasn’t playing the same with a big lead late in the game, but Thompson’s legs looked to offer something that Texas needs until the offensive line is figured out. Thompson was 5-of-8 for 57 yards and added two rushing touchdowns on seven carries. He averaged 6.3 yards per carry. Card averaged just 1.6. 

The Wrecking Crew is back: Texas A&M is upset in Boulder by Colorado if not for the Texas A&M defense. In a game where the offense struggled and starting quarterback Haynes King was forced out of action with an injury, the Wrecking Crew kept the Aggies’ title hopes alive in a 10-7 win. Colorado scored a touchdown in the first quarter to build a 7-0 lead with 2:24 remaining in the opening frame. The Buffaloes never scored again. The Aggies’ defense only allowed 89 yards passing. The defense accounted for five tackles for loss, a sack and an interception. An 18-yard pass from backup quarterback Zach Calzada to Isaiah Spiller allowed Texas A&M to escape Denver with a win. 

Texas State earns a win: It would’ve been easier for Texas State to fold on Saturday night when FIU erased a 10-0 lead to take a 17-10 advantage into the fourth quarter. Texas State entered the fourth quarter giving up 17-straight points and without any momentum offensively. The Bobcats went back to the basics by relying on the running game and chipping away at the lead. Texas State tied the game on a one-yard run by Brock Sturges to force overtime. Sturges’ 11-yard touchdown run in overtime gave Texas State the victory.

We overreacted to Week 1: This happens every football season. Week 1 blinds us to deeper truths because of recency bias. After Week 1, Texas was flying under Steve Sarkisian. Texas Tech was moving in the right direction. Rice was going to give Houston a game. The SMU offense was going to light up the scoreboard. The UTEP defense was improving. I could keep going. After Week 2, not many of those statements hold true. The Longhorns lack the offensive and defensive line to compete against SEC teams. Texas Tech nearly lost to SFA. Houston blew out Rice and UTEP gave up 41 points in the first half to Boise State. 

One question

Did Rice find its quarterback? The Owls rotated Wiley Green and Luck McCaffrey in the opener against Arkansas with Green earning the start. Mike Bloomgren decided to roll with McCaffrey, a transfer, in the game against Houston. The problem was that McCaffrey didn’t do anything to solidify the job. He went 9-of-19 for 86 yards and one touchdown to three interceptions in the 44-7 loss at Houston. Known as a dual-threat, McCaffrey even found his scrambles hard to come by with three yards rushing on eight attempts. 

One prediction

TCU running back Zach Evans leads the Big 12 in rushing at the end of the year: The former five-star recruit is undeniably talented. If he can stay on the field, Evans could be poised for a breakout season in his sophomore campaign. He rushed the Horned Frogs into a victory over Cal on Saturday after rushing for 183 yards and a touchdown on 22 attempts. He averaged 7.7 yards per attempt as a freshman. Texas’ offensive line isn’t good enough for Bijan Robinson to consistently amass big numbers. Oklahoma is going to do everything to help quarterback Spencer Rattler win the Heisman Trophy. The only real contender to Evans might be Round Rock product Deuce Vaughn at Kansas State. 

 

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