Texas 12: The Horned Frogs stay hot and at the top

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Texas 12: The Horned Frogs stay hot and at the top

Jason Green, Contributor

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A lot of teams across Texas faced off in week two and helped to split up the standings a little. After a postponement in week one, UTSA and Houston saw their first game action in week two also. The top-3 has not changed since week one, but beneath that, it’s chaos. Without further ado, week two’s Texas-12… starting with none other than the UTEP Miners.

12 – UTEP MINERS (0-2) C-USA
Lost to Rice (1-1) – 31-14 – It took a while to get the UTEP offense going, but boy, when it got going… just kidding. The Miners are currently in the running for the worst team in all of college football and it does not look like the team is really going to pull out of it any time soon. This week the team faces the Arizona Wildcats at the Sun Bowl. The Wildcats are currently sixth in the nation in rushing with 658 rushing yards and eight touchdowns. The Miners come into the game ranking 116th in the nation in rush defense, giving up 243 yards per game. What could possibly go wrong, right? While we’re on the subject of national rankings, the staunch Sean Kugler defense currently ranks 124th out of 129 teams, while the run it down their throat, “ohh so creative” offense, currently sits at 126th nationally. The three teams below them have only played one game. Looks like we may have a new Texas State down here at number 12 this season!
This Friday: vs. Arizona Wildcats (1-1) 8 p.m. MT on ESPN

11 – TEXAS STATE BOBCATS (1-1) SUN BELT

Lost at Colorado (2-0) – 37-3 – The Bobcats have already won a game this season, moving them out of the Texas-12 cellar. Even their showing against Steven Montez and the Buffs was enough to keep them off of the bottom, despite the blowout loss. Texas St. beat the Buffs in time of possession and put up almost 300 yards of total offense. They also rank 57th in the nation in total defense – so high that the 12th ranked Miners can’t even get a whiff of them. This week, senior quarterback Damian Williams found sophomore Texarkana native Thurman Morbley five times for 96 yards. Next week, Williams would like to utilize this new connection to throw his first touchdown of the season against an always difficult Appalachian State squad.
This Saturday: vs. Appalachian State Mountaineers (1-1) 5 p.m. MT on ESPN3

10 – RICE OWLS (1-1) C-USA
Won against UTEP (0-2) – 31-14 – How do you judge a team that had to travel to Australia to be brutalized by No. 14 Stanford, come home to hurricane ravaged Houston and then face off with possibly the worst team in all of NCAA football? Well, I ranked them No. 10. They clearly aren’t last. As I told you loyal readers last week, this game could very likely decide 12th place and it did. But, what Rice showed on the back of not being able to practice at home and coming in with UTEP’s number – yet again – and executing their game plan to perfection, was a desire to be more than just 11th in the Texas-12. Quarterback Sam Glaesmann was efficient, running backs Samuel Stewart and Nashon Ellerbe ran wild over a weak UTEP defense and linebacker Emmanuel Ellerbee and defensive end Blain Padgett spent most of the evening in the UTEP backfield. Basically, the Rice Owls are built the way that Sean Kugler told fans that the Miners would be. That being said, this week the Owls face off with Major Applewhite’s Houston Cougars and none of that stuff may matter at all.
This Saturday: at Houston (1-0) 6 p.m. MT on ESPN3

9 – NORTH TEXAS MEAN GREEN (1-1) C-USA
Loss against SMU (2-0) – 54-32 – Despite a loss in their second game of the season to a fellow Texas-12 team, the Mean Green from Denton do not lose any ground in the standings this week. The Mustangs moved themselves up in the rankings with a good showing against what should turn out to be a mediocre C-USA team in UNT. The Mean Green, instead of dropping, stay in ninth with a 32 point performance against a true AAC contender. Granted, only 17 points were put up against the first-team defense, but am I really going to put them below Rice? Let’s give them one more week at No. 9. Sophomore quarterback Mason Fine had another outstanding week, throwing for 424 yards and three touchdowns, despite two interceptions. Fine found sophomore receiver Jalen Guyton three times for 109 yards and two touchdowns.
This Saturday: at Iowa Hawkeyes (2-0) 1:30 p.m. MT on ESPN2

8 – BAYLOR BEARS (0-2) BIG-12

Lost against UTSA (1-0) – Yet another hard team to stick into the spreadsheet of rankings. Everybody wants to pile on and drop the Bears to the bottom of every ranking possible because of the two absolutely laughable losses to start the season. The Liberty loss was laughable. The UTSA loss, however, not necessarily so. Some of us actually had the Roadrunners picked to win their division of C-USA this season and senior quarterback Dalton Sturm is as consistent as they come. All of that being said, here is Baylor, at number eight. They lost to Liberty by a field goal and UTSA by a touchdown. Both close games and enough to keep them from plummeting to the bottom of the Texas-12. Graduate-transfer quarterback Anu Solomon has been far from stellar and Baylor has decided after two games to bench him in favor of sophomore Zach Smith. No matter who starts, a third game with an 0-2 record at Duke is not ideal for anyone.
This Saturday: at Duke (2-0) 10:30 a.m. MT on ACC Network

7 – UTSA ROADRUNNERS (1-0) C-USA
Won against Baylor (0-2) – 17-10 – It wasn’t the most impressive win in UTSA’s first ever visit to Waco, but a win is a win. The Roadrunners should still do even more great things this season in my estimation. Upsetting the Bears was just the first step along that road. The Roadrunners took the lead over Baylor right after halftime and never trailed, behind the arm – and sometimes feet – of Dalton Sturm, the former walk-on. Junior running back Jalen Rhodes ran for 103 yards. But, the biggest stat of the night was one QB hurry. As Baylor quarterback Anu Solomon scrambled, looking for a receiver with seconds on the clock, fourth down and ten to go – UTSA sophomore linebacker Josiah Tauaefa drilled Solomon and forced an errant heave into the air – securing the Roadrunners’ first ever win against a “Power-5” school.
This Saturday: vs. Southern University Jaguars (1-1) 5 p.m. MT

6 – TEXAS A&M AGGIES (1-1) SEC
Won Against Nicholls State Colonels (1-1) – 24-14 – I used to be on the “Kevin Sumlin shouldn’t be treated like he’s being treated” train and think that there’s no way that A&M should ever fire him. But, with every week that goes by, I’m sort of rethinking that opinion. He definitely should not be treated like he’s being treated (i.e. the Athletic Director speaking out about his performance, a regent speaking out about firing him), I mean, that’s not professional in the least. That being said, the lead that the team blew to UCLA was just silly and then this week, it took a touchdown from running back Kendall Busey with 7:30 left to go in the fourth quarter to put the Aggies up 21-14. This was the first touchdown since the first quarter. Now, I know that SEC football is supposed to be generally boring, but this is reaching a Sean Kugler offense level of boring! Defeating an FCS team by 10 for your first win of the season will not keep anybody their job… well, except for the aforementioned guru of offense.
This Saturday: vs. Louisiana-Lafayette Ragin’ Cajuns (1-1) 10 a.m. MT on SEC Network

5 – TEXAS LONGHORNS (1-1) BIG-12
Won against San Jose State Spartans (1-2) – 56-0 – Well, this more like a Tom Herman team. Of course, it was against San Jose State, so it’s kind of hard to judge anything based off of the 56-0 butt-kicking that the Longhorns dished out on them. With sophomore starting quarterback Shane Buechele out for the game, the Longhorns went with what you might call a two-quarterback system. The system, however, did not fool anyone except the Spartans coaching staff. Freshman signal-caller Sam Ehlinger was in on almost every passing down and threw for 222 yards and a touchdown. Junior quarterback Jerrod Heard came in on short yardage and goal line plays and ran the ball for 39 yards and two touchdowns. He also completed one pass for -5 yards. The goal will most likely be to have Buechele back before the anticipated match-up with the USC Trojans on Saturday, otherwise this “tricky” system may need some tinkering. No matter what happens, running back Chris Warren III has emerged as the clear successor to D’Onta Foreman, rushing for 197 yards and two touchdowns on the season – mostly in week two.
This Saturday: at #4 USC Trojans (2-0) 6:30 p.m. MT on Fox

4 – SMU MUSTANGS (2-0) AAC
Won against North Texas Mean Green (1-1) – 54-32 – The score line may look close, but the game was not, thus the No. 4 ranking. The Mustang’s offense is explosive and the defense is ranked No. 63 nationally so far this young season. A large part of the explosive offense is junior wide receiver Courtland Sutton who put up 1,246 yards and 10 touchdowns last season. In two games this season, Sutton already has 185 yards and a ridiculous five touchdowns. SMU quarterback, sophomore Ben Hicks, does throw to other people occasionally and has thrown for 424 yards and six touchdowns. SMU faces a strong test this weekend in the Texas-12 No.1 team, TCU. It may take more than the No. 63-ranked offense to stop Gary Patterson’s offense.
This Saturday: at TCU Horned Frogs (2-0) 1:30 p.m. MT on ESPNU

3 – TEXAS TECH RED RAIDERS (1-0) BIG-12
Bye – An early bye week for the Red Raiders gives us an early look at the Texas Tech roster. As is tradition here at the Texas-12, here is the All-Name team for the Red Raiders:
3 – Jabbar Juluke – Associate Head Coach
2 – Reyn Akiu – Freshman, No Position?
1 – Keke Coutee – Junior, Wide Receiver
This Saturday: vs. Arizona State Sun Devils (1-1) 6:00 p.m. MT on FSN

2 – HOUSTON COUGARS (1-0) AAC
Won against Arizona (1-1) – A 19-16 win at Arizona is not what Major Applewhite probably wanted in his NCAA head coaching debut, but a win is a win. It took a mid-third quarter safety for the Cougs to push the score to 19 and a fourth quarter interception sealed the deal. Houston remains in second because a.) they didn’t lose and b.) they are still Tom Herman’s players being coached by what I suspect will end up being a very good FBS head coach when all is said and done. Quarterback Kyle Allen threw two interceptions, but still completed 78% of his passes for 225 yards. Senior running back Dillon Birden and junior Duke Catalon split carries almost evenly with each having almost 80 yards and Birden finding the end zone. Honestly, the Houston schedule does not get much more difficult from here on out, which is another reason the team could very easily stay right where they are all season.
This Saturday: vs. Rice (1-1) 6 p.m. MT on ESPN3

1 – TCU HORNED FROGS (#20) (2-0) BIG-12
Won against Arkansas (1-1) – 28-7 – Despite a plethora of turnovers against Arkansas, which Gary Patterson will no doubt want to fix, the Horned Frogs ran away with this one fairly easily. Senior quarterback Kenny Hill only threw for 166 yards and an interception. The team fumbled the ball three times. But, no matter what happened, Arkansas could be counted on to miss a field goal when they needed one. On the day, the Razorbacks kicker missed both field goals under 30 yards. The Horned Frogs consistently pounded the ball down the throat of the normally impenetrable SEC defense, to the tune of four rushing touchdowns. Until the Horned Frogs reach the Big-12 portion of their schedule, we may just see Patterson show off all of his weapons and slowly move his team farther and farther up the national rankings.
This Saturday: vs. SMU (2-0) 1:30 p.m. MT on ESPNU

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