Some people, like say ESPN's Travis Haney, predicted that Houston might be the American Athletic Conference champion, and even be good enough to make major bowl bid. After tonight, I think it would be wise for anyone and everyone associated with the program to stop such talk immediately.
There are so many numbers that we could throw at you in order to drive home just how lopsided this 27-7 final score was, but I wouldn't even know where to start. Jeremy Mauss from Mountain West Connection (and many others) pointed out that some of Houston's success last season was due to an unstainable +25 turnover margin. Unsustainable is one thing, but the Cougars after tonight are on pace to finish the season minus 60 in turnovers.
Four interceptions and five fumbles (two of which they lost) will do that. The Cougars looked, from start to finish, like a team that was scared to death of the spotlight.
O.K., I should be honest, that mostly should get pinned on their offense. The defense did a great job shutting down Tucker Carter and the Roadrunner offense in the first half, to the tune of 22 total yards of offense on UTSA's first 24 plays from scrimmage. And yet, at that point the Cougars were already down 7-0 due to a botched punt that gave Carter and the offense the ball starting at the three yard line.
Things got no better as the Roadrunner pass rush had its way with John O'Korn and the leaky Houston offensive line, as O'Korn was sacked four times in addition to the turnovers on his way to posting a final line of 21-for-43 206 yards and 4 INTs. Carter didn't do a whole lot (15-for-24, 121 yards) but he did at least manage to avoid turnovers, which was more than enough for his defense tonight.
Eventually, O'Korn was lifted and wasn't on the field when the Cougars scored their garbage time touchdown on a Ryan Jackson run with 1:04 left to play. After watching tonight, I can definitely say that I feel even more excited about our coverage of Thursday's UTSA-Arizona game (the only game of the night), and also that I feel very sorry for Grambling State, because Houston certainly did not need more motivation to win that game.