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The Cougars Overwhelm The Sooners Down in H-Town

The Sooners stumble in Houston. Houston 33 – OU 23

Getty Images - Scott Helleran

“This could be the best Oklahoma Sooners team of all time.” This is something ESPN published in the offseason. It proved to be completely, and utterly false as the Sooners were dominated by the Houston Cougars to the tune of 33-23 . Fireworks and high-octane offenses were promised by the promoters for this clash of potential College Football Playoff teams. The Crimson and Cream were unable to get stops and played incredibly undisciplined football while their opponent played smart and made the most of their opportunities.

The first half proved entertaining and showed flashes that this game could have been an instant-classic. After a late field goal, the Cougars led 19-17 at the break. After that it was all Houston. Despite an OU run towards the end of the fourth, the game was never in doubt from the mid-point of the third quarter.

The breaking point came with 8:28 left in the third quarter when Oklahoma kicker Austin Seibert attempted a 53-yard field goal. The kick was short but that didn’t stop Brandon Wilson from returning the missed kick 109 yards for the “kick six”. Oklahoma either wasn’t ready for, or wasn’t aware of a potential return, and the Sooners were shell-shocked from that point on.

The Cougars were brilliantly led by quarterback Greg Ward, Jr. (23-of-40 320 yards and two touchdowns), who, time after time, was able to move the sticks and put Houston into good position. They went a blistering 9-of-17 on 3rd down conversions, and it felt as if they never punted.

Houston was better-coached, better prepared and played with the discipline necessary to pull off a huge, early season win.

Despite the inconsistency though, the box score was kind to some Oklahoma stars. Baker Mayfield finished 24-of-33 for 323 yards and two touchdowns. Joe Mixon had a sensational one-handed catch early on, finishing with 124 total yards and a rushing touchdown. The defense…let’s just say the defense deserves its own paragraph.

The Sooner secondary, which came into the season touted as one of the more talented units in the country, had no answer for the Cougar passing attack — particularly Steven Dunbar who dazzled NRG Stadium with seven catches for 125 yards. Houston racked up 410 yards of offense. Ward Jr. never looked uncomfortable and sliced the Sooner defense like a well-paid surgeon. The senior played exactly like ESPN analyst Jonathan Vilma proclaimed him to be: better than Mayfield.

Oklahoma once again comes into a season ranked highly just to fall flat on their face. The Sooners will have to rebound next week in Norman against ULM before a huge test in Ohio State in a couple of weeks.

The Cougars will continue to ride high throughout the year. It was not only one of the greatest wins in their program’s history, but may have persuaded some higher-ups to strongly consider extending an invitation for Big 12 expansion.

GAME STATS

OKLAHOMA

HOUSTON

1st Downs 17 25
3rd Down Eff 7-14 9-18
4th Down Eff 0-1 0-0
Total Yards 400 410
Passing Yds 323 321
Pass Comp 24-34 23-40
Yds Per Pass 9.5 8.0
Rushing Yds 77 89
Rush Att 26 40
Yds Per Rush 3.0 2.2
Penalties 5-66 7-75
Turnovers 2 1
Fumbles lost 1 0
Picks Thrown 0
Final Score 23 33
1st Qtr 10 3
2nd Qtr 7 16
3rd Qtr 0 14
4th Qtr 6 0

 

Emptying The Notebook

Mixon is going to be special.

The “kick six” that changed the game. The only guy that even tried to tackle him was on his own team!

It could have been even worse.

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