Saturday NCAA Football Recap

A&M makes history and Texas teams live to fight another day in Week 13

Kellen Mond led the Aggies to a big win. Cooper Neill/Getty Images

Houston misses its shot at a championship and the Aggies made history. Here’s look at what happened in the Lone Star State:

Texas 24, Kansas 17

Sam Ehlinger was a dominant force in the Longhorn’s victory over Kansas on Friday. The star quarterback threw for two touchdowns and ran for another, and No. 11 Texas beat Kansas 24-17 to clench a spot in the Big 12 championship game. "We treated this game like a semifinal, if you will, win and advance," Texas coach Tom Herman said. "And our guys found a way to win and advance." Kansas coach David Beaty is on his way out after four losing seasons with the Jayhawks and high-profile Les Miles is taking over to hopefully restore the program. It was a good day for the longhorns who lost to the Jayhawks back  in 2016. The loss seald the fate of Charlie Strong and led to the hiring of Herman.

Memphis 52, Houston 31

Welp, the Cougars blew it. They had one last shot to make it to the American Athletic Conference  championship and they blew it. Despite being down 21-17 at halftime, Memphis rushed for five touchdowns and scored 21 unanswered points in the second half to beat the Cougars 52-31. The Tigers took advantage of the run game after defensive tackle Ed Oliver was benched due to a lingering knee injury. Running back Darrell Henderson rushed for 178 yards and two touchdowns, setting a single-season conference record, passing the previous mark of 1,629. Memphis will face No. 8 UCF in the AAC title game.

Baylor 35, Texas Tech 24

After a season full of high highs and low lows, Charlie Brewer and the Bears get to go to a bowl game. The sophomore quarterback threw for 308 yards, two touchdowns and ran for another score, leading the Bears to a 35-24 victory over Texas Tech in the regular season finale. "Excited to have more time with those seniors," Brewer said. "I have the utmost respect for those guys that have stuck around here through tougher times than I could ever imagine." The Bears have earned bowl-eligibility after finishing with only one win last season. Tech coach Kliff Kingsbury was fired Sunday. The former quarterback turned head coach was 35-40 in six seasons as head coach. Baylor waits to find out what bowl game it will play in.

TCU 31, Oklahoma State 24

Despite being plagued by injury, TCU gained bowl-eligibility with a 31-24 victory over Oklahoma State on Saturday night. "With everything that happened to us, I think we ended up overachieving at the end. Simple," coach Gary Patterson said. "I don't think you can take away from our kids what they just got accomplished." Sophomore receiver Jalen Reager had one touchdown and 121 yards rushing on five carries and caught eight passes for 91 yards and another score. Both TCU and Oklahoma State wait to find out which bowl game they will play in.

Texas A&M 74, LSU 72

This game just would not end! After an early celebration on the LSU sideline and seven overtimes, the Aggies staved off the Tigers with a 74-72 victory on Saturday night. Receiver Kendrick Rogers was stunningly clutch, picking up 53 yards and two touchdowns on three receptions. After being frantically tended to on the sidelines, Rogers returned to the game in time to close it out with a two-point conversion. "These are moments you live for, so no matter what's going on with your body you want to be out there," Rogers said. "So, you just have to talk yourself out of it, just mentally fight through it." Sophomore quarterback Kellen Mond was the glue that held the Aggies together, throwing for 287 yards, six touchdowns, three 2-point conversions and ran for another touchdown. "You had two teams out there refusing to lose and we just made one more play," Texas A&M coach Jimbo Fisher said. The 74 points allowed by LSU are the most ever given up by a ranked team. The 146 combined points are the most in an FBS game in NCAA history.

Rice 27, Old Dominion 13

Juma Otoviano rushed for two touchdowns and a freshman school record 224 yards, leading the Owls to a 27-13 victory over Old Dominion on Saturday.

 

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Houston loses first game to Oakland

A's end losing streak against Astros with late homers

Lance McCullers Jr. went five innings of one-run ball Friday night. Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

After maintaining their stronghold against the A's in Thursday's home opener, the Astros had the chance to lock up the three-game series victory against Oakland with a win on Friday night. On the mound, Lance McCullers Jr. hoped to improve upon his first start against this same team, a five-inning one-run outing.

Instead, he would have the same outcome, once again lasting five innings while allowing one run, before a big tie-breaking home run late in the game would push Oakland out of their losing skid against the Astros.

Final Score: A's 6, Astros 2

Astros' Record: 6-2, tied for first in AL West

Winning Pitcher: Yusmeiro Petit (2-0)

Losing Pitcher: Bryan Abreu (1-1)

McCullers Jr. makes it through five

McCullers Jr. looked sharp through the first three innings, allowing just two baserunners, one on a second-inning single, then a walk in the third. Oakland did better against him the second time through their order in the fourth, with Jed Lowrie leading the inning off with a solo home run to put Oakland in front 1-0.

They went on to load the bases with one out on an error and two walks, but McCullers would strand them all. He returned for the fifth, a much cleaner inning where a caught stealing by Martin Maldonado would help him face just three batters. His final line: 5.0 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 3 BB, 6 K, 88 P.

Oakland gets homer-happy to even the series

McCullers Jr. would leave the game without being eligible for the winning or losing decision, as an RBI-groundout by Kyle Tucker in the fourth would have it tied 1-1. Bryan Abreu was the first out of Houston's bullpen, and he would attempt to eat up multiple innings. He had perfect innings in the sixth and seventh, retiring six A's in order to maintain the stalemate.

Abreu remained in the game in the top of the eighth, allowing a single before getting a strikeout, ending his run as Dusty Baker would bring in left-handed Blake Taylor. Taylor would give up a single against his first batter, then a loud go-ahead three-run home run to Matt Olson to push the A's back in front 4-1. They'd add two more insurance runs off of Joe Smith in the top of the ninth, getting a two-run home run by Mark Canha to extend the lead to 6-1.

Oakland's bullpen would hold on to the newly created lead, allowing just one run on a sac fly by Jose Altuve in the bottom of the ninth, finally ending their losing streak against Houston and setting up the rubber game on Saturday to be for the series victory.

Up Next: This series's finale will be a Saturday afternoon start, with first pitch scheduled for 3:05 PM. For the Astros, Jose Urquidy (0-0, 4.15 ERA) will look to get a win on the board, while Oakland will hand the ball to Frankie Montas (0-1, 23.63 ERA).

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