2008 Weekly local football review

Matt Schaub (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar; previous weekly review is here).

Steelers 38 Texans 17

Geez, that Texans’ performance certainly didn’t make this preview look very good.

Getting one’s ass kicked in the first game of the season is never pleasant, but the most troubling thing about this debacle is its similarity to the season opener from the Texans’ disastrous Year Four in which the team lost 14 of 16 games. This Texans team appears to have much better personnel than that Texans team, but it’s still not clear that this one is any better coached, particularly on defense where that unit appears incapable of stopping a hard-chargin’ marching band. Lance Zerlein breaks down what went wrong.

The Texans face another dominating defense next Sunday at Reliant Stadium against the Ravens (1-0), so Kubiak & Co. have their work cut out for them. Rookie OLT Duane Brown better grow up fast or QB Matt Schaub will find himself on the injured list this season even quicker than last season.

Rice 42 Memphis 35

The plucky Owls (2-0/2-0) were dominated by the Tigers for a half, but QB Chase Clement got warmed up in the 2nd half as Rice closed with 29 4th quarter points to pull out the victory (Memphis went from 15-up with 8:33 left to 7-down at the end — Ouch!). The game winner was a thrilling 66 yard interception return for a TD by Rice DB Chris Jammer with 11 seconds left.

After starting the season with two C-USA games, the Owls now have three straight non-conference road games, next week against Vanderbilt (2-0/1-0) in Nashville, then against the Longhorns (2-0) in Austin and then against North Texas (0-2) at Denton. The Owls’ offense is so potent that, if they can avoid injuries to key players such as Clement, WR Jarett Dilliard and RB-WR James Casey, Rice has a chance to be one of the surprise teams of the season.

Oklahoma State 56 Houston 37

The Cougars (1-1) actually led this one 16-14 at halftime, but then the Cowboys (2-0) took advantage of several Houston mistakes to roll up 28 points in the 3rd quarter and turn the game into a rout. Houston QB Case Keenum continues to shine (35-61, 397 yds, 4 TD, 0 INT, 81 yds rushing), but there is not much to say complimentary about a defensive unit that gave up almost 700 yards of total offense. And it sounds as if there might be some competition in the Cougar camp this week for the long snapping job. The Cougars play a couple of Colorado opponents over the next two weeks — first against Air Force (2-0) at Robertson Stadium and then against Colorado State (1-1) at Fort Collings — before opening C-USA play against nationally-ranked East Carolina (2-0) in Greenville, N.C.

Texas Longhorns 42 UTEP 13

The Longhorn caravan rolled into El Paso for the first time in 75 years and pounded the hometown Miners (0-2) in what amounted to a controlled scrimmage for Texas (2-0). The Horns now return to Austin next Saturday afternoon to face Arkansas (2-0), which has struggled to beat Western Illinois and Louisiana-Monroe in its first two games under new coach Bobby Petrino. By the way, over the next month, the Razorbacks face Texas, Alabama, Florida and Auburn in succession. Welcome back to big-time college football, Coach Petrino.

Texas Aggies 28 New Mexico 22

First, the good news — Texas A&M (1-1) won its first game under new coach Mike Sherman.

But now, the bad news — the woeful Lobos (0-2) out-gained the Aggies by 371 total yards to 235, had more first downs and a better 3rd-down conversion rate. In fact, about the only statistical category in which the Aggies out-performed the Lobos was turnovers — the Lobos shot themselves in the foot with four, including an interception that Aggie DB Jordan Peterson returned for the first TD of the game. If A&M’s performance in its first two games of the season is any indication, It appears that it’s going to be a long season in Aggieland.

The Aggies  have a week off before taking on Miami (1-1) in College Station in a nationally-televised Saturday night game on September 20th. Having watched Miami’s formidable defense do a pretty good job of containing Florida’s very-good offense yesterday, the punchless Aggie offense will have difficulty generating 200 yards of total offense against the extremely quick and talented Hurricanes.

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