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Texas teams flounder in marquee matchups

A week after Texas, Texas A&M and Houston recorded huge victories to ensure the state was the talk of college football in week one, Texas Tech and TCU were unable to add to the conversation.

The Red Raiders (1-1) lost a back-and-forth game to Arizona State 68-55. Untimely turnovers and special teams undid Tech as well as a record-setting night by Sun Devils running back Kalen Ballage. He set a record for eight touchdowns in one game by rushing for seven, from the wildcat, thanks to 13 carries for 137 yards and caught a 39-yard touchdown pass on a double reverse flea-flicker.

Fans can argue this loss was on the defense since the Raiders scored 55 points. And they’d be right. But it’s important to note the Sun Devils had 179 kick return yards, while Tech had none. That means the Raiders typically had to go the length of the field for scores.

Texas Tech will play Louisiana Tech at 7 p.m. Sept. 17.

Simply TCU (1-1) lost a game it never should have been in position to win. Arkansas prevailed 41-38 in double overtime. At one point in the fourth quarter, the Razorbacks led 20-7. But the Horned Frogs came back to take a 28-20 lead late in the contest only to see Arkansas respond by scoring a touchdown and a two-point conversion on a double handoff reverse with a halfback option throw to quarterback Austin Allen.

And credit the Razorbacks for weathering a dazzling return by TCU’s KaVontae Turpin on the ensuing kickoff to immediately put the Horned Frogs in field goal range. Of course 6-foot 10-inch Arkansas defensive lineman Dan Skipper’s block of the field goal attempt sent the game into extra minutes.

For a team that prides itself on running the football, it was Arkansas’ passing game that gave the Horned Frogs fits. Allen threw for 223 yards and three touchdowns and rushed for another.

TCU will have to regroup as it starts Big 12 play against Iowa State (0-2) at 11 a.m. Sept. 17. While the Cyclones shouldn’t pose a challenge, they have a tendency to win a game they shouldn’t. And the Horned Frogs can’t afford to let one game (Arkansas) beat them twice against an opponent (Iowa State) that will be desperate for a victory.

Texas rolled all over UTEP 41-7 to go to 2-0 for the first time since 2012. Freshman quarterback Shane Buchele continues to dazzle by completing 22 of 27 passes for 244 yards and four touchdowns. The victory ensured sophomore receiver Jerrod Heard enjoyed his birthday to its fullest as he caught two touchdowns on six receptions for 46 yards. Next up is a road trip to California (1-1) at 9:30 p.m. Sept. 17.

Texas A&M (2-0) wasn’t challenged in its 68-0 win over Texas A&M-Prairie View. Quarterback Trevor Knight completed 21 of 37 passes for 344 yards, three touchdowns and one interception. Receiver Christian Kirk caught five passes for 106 yards and two touchdowns. The Aggies travel to Auburn to play at 6 p.m. Sept. 17.

Baylor (2-0) was Baylor against SMU in its 40-13 win. Quarterback Seth Russell threw for 261 yards with two touchdowns and two interceptions and ran for 43 yards and a score. SMU quarterback Ben Hicks had 229 passing yards and a touchdown but threw three interceptions in the loss. The Bears are at Rice at 7 p.m. Sept. 17, while the Mustangs play Liberty at 6 p.m.

Houston (2-0) crushed Lamar 42-0 though the Cougars were without injured quarterback Greg Ward, Jr. It didn’t matter thanks to quarterback Kyle Postma who ran for 106 yards and a touchdown and threw for 125 more. As a team, Houston ran 71 times for 381 yards and six touchdowns. Running backs Kevrin Justice had 27 rushes for 111 yards and two touchdowns and Mulbah Car had 20 carries for 109 yards and a score. The Cougars travel to Cincinnati at 6:30 p.m. Sept. 15.

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