The Horns did it! The Cowboys didn't.
The Horns did it. I didn't think they had it in them. The Longhorns defense held Nebraska to just 202 yards of offense and 13 points, helped by some timely dropped Cornhuskers passes as Texas took the game in Lincoln, Neb., 20-13 last Saturday. Texas had an unlikely player leading their previously impotent running attack, quarterback Garrett Gilbert, who ran for two touchdowns in the first half and ended the game with 71 yards on 11 carries. Gilbert was less impressive in the passing game, completing four of 16 for 62 yards. Lord help the Horns if Gilbert gets roughed while running the ball. Cody Johnson also had a decent game, picking up 73 yards on 11 carries. And the Longhorns didn't need one second tacked on at the end to win this one. Up next: No. 22-ranked UT will host Iowa State Sat., Oct. 23, 11am, at Darrell K. Royal-Texas Memorial Stadium (TV, FSNSW; radio, 98.1FM and 1300AM). UT is currently a 21-point favorite, and you'd think they should easily handle the Cyclones, but it's hard to tell with this group and their unpredictable play.
The Texans, led by Matt Schaub and Andre Johnson, pulled out another amazing come-from-behind win against a strong opponent, defeating the Kansas City Chiefs 35-31 in Houston last Sunday. Their defense struggled once again (including losing All-Pro linebacker DeMeco Ryans for the season), but the Texans offense scored touchdowns on their last four possessions and squeaked out the win with a Schaub-to-Johnson 11-yard TD pass with 28 seconds remaining. The defense, for unknown reasons, seems to be digressing, and the loss of Ryans is a huge blow to their Super Bowl (and playoff) dreams. Running back Arian Foster bounced back from a dismal week five performance scoring twice with 97 total yards from scrimmage. Houston is on a bye week.
I really don't know what to say about the Dallas Cowboys except that they are really good at finding ways to beat themselves. Uh, guys, could you possibly try and hold yourselves back from getting penalized for end-zone celebrations? And what exactly are you guys celebrating? Your one win? The Cowboys were penalized 11 times for 91 yards in the 24-21 road loss to the Minnesota Vikings. I was amused by Miles Austin leapfrogging Roy Williams after their first TD, but I don't think Wade Phillips was quite as tickled. Austin also had a 68-yard TD reception called back for offensive pass interference. For better or worse, the Cowboys will be featured nationally on Monday Night Football hosting divisional foes the New York Giants Mon., Oct. 25, 7:30pm, ESPN.
Picks of the week: I was 3-2 (3-1 NFL) last week against the spread, not toooo bad. This week I'll take Washington plus three on the road in Chicago, the Rams plus three on the road in Tampa Bay, and the Steelers minus three in Miami.
Area bars and the football teams/fans they cater to:
Aussie's catered to Browns fans last year but is focusing more on the Texans and Cowboys this season. 306 Barton Springs Rd., 480-0952.
Bag Pipes Pub and Eatery supplies the setting for Alabama Crimson Tide football fans. 9070 Research Blvd., 467-8700.
B.D. Riley's Irish Pub is the place to go if you're a fan of Tom Brady's tresses or his football team, the New England Patriots. Fittingly, the pub is also the home for Notre Dame games. 204 E. Sixth, 494-1335.
Bikinis Sports Bar & Grill (both locations) is a straight-up Steelers bar. 6901 N. I-35, 454-2247; 214 E. Sixth, 469-0001.
Billy's on Burnet is the "unofficial Packers bar of Austin." 2105 Hancock, 407-9305.
Black Sheep Lodge has a good contingent of Saints, Redskins, Vikings, Texans, and Titans fans. USC and Ohio State lovers cheer on their teams on Saturdays. 2108 S. Lamar, 707-2744.
Cedar Door hosts USC and TCU supporters. Second and Brazos, 473-3712.
Cool River Cafe is the place to be for Nebraska Cornhusker fans. 4001 W. Parmer, 835-0010.
Hog Island Italian Deli hosts Philadelphia Eagles watch parties. 1612 Lavaca, 482-9090.
Joe's Bar and Grill Attention Colt McCoy lovers, Joe's hosts fans of the NFL's Cleveland Browns. 506 West Ave., 473-0885.
Mangia Pizza Mesa is the official home for Auburn football. 8012 Mesa, 349-2126.
Pluckers North Austin is the official home of the Arkansas Razorbacks. 9070 Research, 533-9464.
Pluckers South Lamar is the official place to be for Michigan Wolverines games. 3909 S. Lamar, 443-9464.
Shoal Creek Saloon is the home of the Saints. 909 N. Lamar, 474-0805.
The Tavern sees a lot of Steelers and Ravens fans show up for NFL Sundays. 922 W. 12th, 320-8377.
Third Base Round Rock caters to Giants, Chargers, and Steelers fans. Arkansas Razorbacks lovers meet there on Saturdays. 3107 S. I-35, Round Rock, 512/388-2273.
Third Base South Park Meadows is the place to be for Saints, Vikings, and Steelers supporters. In the NCAA, it's Oregon State, Minnesota, and Texas Tech territory. 9600 S. I-35, 381-2273.
Third Base Downtown has a good following for the Texans, Saints, and Vikings and generally a "pretty mixed" crowd. As far as college goes, it's the official home for Illinois Fighting Illini and Florida Gators fans, as well as followers of Maryland, Wisconsin, Michigan State, and Kansas. 1717 W. Sixth, 476-2273.
The Warehouse Saloon & Billiards sees a lot of Vikings fans, among others. I've also heard Dolphins and Bears fans have been known to congregate there. 509 E. Ben White, 443-8799.
Weirdos is a Chargers bar. 12408 MoPac N., 291-6703.
Hit me up at gameplans@austinchronicle with additional info.