The Quick Hits
Final score: 42-0, Houston
It could have been worse for Lamar. Houston failed to convert on the fourth down twice in the red zone and missed two field goals (unfortunately for kicker Ty Cummings, they were the first two misses of his career.)
The game stopped at 11:36 a.m. CST with 3:13 left in the first quarter because of lightning. Thunderstorms hounded the area and caused delays that totaled 3 hours and 36 minutes. The game finally resumed at 3:15 p.m. local time.
The delay didn't stop Houston, they controlled the entire game as predicted by literally everyone.
We knew in advance that Greg Ward would not play because of a shoulder injury, but running back Duke Catalon was surprisingly held out of the game also.
The Houston defense is for real. Ed Oliver blew right through Lamar’s offensive line like they weren’t even there on the very first play of the game. His fingertips grazed the jersey of Lamar RB Kade Harrington and he didn’t make the tackle, but it was clear that the UH defensive front will be a disruptive force this year — made obvious after the Oklahoma game.
You already know these names, but be prepared to consistently hear them all year: Cameron Malveaux, Steven Taylor, Matthew Adams and Tyus Bowser (which might be the best name for a linebacker in college football.)
UH backup quarterback, Kyle Postma, is incredibly athletic, but he is much more of a runner than a passer. He’s reminiscent of players like Braxton Miller, Terrelle Pryor and (ahem) Tim Tebow in that his primary weapon is his athleticism, not his passing ability. But that’s not necessarily a bad thing in college football. He has worked hard to get to where he is now and he’s perfectly suited for Houston’s offense.
The Cougars wanted to focus on the rushing attack in this game and for good reason. In Tom Herman’s version of the spread, the offense starts with the run. This isn’t the air raid offense of Mike Leach. Redshirt freshman Kevrin Justice and true freshman Mulbah Car received heavy workloads on the ground.
Defensive back Brandon Wilson is dangerous as hell in the return game.
Tale of the Tape
Total yards: UH 511, Lamar 73
Rush yards: UH 381, Lamar 15
Pass yards: UH 130, Lamar 58
Total plays: UH 97, Lamar 41
First downs: UH 25, Lamar 4
Kevrin Justice: 27 carries, 111 yards, 2 TDs
Mulbah Car: 20 carries, 109 yards, 1 TD
Kyle Postma: 7 carries, 106 yards, 2 TDs
Josh Burell: 5 carries, 25 yards, 1 TD
In a game like this, it’s tempting to dive into the minutiae because there were so many good plays by so many different players. But in general, Houston did exactly what they were supposed to do.
On defense, the beasts I mentioned in the Quick Hits were nearly unblockable. They were in the backfield harassing the quarterbacks — Lamar used two — and never allowed Lamar’s star running back, Harrington, to get going.
The fact is, the Cardinals were just overmatched in every way, as we assumed they would be. Lamar had 11 possessions; 10 ended in punts, 1 ended in a fumble.
On offense, the running game looked good. Justice and Car ran hard and consistently gained quality yards. D’Eriq King — who plays wide receiver this year in a Percy Harvin-type role and will transition to QB next year — has speed for DAYS. For DAYS, I tell you.
That man is quick.
Postma made some decent intermediate throws, mostly to Linell Bonner, but he struggled with the deep ball and accuracy overall. But like I said, he’s a great athlete. His ability to escape the rush and scramble for yardage or to keep the play alive to attempt a pass was on full display and it was impressive.
The offense definitely looked disjointed at times without Ward and Catalon, but obviously if there was ever a game for that to happen, this was it. And it was good to get Postma, Car and Justice valuable game experience.
Hefty redshirt freshman running back Josh Burell even saw some game action and scored a TD in the fourth quarter. He’s a true bowling ball at 5’10”, 247 pounds.
It will be good to have a deep stable of rushers late in the year and it will certainly be beneficial to get Postma some experience since Ward isn’t built like Cam Newton.
Ultimately, the good outweighed the bad and it’s time to turn our attention to next week’s all-important THURSDAY NIGHT game at Cincinnati.