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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THE LEFT TURN

NASCAR: Quaker State 400 preview

Photo via: WikiCommons.

This week, the NASCAR cup series heads to Kentucky Motor Speedway for the Quaker State 400. Built in 2001, this track is a 1.5 mile tri-oval with a dog-leg on the front stretch. The most dangerous part of the track has to be turn three as the corner is flat compared to the other three corners that are banked. This has been a major point of contingency for these drivers as most of the cautions end up being there. Look for turn three to be a hot spot come Sunday. Last year, both the Busch brothers finished 1-2 in one of the most exciting finishes of the season so there will be a lot of hype for this race to live up to.

Last week at Indy, as we all expected the race was a crazy one. Over the course of the race's 160 laps, we saw many horrific accidents including a scary pit road accident involving Corey Lajoe, Ryan Blaney, Justin Allgier, Ryan Preece and others. The wreck started when everyone got stacked up entering the pits and the calamity was on from there. During the wreck Brennan Poole struck Rear Tire Changer Zach Price as he was trying to avoid the wrecking cars in front of him. After the incident fans and media alike all held their breath as they awaited news on his condition. But when the camera panned to him being loaded into the ambulance, there was a huge sigh of relief as he gave everyone a thumbs up signifying he was okay. Another scary moment was both Erik Jones and Alex Bowman's vicious crashes. Both cars had tire failures that sent their cars directly into the wall. Fortunately both drivers were okay but their days were over.

In the end, tire wear would end up claiming one more victim as it took out Denny Hamlin as well. With seven laps to go, the four-time winner this season was in prime position to get his fifth victory until his right front tire blew out, sending him hard into the turn 2 wall. This mishap handed the win to his main rival in the championship, Kevin Harvick, as he went on to claim his third Brickyard 400 victory and fourth win of the year. When it was all over, many questioned why there were so many tire failures and if new owner Roger Penske would make an effort to possibly widen the pit-road after the massive accident on Sunday.

Needless to say, there are a lot of questions on what will be different at Indy in 2021. When I talked to spotter Freddie Kraft on Tuesday, he gave a lot of good insights on both topics. When it came to the tire failures, he talked about how the increasing corner speeds at the racetrack has put a lot of pressure on these Goodyear tires which eventually led to them coming apart. As far as Pit-Road and what they can do to fix that, he talked about how it is difficult to make changes to a track that is so historical. Which makes sense, but he followed this up by saying that maybe it would be wise to give up a little history and move the wall over and make it wider. It will be interesting to see what NASCAR does in the coming months.

On Friday, Associated Press journalist Jenna Fryer revealed a bombshell announcement that 7-time champion and NASCAR's biggest name Jimmie Johnson, had tested positive for coronavirus. As everyone knows, the world is going through the worst pandemic it's ever faced in this lifetime. With the sport coming back and racing again, it was only a matter of time until one of the drivers came down with it. Unfortunately it had to be NASCAR's most recognizable driver. Thankfully, Jimmie made a full recovery and was cleared to return this weekend at Kentucky. This was a big scare for everyone in the NASCAR world, but I have to give a lot of credit to Johnson for being as forthright as he was about his diagnosis with everyone who he works with. It will be good to have Jimmie back on Sunday.

The driver that I have winning this weekend is Kyle Busch. While this season has been a disappointment for the defending champion, Kentucky would be a great place for him to turn it around. Ever since the cup series has started going there, Kyle has always been in contention to win. In fact, he won the first cup series race that was run at this track back in 2011. In his nine starts there, Kyle has finished outside the top ten only once and even then he finished 12th, back in 2016. Last season it appeared that Kyle was on his way to a third victory at this track, but he came up one spot short to his brother Kurt in a fantastic last lap duel. After a late race restart this weekend though, I see Kyle redeeming himself and capturing his first victory of 2020. Look for Kyle to get back on track come Sunday.


All stats and information used in this article are brought to you by the good folks at driveraverages.com and Racing-Reference.com, the best websites for all NASCAR stats.

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