Saturday NCAA Football Recap: Things are looking up in Texas

It was a tough day for Kliff Kingsbury and Tech. Thomas B. Shea/Getty Images

A Major victory for for the Houston Cougars. Taking a look back at the highs and lows for Texas colleges:

Houston 28, South Florida 24

How ‘bout them Cougars! Coach Major Applewhite and the Houston Cougars soared to new heights with their dazzling win over No. 17, South Florida. The Cougars offense got off to a sluggish start but came alive in the second half, contrary to what last week’s game might have lead one to believe was possible. Sophomore D’Eriq King entered the game early and soon thereafter began making crucial contributions to the the Cougar offense. Arguably, the most significant of which was a game-winning 20-yard touchdown run to to end South Florida’s historic winning streak.  South Florida did not seem themselves while hosting Houston in Saturday night’s match.

Iowa State 14, TCU 7

Defense wins games: The Iowa State defensive line was impenetrable against the Horned Frogs in Saturday’s matchup which left the Big 12 without an undefeated team. TCU remained scoreless until the third quarter but that was their only score of the game.

Oklahoma 49, Texas Tech 27

Tech got off to a promising start, scoring 20 points in the first quarter over OU’s 14, but it appears OU found their step in the second quarter. OU quarterback Baker Mayfield completed 22 passes totaling 281 yards and four touchdowns as he led his team to victory over the Red Raiders.

Texas 38, Baylor 7

It should come as no surprise that Texas beat bad Baylor. The trajectory of this game could be seen during the first minute: DeShon Elltiott intercepted a pass by Baylor quarterback Zach Smith and returned it 43 yards for a touchdown. Longhorn coach Tom Herman admitted his team is being carried by the defensive side of the ball, but insists it is all a part of his plan. Demonstrably growing and learning from each game, this young Texas team has the potential to really shake things up for college football the rest of the season.

Mississippi State 35, Texas A&M 14

A “frustrating” game against Mississippi State, according to Texas A&M coach Kevin Sumlin. The Aggies took a physical beating and lost their third game of the year.

Louisiana Tech 42, Rice 28

Louisiana Tech dominated the field from start to finish in Saturday’s game in Houston, scoring 14 points in the final minute in this 42-28 win over Rice.

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Boston's two grand slams in the first two innings were too much for Houston to overcome in ALCS Game 2. Photo by Elsa/Getty Images

After a win in ALCS Game 1 that had the prototypical fingerprints of this Astros team all over it, Houston returned to Minute Maid Park on Saturday, hoping to take a dominant 2-0 series lead if they could grab another victory. The Red Sox dashed those hopes very early, though, scoring eight runs across the first two innings to build the lead they would hold on to even the series.

Final Score: Boston 9, Astros 5

ALCS Series (Best of Seven): tied 1-1

Winning Pitcher: Nathan Eovaldi

Losing Pitcher: Luis Garcia

Houston met with disaster to start Game 2

You couldn't have drawn up a much better start for the Red Sox or a worse one for the Astros in Saturday's ALCS Game 2. Luis Garcia met early disaster in the top of the first inning, allowing a leadoff double, then got two outs while issuing two walks to load the bases. That brought up Boston's designated hitter, J.D. Martinez, to the plate, and he delivered a crushing blow to Houston, launching a grand slam to put the Red Sox up 4-0 before Houston could even get to the plate.

After a scoreless bottom of the inning by his offense, things got worse for Garcia in the top of the second, as after issuing a four-pitch walk to start the frame, he would become the center of a meeting at the mound with trainers, ultimately leaving the game with an injury. Houston opted to bring in Jake Odorizzi for the emergency call to the bullpen, but things did not start well for him either. He would put two of his own batters on base with two singles, then gave up the second grand slam in as many innings, this one to Rafael Devers to double Boston's lead to 8-0, doubling down on Houston's disastrous start to the game.

Odorizzi rebounded with a 1-2-3 third, but with one out in the top of the fourth allowed a solo homer to Kiké Hernández, his third homer of the series so far. He would still get the job done of eating up a few innings, finishing the fourth, and retiring Boston in order in the fifth, giving Houston just four more innings to cover with the rest of their relievers.

Astros get a few runs back

Over that span, Houston did trim the lead by three runs, getting an RBI double by Kyle Tucker and a two-RBI single by Yuli Gurriel in the bottom of the fourth, making it a six-run game at 9-3. Their next reliever was Blake Taylor in the top of the sixth, and he would keep the score where it stood by sitting down the three batters he faced that frame.

The Astros threatened again in the bottom of the sixth, getting two singles to put two aboard, but would come out empty, sending the game on to the seventh, where Taylor would remain on the mound. He faced three more batters, getting two out while allowing a single before Yimi Garcia would come in to get the third out.

Red Sox even the series as it shifts to Boston

Garcia returned in the top of the eighth, getting through that inning despite a walk and hit by pitch, stranding both runners. Boston's bullpen kept Houston from getting any closer in the bottom of the eighth, then Ryne Stanek came in for the Astros in the top of the ninth. Stanek allowed a leadoff double, but with a groundout and double play, held the score at 9-3. Yuli Gurriel and Jason Castro did their part to keep the Astros alive in the bottom of the ninth, each hitting solo homers to make it 9-5, but that's as close as they'd come, dropping Game 2 to tie the series at one game apiece.

Up Next: The ALCS now moves to Boston for the next three games after a day off on Sunday, with Game 3 on Monday at 7:08 PM Central. While the Astros have named Jose Urquidy as their starter, the Red Sox have not yet determined theirs.

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