Texas stomps Sooners in statement game

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The Texas Longhorns played as if head coach Mack Brown‘s job was on the line. If that was the case, then Brown should be pretty secure as the head coach for at least one more week. Texas snapped a dismal three-game losing streak to Oklahoma with a 36-20 victory in the Red River Rivalry, giving the Longhorns even more momentum in Big 12 play. The Longhorns are now 3-0 in Big 12 play and have control of their path to a Big 12 title. Not so long ago that felt like more of a dream than a reality.

Texas executed a game plan that worked very well against Oklahoma, and perhaps having extra time to prepare for it benefitted Texas. Texas played last Thursday night at Iowa State while Oklahoma played last Saturday. Texas put up 444 yards of offense, including 254 rushing yards and the Longhorns thrived on third down conversions, ending the day with 13 third downs conversions in big spots. The defense allowed just 263 yards to the Sooners, just the first time Texas held their opponent to fewer than 346 yards this season. The team was disciplined as well, getting called for just three penalties for 15 yards compared to eight Oklahoma penalties for 63 yards.

This was exactly the game Texas needed, and not just for Brown’s job security. Few believed Texas had what it took to beat Oklahoma. Few believed Texas should even enter this weekend with a perfect Big 12 mark, considering the controversial call that went in their favor against Iowa State. A win against Kansas State meant far less than it would have a year ago, and the images of BYU gashing Texas on defense still linger. But all of that is behind them now, because Texas played well on offense,defense and special teams. The coaching was brilliant on this afternoon, a welcomed change for Longhorn fans suffering from past editions of the Red River Rivalry.

There are still some questions about this team moving forward, but slowly but surely Texas may be answering them as this season unfolds. As you might expect, Brown is not worried about what this game means for his future.

“I’m not worried about that, we’ll worry about TCU,” Brown said in a postgame interview.

Texas visits TCU next weekend to get their second half of the season underway. The second half includes three road games, highlighted by the season finale at Baylor on December 7. After next weekend’s game against the Horned Frogs, Texas may get their toughest challenges before Baylor at home, with Oklahoma State and Texas Tech visiting Austin in November. Entering this weekend, the Cowboys and Red Raiders were ranked in the top 25.

Time will tell how this season continues to develop for the Longhorns, but for one afternoon at the Texas State Fair, all was good and that’s all that matters.

After rusty start, No. 12 West Virginia gets going to take halftime lead against Kansas State

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No. 12 West Virginia didn’t play last week after Hurricane Florence cancelled their game against N.C. State so it’s understandable that the team was a little rusty to start their game against Kansas State. Head coach Dana Holgorsen probably didn’t like that they were extra rusty to kick things off but he’ll take the 21-0 halftime lead into the break either way to open Big 12 conference play in Morgantown.

Wildcats defensive back A.J. Parker came up with an interception six plays into the game and Bill Snyder’s squad added a fumble recovery on the ensuing drive to start the game off with a bang but the team was lackluster at best on the other side of the ball in failing to capitalize on the two initial turnovers. K-State finished the first half with only 77 yards and, while quarterback Skylar Thompson was efficient in throwing for 57 yards, his team couldn’t move the ball a lick on the ground — averaging under two yards per carry and looking anemic every time they handed the ball off.

Though the scoreboard didn’t quite indicate it, West Virginia moved the ball with much more ease and bounced back quickly from those two early turnovers. They racked up 320 yards through two quarters and were 5-of-7 on third down overall. Heisman candidate Will Grier looked particularly impressive in going 19-of-25 for 258 yards and a trio of scores after that interception. The first time he found the end zone was mostly the result of Marcus Simms weaving his way 82 yards on a catch and run, while David Sillshauled in the next two touchdowns in a bit of pitch-and-catch at the goal line between friends.

Needless to say, this has been a complete mismatch so far. The Wildcats are lucky to not be losing by a lot more the way they’re playing on both sides of the ball. The Mountaineers seem to have shaken off the early rust and could be in store for an even bigger second half if they can avoid those turnovers.

After getting woodshedded by Michigan, Scott Frost has now lost more games as Nebraska’s coach than he did as NU’s starting QB

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Earlier this week, Scott Frost warned that things could get worse before they got better at Nebraska. Little did we know how prescient that statement was.

Michigan jumped out to a 39-0 first-half lead and never looked back, taking Nebraska to the Big House woodshed in a 56-10 blowout win Saturday afternoon in the Big Ten opener for both schools. To put a point on just how vast the gulf was between these two squads, the Wolverines totaled more points in the first quarter (20) than the Cornhuskers totaled yards in the first half (17).

The most glaring difference was in the trenches as U-M rushed for 285 yards — they had 190 in the first half alone — while NU mustered just 39 on the ground — that number includes minus-six in the first half.

All told, the Wolverines’ offense outgained the Cornhuskers 493-132.  Karan Higdon led all ball carriers with 136 yards on just 12 carries, while teammate Ben Mason scored three rushing touchdowns.

The loss drops the Cornhuskers to 0-3 for the first time since 1945 and means Frost, who was 24-2 as NU’s quarterback in the nineties, now has more losses as a Cornhuskers head coach than he had as a Cornhuskers starter.

To add insult to injury, the Cornhuskers were trolled by a fast food chain during the course of the blowout loss.

For Jim Harbaugh and his Wolverines, it’s the third straight dominating performance after a disappointing start to Season 4 under the former U-M quarterback.

In the season opener against Notre Dame, U-M dropped a 24-17 decision that didn’t seem nearly as close as the final score would indicate.  In the next three games, however, U-M outscored Western Michigan, SMU and NU (150-33), giving the team some confidence heading into a six-week stretch in which they’ll face 1-2 Northwestern in Evanston, 3-1 Maryland, No. 18 Wisconsin, No. 24 Michigan State in East Lansing and No. 10 Penn State.

Winless Purdue upends undefeated Boston College

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Well, that was fun while it lasted.

Last Sunday, Boston College, at a perfect 3-0, came in at No. 23 in the Associated Press Top 25, the first time the Eagles had been ranked since 2008.  Less than a week later, BC is about to fall back into the “others receiving votes” category as previously-winless Purdue dropped the Eagles 30-13 in West Lafayette.

In fairness to all involved, Purdue may have been 0-3 coming into today’s game but those three losses, to Northwestern, Eastern Michigan and Missouri, were by a combined eight points.

In winning its first game of the season, Purdue rode a surprisingly stifling defense.  BC’s AJ Dillon came into the afternoon contest with 432 yards rushing, including 185 in the Week 3 win over Wake Forest and 149 on just six carries against FCS Holy Cross the week before; today, the running back was held to 59 yards on 19 carries.  That’s Dillon’s lowest output since he had 35 yards on 10 carries in an early-October loss to Virginia Tech last season.

Offensively for the Boilermakers, David Blough was deadly efficient as he completed 75 percent of his 28 passes for 296 yards and three touchdowns.  It was Blough’s second straight three-touchdown performance after not throwing one in the season’s first two games.

Boston College had been looking to start a season 4-0 for the first time since Matt Ryan was the starting quarterback in 2007.

WATCH: Wake Forest breaks out ‘missing kicker’ FG formation

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Things haven’t exactly gone Wake Forest’s way, and one series of events pretty much encapsulates the ACC team’s Week 4 struggles.

Midway through the first quarter, Wake was lined up for a 38-yard field goal attempt that, if good, would’ve given them an early 3-0 lead on Notre Dame.  The only problem?  Their kicker, Nick Sciba, was nowhere to be found as he was still on the sidelines practicing for a field goal attempt that his 10 other teammates were already on the field for ready to execute.

To add to the misery, Sciba, after he actually got on to the field, clanged the attempt off the uprights.

As of this posting, the Fighting Irish lead the Demon Deacons 35-13 with just under eight minutes left in the third quarter.  Sciba did convert on both of his next two field goal attempts (from 30 and 39 yards out) as well as an extra point try, so he;’s got that going for him.  Which is nice.