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November 10, 2008

2008 Weekly local football review

Kubiak angry (AP Photo/David Einsel; previous weekly reviews are here)

Ravens 41 Texans 13

Oh my. It's going to be a long week for Houston sports talk show hosts this week.

The Ravens (6-3) manhandled the Texans (3-6) in the 4th quarter Sunday afternoon to put away the victory. The Texans had pulled to within 19-13 by the end of the 3rd quarter and really should have been leading by a point but for a bonehead Sage Rosenfels (23-38/294 yds/1 TD/4 int) in the first half.

But then the chronically shaky Texans defense allowed the Ravens to drive 78 yards on nine plays to go up by 14 and then Rosenfels set up the final two Ravens scores by throwing interceptions deep in Texans' territory.

So, where do the Texans stand midway through Year Seven of their existence?

Unlike the Chronicle cheerleaders (at least one of whom is now leaving the booster club), I've always thought that the decision of Texans owner Bob McNair to hire Gary Kubiak was a questionable one under the circumstances. Now, over two and a half years into the Kubiak era, the defense still stinks, the QB play remains inconsistent and the Texans are staring straight at the probability that they will win only 4-6 games this season.

But who knows? The Texans looked dead in the water after 12 games last season before winning three of their last four to finish 8-8.

My sense is that Kubiak survives for at least another season, but that McNair will require assistant coaching changes on the defensive side. The Texans now go on the road the next two Sundays at the Colts (5-4) and the Browns (3-6) before returning home to face the Jaguars (4-5).

Oklahoma 66 Texas Aggies 28

First, the good news -- 5th-ranked Oklahoma (9-1/5-1 Big 12) showed A&M (4-6/2-4 Big 12) the type of talent that the Aggies are going to have to attract to College Station in order to contend in the Big 12 South.

Now, the bad news -- OU may be only the third best team in the Big 12 South!

The Aggies travel to Waco next Saturday in the battle against Baylor (3-6/1-5 Big 12) to avoid the Big 12 South basement. The Aggies opened as an 8 point underdog.

Texas 45 Baylor 21

After a brutal four-week run against high-ranked teams, the 3rd-ranked Longhorns (9-1/5-1 Big 12) put together a workmanlike effort to put away the feisty Bears (3-6/1-5 Big 12). The Horns have another reasonably tough game next Saturday against explosive Kansas (6-4/3-3 Big 12) in Lawrence before resting a week for their annual Thanksgiving Day rivalry game against the Aggies.

Rice 38 Army 31

Note to the Owls (7-3/5-1 C-USA) -- unlike some other teams, Army (3-7) does not quit when they are behind by 24 points. Owls QB Chase Clement (21-38/377 yds/3 TD's/0 Int/10 carries for 84 yds) remains the best QB in the country that no one outside of Houston knows about. After an off week next Saturday, the Owls face Marshall (4-5/3-2) at home the following Saturday before hosting Houston (5-4/4-1 C-USA) on the Saturday after Thanksgiving to close out the regular season.

Amazingly, Rice could win 10 games this season.

Houston 45 Tulane 14

The Coogs (5-4/4-1 C-USA) began their final stretch of four games in Houston to close the season by generating almost 700 yards total offense (and 143 yards in penalties!) in pounding hapless Tulane (2-7/1-4 C-USA).

Cougar QB Case Keenum extended a University of Houston record with his 10th straight game passing for more than 300 yards (29-40/384 yds/4 TD's/1 Int). That's quite an achievement given the prolific passers that have played at UH over the years (Ware, Klingler, Clements, Kolb, etc).

The Coogs take on high-flying, 23rd-ranked Tulsa (8-1/5-0 C-USA) next Saturday in what may be the highest over/under number of the season.

Posted by Tom at November 10, 2008 12:01 AM |

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