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Houston-Oklahoma Game Recap

Houston might be the best team in the Big 12

Houston v Oklahoma Photo by Scott Halleran/Getty Images


The game, overall, was incredible. But a game that good and also provided two plays that could be in the top ten highlights of the entire weekend — and one that might be on the ESPY’s at the end of the season? Outstanding.


AND, Linell Bonner made the catch of the day — maybe the catch of the weekend.

Let’s make a few blanket statements right off the bat:

  • Houston unequivocally proved that it can play in a Power 5 conference, especially the high-flying, defensively-challenged Big 12.
  • Houston may have unequivocally scared the bejesus out of the Big 12 conference.
  • Houston has the weapons on offense to compete with the most prolific offenses in the nation
  • Houston needs to be better and/or more aggressive in the red zone.
  • Houston’s secondary needs work. The run defense was concerning early but seemed to improve quickly as the game wore on.
  • Houston true freshman DT Ed Oliver is a full grown man.

Special Teams

And the Lord created the Kick Six, and it was good:


“Would you say you have a plethora of piñatas?”

The Coogs are deeper at wide receiver than the homecoming queen court at Ole Miss.

Steven Dunbar was nearly unstoppable one on one. If Greg Ward had been slightly more accurate on the deep passes, Dunbar could have had 200 yards receiving in the FIRST HALF. As it was, it had 6 catches for 103 yards and a 17.2 average in the first two quarters and finished with 7 grabs for 127 yards.

Linell Bonner made the catch of the weekend (thus far) with this beauty that appeared to be a throw-away pass from Ward:

Isaiah Johnson, whom I profiled prior to the season, showed flashes of the big play ability we saw in the spring game. UH couldn’t capitalize on all his opportunities but they were there and will be again.

And No. 1 wideout Chance Allen? We barely heard from him in this game, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing. After Dunbar’s breakout performance and Bonner’s SportsCenter Top Ten catch, good luck trying to double team a UH receiver.

Duke Catalon … The Duke showed power and tough running. He was rarely tackled by one defender. He doesn’t have top-end speed but he is great in this offense. He finished with 21 carries for 87 yards and 4 catches for 29 yards and a TD.

Another thing Houston proved: they can sustain drives. The Cougars’ second drive of the third quarter featured four third down conversions, including two third-and-long situations.

Look at these scoring drives:

10 plays, 71 yards, FG

14 plays, 84 yards, FG

7 plays, 75 yards, TD

11 plays, 59 yards, FG

11 plays, 63 yards, FG

12 plays, 51 yards, TD


Genuflect before the visage of Ed Oliver. He was a starter and played like one.

The defense looked stiff and disjointed early, but wow, that went away in a hurry. The unit gave up big runs and catches to OU running backs Samaje Perine and Joe Mixon. It appeared early that the Sooners would simply push the Cougars around the field and score at will.

That didn’t happen.

The Coogs gave up two big plays in the first half — a 32-yard TD pass to Mixon and a 64-yard TD pass to TE Mark Andews — but that was it.

The defensive line came alive in the second quarter and stepped it up a notch in the second by forcing and recovering two fumbles that slammed the doors shut on consecutive OU drives. Say yay Cameron Malveaux and Tyus Bowser.

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.


I predicted a Houston victory 31-27.

Houston won 33-23.

(For the record)