THE COLLEGE FOOTBALL REPORT

Weekend NCAA football recap: Big wins for Texas and LSU, more disappointment from Houston

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Orgeron's explosive offense is only getting better and Herman's defense is laser-focused. Here's a look at what happened in the Lone Star State and with LSU:

Tulane 38, Houston 31

Houston blew a 21 point lead and the Green Wave rallied to a 38-31 victory Thursday night. Week after week, the Cougars further solidify my lack of faith in their ability to secure the win in the second half. Houston was off to a spectacular start; 17 seconds into the opening drive, D'Eriq King dropped a dime to Marquez Stevenson for a 75-yard touchdown. King threw for 229 yards, two touchdowns and ran for another score, breaking the FBS record for going 15-straight games with both a running and a passing touchdown. Keep in mind all of that explosiveness was overshadowed by a lackluster performance from the Cougars in the second half in which their only score was a made field goal by Dalton Witherspoon. Tulane receiver Jalen McCleskey scored on a 53-yard catch-and-run with three seconds left to seal the win for the Green Wave. McClesky finished with four catches for 120 yards and two touchdowns for Tulane. Green Wave quarterback Justin McMillan had 7-of-20 completed passes for 186 yards and three touchdowns. Houston is on the road against North Texas next Saturday night.

Auburn 28, Texas A&M 20

Although freshman quarterback Bo Nix did not put up flashy numbers for Auburn on Saturday, he didn't make any big mistakes in his first true road game and Auburn coach Gus Malzahn was pleased with his performance. "He's got something special to him," Malzahn said of Nix. "He's not your normal freshman. We knew that when we recruited him. One thing that I like is the moment ain't too big for him." Nix threw a touchdown pass and Ja'Tarvious Whitlow rushed for a score, helping No. 8 Auburn build an early lead and withstand a late surge from Texas A&M to get a 28-20 win over the 17th-ranked Aggies. Texas A&M quarterback Kellen Mond cut the lead to 21-10 with his first scoring pass early in the fourth quarter before Auburn added a rushing touchdown. Mond hit Ainias Smith with a 15-yard TD pass with just over two minutes left but Auburn recovered the onside kick and ran out the clock. Mond finished with 335 yards passing but the Aggie's running game was held to just 56 yards. Auburn is expected to maintain its poll position but the Aggies will most certainly plummet in the poll or fall out altogether after the home loss. Texas A&M meets Arkansas in Cowboys Stadium next Saturday.

LSU 66, Vanderbilt 38

The fourth-ranked Tigers aggressive style offense is making waves around the nation and paying off for LSU in a major way. LSU quarterback Joe Burrow threw a school-record six touchdown passes and 398 yards, leading the undefeated Tigers to a 66-38 win over Vanderbilt on Saturday. The Tigers scored their most points this season and the most ever in regulation against an SEC opponent. Burrow once again capitalized on the highlight reel opportunity, becoming the first LSU quarterback to throw for 350 yards or more in three consecutive games. His 357 passing yards before halftime also was the most in school history. "It's good," LSU coach Ed Orgeron said. "I think that there's more to come. I really do. I think Joe is a fantastic player. He has a fantastic coach in [offensive coordinator] Steve Ensminger. We have a great plan, and as long as we protect the quarterback we're going to make big plays here at LSU." Burrow finished 25-of-34 before leaving the game early in the fourth quarter, marking the third time he has been subbed out early due to a lopsided score this season. The star quarterback is now 100-of-124 passing (80% completion) for 1,520 yards and 17 touchdowns in LSU's first four games. Four of Burrow's six TD passes went to receiver Ja'Marr Chase. The sophomore made TD grabs of 64, 25 and 51 yards in the first quarter, adding a 16-yarder in the third. Chase finished with 10 receptions for 229 yards, the most by an LSU receiver since Odell Beckham Jr. in 2013. Expect LSU to hold their position within the top five based on the Tigers final victory margin. LSU is off next week before hosting Utah State on Oct. 5.

Texas 36, Oklahoma State 30

Sam Ehlinger threw four touchdowns for the third time this season and the No. 12 Longhorns' defense held Oklahoma State in check for most of the game to tough out a 36-30 victory Saturday night to open Big 12 play. The Longhorns' defense was locked in, holding OKST's Chuba Hubbard, the nation's leading rusher, to just 121 yards on 37 carries and two scores. Tylan Wallace, who tied for the national receiving lead with six touchdowns, was scoreless against the Longhorns and only had two receptions in the second half for the Cowboys. "The two guys were really hard to stop, I thought we did an admirable job of it", Texas coach Tom Herman said. "That's about as good as you're going to do against those two guys. ...We gave up big plays but bowed our backs when our back was against the wall." Ehlinger finished 20-of-28 with 281 yards passing. OKST coach Mike Gundy will likely feel some heat about decisions that cost the Cowboys valuable points. If OKST kicker Matt Ammendola had been allowed to kick his fourth and fifth field goals of the game, the Cowboys would have been tied after Hubbard's late score. Texas has a bye week next weekend, giving the battered Longhorns some much-needed time to heal bumps and bruises. Look for Texas to move up in the poll as No.7 Notre Dame, No. 10 Utah, and No. 11 Michigan all lost. Texas visits West Virginia on Oct. 5.

SMU 41, TCU 38

SMU quarterback Shane Buechele was 23-of-34 passing for 288 yards with two touchdowns and ran for another score, as SMU held off No. 25 TCU for a 41-38 victory on Saturday, snapping a 7-game losing streak in the 99th meeting between the schools. TCU quarterback Max Duggan finished 16-of-36 for 188 yards passing and three touchdowns. Veteran running back Xavier Jones ran for 79 yards on 19 carries and a touchdown, and caught a 3-yard TD early in the fourth quarter to put the Mustangs up 38-24. "It's a simple thing. We got outplayed. We got outcoached," TCU coach Gary Patterson said. TCU will fall out of the top 25, a week after getting ranked. The Horned Frogs host Kansas next Saturday to open Big 12 Conference play.

Baylor 21, Rice 13

Baylor quarterback Charlie Brewer threw for 303 yards and a touchdown, leading Baylor to a close 21-13 win over Rice on Saturday. "I believe this with all my heart -- we needed that game," Baylor coach Matt Rhule said. "We needed that experience." Baylor receiver Chris Platt finished with five receptions for 85 yards, including a 50-yard touchdown pass from Brewer with five minutes left in the second quarter. The Owls had the ball and a chance to tie with three minutes left to play but two sacks ended the drive. Rice's band played the Village People's "YMCA" as dozens of students rushed the field donning rainbow flags during halftime. A Baylor spokesperson told the Houston Chronicle the school's administration declined earlier this month to officially recognize an LGBTQ -student group on campus. Baylor hosts Iowa State on Saturday to open Big 12-Play.

Texas State 37, Georgia State 34

Joshua Rowland kicked a 35-yard field goal for Texas State and the Bobcats snapped Georgia State 37-34 in a triple-overtime nail-biter to open Sun Belt Conference play Saturday night. Quarterback Gresh Jenson completed 16-of-24 for Texas State.

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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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