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Predicting Week Three

Aggie War Hymn Sheet Music: the Aggie War Hymn was ranked as the nation's #1 fight song in 1997 by USA Today

For a week that looked top heavy in quality, week two had plenty of surprises. In Texas, we saw the Longhorns had renewed energy on offense putting up 42 (although the defense deserves plenty of credit there). TCU looked like a juggernaut against a FCS foe while Baylor struggled against their own FCS opponent.

Texas A&M’s first team continued to look solid. The offense hummed on their way to a 49-3 halftime lead before sitting their starters the rest of the way. Through parts of the second half TAMU chose to play third string players for experience – they’ll need the depth as the Aggies move into conference play.

Without question, the most impressive Texas victory of week two was Houston pulling off the upset in Louisville. The Cougars looked good in week one and everyone knew they would be much improved under Tom Herman. However, most people (myself included) thought a victory over Petrino and the Cards in year one might be too much. Las Vegas tabbed Louisville as 13.5 point favorites. Well, the Cougars would have none of that, winning by three. The Cougars are now 2-0 and have an off week before taking on Texas State September 26.

September 19, 2015

Nevada @ Texas A&M, 11:00 AM, SEC Network

Nevada hasn’t had an easy schedule. They played #22 Arizona last week before playing the 17th ranked Aggies this week. While the Texas A&M defense continued their solid play against Ball State, adding a pick six to their early season accolades, the Aggie offense looked to return to its normal self. Sumlin took advantage of an early blow out, playing lots of youth down the stretch. As long as the Aggies keep level heads, this week should offer the same opportunity – Texas A&M wins 51-20.

Rice @ UNT, 1:30 PM

UNT’s season opener wasn’t what they were hoping for falling to a rejuvenated SMU team, 31-13. Rice wasn’t able to pull off the upset against a raging UT team that had five takeaways against the Owls. Both teams will be looking to bounce back this week, but only one will get the W – Rice wins 31-20.

UTSA @ Oklahoma State, 2:30 PM, FOXS1

My worst pick this year, I thought a talented Roadrunner offense would allow UTSA to pull a major upset and beat Kansas State last week in the Alamodome. After a first half score of 7-3 (a 3-0 UTSA lead at the end of the first quarter) it looked like UTSA had a chance. Even at the end of the third quarter, the Roadrunners were still in the game 13-3. The fourth quarter was where depth and talent finally took over as the Wildcats ran away 30-3. As much as we’d like to see UTSA take down the Cowboys, OSU is even more dangerous than K-State – Oklahoma State wins 41-21.

Southern Mississippi @ Texas State, 6:00 PM, ESPN 3

Two years ago Texas State opened their season in Hattiesburg, Mississippi against the Golden Eagles. It was the first matchup between the two schools and despite an underwhelming offensive output (215 total yards) the Bobcats came from behind to win 22-15. Last week, Texas State had 649 yards of offense against Prairie View A&M. Look for the offense to keep their foot on the gas – Texas State wins 49-45.

A 1959 Texas Tech Tri Delt shows school spirit. The Red Raiders should have plenty to celebrate this weekend.

Texas Tech @ Arkansas, 6:00 PM, ESPN 2

If you are anyone but a Razorback fan, you likely watched Arkansas’ game last week and chuckled. Bielema felt the need to trash #1 Ohio State’s strength of schedule before playing Toledo. From his high and mighty position, Bielema and the Razorbacks went on to fall to the mighty Rockets 16-12. It was Toledo’s first victory against an SEC opponent. While most of me believes that the Razorbacks will be back with a vengeance this week, that doesn’t do enough to silence the rest of me that still sees the Pigs as the Southwest Conference’s awkward northern step-child – Texas Tech wins 35-28.

California @ Texas, 6:30 PM, FOX

This, for me, is the hardest pick of the week. On the one hand, Texas seemed to make progress last week. On the other hand, the stats from the Rice game read like a warning label. Rice outgained the Longhorns 462-277 – WARNING THIS SHIP IS SHAKY. Rice had 30 first downs to UT’s 11 – WARNING THIS SHIP IS TAKING ON WATER. The Owls even dominated time of possession holding the ball for nearly 75% of the game – WARNING SOMEONE GRAB A LIFEBOAT. Perhaps most terrifying if you’re a Texas fan, Rice converted 66% of their third downs – WARNING THIS SHIP’S NAME IS TITANIC. Of course, all of that was negated by the Texas defense forcing five Rice turnovers, including a scoop and score by all-everything freshman Malik Jefferson. Jerrod Heard definitely had moments of grandeur and the Charlie Strong ship does seem to be righting itself. Look for the Longhorns to take another positive step this week and cover a spread that currently favors Cal by 7 – California wins 31-27.

UTEP @ New Mexico State, 7:00 PM, ESPN 3

New Mexico State and UTEP are both currently 0-2. New Mexico State fell to Florida in week one before losing to Georgia State in week two. UTEP’s loses were both more lopsided but they were to stronger programs: Arkansas and Texas Tech. UTEP moves up a notch this week as New Mexico State falls to 0-3 – UTEP wins 35-27.

SMU @ TCU, 7:00 PM, FSN

Which Horned Frog personality will we see this week? After a disappointing week one, the Horned Frogs lost multiple defensive starters on a unit that was already viewed as a weak spot. They responded by humiliating a typically strong FCS opponent in SFA, 70-7. SMU has had some similar identity issues most easily defined by a week one performance where the Ponies put up 21 on Baylor in first half before being shut out in the second. If TCU plays like they did in week one, this game could go either way. If the Horned Frogs execute like they did in week two, this one will be over before half – TCU wins 49-24.

My Year-to-Date Record

16-3

My All-Time Record

16-3

Texas v. Non-Texas Opponent Record (Year-to-Date)

6-5

*Division I FBS Texas teams

(These are solely the opinions of Ryan Sprayberry and do not represent the thoughts or beliefs of the Texas Sports Hall of Fame)

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