CBS Houston –
The Advocare Texas kickoff was billed as one of the biggest games in Houston Cougars history and it did not disappoint. The little team from the American Athletic conference proved last year it could hang with and beat the big dogs by pulling off an upset over the 9th ranked Florida State Seminoles in the Peach bowl.
The Cougars again shocked the world Saturday, this time taking down the 3rd ranked Oklahoma Sooners 33-23.
While the Cougars did win with their high tempo offense they also did it by beating up a big conference team on the defensive side of the ball and dominating them. Thier front seven manhandled and ate up the larger Big 12 offensive linemen.
“We told our defense they are going to make plays were not going to shut them out,” Houston Cougars head coach Tom Herman said, “I think they were prepared for that, there was no hanging of the head, no pointing of the finger, we knew Oklahoma was one of the best offensive of the country and if we keep chipping away at them we are going to make our plays too.”
Starting off the game the Sooners took the ball and went right through the Cougars defense taking a 7-0 lead after a Joe Mixon 32 yard rushing touchdown.
Like coach Herman said, they weren’t going to hold the Sooners scoreless, they just had to answer and the Cougars did that. They kept chipping away and when an opportunity presented itself they took full advantage.
In the second half after a missed 53-yard field goal by the Sooners, senior Cougars cornerback Brandon Wilson returned the ball from the back of the end zone for a touchdown. On the very next Sooners possession, the Cougars stout defense would cause a fumble and they’d march right down the field and add another seven points on the board.
Before Oklahoma fans knew what hit them, they were down 33-17. In the stands you could see perplexed Sooner fans looking to one another, wondering if someone happened to get the license plate from the bus that just ran over them.
“I’ve complemented U of H plenty” Oklahoma Sooners head coach Bob Stoops said, “The bottom line is they got a really good football team.”
If there had been non-believers in the team that Herman and his staff has been building – judging by the polls leading up to the game there were plenty off them – this game might have cemented the fact that the Cougars are not one-hit wonders and they are to be taken very seriously.
When this game was originally scheduled years ago, no one had any idea that this game could actually be a national championship elimination game.
The Cougars win in the Peach bowl last year, made this game count even more. After beating a top three team in the country the Cougars still have their work cut out for them, but they are putting people on notice.
Not only are opponents and teams all across the country interested in what’s going on over on Cullen Blvd. The Big 12 expansion committee has to be really interested in the Cougars now. Herman has taken the upstart program to heights seemingly unthought of just years previous.
Cougars football has always been ok, and every couple of years they start scratching up against the top of the glass ceiling but are never able to breakthrough. Now in year two of coach Herman, with the win over the Sooners, they have just smashed through the ceiling and there is no telling to just how big and how powerful they can become.
Now with the college football landscape shifting to eventually only having five conferences, the Cougars have proved they can beat top 10 schools on the field and in recruiting.
The Cougars might not be a free agent, but as they keep on getting better, any conference would be stronger with them in it. If the Big 12 unwisely move on from the Cougars, maybe the SEC could be interested.
Cougars playing the Texas A&M Aggies or the LSU Tigers, uh… Sign me up!