Aggies face big test at Tennessee: Texans look for another home win, against Saints

Houston had one heck of a day two weeks ago. The Astros completed a sweep of the Arizona Diamondbacks and thanks to Seattle’s 1-0 win over the Texas Rangers on that same day, Houston’s Local Nine wrapped up the American League West Division. It was a great road trip for Dusty Baker’s team as they won five of their last six games to win their third straight division crown.

While the Astros were doing their thing in the desert, the Houston Texans were overwhelming the Pittsburgh Steelers at NRG Stadium, 30-6, on the day the team inducted star defensive end J.J. Watt into its Ring of Honor.

Let’s hope the Astros have one more run in them as they look to win a second straight World Series title. It won’t be easy, but at least we get to enjoy the ride.

The Texans have been one of the surprise teams thus far in the NFL. After losing their first two games, DeMeco Ryan’s team has run off two convincing victories (37-17 at Jacksonville and 30-6 at home against the Steelers).

This Sunday, Houston hosts New Orleans at noon in NRG Stadium. The Saints are struggling on offense as former Raider Derek Carr is the new man under center. NO did get back all-purpose running back Alvin Kamara after he served a three-game suspension, which should help Carr and the offense. The Texans have received stellar play from rookie QB C.J. Stroud, who in his first four games as a pro has yet to throw an interception, while tossing six touchdown passes.

Other interesting games on tap in the NFL this weekend have the Detroit Lions visiting the surprising Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Two weeks ago, Detroit dominated the Packers in Green Bay and left with a 34-20 win, while the Bucs won at New Orleans, 26-9 to take over sole possession of first place in the NFC South.

The Cowboys rebounded from their embarrassing loss at Arizona in Week 3 with a 38-3 stomping of the New England Patriots, handing head coach Bill Belichick his worst loss as an NFL head coach. This week, the Cowboys travel to Los Angeles to take on the Chargers on Monday Night Football.

In the college game, Jimbo Fisher and his Texas A&M Aggies face a tough road test when they take on Tennessee in Knoxville. This will be a good test for the Aggies who looked solid in their 34-22 win over Arkansas two weeks ago. A&M has a ton of weapons on offense and will need every one of them when they take on the Vols on Saturday.

There are two big games on tap this weekend as No. 8- ranked Oregon visits No. 7- ranked Washington in a key Pac 12 battle, while No. 9-ranked USC visits No. 10-ranked Notre Dame in prime time on NBC.

In District 14-6A play, Nimitz and Davis do battle in what could be an offensive shootout. Two weeks ago, Davis lost a 49-42 decision to Spring, while Nimitz moved to 5-0 with a 20-0 win over Eisenhower. MacArthur will face Spring, while Eisenhower takes on Westfield and Aldine plays Dekaney.

Before we take a look at this weekend’s games, let’s review last week’s record. An 8-4 record (best of the season) brought the season record to 28-22 (56%). Now, onto this weekend’s games.


MacArthur vs. Spring: Wayne Crawford’s Generals take on Spring on Thursday night at George Stadium in Spring ISD. Two weeks ago, the Generals defeated Aldine 14-6 for their first league win of the season. The Generals run defense will get tested by Spring running backs Ahran Ogbar (639 yards) and Delonyte Henderson (395 yards). The Generals will look for a big game from QB Derrick McNeil. My pick, Spring 26, MacArthur 20

Eisenhower at Westfield: Odell James’ Eagles take on Westfield on Thursday night at Planet Ford Stadium in Spring ISD. Two weeks ago, the Eagles fell to Nimitz 20-0. Westfield is led by running back Taji Atkins (479 yards), QB Miles Dent (628 yards, 7 TDs) and wide receiver Austin Abrams (19 receptions, 212 yards), while the Eagles are led by QB Jared Guter (448 yards, 2 TDs) and wide receiver Ulysses Thibodeaux (13 receptions, 180 yards). My pick, Westfield 33, Eisenhower 30

Aldine at Dekaney: Cirilo Ojeda’s Mustangs take on Dekaney on Friday night at Planet Ford Stadium in Spring ISD. Dekaney is led by running back Dylan Jones (614 yards), QB Quinten Foster (618 yards, 6 TDs) and wide receivers David Edmondson (14 receptions, 175 yards) and Nick Townsend (10 receptions, 171 yards). The Mustangs will look for a big night from running back Rory Hernandez (210 yards). My pick, Dekaney 31, Aldine 18

Davis vs. Nimitz: Kelvin Chatman’s Falcons take on Cornelius Harmon’s Cougars on Friday night at George Stadium in Spring ISD. This should be a high-scoring game as both teams have explosive offenses. Davis is led by QB Kamryn Jackson (1,202 yards, 12 TDs/ 218 rushing yards) and wide receivers J’Masrcus Hopes (15 receptions, 282 yards) and Treveon Bossier (14 receptions, 203 yards). Nimitz is led by QB Albert Brown (896 yards, 10 TDs), running back Brashard Miles (234 yards) and wide receivers Malachi Augustus (16 receptions, 278 yards), Kaden Phillips (10 receptions, 202 yards) and Ke’lyn Washom (15 receptions, 190 yards). Look for plenty of fireworks in this one. My pick, Nimitz 34, Davis 31


Texas A&M at Tennessee: Jimbo Fisher’s Aggies travel to Knoxville to take on the Vols in what should be a key game for both teams in SEC play. The Aggies are in the hunt in the SEC West, while the Vols look to contend with Georgia in the SEC East. Two weeks ago, the Ags had a workman like performance against Arkansas and left AT&T Stadium in Arlington with a 34-22 win. Backup QB Max Johnson (436 yards, 6 TDs) has filled in nicely for injured starter Conner Weigman. He has a load of talent on offense to help him out in running back Le’Von Moss (276 yards, 2 TDs) and Amari Daniels (270 yards, 2 TDs) and big-play wide receivers Evan Stewart (24 receptions, 357 yards, 4 TDs) and Ainias Smith (22 receptions, 343 yards, plus an 80-yard punt return for a TD against the Hogs. Tennessee is lethal on offense as well with QB Joe Milton III (1,164 yards, 9 TDs), running back Jaylan Wright (435 yards, 1 TD) and wide receiver Squirrel White (26 receptions, 276 yards). This should be a high scoring game and look for the Vols to make one or two more plays than the Aggies do to pull it out. My pick, Tennessee 37, Texas A&M 34

Oregon at Washington: This should be another offensive shootout as No. 8-ranked Oregon visits No. 7-ranked Washington. In its first five games, Oregon has averaged 51.6 points per game, while the Huskies have averaged 46 points per game. I don’t think there will be a lot of defense played in this game. Oregon is led by QB Bo Nix (1,459 yards, 15 TDs), running back Bucky Irving (393 yards, 4 TDs) and wide receiver Troy Franklin (32 receptions, 535 yards, 7 TDs). Washington has a pretty fair signal caller of their own in lefthanded thrower Michael Penix (1,999 yards, 16 TDs). Penix has three quality wideouts to throw to in Rome Odunza (32 receptions, 608 yards, 4 TDs), Ja’Lynn Polk (26 receptions, 468 yards, 4 TDs) and Jalen McMillan (20 receptions, 311 yards, 3 TDs). Look for those three to wear out the Oregon secondary as the Huskie pick up a big conference win. My pick, Washington 38, Oregon 35

USC at Notre Dame: No. 9- ranked USC travels to the Midwest to take on No. 10- ranked Notre Dame in one of the most storied intersectional rivalries in college football. USC QB Caleb Williams (1,603 yards, 21 TDs) could very well be the No. 1 overall pick in the 2024 NFL draft and he has a host of weapons that will test the Irish defense in running back Marshawn Lloyd (433 yards, 3 TDs) and wide receivers Tahj Washington (18 receptions, 395 yards, 5 TDs) and Brendan Rice (17 receptions, 335 yards, 7 TDs). ND has a solid QB in Sam Hartman (1,458 yards, 14 TDs) and one of the best tight ends in the country in Mitchell Evans (18 receptions, 272 yards). They also have a solid running back in Audric Estime (672 yards, 7 TDs). Look for Notre Dame to give Estime plenty of work to work the clock and keep Williams off the field. USC is potent on offense, but it’s defense is suspect. If ND can get an early lead and work the clock, Marcus Freeman could earn the biggest win of his young head coaching career. Playing at home under the lights will also be a huge plus for the Irish. My pick, Notre Dame 33, USC 31


San Francisco at Cleveland: The 49ers potent offense takes on one of the league’s top defenses when these two meet in Cleveland on Sunday afternoon. The Browns will have their hands full with SF running back Christian McCaffrey (455 yards, 7 total TDs), QB Brock Purdy (1,019 yards, 5 TDs) and wide receiver Brandon Aiyuk (17 receptions, 320 yards, 2 TDs). The Browns will need a big day from defensive end Myles Garrett (5.5 sacks in his first four games) to slow down McCaffrey. Cleveland should have starting QB Deshaun Watson (675 yards, 4 TDs) back after he missed the Browns loss to Baltimore two weeks ago with a shoulder injury. Look for the 49ers to continue to roll as they take care of the Browns on Sunday. My pick, San Francisco 26, Cleveland 20

Detroit at Tampa Bay: The Lions travel to Florida to take on the Bucs in a meeting between two of the more surprising teams thus far in the 2023 NFL season. Two weeks ago, Detroit improved to 3-1 with a convincing 34-20 win at Green Bay, while the Bucs also improved to 3-1 with a 26-9 thumping of the Saints in New Orelans. Detroit is led by QB Jared Goff (1,029 yards, 6 TDs), running back David Montgomery (262 yards, 5 TDs) and wide receiver Amon- Ra St. Brown (26 receptions, 331 yards, 2 TDs) and a stout defense led by defensive end Aidan Hutchison (3.5 sacks in his first four games). TB has gotten solid play from journeyman QB Baker Mayfield (882 yards, 7 TDs) and big plays from wide receiver Mike Evans (20 receptions, 337 yards, 3 TDs). Evans injured his hamstring in the Saints win and he might not be available for this game. That would be a big blow to the TB offense. Look for the Lions to pick up another big road win as they look to take command of the NFC North Division. My pick, Detroit 24, Tampa Bay 20

New Orleans at Houston: The Texans will look for another home win when they host the Saints on Sunday at NRG Stadium. Two weeks ago, rookie QB C.J. Stroud (1,212 yards, 6 TDs) passed for 306 yards and two touchdowns in the Texans’ 30-6 route of the Steelers. In his first four games, Stroud has yet to throw an interception and seems to have made a strong connection with wide receivers Nico Collins (22 receptions, 428 yards, 3 TDs) and Tank Dell (16 receptions, 267 yards, 2 TDs). The Saints split their first four games with Derek Carr (763 yards, 2 TDs) as their new QB. Running back Alvin Kamara is back after serving a three-game suspension and his return should help the Saints offense. Look for another solid day from Stroud as the Texans pick up another win that should put them squarely in the hunt in the AFC South race. My pick, Houston 26, New Orleans 20

New York Giants at Buffalo: I wish the NFL would flex this game because I think we’ve seen enough of the Giants in prime time. After opening the season with a 40-0 loss on Sunday Night Football to the Cowboys, they lost 24-3 on Monday Night Football two weeks ago as Seattle recorded 11 sacks against the hapless Giants. It could be another long night for them when they face a Buffalo team that rolled previously undefeated Miami 48- 20 two weeks ago. Now, the Bills will be coming off a game in London and could be fatigued, but even a tired Josh Allen (1,048 passing yards, 9 TDs/106 rushing yards, 2 TDs) and Stefon Diggs (31 receptions, 399 yards, 4 TDs) should have enough left in the tank to take down their in-state rivals. My pick, Buffalo 33, New York Giants 16

Dallas at Los Angeles Chargers: The Cowboys take on the Chargers on Monday Night Football to close out Week 6. Two weeks ago, Dallas embarrassed New England 38-3 as the defense recorded two more touchdowns (a fumble recovery and a pick six). The offense did just enough behind QB Dak Prescott (908 yards, 4 TDs) to get the job done. Look for the Cowboys to try and get running back Tony Pollard (311 yards, 2 TDs) going against a very decent Chargers defense. If the running game gets going, that should open up things for Prescott to make some plays with wide receiver CeeDee Lamb (23 receptions, 309 yards, 1 TD). The Chargers had a week off to rest up for this one and should have running back Austin Ekeler back. Ekeler has not played since Week 1 after he injured his ankle. Speaking of injuries, QB Justin Herbert (1,106 yards, 7 TDs) suffered an injury to his non-throwing hand two weeks ago, but should be ready for this prime time matchup. He and wide receiver Keenan Allen (35 receptions, 434 yards, 3 TDs) have been hot thus far. This should be a fun game to watch, with the Dallas defense (14 sacks in first four games) being the difference maker. My pick, Dallas 26, Los Angeles Chargers 17