College football report

Saturday NCAA football recap: Longhorns bag their first season-opening win in 3 years

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Week One is in the books and Texas teams are giving everyone something to talk about. Here's a look at what happened in the Lone Star State and with LSU:


Oklahoma 49, Houston 31

First year Houston coach Dana Holgorsen, who coached at West Virginia before making his train wreck of a debut Sunday night, seemed to have expected the loss well before kickoff. "We knew we weren't going to catch these guys sleeping today, so it is what it is," Holgorsen said. "They're a top-five team, deservedly so." And that defeatist mentality is what keeps world-class talent from reaching its full potential. Are the Sooners a top-five team? Yes, but did we really have to let them roll over us like that? Fourth-ranked Oklahoma allowed 31 points by a team that lost its glimmer of national relevance three years ago when Tom Herman left for Texas. The struggles of the Cougar's offensive and defensive lines decided the game. Houston's new defensive coordinator, Joe Cauthen has some explaining to do after his defense was shredded by Oklahoma quarterback Jalen Hurts. In his first game with the Sooners since transferring from Alabama, Hurts put on a show racking up 508 total yards. Hurts appeared focused and comfortable as he completed 20-of-23 passes for 332 yards and rushed for 176 yards on 16 carries. To be fair, Hurts is phenomenally talented and Cauthen is tasked with transforming a defense that finished amongst the worst in every major category last season. I spent most of the game searching for the "attacking style defense" Cauthen spoke so fondly of back in July. As much as I would like to lay all the blame for Sunday's loss at Cauthen's feet, the explosive offense we know and love was dormant for the entire first half. OU was playing like they were trying out for the league and the Cougars looked like they only showed up to keep their scholarships. King was limited to just 87 passing yards in the first half and finished with just 167 yards passing.

Texas A&M 41, Texas State 7

This should come as a surprise to no one but the 12th-ranked Aggies easily put the Bobcats away in their season-opener on Saturday. Aggie quarterback Kellen Mond threw for 194 yards, three touchdowns and ran for another score, all in the first two quarters, giving Texas A&M a 28-0 halftime lead. First year starting running back Jashaun Corbin had 103 rushing yards with a touchdown run and a TD reception. Defensive back Myles Jones had two of Texas A&M's four interceptions and the Aggies had three sacks and nine tackles for losses. Although Texas A&M's secondary was a weak spot last season, the four interceptions in Saturday's game were the most the team has had since 2006. Texas State quarterback Tyler Vitt threw two interceptions in the first half before first-year coach Jack Spivital replaced him with Gresch Jensen who threw an interception on his second pass. Hopefully the Bobcats can get their quarterback situation ironed out before hosting Wyoming next week. The Aggies are set to take on top-ranked Clemson in South Carolina next week.

LSU 55, Georgia Southern 3

LSU quarterback Joe Burrow tied an LSU single-game record with five touchdown passes in the first two quarters and the Tigers cruised to a 55-3 victory over Georgia Southern. Burrow playfully urged reporters to write that the Tigers new offense "showed everything we got – all of it," in its season opened against Ga. Southern. The Tigers scored 21 points in the first quarter, more than they ever did in any quarter last season. Burrow completed 23-of-27 passes for 278 yards and five touchdowns. "We're going to run the spread offense. We're going to score points. We've got athletes. That's what we do," LSU coach Ed Orgeron said. "The scheme is a lot better this year. We have answers to different coverages." While the true test for LSU will come next week when they face Texas, the new spread scheme will put the Tigers' opponents on notice. Eagles starting quarterback Shai Werts threw one completed pass for no yards and was knocked out the game before halftime with an upper body injury. Georgia Southern faces Maine in week two and LSU visits 10th-ranked Texas on Saturday.

Texas 45, Louisiana Tech 14

Texas star quarterback Sam Ehlinger threw four touchdown passes Saturday night, leading the No. 10 Longhorns to an easy 45-14 home victory over Louisiana Tech and giving third-year coach Tom Herman his first season-opening victory with the program. Ehlinger was well protected which will be a key to Texas' success this season as the Longhorns only have an inexperienced freshman behind him this year. Senior receiver Devin Duvernay had nine receptions for 55 yards and Ehlinger's first TD pass of the season. The Longhorns debuted eight new defensive starters Saturday night and used a mix of looks which forced three turnovers. Next week the Longhorns host their biggest non-conference opponent of the season – No. 6 LSU.

Texas Tech 45, Montana State 10

Sophomore Texas Tech quarterback Alan Bowman threw for 436 yards and two touchdowns to guide the Red Raiders to a season-opening 45-10 victory over Montana State on Saturday. Texas Tech finished with 691 yards and held Montana State to 289 total yards. The Red Raiders face UTEP next Saturday.

Army 14, Rice 7


Slow and steady wins the race. After guiding a 9-minute scoring drive consuming all but 3:48 of the fourth quarter, Army quarterback Kelvin Hopkins Jr. hit running back Kell Walker with a 17-yard touchdown pass to put the Owls away with a 14-7 win on Friday night. This win over Rice gives the Black Knights the second-longest winning streak in college football, behind 1st-ranked Clemson. Hopkins Jr., who last year became the first player in academy history to run for 1,000 yards and pass for 1,000 yards in a season, finished with 80 yards on 21 carries and 53 passing yards. The Owls limited the Black Knights to 120 yards on 30 plays in the first half. Rice hosts Wake Forest in week two on Friday and the Black Knights are at Michigan on Saturday.

Baylor 56, Stephen F. Austin 17

Baylor coach Matt Rhule had no shortage of annoyances in the Bears' season-opener against Stephen F. Austin Saturday night. Putting this game away took longer than Rhule may have liked but the Baylor never trailed and was well on its way to victory by halftime. "I didn't like that lull where they scored and we didn't answer it to the level that I think we should," Rhule said. Bears starting quarterback Charlie Brewer threw for 199 yards and three touchdowns, leading Baylor to a 56-17 victory over SFA. Baylor looks to UTSA next week as the Bears look to rebuild their national recognition.

TCU 39, Arkansas-Pine Buff 7

The Horned Frogs debuted two quarterbacks Saturday night as they cruised to a 39-7 victory over UAPB. Graduate transfer Alex Delton and true freshman Max Duggan left much to be desired in a TCU quarterback: Delton was 10-for-22 and 119 yard passing and picked up 67 yards on seven carries. Duggan led all of the TCU's touchdown drives and finished 16-for23 passing for 165 yards. "I thought they stayed pretty composed," said TCU senior receiver TreVontae Hights, who set a career high with eight catches for 108 yards. "Their leadership was great. I feel comfortable with either one of them." TCU's defense was strong, forcing 11 punts and picking off two Pine Bluff passes. The Horned Frogs are off next week before facing off against Purdue on Sept. 14.

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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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