Thursday's college football results: UCLA, Texas win thrillers, WKU walks

Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

The Bruins and Longhorns escape with tight road victories, and the fans are concerned about their performances.

Texas 31, Iowa State 30

With a little bit of luck, Texas was able to defeat their second-straight Big 12 opponent, dispatching Iowa State on the road 31-30 Thursday night.

The Longhorns started strong with a 10-0 first quarter lead thanks to a 45-yard touchdown run by Johnathan Gray and a field goal from Anthony Fera.

Iowa State rebounded nicely, scoring 13 straight points in the second quarter to retake the lead, but a 44-yard Hail Mary pass from Case McCoy found John Harris in the end zone to make it 17-13 Texas at the half.

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Iowa State responded in kind, as Sam B. Richardson found Quenton Bundrage over the middle for a 97-yard score and the 20-17 lead.

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A Joe Bergeron touchdown gave Texas the lead again, but Iowa State scored a 20-yard touchdown and a 29-yard field goal to make it 30-24 with just minutes left.

With under 90 seconds to play, Texas was at the goal line when Gray appeared to lose the ball, giving Iowa State possession and the victory. The play was reviewed and the referees decided to keep the ball with the Longhorns, who would score the winning touchdown just a few snaps later.

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Despite the victory, Texas fans still want Mack Brown out, as Wescott Eberts from Burnt Orange Nation says the Longhorns' poor play only cemented Brown's fate.

The outcomes of some games coming up, like next week against Oklahoma and Baylor to close the season? Those will probably be ugly enough to move the needle for whatever stragglers there are to the fundamental truth of what needs to happen at Texas, but they don't really matter either because they are but the stragglers, the ones with the dried voices that whisper together as quietly and meaninglessly as wind in dry grass or rats' feet over broken glass in our dry cellar.

nobis60 of Barking Carnival singled out the offensive playcalling and called the game embarrassing, and also pointed to the result as a sign of Brown's impending exit as head coach.

Either this or last season's Luckout in Lawrence would have been the most embarrassing loss of the Mack Brown era, so they can jointly serve as the most embarrassing escapes of the Mack Brown era.  Since it was a good result, it will no doubt result in a hug from Deloss and a thank-you call to Brad McCoy and some "everybody plays you tough" platitudes in the press conference.

But it served as one more stark reminder that we're in the last days of the Mack Brown era.

The Iowa State faithful, however, were more than pleased with the loss, as CanAzn of Wide Right & Natty Lite noted the difference in effort from the Cyclones.

While it's easy to focus solely on the officiating blunders and the loss, let's all take a step back and compare the team you just watched spill their guts on the field tonight to the complete garbage that we saw against Northern Iowa, and it's hard not to be impressed with the progress they've made.

No. 12 UCLA 34, Utah 27

The Bruins escaped Salt Lake City with a narrow victory, as Brett Hundley had three touchdowns -- one passing, one rushing and one receiving. Throw in a pick-six for Utah and Hundley was responsible for four different touchdowns in the game.

UCLA took an early lead on a one-yard Jordon James run, but Utah scored on two Travis Wilson passing touchdowns to make it 14-7 Utes heading into the second quarter. The Bruins responded with two passing touchdowns of their own to start out the second quarter -- one Brett Hundley caught and one Brett Hundley threw -- to give them a 21-14 lead.

The two teams traded field goals, and entered the fourth quarter with the Utes down 24-17. Hundley threw an interception to Keith McGill, who returned it 19 yards for the score and the tie. UCLA took the lead a few minutes later on a 47-yard field goal, giving them a lead they wouldn't give up. With about three-and-a-half minutes to go, Hundley ran for a 36-yard touchdown to seal the game.

While UCLA fans were unhappy with the performance, they were pleased with the win, as Nestor from Bruins Nation said it was a game past Bruin teams would have lost.

But, all in all despite our negative emotions, frustrations and agony - evident all throughout our comment thread, this was a possibly character building win for our Bruins. These are the kind of games - a tough venue against a well coached team - we would have gone blown out under the leadership of Donahue disciples during the lost decade of darkness.

Western Kentucky 31, Louisiana-Monroe 10

The Hilltoppers are quickly emerging as a Sun Belt contender under Bobby Petrino, cruising to an easy road victory over a solid Warhawks team.

Brandon Doughty threw two first quarter touchdown passes to give Western Kentucky the lead, but Louisiana-Monroe clawed back to make it 14-10 at the half. Petrino's squad stepped up their game after the break, however, scoring 17 unanswered points en route to the win.

Doughty finished with 370 yards passing, and Antonio Andrews ran 27 times for 155 yards and a score.

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