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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Jose Urquidy is a surprising choice to start Game 2. Photo by Getty Images.

After a long and tumultuous season, the Houston Astros made it to their 3rd World Series in five years and will take on the Atlanta Braves Tuesday night.

Houston had the better overall regular season record, so games 1 & 2 will be played at Minute Maid Park while games 3-5 will be held at Truist Park in Atlanta.

(If necessary, the final two contests will be played back at Minute Maid Park).

The Braves got this far by defeating the Milwaukee Brewers in the ALDS 3-1 and the Los Angeles Dodgers in six games (4-2).

Atlanta prevailed with timely hitting from guys like Joc Pederson, Austin Riley and Eddie Rosario performing like an MVP this postseason.

The Braves received solid pitching outings from guys like Ian Anderson, Max Fried and former Astro Charlie Morton.

Atlanta used clutch hitting and solid pitching to make to their first World Series since 1999.

Meanwhile, the Astros made it back to the World Series by defeating the Chicago White Sox in the ALDS 3-1 and out-slugged the Red Sox four games to two.

According to Fox Bet, the Astros are favored at -154 to win the World Series. This is certainly an obtainable goal for Houston's team as they have the experience, hitting and pitching to compete with anyone.

Can Houston's bats stay hot?

The most intriguing matchup this series will be the Astros' bats facing off against this Braves pitching staff. On paper, Houston's lineup seems to be favored for their depth. Jose Altuve at the top of the batting order is always a threat to get on base, and behind him are a plethora of hitters who can drive in multiple runs.

The two best bats this postseason thus far for the Astros are ALCS MVP Yordan Alvarez (.522 batting average) and this year's American League batting title champion Yuli Gurriel (.455 batting average). The Cuban natives have lit up pitching and will look to continue their torrid hitting in the World Series.

Other Astros who could be impactful at the plate against the Braves include Michael Brantley, Alex Bregman and Kyle Tucker. All three of their batting average's in the .200's respectfully and could come up big at any time.

This lineup is so deep, Atlanta's pitchers won't receive many breaks, if at all this series.

Will the pitching step up again?

Losing Lance McCullers Jr. for the World Series certainly isn't ideal, but not impossible to overcome as proven in the ALCS against the Red Sox.

Framber Valdez pitched the best game of his career when he threw 8 innings and surrendered only one run in Game 3, while Luis Garcia had his best start of the postseason and received the Game 6 win. Both of these pitchers have stepped up in McCullers' absence and will have a huge impact on the series. Valdez is set to start Game 1 on Tuesday night.

If Jose Urquidy and Zack Greinke can also pitch deeper into games, there will be less stress on the bullpen and give the Astros a better chance to stay in games. And we won't have to wait long to see Urquidy, as he will start Game 2, according to Astros manager Dusty Baker.

In an ideal scenario, the Astros' starting pitchers should throw six innings of work and let Kendall Graveman, Ryne Stanek and Ryan Pressly closeout games as they have all season.

Of course this is the best-case scenario, which doesn't always happen, but other arms can be used to bridge the gaps that include Phil Maton, Yimi Garcia in short relief outings and Cristian Javier and Jake Odorizzi can pitch multiple innings if needed.

Even if a starter has a clunker of a start, this bullpen has done a great job of keeping things close and setting up the Astros for success.

Will this be Carlos Correa's "Last Dance" with Astros?

One can only imagine what is going on in Carlos Correa's mind right now. No one is implying that the free agent to be will not be focused this series, but it's hard to fathom this upcoming offseason isn't a distraction right now.

The 27-year-old shortstop is set to receive multiple offers from different teams and land one of the richest contracts once this season concludes.

If this truly is his final season with the Astros, why not go out on top and win one more title before moving on?

Let's hope this "Last Dance" for Correa is a slow one, so we can all enjoy it a little longer.

Will Dusty's experience prove to be a difference-maker?

Dusty Baker's experience could be beneficial for Houston's chances of hoisting another trophy as he has managed teams in parts of 24 seasons.

He's the only skipper to ever lead five franchises to the postseason and obtain more than 2,000 career victories.

This is the second time he as taken a club to the World Series. He took the 2002 San Francisco Giants to the Fall Classic but lost to the Angels in seven games.

It's safe to assume the 72-year-old seems eager to win his first championship as a manager to cap off a Hall of Fame career.

Final projection

As previously mentioned, the Astros are favored to win this series. If Houston can continue to stay hot at the plate, receive solid outings from their pitchers and just play Astros baseball, there is a good chance this city will have yet another Commissioner's Trophy in their display case.

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