OU-Houston Game Recap Link Dump

Tons of stories written after the game and I don’t believe these are duplicates, but I apologize in advance if they are:


Greg Ward picks up where he left off in Cougars’ win over Sooners

Maybe No. 15 Houston’s 33-23 win over No. 3 Oklahoma on Saturday shouldn’t have been such a surprise, given what Cougars quarterback Greg Ward Jr. had done in his career entering the game.

Houston makes emphatic playoff statement with win over Oklahoma
Heather Dinch

With each victory, this conversation will get more serious, and Houston likely still has to go undefeated to have a true chance at the top four. It already has the committee’s attention, though. It earned its respect last year as the highest-ranked Group of 5 conference champion and beat No. 9 Florida State last year in the Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl.

The inside story of Houston’s potentially playoff-crashing kick-six
Jake Trotter

“We were actually – I’m embarrassed to say – we were caught in the middle of punt-safe vs. our field goal block team,” Herman said. “We weren’t sure who [Oklahoma had] jogging out. Was it the punt team jogging out? They were confused as well, because they didn’t have the right people. It was a little helter-skelter on their sidelines, so we weren’t sure. Them having to call timeout certainly settled us down. Allowed us to know exactly who they were going to put in the game and decide what to do from there.”

Houston eyeing a playoff spot with impressive win
Heather Dinch

2 minute video - Houston talk comes at the beginning

1 Big Thing: If Houston wins out, put them in the Playoff
Scott Van Pelt

2:30 video where Scott makes the case that Houston should be in the playoffs if they go undefeated

Fox Sports

No longer underdogs, Houston Cougars must now live up to the hype
After beating the Big 12 favorite, Houston faces high expectations the rest of the year.
Stewart Mandel

“The one thing that allows us to sleep at night is we had [the Peach Bowl win over Florida State] last year – all of those preseason expectations – they existed our entire offseason and our guys didn’t blink,” Herman told FOX Sports. “We have a culture of insulation that doesn’t allow it. I can’t imagine it would be any different now that we won as opposed to the eight months leading up to the game.”

Takeaways from Week 1: Houston’s rise, Alabama’s dominance & more
Bruce Feldman takes a look at college football’s big picture after Week 1.

Yet, watching them practice, UH went as hard and was as physical as any team I’ve observed in the past few years. Probably harder.

Oklahoma has a big issue, but its playoff hopes aren’t dead
The Sooners need one position group to stand up soon.

If Oklahoma is to make anything of this season, it needs to find a second wide receiver. Houston dared Oklahoma to throw all game Saturday — overloading the box against the run and leaving their cornerbacks on an island for much of the game.

How Houston proved it’s a true playoff contender by absolutely dominating Oklahoma

What was even more incredible wasn’t just that the Cougars won, but more importantly, how they looked doing it. It was the Cougars who looked like the Power 5 school, the traditional power coming off a playoff berth. On the other side, it was Oklahoma that looked like the overmatched Group of 5 school, the one scratching and clawing just to stay on the field.

Bruce Feldman’s Top 10 college football teams after Week 1

3 Houston (1-0)
Tom Herman’s a whiz. His QB Greg Ward’s a stud and the D-line is ferocious, starting with Ed Oliver who mauled an explosive Oklahoma team Saturday.

CBS Sports

What we learned: Week 1 lives up to the hype but preseason favorites do not
Top-five losses and SEC struggles made for a captivating first Saturday of the 2016 season
Jon Solomon

1. Houston belongs in Big 12 on the field, but let’s wait on playoff talk: Houston is no fluke. Neither is Tom Herman, whose staff out-coached Jimbo Fisher and Bob Stoops’ teams during Houston’s past two games. Herman improved to 4-0 vs. Power Five teams as a head coach, having beaten Louisville, Vanderbilt, Florida State and Oklahoma by an average of 15 points.

Don’t think for a second that Houston beating Oklahoma is a fluke
The Cougars are full steam ahead after taking it to the Sooners on Saturday

It will be interesting to see how Houston is viewed moving forward through the season. Will they be loved? Hated? Either way, this team will be polarizing as long as it’s in the playoff discussion.

USA Today

“Hypothetically,” he told USA TODAY Sports, “in a situation (like Houston going unbeaten), if that team does not get invited to the four-team Playoff then the system is broken. Now, how that applies to us, I don’t know.”

It might be time to take Houston even more seriously. This wasn’t simply an off day for Oklahoma; it was another great Saturday for Herman and the Cougars, who have somehow achieved what just yesterday seemed impossible — made their bandwagon even fuller.

Other National and International Publications

The Cougars, in other words, already had their cake.

Then they ate it, too, with icing and a cherry on top.

Everyone, it seems, would love to see something different in the playoff. Houston, with its coaching star on the rise in Herman, it’s dynamic quarterback in Greg Ward Jr., would seem to be a perfect addition. But the Cougars will need plenty of help along the way. Saturday’s win over Oklahoma was only the beginning.

Houston, one of the 63 members of college football’s second-tier peasantry, would smash Oklahoma, one of the 65 uppity, ultimately by 33-23, before 71,016, in the kind of class warfare that peppers this wild American sport. The No. 15-ranked Cougars would sustain the possibility that someday in December, they could warm even impartial hearts at the four-team College Football Playoff. The No. 3 Sooners would settle for high marks for gutsy scheduling.

Houston Cougars stun with victory over No. 3 Oklahoma
Regardless of whether Houston (1-0) ends up in the Big 12, the Cougars’ latest surprising win could have season-long ramifications on the College Football Playoff.
AP - Ralph Russo

“We were prepared to win. We expected to win. We train to win,” Herman said. “It wasn’t about making a statement, it was about going 1-0 the first week of the season.”

“They played really hard, and they played for each other. There’s a genuinely love for each other on this football team.”

Texas publications

The Good, the Bad & the Ugly: Breaking down Week 1 college action across Texas

The Bad: I’m not here to rain on the parade. Houston played fantastic, beating a bigger and more talented Oklahoma team. The Cougars did struggle to run the ball. Duke Catalon and Ward figure to become a lethal duo, but it is something worth watching moving forward in the season. The offensive line needs to play better in a matchup with Louisville, but that’s way down the road. There’s plenty of time to improve, especially on a stellar start like this.

The answer is that he texted Mack Brown back with “Go Coogs”

Bohls: Houston serves notice to Big 12 with decisive win over Oklahoma

With what transpired in a shocking season-opener between two Top 25 teams Houston and Oklahoma at sold-out NRG Stadium, this much was made abundantly clear.
The Cougars belong.

Where? Everywhere.

No. 15 Houston upsets No. 3 Oklahoma

Whether “here” means in the Big 12, in the top-25 or in a potential playoff game, remains to be seen. Anything can happen between now and the end of November. Barring any potential upsets like Houston suffered last year against UConn, the Cougars could be staring a playoff game right in the face.

Non-Texas publications (Expansion candidate locales)

No. 15 Houston shows up and out against No. 3 Oklahoma

1. The Cougars are legitimate College Football Playoff contenders. The 10-point win over No. 3 Oklahoma is the kind of beginning a Group of Five team needs to have a shot at the final four. But Houston will need some help. The Sooners can help if they pick themselves up and win the Big 12, making Houston’s win even more impressive. The Cougars also need Louisville to keep winning before their Nov. 17 meeting; a proven opponent (USF?) in the AAC title game would help, too.

Houston head coach’s bonus and 24 other takeaways from 1st Saturday of college football

12. If Houston gets into the Big 12, Herman gets a $5 million bonus. But at that point why would he even want to leave? Unless Texas needs a new coach. Cougars fans should root for the Longhorns to do well this season. Texas opens against No. 10 Notre Dame on Sunday night.

College football: Houston rocks Oklahoma to send a loud and clear message to the Big 12

As for whether it could become an active memo, rather than just a dormant memo, anytime soon, Yurachek referred to Oklahoma President David Boren and said, “The one message that was loud and clear to me was Dr. Boren said he wanted somebody that was going to make the Big 12 more competitive, and I think you see what our program is doing right now. And I think you see coaches in the Big 12 are talking about they don’t want any part of the University of Houston. To me, that checks that box of someone being competitive, if you’ve got coaches that are concerned about Houston becoming a member of the conference.”

Other sites

#Nuggets: Houston’s arrival, Bama’s brilliance and other Week 1 thoughts

I wrote Friday this will be the opening-weekend game with the loudest and longest echo, and the reasons are simple. Houston’s long-shot national championship chase is still alive. Beyond that, the Coogs put their best foot forward in a Big 12 expansion showcase game. Everything is still coming up Millhouse. “We were prepared to win, we expected to win, and we trained to win,” Herman said.

Houston Shreds Cinderella Label, Is Now in Clear Path to Crash the Playoff

This is no longer just a good story. It’s still that, I suppose. But Houston’s rapid ascent into college football’s elite—a habitation reserved for a select few and a place unwelcoming to newcomers—is something more now.


Why is that important? Simply put: it proves that the Cougars belong in the College Football Playoff discussion. Sure, it’s only one game, but it showed exactly how good this Houston team really is. Early in the season, the defenses are usually a mile ahead of the offenses. Yet, Greg Ward and company moved the ball all afternoon long, routinely picking up first downs on third and long situations. If the offense can execute that well in the opening weekend of the season, it should be even better with a few more games under its belt.


Big 12 expansion is still unknown, as is the ability to keep Herman as coach long-term. None of that matters, for now. Even as a member of the American Athletic Conference, Houston proved on Saturday that it’s capable of playing with just about anybody, and with a beatable AAC schedule plus a nonconference showdown with Louisville (Nov. 17), get ready to hear endless debate about the Cougars’ College Football Playoff prospects that will only end when Houston loses.

That is, if Houston loses.

Houston-Oklahoma Game Recap
Houston might be the best team in the Big 12

Tom Herman state flatly that linebackers Steven Taylor and Matthew Adams liked to hit — they LOVED to hit. That turned out to be true. Adams absolutely buried Mayfield on OU’s second drive of the game.

OU Coverage

OU football: Momentum-changing field-goal return dooms Sooners against Houston

After injuring a shoulder muscle in the first quarter, Samaje Perine took a monster hit on the same shoulder in Oklahoma’s first play of the second quarter.

Oklahoma football: Run game disappears in Sooners’ loss

The last time an Oklahoma offense had 13 or fewer tailback carries came in the Sept. 7, 2002, win against Alabama when Quentin Griffin and Kejuan Jones combined for 12 carries. Griffin had nine while Jones had three in the 37-27 win.

Oklahoma football: Houston makes statement to Big 12, nation with win over Sooners

“That’s been the one knock on the University of Houston is our fan base,” Houston athletic director Hunter Yuracheck said after the game. “From the Peach Bowl to this game, it showed that we have growing, dynamic, passionate fan base that’s going to help support this program.”

Some Thoughts On OU vs. Houston

* I will also say to the Mike Stoops and the defenses’ credit, I thought the game plan was the right one. The goal was to make Greg Ward Jr. have to beat you with his arm. The problem of course being he did exactly that.

Oklahoma Sooners Football: OU vs. Houston Recap
The Sooners start the season with a loss in Houston

Much like Houston’s season a year ago, the difference largely came with turnovers (Houston forced 2 to OU’s 1). Special teams, where OU typically played well, cost the Sooners 7 points they desperately needed. All-in-all, despite the stat sheet, today was not Oklahoma’s day. They’ll look to regroup against Louisiana Monroe before having to buckle down for the rest of the year—the Sooners likely must go undefeated from here to have a chance at the playoffs. For now, they start the year 0-1 and looking for answers.

©Copyright 2017 Coogfans.com