COLLEGE REWIND

Saturday NCAA football Recap: Oklahoma claims No. 1 spot in Big 12

Baker Mayfield and OU had a big win. Brett Deering/Getty Images

Easy victories throughout the Lone Star State. Take a look back at the highs and lows for Texas colleges and schools of interest.

Oklahoma 38, TCU 20

Quarterback Baker Mayfield led the Sooners to a spectacular victory over TCU with 333 passing yards and rushing for 50 in their battle for the Big 12 No. 1 spot. Rodney Anderson caught five passes for 139 yards, scored twice and ran for 151 yards. TCU quarterback Kenny Hill passed for 270 yards but completed only 13 of 28 passes. Rattled TCU defensive end Mat Boesen was ejected from the game in the second quarter for kicking an OU player.

LSU 33, Arkansas 10

Physically dominant LSU was on fire in Saturday’s victory over Arkansas. D.J. Clark caught two touchdown passes and Derrius Guice ran for three scores for the Tigers. The LSU defense held Arkansas to 318 total yards. The Razorbacks have their work cut out for them if they want to make it to a bowl game this year.

Texas Tech 38, Baylor 24

Tech ended their four-game losing streak with an impressive victory over Baylor. Quarterback Nic Shimonek threw for 246 yards and two touchdowns. Keke Coutee ran the opening kickoff back 93 yards for a dazzling touchdown for the Red Raiders. Baylor quarterback Charlie Brewer completed 43 of 63 passes for 417 yards in his second start for the Bears.

Southern Mississippi 43, Rice 34

Southern Mississippi quarterback Kwadra Griggs completed 22 of 31 passes for 331 yards, propelling the now bowl-eligible Golden Eagles to a victory over Rice in Houston on Saturday. Southern Miss took an early lead and dominated the field throughout the game.

Georgia State 33, Texas State 30

Quaterback Conner Manning threw for 368 yards and two scores for Georgia State in Saturday’s battle against Texas State. This 33-30 win for GAST makes them bowl-eligible for the second time in program history.

Texas 42, Kansas 27

The Longhorns moved closer to their goal of going to a bowl game with their 42-27 win over Kansas on Saturday. Texas coach Tom Herman said, “when you’re playing to win, scoring points on defense and getting turnovers, that’s a big part of that.” Texas’ offense dominated the first quarter scoring 28 points and effectively secured their victory early on. Longhorns play at West Virginia next week for a chance to become bowl-eligible.

Texas A&M 55, New Mexico 14

The physically dominant Aggies secured a massive lead early in the game for an easy 55-14 win over New Mexico on Saturday. Aggie quarterback Nick Starkel threw for a career-high 416 yards and four touchdowns before being sat down at halftime.

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The Astros play Game 1 of the ALDS Tuesday. Composite image by Brandon Strange.

With a nod to Charles Dickens, October is the best of times (Astros) and the worst of times (Texans and Rockets) for Houston sports fans. At least this October.

October is the one month when all three of Houston’s major sports teams are guaranteed to be in full swing at the same time. It’s possible, if the Astros make the World Series that November will have all three teams in action, too. But let’s not jinx things.

The Astros start their playoff run Tuesday on TBS. Since the Yankees also play that day, also on TBS, we can assume the Astros will get the daytime slot, the Yankees in prime time. Now before Astros fans start screaming east coast bias, it really only applies to TV. Fun fact: no New York Met has ever won an MVP Award, and only one Yankee has won it in the past 37 years – Alex Rodriguez in 2005 and 2007. How’d that work out for him? Most important, a New York team has won the World Series only once in the past two decades – the Yankees in 2009.

The Astros could play as many as 15 more games in October, five in the Division Series, seven in the League Championship Series and three in the World Series before the calendar flips to November.

Meanwhile, the Texans plod on with three more games in October, and the Rockets have 11.

The winless Texans are at home against the Titans at NRG Stadium, on the road against the Jaguars and Raiders.

The Rockets, coming off the worst record in the NBA last season, have three games at home at Toyota Center and eight on the road.

This presents a problem of abundance, an embarrassment of riches, for Houston sports junkies. Who are you going to watch on TV? Which team will you pay to watch in person? Who are you rooting for the most? Whose jersey will you buy?

David Puddy is right, you “gotta support the team,” but who will own Houston this month?

What to do? If it’s true that nothing succeeds like success, and everybody loves a winner – it’s an obvious choice.

The Astros.

The Astros just completed their regular season with 106 wins, second most in franchise history, another American League West title, the best record in the American League and will have home field advantage throughout the AL playoffs. Even though fans had high hopes for the Astros entering 2022, the team smashed everybody’s expectations. Vegas put the Astros over/under wins at 92 games. The Astros seemingly flew by that number during spring training.

They are the first team in American League history to win 100 games in four of their last five full seasons. Not even Babe Ruth’s Yankees of the 1920s and 1930s did that. This core of Astros has won five of the last six American League West titles. They’ve played in three of the last five World Series. This is a dynasty right before our eyes. We’re witness to greatness. How ‘bout them Astros?

What a season it was. Who could have figured that 39-year-old Justin Verlander, out of action for two seasons after Tommy John surgery, would have a career year, a ridiculously skinny earned run average and the overwhelming pick for the Cy Young Award? Jose Altuve would return to a .300 batting average, Cristian Javier would lead the team in strikeouts, Yordan Alvarez would finish No. 2 between Aaron Judge and Mike Trout in OPS, and rookie Jeremy Pena would slug 22 home runs, the same number as Carlos Correa? Remember last offseason and cries of “pay the man!” Some of a team’s best deals are the ones they don’t make.

Strap yourself in for an October to remember. The storylines are endless. There’s bad blood between the Astros and the Yankees, between the Astros and Dodgers, between the Astros and boo birds in every stadium not named Minute Maid Park.

It’s going to be fun.

As for the Texans, Deshaun Watson returns to action Nov. 4 against the Texans here at NRG Stadium. And we’ll catch up with the Rockets when the NBA season starts for real on Christmas Day. But until then … play ball!

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