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.

Move over Rockets, there's new basketball team in town. Joe Buvid/Houston Athletics

Houston Basketball is on the rise, yet many people within the city haven't recognized the tremendous campaign they are putting together. Here are my reasons as to why you should buy into the 2018-2019 Houston Cougar Men's Basketball team:

1) Coach Sampson

Kelvin Sampson is in his fifth year in Houston. He won AAC Coach of Year last year, making it his fifth said honor in his career. He has successfully built a program that seniors have bought into. Sampson has had much success considering the outdated facilities he inherited and overcoming the challenge of recruiting very average players. He's had great success developing his players into great ones, where the likes of Devon Davis and Rob Gray led the team into the sweet sixteen round in last year's March Madness tournament. He is also a great tactician, which was in display in their comeback win vs. LSU this week. After being down 15, Sampson went to the board and changed their approach to the game after realizing how open LSU was leaving the driving lanes, which enabled Galen Robinson to have a huge game and also allowed the team to collect the majority of offensive boards. He is also a class act. After their game vs. OSU, Sampson went up to his old nemesis, Coach Sutton, to pay his respects and even gave him a kiss on the cheek after seeing how badly his health had deteriorated. I also had the pleasure of attending the UH Basketball Tip Off dinner this year where many fans buy tables as a means to fundraise money for the program. I was impressed by his ability memorize the player's family members by name, and his ability of building long life relationships with them.

2) Community

Houston Cougar Basketball has become one of the hottest tickets in town for many reasons. Their success on the court has permeated out of campus and onto the city where even professional athletes have taken notice. Astros' Alex Bregman and Rockets Eric Gordon were in attendance in the matchup vs LSU. Chris Paul called Coach Sampson prior to the same game and told him he would go with 'friends.' Turned out they didn't show but the takeaway here as that they have caught notice. Amongst other rumored attendees were JJ Watt and Lebron James. The student section has also bought into this year's team. They have filled the stands every home game since the opening of the new arena. They are loud and proud, where even I thought they couldn't surpass the deafening ruckus from the upset win vs. Oregon. But the Fertitta Center saw a new standard in the comeback win vs LSU.

3) Intangibles

This team has displayed qualities that surpass the physical realm. It really started last season, where they upset numerous teams as they punched their ticket into March Madness. They were beat by a then 3 seed in the Michigan Wolverines on a walk off buzzer beater 3. Houston competed the whole way, and you could even argue that the loss was really mainly due to self-inflicted wounds, especially because of the missed free throws in the final minutes. I talked to Corey Davis at the annual tip off dinner this year and he told me his team is hungry to get back in the tournament. The juniors and seniors now have a taste of what the big dance is all about. If they make it again this year, they will bring something they didn't have before, experience. Houston also has displayed grit. They learned a lot about themselves in their comeback win vs LSU this week. Galen Robinson dug deep when he began to hear LSU chants when his team was losing by 15. "It really touched a nerve. I was like, there's no way we're losing this game," said Robinson. A humbling loss in the sweet sixteen round last year, and a gut check win vs LSU will definitely bring out maturity and leadership within this roster.

4) The Players

Senior point guard Robinson has had a great offensive start to this season. In their matchups vs LSU and Oregon, Robinson has displayed the ability to completely take over games. He has also adopted the role of a leader in the locker room, where Coach Sampson said he heard Robinson's loud rally cry towards his teammates through a wall that separated the coach's and player's rooms at halftime vs LSU. Junior guard Armoni Brooks has been as advertised. He remains an integral part of the offense with consistency, and showcases the most versatile talent on the Houston roster night after night. Senior guard Davis continues to struggle this season, but I do believe he will turn it around. It's hard to believe otherwise after his incredible season last year. Sophomore point guard Dejon Jarreau made his first start of the season vs LSU. He didn't have the greatest of games but there are many reasons as to why. Jarreau has recently lost his grandmother and has suffered from tough injuries that have sidelined him. The UMass transfer remains an important player to this team by allowing Robinson to have precious resting minutes. The upside in Jerreau is tremendous. Lastly, Freshman Guard Nate Hinton must live up the title of Preseason AAC Freshman of the Year. He's showed great flashes, so keep a sharp eye on this projected up and comer. Houston has all the right pieces to the puzzle. The seniors have completely bought into Coach Sampson's philosophy and have prior experience in the big dance. The trick is finding the right mix of players and keeping them healthy all the way into selection Sunday.

5) Ferttita Center

OK, we talked about this last week, so I'll keep this one short. The new arena has successfully been able to pull many fans back into campus. The scarlet red and the strategically placed student sections have been staples of the incredible atmosphere the Fertitta Center hosts. UH is currently on a 22 home game win streak, 19 of which happened at TSU. The history of where the arena sits is also something to note. Many loyal UH Basketball fans even label it as hallowed grounds that have seen players like Hakeem "The Dream" Olajuwon and Clyde "The Glide" Drexler. This entails a certain aura to the new arena, where you can almost even feel its past and foreshadow future success. You can read last week's article on the Fertitta Center here.

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