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2017 Academy Sports + Outdoors Texas Bowl

TEXAS wins 2017 Academy Sports + Outdoors Texas Bowl

Texas Longhorns defeat Missouri Tigers 33-16

HOUSTON – Behind a stellar defensive performance and precision punting by junior Michael Dickson, The University of Texas Longhorns (7-6) defeated the Missouri Tigers (7-6), 33-16, in the 2017 Academy Sports + Outdoors Texas Bowl at NRG Stadium on Wednesday night.

The Longhorn defense forced four turnovers and scored nine points while holding a Missouri offense that entered the game averaging 511.5 yards of total offense to just 390 yards.

Dickson, a unanimous All-American and this season’s Ray Guy Award recipient and Big 12 Conference Special Teams Player of the Year, added Texas Bowl MVP to his accolades after 10 of his 11 punts pinned the Tigers inside their own 15-yard line. Eight Mizzou drives started at or inside their own 10-yard line, including two at the 3-yard line, one at the 4-yard line and another at the 2-yard line.

Texas received the opening kick and quickly moved down field, taking a 7-0 lead just 1:32 into the game when sophomore quarterback Shane Buechele found freshman running back Daniel Young wide open on a wheel route for a 22-yard touchdown. The drive was aided by two Missouri penalties for 25 yards, while Young picked up 12 yards on pair of runs before scoring on the pass from Buechele.

Young set career-highs with 64 receiving yards and 112 all-purpose yards on the day, while the score was the first receiving touchdown of his career.

The Longhorns’ defense forced a three-and-out on Missouri’s first possession, pushing the Tigers back three yards, allowing the offense to start their next possession at midfield following a 35-yard punt.

A keeper by Buechele for a 10-yard gain and a 4-yard run by Young advanced UT to the Mizzou 36, but the drive stalled. Dickson entered and pinned the Tigers deep in their own territory with a 33-yard punt that was downed at the 3-yard line.

Texas extended the lead late in the first quarter when freshman quarterback Sam Ehlinger connected with junior wide receiver John Burtfor a 7-yard toe-tap touchdown along the left side of the end zone to give Texas a 14-0 lead with 3:58 remaining in the frame. Ehlinger opened the drive with a 42-yard completion to Young, then scrambled for nine yards to the Mizzou 4-yard line. After losing three yards on a carry, Ehlinger hit Burt for the score.

On the day, Ehlinger completed 11-of-15 passes for 112 yards and a touchdown, while also rushing for 17 yards.

Both sides traded punts over the next four drives, with the Texas defense dominating the opening frame, forcing Mizzou into four three-and-outs to open the game and yielding only one first down in the first quarter.

Missouri got on the board early in the second quarter, wrapping up a 5-play, 50-yard drive with a 4-yard touchdown run by running back Ish Witter to cut the Texas lead to 14-7 with 12:10 remaining in the first half.

The magical season for the Texas defense picked up momentum on the next Missouri possession when junior nickel back P.J. Locke forced Witter to fumble at the Missouri 31. Junior linebacker Anthony Wheeler scooped it up at the 38 and raced down the left sideline for a touchdown, the first of his career, to give Texas a 21-7 advantage. The score was an FBS-leading eighth non-offensive touchdown on the year for the Longhorns, the most by a Texas team since the 2009 squad notched 11.

Texas forced another turnover on the next Mizzou possession when junior cornerback Davante Davis put a helmet on the ball and forced a fumble by tight end Al Okwuegbunam, which was picked up by junior linebacker Breckyn Hager at the UT 44-yard line. The fumble recovery by Hager was the first of his career.

Hager wore No. 60 in honor of Longhorn Legend Tommy Nobis, who passed away two weeks ago today on Dec. 13. The number 60 is retired in honor of Nobis and has been worn by only by six other Longhorns, including Hager’s father Britt, who donned the number from 1984-1988 during his All-American career. Number “60” decals were prominent on the back of every Longhorn helmet.

Looking to take advantage of the turnover, Buechele connected on a 21-yard pass to sophomore wide receiver Collin Johnson on the next play. However, a Longhorn penalty pushed the Horns back and they were forced to punt with 5:10 remaining in the half.

The scoreboard remained unchanged for the rest of the half as the teams headed to the locker rooms for the break.

Missouri came out firing to open the second half, scoring on the first play from scrimmage with a 79-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Drew Lock to wide receiver Johnathon Johnson. A poor snap resulted in failed point after attempt by the Tigers, making the Texas lead 21-13.

The Tigers tacked on a 28-yard field goal with 2:44 remaining in the third quarter, making the score 21-16.

On the next Mizzou possession, a bad snap sailed over Lock’s right shoulder and out of the back of the end zone for a safety, increasing the Texas lead to seven, 23-16.

A 36-yard kick return by senior Armanti Foreman on the ensuing kickoff and a 15-yard roughing the passer penalty against Mizzou helped set up a fourth quarter, 41-yard field goal by junior kicker Joshua Rowland to extend the Texas lead to 26-16 with 12:15 remaining in the game.

With 10:45 left to play, the Horns’ began chewing up clock, putting together a 12-play, 42-yard drive that took 7:25 to execute and culminated with Dickson pinning Missouri at their 4-yard line. The highlight of the drive came on third-and-15 at the UT 41, when Foreman caught a pass behind the line of scrimmage, then sprinted 16 yards for the first down that kept the clock rolling.

Two plays later, Davis intercepted a Lock pass at the Missouri 14-yard line to seal the game for the Horns.

A penalty set the Horns up at the Mizzou 29, but after sophomore running back Kyle Porter rushed three times for nine yards, Foreman scored on an 18-yard reverse, with Ehlinger setting up a key block at the 3-yard line, to put Texas up 33-16.

Missouri looked to score in the waning seconds of the game, but junior defensive end Charles Omenihu strip-sacked Lock at the UT 32 with 17 seconds remaining and junior linebacker Edwin Freeman fell on it at the 28 to end the threat.

Lock had a FBS-leading 43 touchdown passes as play begin, but was held to just one on the day.

Junior linebacker Gary Johnson set a career-high with 10 tackles to lead the defense, while Locke had seven and Davis and Wheeler recorded six each.

The Missouri offense had the seventh-highest third down conversion percentage in the FBS (0.472) as play began, but Texas defense ranked fourth nationally (0.276) coming in and allowed the Tigers to convert on just 3-of-14 third downs.

Ehlinger and Buechele combined to complete 17-of-29 passes for 167 yards and two touchdowns, while completing passes to nine different receivers.

The Texas Bowl victory is the first bowl victory for Texas since defeating Oregon State, 31-27, in the 2012 Alamo Bowl.



2017 Battle of the Piney Woods

HOUSTON, Texas – In the 92nd edition of the Battle of the Piney Woods, the Stephen F. Austin football team left all it had on the field but was unable to upend 11th-ranked Sam Houston State Saturday afternoon inside NRG Stadium in Houston, falling by a score of 27-16. Despite forcing three turnovers, collecting an onside kick and seeing the Bearkats (4-1, 2-1 Southland) commit 13 penalties for 144 yards, the Lumberjacks (2-4, 2-2 Southland) were outgained 508 to 219 in total offensive yards.

Sam Houston State racked up 198 yards on the ground and another 325 through the air, holding SFA to just 14 rushing yards and a 3-of-16 third-down conversion rate in the pivotal Southland Conference matchup.

The Bearkats wasted no time in scoring, marching down the field in eight plays and going 71 yards in just 2:47. A 10-yard run by Sam Houston State’s Corey Avery at the 12:13 mark of the opening quarter was the first score of the game as the Bearkats took a 7-0 lead on SFA.

A Lumberjack miscue on just their second play from scrimmage resulted in seven more quick points for Sam Houston State. A mishandled handoff by sophomore starting quarterback Jake Blumrick (Pearland, Texas) to senior running back Kijana Amous (Mansfield, Texas) resulted in the football on the ground as the Bearkats pounced on the poor connection. Starting its drive at the Lumberjack 12, Sam Houston State wasted no time in scoring and made it into the end zone when reigning Walter Payton Award winner Jeremiah Briscoe found Davion Davis for a 14-yard strike. The touchdown pass was Briscoe’s 85th of his career, setting an all-time Bearkat record.

Trailing 14-0 after just over four minutes of play, the ‘Jacks weren’t able to get anything going offensively but forced Sam Houston State to punt for the first time of the afternoon on the Bearkats’ third drive of the game. Sam Houston State tacked on another three points to go up 17-0 with 3:49 remaining in the first quarter when Tre Honshtein connected on a 31-yard field goal, capping a 10-play, 55-yard drive.

Through one quarter of play SFA had just nine offensive yards and two first downs, compared to 146 yards and nine first downs by the Bearkats.

A 52-yard interception by sophomore safety Alize Ward (San Diego, Calif.), his third of the season, ignited the Lumberjacks’ first score of the game. Unable to record a first down following the interception, sophomore kicker Storm Ruiz (League City, Texas) knocked through a 42-yard field goal to make it a 17-3 score with 9:23 to go in the first half.

A big fourth-down stop by the SFA defense at the 6:48 mark of the second quarter began a nine-play, 68-yard scoring drive for the ‘Jacks. Thanks to 53-yard downfield connection from Blumrick to sophomore wide receiver Tamrick Pace (Brownsboro, Texas), SFA had the ball inside the red zone for the first time of the afternoon. A two-yard reverse run by senior wide receiver Trae Hart (Mesquite, Texas) got the ‘Jacks down to the one-yard line but brought up fourth-and-one. A one-yard scamper by Blumrick on the fourth-down play gave SFA its first touchdown of the game, making it a one possession game at 17-10 with 3:29 showing in the second quarter.

On Sam Houston State’s ensuing possession, SFA came away with their second takeaway of the game when sophomore linebacker Anthony Jacobs(Houston, Texas) forced a fumble and freshman safety Trenton Gordon (Rowlett, Texas) jumped on the ball at the Bearkats’ 20. However, the ‘Jacks were unable to convert on a third-and-10, resulting in a 33-yard field goal by Ruiz. The score made it a 17-13 contest with 2:12 left in the half.

Setup by a 60-yard kickoff return, the Bearkats ended the first half on an eight-play, 33-yard drive that resulted in a 25-yard field goal from Honshstein as time expired on the first half.

Trailing 20-13 heading into the locker room, SFA had just 90 yards of total offense on 32 plays in the opening 30 minutes. Despite giving up 241 yards, including 183 through the air, to the Bearkats and gaining only four first downs, the Lumberjacks’ two first-half takeaways kept SFA within one possession.

On just the fourth play of the second half, Blumrick had a pass tipped and then intercepted by the Bearkats’ Hunter Brown, giving Sam Houston State the ball at the SFA 24. Without being able to collect a first down on the next four downs, the Bearkats attempted a 40-yard field goal that was missed left, allowing the ‘Jacks to take over on downs at the 12:01 mark of the of the third quarter.

A key fourth-down stop by SFA near the end of the third quarter brought a halt to a 11-play, 92-yard Sam Houston State drive. Stopping the Bearkats at the Lumberjack one-yard line on a fourth-and-goal rush, SFA took over on downs but was unable to get anything going. With the ‘Jacks forced to punt, senior safety Marlon Walls (Pearland, Texas) picked up a mishandled punt catch by Sam Houston State, giving SFA a fresh set of downs at its own 49. After a delay of game penalty and then a pair of incompletions, a 15-yard roughing the passer penalty advanced the ball to the Bearkats’ 41. The ‘Jacks got the ball down inside the 10 before being stopped on third down as Ruiz made his third field goal of the game, a 27 yarder that got SFA back within four at 20-16 with 11:14 to go.

Head coach Clint Conque made a gutsy call on the ensuing kickoff, resulting in the Lumberjacks’ fourth takeaway of the game. An onside kickoff by junior punter Caleb Lewallen (Kingwood, Texas) was excellently executed as Ward came up with his second turnover of the afternoon, giving SFA the ball at its own 49. After a 35-yard hookup from Blumrick to junior Texas A&M transfer wideout Frank Iheanacho (Houston, Texas), the ‘Jacks had first-and-10 at the Sam Houston State 16. However, the scoring opportunity would not pay dividends as Blumrick saw his would be go-ahead touchdown intercepted in the end zone by the Bearkats’ Danzell Sims.

The SFA turnover would prove to be the last momentum changer in the contest as the ‘Jacks were pinned on their own side of the field for the remainder of the game.

An eight-play, 73-yard drive that lasted just over three minutes clinched the game for the Bearkats with a 26-yard touchdown run by Briscoe on a broken play. The quarterback rush with 4:55 remaining in the game gave Sam Houston State a 11-point, 27-16 lead.

SFA had one last possession but after a first down could not convert a third-and-nine and punted with just 3:10 left. The Bearkats were able to eat up the final 3:10 of play after a 43-yard run by Avery.

Blumrick finished the game with a career-high 205 passing yards on 18-of-39 completions, while Pace had the Lumberjacks’ first 100-yard receiving game of the season with six receptions. Ward led the team on defense with 12 total tackles, including six solo stops, a half tackle for loss and his 52-yard interception. Jacobs finished with 11 total tackles, including six solo, while senior cornerback Trent Perriman (Miami, Fla.) posted a career-high 10 tackles that included a game-high eight individual stops.

Briscoe passed went 30-for-51 for 325 yards as Davis had 151 yards receiving on 13 catches. Avery finished with 85 rushing yards, followed by 43 from Jordan Brown.

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2017 AdvoCare Texas Kickoff

NEW ORLEANS — No. 13 LSU dominated BYU in all phases of the game, winning the relocated 2017 Advocare Texas Kickoff, 27-0, late Saturday at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans.

The game was scheduled to be played in Houston’s NRG Stadium, but was moved to New Orleans on Monday, Aug. 28, following the tragic flooding in southeast Texas and southwest Louisiana.

LSU running back Derrius Guice ran for 122 yards with two touchdowns, while Darrel Williams added 92 yards on 15 carries with a touchdown. LSU quarterback Danny Etling was nearly flawless, as the senior completed 14-of-17 passes for 171 yards.

The Tigers held the ball for more than two-thirds of the contest (41:54), committed no turnovers, punted only once, and did not allow a sack. The only aspects of the game that didn’t go LSU’s way were penalties (10 for 86 yards) and redzone touchdowns (3 of 7). LSU made 2-of-3 field goals and had a drive end on downs inside the Cougars 5-yard line.

Meanwhile, the Tigers defense which started three true freshmen allowed only 97 yards of total offense including minus-5 rushing – the fewest by an opponent since 1982 (school-record minus-50 vs. Ole Miss). BYU never crossed midfield in the contest, once reaching its 47-yard line.

LSU outgained BYU (1-1), 479-97, and earned its fourth shutout away from Tiger Stadium since 1987.

Scoring Recap

After a scoreless first quarter, LSU used Guice 10 times on a 13-play scoring drive that ended with a 4-yard touchdown run by the LSU junior running back. Jack Gonsoulin tacked on the extra point and the Tigers led 7-0 with 14:22 remaining in the first half.

On the next play from scrimmage, LSU cornerback Andraez Williams intercepted BYU’s Tanner Mangum pass at the LSU 35-yard line. A 52-yard hook-up from Etling to DJ Chark setup Guice’s second touchdown of the game from 1 yard. LSU led 14-0 with 11:53 left in the half.

In the third quarter, LSU extended its advantage with a pair of field goals by Gonsoulin from 23 and 29 yards.

With the game in-hand, the Tigers took advantage of a failed fake punt to score the game’s final touchdown, a 1-yard run by Williams with 8:12 left to play.


2017 Manchester Derby


Five thousand miles away from home, Manchester United took the local bragging rights in the first ever derby to played outside England.

After a relatively even first half-hour, United took control of the tie with two goals in the space of two minutes just before half-time.

Lukaku opened the scoring in the 37th minute, meeting a long ball in front of City goalkeeper Ederson – who had unwisely sprinted out of his box in an effort to clear – before finishing on the half-volley from a tight angle.

Two minutes later, rash defending became Rashford scoring, as England international Marcus latched onto Henrikh Mkhitaryan’s pass and, left all alone on the right of the City penalty area, guided the ball beyond Ederson.

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2017 Mexico vs. Ghana

Mexico earned a 1-0 victory over Ghana in an international friendly Wednesday night in Houston’s NRG Stadium.

Elias Hernandez provided the lone goal, scoring from the penalty spot in the 32nd minute after Ghana defender John Boye fouled Jesus Gallardo in the 18-yard box.

Mexico fielded what was essentially a reserve squad Wednesday since their best players are representing the national team in the 2017 Confederations Cup. El Tri play Germany in the semifinals Thursday.

Ghana, on the other hand, fielded a relatively strong side since their focus is on their 2018 World Cup qualifier against Congo on Aug. 28. The Black Stars are five points behind group leaders Egypt through two matches, so they can ill afford any more poor results if they want to remain on track to earn a ticket to Russia next summer.

Considering the relative importance of the friendly, Ghana coach Kwesi Appiah will likely be disappointed the game’s only goal resulted from a mistake by one of his defenders.

Kwese Sports’ Colin Udoh thought both Boye and fellow Ghana defender Harrison Afful had little argument with the referee’s decision to award the penalty.


Mexico needed Jose Corona to make numerous saves throughout the match to maintain their 1-0 lead, but Corona was powerless to prevent what was Ghana’s best opportunity for an equalizer. Diving to his right, Corona watched in the 78th minute as Frank Acheampong’s left-footed shot caromed off the right post.

While it wasn’t a peerless performance from El Tri, assistant coach Luis Pompilio Paez couldn’t have asked for much more. He’ll take this squad into the 2017 Gold Cup with manager Juan Carlos Osorio’s attention diverted toward the Confederations Cup.

Rather than defending their tournament crown, Paez said before Wednesday’s match the team’s focus in the Gold Cup will be “[consolidating] four to six young players who have yet to go to Europe but can compete for World Cup places against our experienced players in the national team,” per ESPN FC’s Nayib Moran.

Based on their work against Ghana, Mexico should be able to groom their younger stars while also competing with the best CONCACAF has to offer.

By: Joseph Zucker, Bleacher Report [Read Article]