College football roundup: Texas, Baylor, Texas Tech, TCU, and Texas A&M
There was a lot of Texas college football action going on this weekend. Texas surprised everyone and beat Baylor, Texas Tech got a road win over TCU, and Texas A&M (unsurprisingly) crushed New Mexico State.
Texas vs. Baylor
It was the final quarter that turned things around for the Texas Longhorns. Baylor was leading 34-26, but a few good plays by the ’Horns caught them up. Even the Bears’ strong offense couldn’t make a late score, and in the final moments, Texas linebacker Malik Jefferson was the star of the game, making huge stops. The Longhorns won, 35-34.
Will this slim victory save coach Charlie Strong’s job? Hard to say at this point. The Longhorns are still 4-4 (2-3 in the Big 12), which isn’t the type of record expected of the burnt orange. However, Saturday’s game was the third victory over a top-10 opponent since the start of last season, and the second consecutive win over Baylor.
All we know at this point is that Baylor’s defeat means no more top-10, undefeated Big 12 teams chasing a playoff spot. For the second time in three years, the Big 12 will miss the playoff.
Texas Tech vs. TCU
It took the Texas Tech Red Raiders double overtime to finally beat the TCU Horned Frogs on Saturday. In the end, it wasn’t even a high-scoring game like Tech is used to; the final score was 27-24. Instead of simply pounding their opponents with high numbers on the scoreboard, as per usual, the Red Raiders had to win a defensive struggle. Finally, in the second overtime, Clayton Hatfield kicked a 37-yard field goal to break their three-game losing streak.
“I can’t remember an ugly win like this that we had here, so to find a way when everything was kind of going against us says a lot about their character,” coach Kliff Kingsbury said. “Hopefully we can build off this.”
TCU forced the second overtime on Desmon White’s 25-yard touchdown catch from backup quarterback Foster Sawyer. The play had to be reviewed by officials, but it stood. The Frogs started the second overtime with the first possession, but Brandon Hatfield messed up a field goal attempt (his third miss of the game), and Hatfield scored for Tech.
Texas A&M vs. New Mexico State
Texas A&M needed a break after losing to No. 1 Alabama last week, and they got it on Saturday. The Aggies faced another team of Aggies – New Mexico State, to be exact – and routed them, 52-10. It really wasn’t much of a matchup – No. 9 Texas A&M vs. No. 124 New Mexico State. A&M got cocky and started letting down their guard a little. They never fell behind NMSU, but the lapse shouldn’t have happened. Whatever was said in the locker room at halftime, though, worked; Texas A&M started the third quarter strong and never lost its focus after that.