Here are five takeaways from this past weekend's football action around the state.
Cheers to a great Texans effort in London
Maybe the Texans should lobby the NFL to play in London more often.
The long trek across the Atlantic Ocean didn’t seem to bother the Texans, who seized control of the AFC South with a 26-3 thrashing of a Jacksonville team that would have tied Houston in the AFC South standings with a win.
It was only the second time this season that a Houston game wasn’t decided by single digits.
Thanks to Pittsburgh’s win over the Colts, the Texans are back in first place in the division at 6-3.
More importantly, the game showed that Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson is fully able to carry the team on his back in the wake of the season-ending injury to J.J. Watt.
Watson was a big reason why the Texans possessed the ball for close to 33 minutes, going 22-of-28 passing for 201 yards, two touchdowns and no interceptions. He also rushed for 37 yards on seven carries.
Houston now has its bye week before playing at Baltimore on Nov. 17.
Aggies freshman spills out lots of rushing yards
Yes, it was against an overmatched opponent in Texas-San Antonio.
Still, Texas A&M got a great glimpse of its future in freshman running back Isaiah Spiller during A&M’s 45-14 win.
Spiller ran for 217 yards and three touchdowns, tying the school record for most rushing yards in a game by a freshman.
Spiller’s total also was the most by a freshman running back during a game in the entire country this year.
Baylor survives, gets ready for gauntlet
It wasn’t pretty for No. 11 Baylor, which had a tougher-than-expected time before outlasting West Virginia, 17-14.
Baylor dominated the stats, collecting 26 first downs to 12 for West Virginia and outgaining West Virginia, 453-219, but three turnovers proved costly and kept the Mountaineers in the game.
The win kept Baylor (8-0, 5-0) unbeaten and atop the Big 12 standings, but now the real test begins for the Bears.
Baylor’s next three games are at TCU, home against Oklahoma and home against Texas.
If the Bears can win two of the three at the very least, they likely will be in Arlington for the Big 12 championship game.
Season-defining stretch for Longhorns
Following a bye week to stew over a loss at TCU, Texas will get back to action this week and start a stretch that will determine if they are once again in Arlington for the Big 12 championship game and can compete for a prominent bowl game, or if a five-loss season is in the works.
The Longhorns will host No. 20 Kansas State, then will hit the road for games at Iowa State and Baylor after that.
O’Connor wins battle of ranked teams
One of the bigger games in the state came in San Antonio on Friday, when O’Connor outlasted Brennan, 42-28.
O’Connor entered ranked No. 6 in the Class 6A rankings, while Brennan was No. 5.
After the game was tied 7-7 at halftime, the teams combined for five touchdowns in the final 7:41 of the third quarter.
It was the fourth straight win for O’Connor over Brennan.