Huddle up! Here’s a look back at this weekend on the gridiron, with three key takeaways from the state’s football scene -- and a glimpse at what’s to come next week.
Longhorns, Red Raiders play a thriller
This without question was shades of the legendary 2008 game between Texas and Texas Tech, when the Red Raiders won on a touchdown in the waning seconds from Graham Harrell to Michael Crabtree.
For the first time since that 2008 contest, Texas Tech beat a ranked Texas squad, prevailing 37-34 in overtime on a 20-yard field goal by Trey Wolff after the Longhorns fumbled on the first possession of overtime.
Going forward, there are two big issues, the first one being how good Texas Tech actually is.
The Red Raiders are 3-1 and have two overtime wins over in-state opponents, Houston and Texas, and their only loss was a 27-14 defeat at No. 10 N.C. State.
Quarterback Donovan Smith has racked up yards, completing nearly 66% of his passes for 1,117 yards and nine touchdowns, although he does have five interceptions also.
Road games the next two weeks at Kansas State, which just won at Oklahoma, and Oklahoma State will tell more about Texas Tech.
As for Texas, how will they respond now that any hopes of a College Football Playoff berth is now gone with a second loss already? The Longhorns now also don’t have much room for error if they want to make it to the Big 12 title game, starting with Saturday’s home game against West Virginia.
Johnson takes grasp of starting QB role for Aggies
Right after Texas and Texas Tech entertained the country with a thriller, Texas A&M and Arkansas did the same, with the Aggies prevailing 23-21 after a potential go-ahead field goal by Arkansas bounced off of the top of the right upright with more than a minute remaining.
What might have been the biggest boon going forward for the Aggies is that Max Johnson, an LSU transfer and son of Super Bowl winning quarterback Brad Johnson, seemed to full take control of the starting quarterback’s job.
Johnson’s stats haven’t been flashy (53% completion percentage), but he hasn’t turned the ball over and has made winning plays both with this arm and scrambling from pressure.
That steadiness will be important with road games against Mississippi State and No. 1 Alabama coming up.
Did Texans discover something in loss to Bears?
It was another frustrating day for the Houston Texans, who remained winless with a 23-20 loss to a Chicago Bears team that was beatable.
In the process though, Houston might have found something that could bode well for the future.
Rookie running back Dameon Pierce, a fourth-round draft pick out of Florida, provided a spark by rushing for 80 yards and a touchdown on 20 carries.
In a season that will likely feature a lot of losing, anything Houston can hang its hat on going forward is a positive.