Texas FBS rankings week 13

The Longhorns reign over Texas in 2018

Texas continues to rule the state. Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

No. 12: Rice

The Owls took yet another beating on Saturday when they were defeated 42-10 by LSU. Rice will have one more chance to break their 11-game losing streak when they face-off against an Old Dominion team who has won three of their last four games.

No. 11: UTEP

Despite a big performance by quarterback Brandon Jones, in which he threw for 340 yards and two touchdowns, the Miners could not keep up with Western Kentucky in Week 12. UTEP will look to end the season on a positive note by claiming their second win of the season vs. an average Southern Mississippi team.

No. 10: UTSA

UTSA has struggled mightily to score points during their five-game losing streak. Through those five losses the Roadrunners have scored just 30 points compared to their opponents 178. Things are not looking good heading into their final game of the season where they will go against a North Texas team who has averaged 37 points per-game this season.

No. 9: Texas State

The Bobcats fell just five points short of securing their fourth win of the season against the 9-2 Troy Trojans. Texas State will have their hands full in week 13 against the Arkansas State Red Wolves who have scored an average of 41 points in their last five games.

No. 8: TCU

The Horned Frogs secured a win over Baylor in Week 12 to give themselves some momentum heading into their end of the season matchup with Oklahoma State. While winning two of their last three games is an encouraging sign, TCU has failed to score more than 17 points in any of those last three games. This means the Horned Frogs could have a hard time keeping up with the explosive and offensive dominant Oklahoma State Cowboys.

No. 7: Baylor

Despite going up against a wounded TCU team, Baylor was unable to get their sixth win of the season. While their defense held the Horned Frogs to just 16 points, the Bears offense could not find their groove. Baylor will have a tough matchup against the talented Red Raiders to wrap up the season. The Bears should not be counted out of this matchup considering the inconsistency shown by Texas Tech all season.

No. 6: Texas Tech

The Red Raiders drop out of the top five after suffering their fourth straight defeat. Texas Tech looked lost last weekend against a Kansas State team who most people expected them to handle with ease. With head coach Kliff Kingsbury’s job is possibly on the line Tech will have a lot to play for when they take on a dangerous Baylor team to finish the season.

No. 5: SMU

SMU climbs up three spots in this week’s rankings to land a spot in the top five for the first time this season. After starting the year with three losses, the Mustangs have been fighting to regain respect and relevance. SMU will be optimistic heading into their final game against a Tulsa team who has only won two games all season.

No. 4: UNT

After a surprise loss in Week 11 the Mean Green bounced back with a strong win over Florida Atlantic this past weekend. Running back DeAndre Torrey set the tone for the North Texas offense as he gashed the Owls defense for 184 yards rushing and completed his third game in a row of at least 130 yards rushing and 1 touchdown. UNT should be able to pat their stats to finish the season when they go up against the 3-8 UTSA Roadrunners.

No. 3: Houston

Coming off an upset loss to Temple where the Cougars defense was non-present, Houston torched Tulane and only allowed 17 points. With an 8-3 record the Cougars are leading their half of the conference and will play for the West title against Memphis. If Houston can take care of their business for one more week, the season should be deemed a success.   

No. 2: Texas A&M

While UAB put up a good fight, the Blazers ended up being no match for Texas A&M. The Aggies led the entire game on their way to a 41-20 victory which gave them their seventh win of the season. A&M will finish their season with a big matchup vs. No. 7 LSU. The Tigers have had a dominant season and have an exceptional 4-1 record in their last five games with their only loss coming to No. 1 Alabama. With this said, LSU has been proven to be inconsistent offensively at times this season, so if the Aggies can jump out to an early lead, they might just have enough firepower to knock off their top 10 opponent.

No. 1: Texas

With their 8-3 record the Longhorns hold onto their No. 1 spot for the eighth week in a row. After a close call vs. the Red Raiders, the Longhorns left no doubt in their final home game of the season when they defeated Iowa State 24-10. It was an emotional senior night in Austin as players saw their dreams of a shot at the Big 12 championship come to life. Texas is in line to face off against either Oklahoma or West Virginia in the Big 12 title game if they can close out their season with a win over Kansas in week 13. There is no doubt that Texas is the more talented team, but the Jayhawks put up an impressive fight against Oklahoma in week 12 and will be looking for a chance to knock off the Longhorns.

 

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A WEEKLY REVIEW OF CRENNEL'S COACHING

Now my job: Texans feast on Lions

Photo by Getty Images.

Thanksgiving is full of tradition. There's the typical family gathering, large meal, and of course, football. Sometimes, new traditions are added and old ones are retired. I think the Texans did both in their impressive 41-25 win over the Lions in Detroit. Old traditions were carried on (Lions losing on Thanksgiving), some were put to rest (Texans not being able to get turnovers), and new ones were started (multiple passing touchdowns by Deshaun Watson in six straight games).

The fact that this defense got three turnovers in the game was unbelievable! They got all three in the first quarter within the span of eight plays. JJ Watt's pick-six was insane. He went for a batted ball, ended up catching it, and ran it in. They forced Jonathan Williams to fumble on the Lions' very next play from scrimmage and recovered it. On the Lions' next possession, the Texans recovered yet another fumble after the challenge was reversed. Great call by the coaching staff to challenge and win. The defense looked good. Tyrell Adams stood out because he was in on those two fumbles, made 17 total tackles with 14 of them being solo tackles. They also brought pressure that seemed to make Matthew Stafford very inaccurate and resulted in four sacks. I give defensive coordinator Anthony Weaver credit for knowing he needs to blitz to get pressure, but the run defense has to improve.

The offense kept the tempo up in this game as well. The spread and hurry-up were used to keep the Lions already staggered defense off balance. Knowing the Lions were without a couple defensive backs, I thought it would be the perfect marriage of their defense and the Texans' offense. A buddy asked before the game about the line (Texans -3.5) and the over/under (52.5). I told him bet the Texans and the over because neither team can play defense and both have good quarterbacks. Offensive coordinator Tim Kelly put together another good game plan and Watson executed it flawlessly. One route combo I saw later on in the game I particularly enjoyed. Two receivers were tight to the left side. Cooks ran a hook/curl and settled in the middle of the zone while Fuller ran a vertical route. Duke Johnson ran a swing route to that same side. It left Cooks wide open as the attention went to Johnson in the flat, Fuller deep, and the action to the other play side. Route combos are important because it gives the quarterback different reads as he goes through his progressions and lets him pick apart the defense based on what he sees. Combine that with Watson's play and the way Kelly has changed his play calling now that he's liberated from he who shall not be named, we're seeing a beautiful thing.

As good as things were, there's still room for improvement. The defense gives up way too many easy yards, both run and pass. They can't get pressure bringing only four and will often give up big plays if the blitz is picked up. Plus the run defense is still an issue as evidenced by the Lions' first possession of the second half. The Lions ran the ball 10 plays straight for a total of 58 yards on that drive. Utterly ridiculous! Watson was good (17/25 318 yards and four touchdowns), but he missed two more touchdowns with passes slightly off, and continues to hold onto the ball too long at times. The difference between these two issues I've presented here is the fact that Watson has so played well, his "issues" are minor and very correctable, while the defense is terrible and there's no easy fix in sight. But let Romeo Crennel and Anthony Weaver tell it, they're getting the most out of these guys and they're playing disciplined.

The thought that this team may actually creep into the playoff picture may take shape better after next week if they can beat the Colts. I doubt it, but it is getting interesting. Let's see what else happens around them because they need help getting there.

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