NCAA REWIND

Saturday NCAA football recap: A&M wins big; Houston is still a mess; Joe Burrow keeps making history

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Can we start calling Joe Burrow "Superman" yet? Here's a look at what happened in the Lone Star State and with LSU:

SMU 34, Houston 31

The Cougars offense really stunk it up when they faced 16th-ranked SMU in Houston on Thursday night. In all fairness, it was primarily the Houston offense that played horribly, committing three turnovers and 11 penalties for 129 yards. The Cougars also fumbled the ball five times, losing the ball twice. "We lost the turnover battle 3-1," Holgorsen said. "I can deal with that if they weren't bad turnovers. Two of them were bad turnovers. The second thing is that -- what is it three times -- we got into the red zone and had to kick field goals. That's not a winning performance either." SMU quarterback Shane Buechele finished 20-for-30 with 203 yards passing and two touchdowns, leading the Mustangs to a 34-31 victory. SMU improved to 8-0 for the first time since starting 10-0 in 1982, and improved to 4-0 in conference play for the first time since 1986. Houston quarterback Clayton Tune finished 18-of-35 and threw for a career-high 407 yards and two touchdowns. Houston is on the road against UCF on Nov. 2.

LSU 23, Auburn 20

It's a bird… It's a plane… It's Joe-freakin'-Burrow! After taking a hit that sent him flying into the Auburn bench, Burrow immediately jumped up and trotted back to the line of scrimmage to resume his school-record eighth career 300-yard passing performance. Superman… I mean, Burrow, threw for 321 yards and a touchdown, ran for 47 yards and another score, and second-ranked LSU edged No. 9 Auburn 23-20 on Saturday. "If your quarterback shows toughness like that, it can kind of get your team going," Burrow said. "If you lay down on the field and don't hop right back up, it shows your team that you are not really into it." Previously, LSU had not scored fewer than 36 points in a game, but Auburn's locked in defense put pressure on Burrow, sacking him three times. "It was a gut check tonight," LSU coach Ed Orgeron said, praising the way his players stuck together. "They didn't want to be denied." I would be remiss if I didn't mention LSU's defense, which sacked Auburn quarterback Bo Nix three times and held his completion percentage to below 50 percent. "When our defense plays like that, nobody is going to beat us," Burrow said. LSU is off next week before facing off with No.1 Alabama in early November.

TCU 37, Texas 27

Freshman TCU quarterback Max Duggan was exactly what TCU needed on Saturday, throwing for a career-high 273 yards, leading the Horned Frogs to a 37-27 victory over No. 15 Texas. Longhorn quarterback Sam Ehlinger threw a career-high four interceptions, the first three of which led to 13 TCU points. Duggan, who entered the game with the lowest quarterback efficiency rating, finished with a team-high 72 yards rushing and helped TCU bounce back from consecutive conference losses. "They did a great job in coverage," Ehlinger said. "They got an experienced secondary. They didn't do anything exotic or cut anybody loose. They did a good job of bringing pressure but also being balanced and making it difficult for our guys to get open." Ehlinger was 27-of-48 for 321 yards passing and two touchdowns. I suspect the Longhorns will drop out of the Top 25 after suffering three losses , two of which came in the past three weeks. TCU is at Oklahoma State next Saturday and Texas has a week off to hopefully do some soul searching before hosting Kansas State Nov. 9.

Texas A&M 49, Mississippi State 30

Texas A&M quarterback Kellen Mond threw for 234 yards and racked up five touchdowns, leading the Aggies to a 39-30 victory over Mississippi State on Saturday. Texas A&M coach Jimbo Fisher was particularly proud of his team's ability to score touchdowns on each of Mississippi State's three turnovers. "You learn to feed off each other, that's what sports is about," Fisher said. "We capitalized today." Mond had scoring runs of 1 and 12 yards and threw touchdown passes of 16, 19 and 52 yards. The Aggies host Texas-San Antonio next Saturday.

 Kansas 37, Texas Tech 34

Kansas overcame an early three possession deficit and the ejection of their team captain Bryce Tornedon for targeting to beat Texas Tech 37-34 on Saturday. With two seconds left to play, Kansas kicker Liam Jones drilled the game-winning field goal for the Jayhawks. "We played our hearts out," Kansas coach Les Miles said. "Early til late. Down to the wire. Final drive. They won a game." Texas Tech quarterback Jett Duffey connected on 23-of-34 attempts for 271 yards passing. The Red Raiders have a bye week after which they'll face West Virginia on Nov. 9.

Arkansas State 38, Texas State 14

Arkansas State quarterback Marcel Murray ran 22 times for 114 yards and two touchdowns to help the Red Wolves beat Texas State 38-14 on Saturday night. Texas State quarterback Tyler Vitt completed 15-of-27 passes for 146 yards-passing, a touchdown and two interceptions for the Bobcats.

Southern Mississippi 20, Rice 6

The Owls were held to only 8 yards rushing and 131 in the air as Southern Mississippi destroyed Rice 20-6 on Saturday. The Golden Eagles had a season-high eight sacks, led by Jacques Turner with 3 1/2.

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After grinding through back-to-back extra-inning games in the series with the Los Angeles Angels where they would ultimately come away with the victory, the Astros had a day off on Monday before getting back into action on Tuesday. They were in Arizona for the first of three games against the Diamondbacks. Here is a rundown of the series opener:

Final Score: Astros 8, Diamondbacks 2.

Record: 6-4, first in the AL West.

Winning pitcher: Cristian Javier (1-0, 1.42 ERA).

Losing pitcher: Madison Bumgarner (0-2, 7.04 ERA).

Houston takes an early lead against Bumgarner and then piles on

Houston wasted no time going after Madison Bumgarner, with George Springer going after the first pitch of the game for a groundout, then Jose Altuve launching a solo home run on the next pitch to get an early 1-0 lead in the top of the first. They added to that lead in the second inning, with Carlos Correa leading it off with a solo home run of his own, making it 2-0. After two hit batters and a single, the Astros had the bases loaded for George Springer with one out, and he would deliver a sacrifice fly to push the lead to 3-0.

They would put runners on base in the next two innings, but would not score again until the fifth when a Bumgarner fielding error on a potential double-play would bring in a run and extend the inning. Houston would go on to load the bases, setting up Kyle Tucker for an RBI-single to make it 5-1 and end Bumgarner's night. Against Arizona's new reliever, Martin Maldonado worked a bases-loaded walk to make it 6-1, then Springer followed with a two-RBI double, blowing the game open at 8-1.

Javier gets first-career win in another impressive start

With a lead in hand when he went to the mound, Cristian Javier had another strong performance in his second-ever start. He allowed just one baserunner over the first three innings, a single in the second. After those three efficient innings, he would face some adversity in the bottom of the fourth. After allowing a double and one-out walk, he would give up his first run of the night on an RBI-single to make it a 3-1 game. Luckily, a great double play behind him would get him out of the jam and the inning.

Javier was able to settle back in after that rougher inning, getting quick, scoreless innings in the fifth and sixth, earning him the win. His final line: 6.0 IP, 4 H, 1 ER, 1 BB, 2 K, 0 HR.

Yet another rookie pitching debut as Houston's bullpen finishes the win

Bryan Abreu was first out of Houston's bullpen, taking over for Javier in the bottom of the seventh. He would not have an inning to remember, allowing a leadoff double followed later by two walks to load the bases. He then walked in a run, making it 8-2, and prompting another call to the bullpen. Enoli Paredes would enter and get the final out of the seventh inning.

Paredes ran into trouble of his own in the bottom of the eighth, loading the bases after a walk and two singles, but with some help from Houston's defense would keep it a six-run lead heading to the ninth. In yet another Astros debut for a pitcher in 2020, Humberto Castellanos entered in the bottom of the ninth, and he recorded the final three outs to close out the victory for Houston.

Up Next: This series continues on Wednesday with the middle game of this three-game set at 8:10 PM Central. Lance McCullers Jr. (1-0, 5.40 ERA) will return to the mound in another start for the Astros, while Robbie Ray (0-2, 8.64 ERA) will look to turn things around in his early season with the Diamondbacks.

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