The 2016-17 college football season is underway and what a first week it was.
It what was one of the most highly anticipated openings of the college season. We saw overtime games, upsets, and a whole bunch of football.
Highlighted by the Houston Cougars upset of the #3 Oklahoma Sooners 33 to 23, the Texas Longhorns shocking the Notre Dame Fighting Irish, and Texas State’s triple-overtime win in the Battle of the Bobcats, the State of Texas was dominant for the first weekend.
We now recap the games which led to a great opening weekend for the state.
Northwestern State Demons 7, #23 Baylor Bears 55
The college football season kicked off on Thursday for some, and the Baylor Bears kicked it off for the state on Friday.
Seth Russell threw four touchdown passes in less than a half, helping No. 23 Baylor beat FCS team Northwestern State, 55-7, on Friday night in its first game since the dismissal of head coach Art Briles.
Russell was the top-rated FBS passer when he suffered a season-ending neck injury in the seventh game last season. He completed 14 of 20 passes for 163 yards with touchdowns to four receivers, including two tight ends.
#3 Oklahoma Sooners 23, #15 Houston Cougars 33
Brandon Wilson went end line to end zone to score a touchdown on an Oklahoma missed field goal as No. 15 Cougars beat No. 3 Sooners on Saturday, looking every bit ready to compete in the Big 12.
Whether Houston (1-0) ends up in the Big 12, if the conference expands, head coach Tom Herman’s Cougars made an opening statement that could have season-long ramifications on the College Football Playoff.
Elusive quarterback Greg Ward Jr. passed for 321 yards and two touchdowns for Houston.
#16 UCLA Bruins 24, Texas A&M Aggies 31
Trevor Knight threw for 239 yards and a touchdown, while also using his feet as he ran for two more scores, including one in overtime to lead the Aggies to a 31-24 victory over No. 16 UCLA on Saturday in his debut with Texas A&M.
The Aggies had a fourth-and-1 from the one yard line in overtime when Knight waltzed into the end zone untouched for the score in the opener for both teams.
Texas A&M sealed the victory when Aggies defensive back Justin Evans knocked down UCLA quarterback Josh Rosen’s pass at the goal line on fourth down.
Texas State Bobcats 56, Ohio Bobcats 54 (3 OT)
Texas State defensive end Ishmael Davis sacked Ohio quarterback Greg Windham on a two-point conversion attempt in the third overtime, to give the Bobcats a 56-54 victory over Ohio on Saturday.
The teams amassed 110 points before a defensive stop made the difference for Texas State, which gave new head coach Everett Withers his first win.
Tyler Jones threw for 418 yards and four touchdowns for Texas State. He also moved to receiver as he caught a 22-yard touchdown pass from wide receiver L.G. Williams to start the third overtime, and then slipped a shovel pass to Gabe Schrade for two points and the win.
Alabama State Hornets 13, UTSA Roadrunners 26
UTSA junior quarterback Dalton Sturm completed 20-of-25 passes en route to piling up 326 yards of total offense to lead UTSA to a 26-13 win against Alabama State on Saturday night at the Alamodome in the debut for head coach Frank Wilson.
The Roadrunners improved to 5-1 all-time in season openers in what was their first opening game at home since the inaugural contest against Northeastern State five years ago to the day.
South Dakota State 41, #13 TCU Horned Frogs 59
TCU quarterback Kenny Hill accounted for five touchdowns after a shaky start in his TCU debut. Sophomore wide receiver KaVontae Turpin sparked TCU as he returned a punt 81 yards.
Hill was playing his first game since a 59-0 thumping by the hands of Alabama two years ago that cost him the starting job at Texas A&M. The junior transfer bounced back from interceptions on consecutive passes that led to a 10-point lead for the lower-division Jackrabbits.
Hill was 33 of 49 for 439 yards with two touchdown passes and also ran for three scores.
Stephen F. Austin 17, Texas Tech Red Raiders 69
The Red Raiders were led by quarterback Patrick Mahomes, who threw for four touchdowns and ran for two more, to lead Texas Tech past Stephen F. Austin 69-17 on Saturday.
The Lumberjacks couldn’t stop the Red Raiders offense and couldn’t get theirs on track for much of the game.
Mahomes, who was pulled midway through the third quarter, completed 30 of 43 passes for 483 yards. He also rushed for 57 yards.
Six Red Raiders receivers had yardage totals greater than 47 yards, and the team had 10 plays of 20 yards or longer.
New Mexico State Aggies 22, UTEP Miners 38
Miners running back Aaron Jones rushed for a career-high 249 yards, and third-most in UTEP history, as the Miners celebrated his return to the lineup by defeating New Mexico State, 38-22, on Saturday.
UTEP (1-0) has now beaten New Mexico State (0-1) eight consecutive times for its longest winning streak in the 94-game series.
#10 Notre Dame 47, Texas Longhorns 50 (2 OT)
A new era in Austin is underway. After two losing seasons and the pressure of an entire program bearing down, Charlie Strong turned his team over to freshman quarterback and former Arlington Lamar product Shane Buechele for the Texas’ opener, something no Longhorns’ coach has ever done in more than 70 years.
Though Buechele had an opening game to remember, throwing for 280 yards, two touchdowns and an interception, it would be the play of senior Tyrone Swoopes that would steal the show.
Disappointed not to start, Swoopes still played a huge role in the offense with three touchdowns and big runs that punished Notre Dame tacklers who struggled to bring him down.
Swoopes attempted just one pass and was effective with his feet, rushing 13 times for 53 yards and three scores.
It was a weekend to remember for the teams around the state of Texas. They truly showed how big football is in the Lone Star State.