COLLEGE FOOTBALL AT A GLANCE

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. 

Most Popular

SportsMap Emails
Are Awesome

Listen Live

ESPN Houston 97.5 FM

THE LEFT TURN

NASCAR: Coca-Cola 600 preview, picks

Watch out for Ryan Blaney this weekend. Photo via: Wiki Commons

It’s a Memorial Day Tradition; The NASCAR Cup Series heads home to Charlotte for the annual Coca-Cola 600. This race is probably the third most crucial race all season, behind the Daytona 500 and the Season Finale at Phoenix. Anyone who wins this race will always be able to say that they were Coke 600 champions. No race on the schedule is as long as this one, because of this there will be a 4th stage added to the race. Teams will be provided 13 sets of tires, and if the last few weeks have been any indication, they will need all the tires they can get. With the race being as long as it is, there is a good possibility this could be an attrition race and the driver that survives will more than likely win. The record for the most cautions in NASCAR history was 22 cautions, at this same race in 2005. Come Sunday, I bet we get close to that number.

What's the deal with all of these tire failures? Last week in the All-Star race we saw drivers like Kyle Busch, Kyle Larson, and Erik Jones all crash out because they had a flat. There are many factors that could be contributing to this, for one the tires are much wider and the sidewalls are much more narrow. Because of this, the tire falloff is much shorter, so now instead of going maybe 40-45 laps on one set of tires, drivers can now only go 25-30 laps. The other major facet is that a lot of teams are running much lower air pressures to get the car to handle better by being closer to the ground. Goodyear and NASCAR usually require the right side tires to run around 51-52 PSI, the rule however isn’t enforced for the left side tires, so drivers will push the limits to see how much they can take out to make the car faster. The fact that we were seeing such tire ware on smooth surfaces like Texas and Atlanta is a clear sign that there is a problem, but not all of it is on Goodyear. Only time will tell how this develops on tracks with old abrasive surfaces, like when they go back to Bristol in the fall.

One of NASCAR’s newest teams, Trackhouse racing, made a bit of a surprise announcement this week. Starting at Watkins Glenn in August, the team will run a third car with a series of international drivers, starting with 2007 Formula 1 World Champion Kimi Raikkonen. This is something that I think is interesting for the sport. I am a bit surprised that another team hasn’t already done this before. Having drivers like Kimi, one of the more world renowned racers in F1, can really bring a whole new audience to NASCAR. There have been rumors on whom some of the other drivers might be, from Daniel Riccardo to even Lewis Hamilton. There will be a lot of intrigue about who will be the next driver.

The driver that I have winning this weekend is Ryan Blaney. After winning the All-Star race, it seems like Roger Penske and the rest of the Ford camp are picking up steam. Overall, Blaney tends to struggle at this track with an 18.8 average finish, but if last week is any indication of how his car will run on mile and halves like Charlotte, he will be a fierce contender for the win.

SportsMap Emails
Are Awesome