SI Jinxed: Houston Shocks No. 5 Oklahoma State, 45-35

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24 Total Updates since September 12, 2009
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Oklahoma State, Houston React

After today's big win, Houston players and coaches were understandably elated. From the Associated Press:

''For us as a program, this is a big win because it legitimizes our university. It legitimizes our program,'' said Sumlin, who had gone 5-0 against OSU as an assistant coach at Oklahoma. ''There's no doubt that one win does not make a season. We've got a whole bunch of football to go.

''But I think any time that you can go on the road and win and beat a Top 10 team, it really helps your confidence as a program and it helps your pride as a university.''

''We bounced back from some big plays that they made. I think that may have been the difference in the teams from this year to last year,'' Keenum said. ''They came out and made some huge plays, but we responded this time - defensively and offensively.''

Oklahoma State's reaction was decidely more dour, but Dez Bryant maintained that the Cowboys didn't overlook Houston during the past week:

''We didn't overlook them at all. We practiced like we practiced for Georgia and any other team,'' said Cowboys receiver Dez Bryant , who had five catches for 85 yards. ''We just made too many mistakes and they took advantage and made plays.''

He forgot to add: "I mean, damn! Did you the two deflections they had? Two touchdowns they got off a tipped passes. It was fate, mannn. Fate."

Tying up some loose ends...

TCU prevailed 30-14 in Charlottesville, and UVA's downward spiral continues.

As mentioned, Texas rolled in the second half, and dispatched Wyoming in demonstrative fashion. Be sure to check out Burnt Orange Nation for a recap and analysis tomorrow.

Good heavens: UCLA beat Tennesse 19-15. I'm so grateful that I didn't have to watch this game.

Finally: BYU, the sorta-good team that's sure to galvanize legions of BCS-weary fans--that are so angry they're willing to pretend BYU could hang with Florida--beat Tulane 54-3.


'Cowboy Up'? Not So Much.

And with that, the SI jinx rears its ugly head once more. Dez Bryant was spectacular at times, and Zac Robinson had an impressive (if uneven) performance, as well. Still neither those two nor the rest of the Oklahoma State Cowboys could muster a performance good enough to thwart the Houston Cougars today. After Oklahoma's injuries shifted the national spotlight from Norman to Stillwater, Oklahoma State, playing the unfamiliar role of college football Goliath, just couldn't keep pace with the Cougars, who seemed to have every deflection bounce just right today.

In any case, it was fantastic game, and while the defense for both teams was nonexistent at times, the phenomenal offenses for both sides more than made up for any deficiencies. Be sure to check back for further analysis. Now excuse me while I go watch another fantastic finish in Ann Arbor. I'd forgotten how much I love college football...



No. 2 Texas Dispatches Wyoming 41-10 After First Half Scare

You have to give credit to Wyoming, who came out fired up and gave Texas all they could handle in the first half. Yet Texas' deep talent and the Cowboys' lack of any offensive threat led to a second half blowout as UT walked away with an ultimately easy 41-10 victory.

Heisman candidate Colt McCoy shook off a rough half of football to lead a balanced Texas attack to four touchdowns in the second half. Starting running back Vondrell McGee left the game early in the third quarter, yet redshirt freshman Tre' Newton (son of former Dallas Cowboy Nate Newton) provided the Longhorns with a spark on the ground, including a nifty 18-yard touchdown run.

Despite the struggles in the first half, Texas ultimately outgained Wyoming 538-237 and didn't allow an offensive touchdown. The Longhorns will need to come out much sharper next week, as they take on Texas Tech in Austin on Saturday night.


Hooray Houston! Cougars on the Verge of an Upset

After fumbling on the ensuing drive after Houston's miracle/fluke/awesome go-ahead touchdown, Oklahoma State's defense managed to stop the Cougars and the Cowboys got the ball back--down 3 with a chance to win or tie--on their own 20-yard line.

Alas, Dez Bryant slipped, and the ball was deflected right into the hands of Houston defensive back Jamal Robinson, who took the interception 26-yards into the endzone. It's now 45-35, the Cowboys are driving for a miracle, and the stadium in Stillwater, Oklahoma is a very, very quiet place.


Texas Dominating Second Half, Up 41-10

Texas has continued it's second half resurgence, scoring 28 points to turn a close game into a blowout. Colt McCoy's day is likely done, going 30-of-47 for 337 yards with three total touchdowns.



With Houston driving for what felt like an inevitable touchdown response, Oklahoma State forced them into a fourth-down situation that looked to have the Cougars pinned into a corner.

Then, with things looking dire and Houston QB Case Keenum scrambling, he flung an attempt into the back of the endzone that was batted away... right into the hands of RB Bryce Beall. After a review from the officials (he was behind the line of scrimmage) Houston leads 38-35, and this game is officially awesome.


Back and Forth and Back Again: Cowboys Up 35-31

Zac Robinson has certainly found his stride, and with Houston focusing its energy on containing superstar Dez Bryant, Robinson found Josh Cooper in stride for a 22-yard touchdown that gives Oklahoma State the lead again. There is not much defense being played out there, and as someone who's loved every minute of this game, that's just fine with me.


Bruins Leading 16-10 in Knoxville

With both teams suffering from average-quarterback disease, this has so far been a battle of field goals. So on the strength of two second half kicks from UCLA's Kai Forbath, UCLA now has a 16-10 lead as the third quarter winds down.


Houston Recaptures the Lead

Often times when a heavy favorite gets blitzed out of the gates, they'll retake the lead and coast from there (see Texas vs. Wyoming, even Texas was always in control). This is not one of those times. Houston is not going away, and they just scored to take a 31-28 lead over the Cowboys. It's early in the fourth quarter, so there's still plenty of opportunity for more lead changes, and if the first three quarters are any indication, this should be a fun quarter.


Just Like That Texas Leads 27-10

Mack Brown promised up at halftime that if Texas "just gets back to playing Texas football" then everything will work itself out in the second half. A couple of big plays by Colt McCoy just after halftime, combined with a big fumble recovery by the defense, has Texas back in control of the game 27-10.


Oklahoma State Fighting Back

After opening the second half with a deliberate drive down the field that ended with a 9-yard Keith Totson touchdown run, Oklahoma State attempted to do something they haven't done all day--force Houston to punt.

The Cowboys defense succeeded, and then Dez Bryant did the rest, taking the return 82 yards for a touchdown. It was a pretty play, and further evidence that Bryant's claims of wide receiver preeminence may not be so far-fetched, after all. We'll have video for you as soon as it emerges on the YouTubes, but until then, this game is 24-21, and well played. You should be watching.

(And yeah, I'm kicking myself for not taking Houston +15, thanks for asking.)


UCLA and Tennessee Keeping it Close

These teams are almost mirror images of one another. Both are once storied programs looking to reclaim their spot among the nation's top programs. Both have a fair amount of young talent. And both have upbeat boyish-looking head coaches that could best be described as "heroically smarmy."

Given the similarities and the relative youth of their teams, it makes sense that Lane Kiffin and Rick Neuheisel's teams are battling in a close, mistake-riddled game so far. UCLA missed on a long field goal to close out the half, and it's 10-10 right now.


Apocalypse Now: Virginia College Football

After last week's abundantly incompetent loss to D-1AA William & Mary, Virginia had a lot to play for today against no. 16 TCU. After ESPN's Lou Holtz said "Virginia had more Marys than Williams out there," you might say their manhood was at stake today. And certainly, a win today would help silence the critics that are calling for Al Groh's dismissal as UVA head coach.

Sadly, with an opportunity to make an emphatic statement, Virginia's play today has been far more whimper than roar. TCU is leading 14-0 in the third quarter, and while that's not an insurmountable deficit, Virginia's anemic performance so far suggests that even a field goal might be asking too much.

It's not looking good for the Wahoos in '09.


Texas Responds, Leads Wyoming 13-10 at Halftime

Colt McCoy suffered through his worst half of football since his sophomore season, and Texas finally starting moving the ball once they switched to the hurry-up offense. A 25-yard catch and run by James Kirkendoll put the Longhorns up 13-10 headed into halftime, but Texas fans have to be feeling wary of their  no. 2 ranking being in jeopardy if the poor play continues.

The good news is that Wyoming's offense has yet to take advantage of the myriad of mistakes made by the Longhorns, in a game that could have gotten out of hand very quickly. The Cowboys' only points came off special teams blunders by UT.

Perhaps the story of the game so far (besides McCoy regressing in front of our very eyes), is the decision by Texas punter Justin Tucker to try a fake punt from deep in Texas territory. Coach Mack Brown blasted his punter in his halftime interview, and I'm sure there won't be many kind words in the locker room.


Houston Came to Play, Y'all

And just like that, Houston scores again. This time it came on a 32-yard bubble screen to Tyron Carrier, a cute little waterbug of a wide receiver. Now, with the half winding down, Oklahoma State, dazed and staggering backwards, must head to the locker room and try to regroup.

Mike Gundy better have a pretty compelling pep talk ready, and if there's any justice in the world, it'll borrow heavily from this rant:


Wyoming Stunning Texas, Takes 10-6

The Texas offense is sputtering, and Wyoming just seized absolute control of all of the momentum after returning a blocked punt for a touchdown. With 90 seconds remaining in the half, the Cowboys lead 10-6.


No. 9 BYU Rolling Over Tulane

Many questioned whether BYU deserved their win over Oklahoma last week after Sam Bradford was hurt in the game. However the No. 9 ranked Cougars have arrived in New Orleans and are leaving nothing to doubt against Tulane. At halftime they lead by a score of 20-3, all while limiting the Tulane to just 98 yards of total offense, including only 11 rushing yards on 14 attempts. Meanwhile, senior QB Max Hall is 16 for 19, good for 170 yards and a TD. BYU started "slow" ending their first two scoring drives with short field goals but started executing at the end of the second half with two TDs in the last 4 minutes.

Look for BYU to continue their strong play and validate their No. 9 national ranking.


Oklahoma State is in Trouble

After pinning the Cougars deep in their own territory, the Oklahoma State defense surrendered a 96-yard drive to Houston and their quarterback Case Keenum, who continues to roll (16-20, 167 yards, 2 TD). That put the score at 17-7 Houston.

Thennnn, Houston successfully executed a surprise onside kick, and they now have the ball near the 50-yard line. This could either be a letdown game (after Georgia last week), another case of that infamous Sports Illustrated jinx, or, less interesting for sportswriters, simply a case of Houston being much better than anyone we'd realized. Whatever the case, OSU and their fans are very much on upset alert right now.


This Doesn't Merit an Update

But my brother from another, Quinn Sharp, just nailed a punt that was eventually downed by the Cowboys at the Houston 4-yard line. Awesome. If Oklahoma State somehow makes a title run, I officially have a reason to hop on the lavish T Boone Pickens-funded bandwagon. LET'S GO COWBOYS!


Jinx Jinx Jinx Jinx Jinx Ji... Oh, Oklahoma State Still Looks Pretty Good

With Houston leading 10-0 going into the second quarter, I was in full-on self-congratulatory mode for citing the Sports Illustrated Jinx in my initial update. It's the simple joys in life.

Alas, Oklahoma State looks to be firing on all cylinders now, as they just drove through the heart of Houston's defense on a 9-play, 63-yard drive that was capped by a Kendall Hunter 9-yard TD run. Houston still leads, though, and is currently at the OSU 50-yard line, so don't mourn my "Told ya so" just yet. This could be a good one...


Texas Fails on Fake Punt Deep in Own Territory

Whether it was planned or not, Texas went for a fake punt from their own 7-yard line and failed to convert. Wyoming now has the ball on the 10-yard line with all of the momentum, after Texas picks up a questionable personal-foul.


Texas Stuggling in Wyoming, Up 3-0 to Start 2nd Qtr

Colt McCoy and the Texas Longhorns are off to a shaky start against a surprisingly stout Wyoming defense. After driving for a field goal on their first possession of the game, the Longhorns have to be able to get anything going offensively and have punted three straight times. The Wyoming offense is seeing success with an uptempo approach that is doing its best to keep the UT defense off guard.

Right now Wyoming is winning the field position battle, and Texas is having problems getting out from their own end of the field. It's 3-0 Longhorns as the second quarter starts.


Houston Strikes First; Oklahoma State Fails to Respond

Want to watch a game with a ton of scoring, not much defense, and lots of orange? Check out your local Fox Sports affiliate. Houston has brought its explosive, pass-happy offense to Stillwater, and they currently enjoy a 7-0 lead over the Cowboys.

Hoston QB Case Keenum (who just sounds like a Texan, no?) is 4-5 so far, and had a 16-yard TD rush to give the Cougars the lead. Oklahoma State responded with a drive of its own, but OSU K Dan Bailey failed to convert on a short field goal.

It should be noted that the Oklahoma State Cowboys, suddenly considered as legitimate contenders in Big 12 South now that Sam Bradford is injured, were on the cover of a popular national sports periodical this week. Sports Illustrated Jinx, anyone?


UCLA-Tennessee, Houston-Oklahoma State Highlight Afternoon Slate

Believe it or not, there are other games being played alongside the huge showdown in Ann Arbor.

  • BYU at Tulane (ESPN2)
  • Houston at Oklahoma State (FSN)
  • Texas at Wyoming (Versus)
  • TCU at Virginia (ESPNU)
  • UCLA at Tennessee (ESPN)
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