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Saturday NCAA Football Recap: Big wins around the Lone Star State in Week 12

Tom Herman and the Longhorns are rolling. Tim Warner/Getty Images

The Longhorns prove they’ve got the juice and Houston makes a comeback. Here’s what happened around the Lone Star State.  

Houston 48, Tulane 17

The Houston Cougars entered the game against Tulane on Thursday hoping to rebound from their only home loss suffered at the hands of Temple last week. Quarterback D’Eriq King completed 11-of-15 passes for 82 yards and two touchdowns, and rushed for an additional 82 yards for the Cougars as they cruised to a 48-17 victory over the Green Wave. King was injured later in the game and was on the sideline with crutches during the second half. It was later determined that King will be miss the final game of the season against Memphis next week. Houston defensive tackle Ed Oliver missed his fourth straight game due to a knee injury sustained against Navy on Oct. 20, and was not in uniform against Tulane. Before heading into the locker room at the half, Oliver was angry and shouting at Houston head coach Major Applewhite and did not return for the second half. Applewhite later told reporters that Oliver was reacting to being told he was not permitted to wear a heavy coat on the sideline because they were reserved for active starters. Quarterback Clayton Tune entered the game for King in the second half and added two touchdown passes for the Cougars.

Texas A&M 41, UAB 20

Despite their blowout win over UAB on Saturday, Aggie Coach Jimbo Fisher wasted no time in talking about the improvements his team needs to make to be successful against LSU next week. "You're never where you want to be," Fisher said. "We'll never be where I want to be. It doesn't matter if we win `em all. I will never be where I want to be. We've got to get better. Good enough is never good enough and we've got to keep pushing and fighting because everybody's going to come at you." Junior running back Trayveon Williams was nothing short of amazing, running for 167 yards and two scores on 20 carries, leading the Aggies to a 41-20 victory over UAB.

LSU 42, Rice 10

Quarterback Joe Burrow threw for a career-high 307 yards and two touchdowns, leading No. 10 LSU to an easy 42-10 victory over Rice on Saturday evening. This loss marks the 11th straight loss for the Owls. "For the confidence of this offense, it was important for us to click tonight," Burrow said. "We wanted to move the ball without any hesitation or road blocks. For the most part, I think we did that." Rice was simply overmatched. The Owls played a decent game in which they committed no turnovers and three penalties. 

Texas 24, Iowa State 10

After squandering a 17-point lead last week and barely skating by with the win over Texas Tech, the No. 13 Longhorns showed their yearning to make it to the Big 12 title game with their 24-10 victory over Iowa State on Saturday night. "We're overachieving right now. We're winning on toughness. We're winning on grit," Texas coach Tom Herman said. "Coming from where we came from and where this program was... we've still got a lot of football left to play." As a person who witnessed Texas blow a 17-point lead last week, I wound not go as far as to say the ‘Horns are “overachieving,” but not even I, a Longhorn critic by birth, can not argue the greatness of quarterback Sam Ehlinger. The only question that remains is: Will Ehlinger’s throwing shoulder hold up? The sophomore quarterback threw for a touchdown and ran for another before departing the game after a hard hit in the second quarter. Second-string quarterback Shane Buechele took for the injured Ehlinger for the second time this season and guided the Longhorns to a win.

TCU 16, Baylor 9

Oh how the mighty have fallen. TCU never fails to disappoint and barely winning over a bad Baylor team was no different. Granted, they are down to their third quarterback and last scholarship running back so I’ll cut them a break. Gutsy playmaker Jalen Reagor should certainly be credited with this win for the Horned Frogs. Reagor got the go-ahead score after sophomore running back Emari Demercado took a direct snap and tossed to the sophomore Reagor who had a wide open lane to the end zone with two minutes left in the third quarter. "That was a gutsy win," TCU coach Gary Patterson said. "Want to know what kind of heart and what this program is about, you just need to watch that ball game. There wasn't any reason why we should have won." The 16-9 loss to the Horned Frogs kept the Bears from becoming bowl eligible in their home finale. 

Kansas State 21, Texas Tech 6

Texas Tech was held to an unusually low 181 yards in their 21-6 loss to K-State on Saturday. "I was really proud of our defensive players, our coaches. Pretty special," said K-State coach Bill Snyder "Regardless of the win, the real effort of how we played was special." The 79-year-old Snyder, who some believe could retire after this season, dodged all questions related to his future with the Wildcats. Sophomore quarterback Skylar Thompson finished 17-of-26 with 213 yards, one touchdown and one interception for the Wildcats. 

Troy 12, Texas State 7

Kicker Tyler Sumpter nailed four field goals for the Trojans on Saturday, leading them to a 12-7 victory over Texas State. Troy faces Appalachian State next Saturday for the chance to host the inaugural Sun Belt Conference game. 

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After a rough, disheartening loss the night before to even the series at one game apiece, the Astros tried to shake it off and regroup for a win on Thursday to get the series win against the Diamondbacks in Arizona. Here is a quick recap of the finale:

Final Score: Diamondbacks 5, Astros 4.

Record: 6-6, second in the AL West.

Winning pitcher: Junior Guerra (1-0, 0.00 ERA).

Losing pitcher: Ryan Pressly (0-1, 40.50 ERA).

Bielak tosses an impressive start as Houston puts him in winning position

After both teams finished the first three innings scoreless, the Astros were able to get a little bit of good luck on their side, unlike the night prior. Jose Altuve started the inning with a much-needed single, stole second, then moved to third on a groundout for the second out. That set up Yuli Gurriel, who hit a ball down the third-base line that would strike the bag and bounce away from Arizona, allowing Altuve to score and put Houston up 1-0.

Though he likely would have preferred more run support, Brandon Bielak made do with that one run in his first career MLB start. He was able to complete five innings of work, holding Arizona scoreless over that span despite allowing a runner in each inning. He left in line for the win, with a final line of 5.0 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 3 BB, 1 K, 0 HR.

Altuve extends the lead, then Diamondbacks go ahead

Jose Altuve helped double the lead in the top of the sixth, connecting for a one-out solo home run to make it 2-0. With Bielak's night over at five innings, Cy Sneed took over in the bottom of the sixth and allowed back-to-back one-out doubles to cut Houston's lead in half. He allowed a single to put runners on the corners before Dusty Baker would move on to another reliever to try and preserve the lead. Blake Taylor would enter but allowed the tying RBI-single to take Bielak out of winning position. Taylor would go on to allow a go-ahead run before getting out of the jam.

In the bottom of the seventh, Taylor was still on the mound but would only get two outs before another call to the pen. Andre Scrubb would enter and get the final out of the inning. In the top of the eighth, Jose Altuve would improve to 3-for-4 on the night with a two-out double, setting up Alex Bregman for a go-ahead two-run home run to make it 4-3, Houston.

Ryan Pressly allows the walk-off

Scrubb went back to the mound in the bottom of the eighth and was able to record a 1-2-3 inning to move the game to the ninth. After a scoreless top of the ninth, Ryan Pressly would attempt to get the save in the bottom of the inning. Instead, he would allow the walk-off, loading the bases with no outs on a walk and two singles before a two-RBI single to give Arizona the win and the series victory.

Up Next: The Astros will travel to Oakland to kick off a three-game weekend series with the A's on Friday at 8:10 PM Central. The A's will send Chris Bassitt (1-0, 0.93 ERA) to the mound while Houston will turn to Zack Greinke (0-0, 5.00 ERA) to help cut down Oakland's division lead.

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