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October 3, 2004

2004 Weekly local football review

Texans 30 Raiders 17. With the Stros winning the Wild Card playoff spot at the Juice Box downtown, the Texans did their part at Reliant Stadium to make Sunday a very good day for Houston sports fans. David Carr easily had his best game of the season as he was 14-22 for 238 yards, one TD pass in finding Andre Johnson as a secondary receiver on the play, no interceptions or fumbles, and 35 yards rushing on 8 carries. The Texans offensive line played well, protecting Carr sturdily and allowing third team running back Jonathan Wells to run for 105 yards. On the defensive side, the Texans were able to turn a Jamie Sharper sack into a TD and, while they did not ever really stop the Raiders' offense, they did pick off three Kerry Collins' passes and force two fumbles. The high-scoring Vikings come to town next Sunday, so the Texans' defense better plug the holes or else the Texans offense may need to score 40 just to stay in the game. Will the over/under on that game break 60?

Longhorns 44 Baylor 14. The Horns endured their final scrimmage of the pre-season before the real season begins next weekend in Dallas against Oklahoma. Although the Arkansas win from three weeks ago was a solid one, the three other teams that the Horns have played are not remotely comparable to Oklahoma's talent level. Similarly, Oklahoma's only reasonably tough game to date was this past weekend's win over Texas Tech, which was not particularly impressive. So, to a certain extent, next week's Red River Shootout will involve two talented, but largely unproven, teams. Although I think the addition of Dick Tomey to UT's defensive coaching staff will improve that unit, I'm not sure that the improvement will be sufficiently developed at this stage of the season for the Horns to hold the Sooners under 28 points, which I think is a requirement of beating them. And the Horns still have to figure out now to deal with the fact that the Sooners head coach Bob Stoops is a far superior game day tactician to UT's head coach Mack Brown.

Texas Aggies 42 Kansas State 30. This was a strange game. The Aggies really never stopped Kansas State, but four Wildcat turnovers allowed the Ags to have a short field for several of their scoring drives. Moreover, the Wildcats were behind for much of the game by double figures, so they abandoned their potent rushing attack behind Darren Sproles, despite the fact that it appeared to be working quite well. Nevertheless, with two and a half minutes to go, the Wildcats were driving the ball in Aggie territory and down only 35-30. Then, the KSU coaching staff inexplicably makes several questionable play calls and, for one of the only times in the game, the Aggie defense holds and KSU turns the ball over on downs with a minute and a half to go. As the Ags are running out the clock, Reggie McNeal takes off around left end and scoots 62 yards for a TD to put the game away. The Ags travel to Ames, Iowa next Saturday to play the Iowa State Cyclones, who are coached by my old friend Dan McCarney.

Memphis 41 Houston 14. On their way to a 1-6 record, the Coogs lay an egg against a good Memphis team. The problem with junk offenses such as the one the Coogs run is that, once the opposition's defensive coordinators have seen it, they make adjustments and force the offense to do something else. If the junk offense does not have something else that it can do well, then it gets ugly in a hurry, and that's where the Coogs find themselves now. Art Briles' second season is quickly turning into a rocky one. The Coogs play Southern Miss next on this week's ESPN Thursday night football.

San Jose State 70 Rice 63. When I first heard this score, I thought that Rice's basketball season had started early. The Owls uncharacteristically blew leads of 34-7 and 63-49, and somehow figured out a way to lose despite gaining 634 yards. In case the Owls had any doubts that their decision to move to Conference USA is the correct one, the attendance at this game was only 4,000, which means that this game drew less than a large number of Texas high school football games each week. Rice plays SMU next Saturday night at Rice Stadium.

And remember that Kevin Whited has the best weekly review of Big 12 games over at

Posted by Tom at October 3, 2004 9:21 PM |


As junky as Art Briles' offense is, the crazy thing is that all the wacky stuff seems designed to get the defense spread out so Briles can run the ball about half the time.

His isn't Mike Leach's offense. For all the crazy passing formations and quarterback's moving before the snap, at least a fourth of the time it seems like Briles wants to pound that ball up the gut between the tackles (sweeps and other junk the rest of the time).

Once teams catch on to THAT -- and you don't have the linemen you had last year -- it sets up that ugly 1-6 scenario you described. Because if you can't run up the gut AND you have no time to throw, you have problems. Our darn Coogs have problems.

And the physical poundings administered by the U and OU didn't help any. Not sure what you think of the scheduling, but I'm more of a fan of the Bill Snyder approach for UH at this point in time.

Posted by: kevin whited at October 3, 2004 11:14 PM

Tom,if I am going to become a regular reader,I demand LSU reports!

Posted by: John Stevenson at October 5, 2004 3:50 PM

John, calling LSU "local" is stretching it, even though the Tigers tell theif recruits that Baton Rouge is really just a suburb of Houston! ;^)

Posted by: Tom Kirkendall at October 5, 2004 5:18 PM

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