USF brought their 7-0 record to Houston Saturday and got exposed. They may not be a bad team, but they certainly didn’t play like a Top 25 team. Houston’s offense dominated all game, and the Bulls never found an answer for D’Eriq King.
It didn’t start great for USF. The Bulls had a few early penalties that proved costly offensively, and it aided Houston’s 14-0 lead to start the game. The mental mistakes were coming at crucial plays, but the Bulls would fix those mistakes in the second quarter. USF scored and picked off a D’Eriq King pass on the ensuing possession. Johnny Ford took the next play right to the endzone to tie the game at 14. The rest of the first half would feature offense and little defense, with the Cougars leading 28-21.
It was the D’Eriq King show from then on. This run tells you all you need to know about the second half.
No one was stopping Houston's QB from getting to the endzone pic.twitter.com/dwzTvwUfKA— ESPN CollegeFootball (@ESPNCFB) October 27, 2018
His poise after his turnover in the first half was noticeable, but it was his star power that was the real story. That run was one of the best we’ve seen in college football this year. Houston is lucky to have him as their quarterback, and their offense continues to be the reason they win games. King finished with 419 yards and five touchdowns passing with 132 yards and two more touchdowns rushing.
Third and long was a weapon for the Cougars against the Bulls, which is a weird sentence to write. Houston had a number of long third downs during the game, but they had a handful of big plays in those situations to get a first down. USF couldn’t stop them, and King played a role in all of them.
There wasn’t much that went wrong for Houston offensively. King threw two picks, but one was at the end of the half as time expired (Hail Mary pass), and the other one didn’t phase him. The biggest negative was an injury. With 8:12 left in the fourth quarter, King threw a pass up to Courtney Lark that fell incomplete in the endzone. It appeared that Lark came down awkwardly, and his knee buckled underneath his weight. An air cast was put around his knee and he was carted off the field. Losing him for the long term would be a huge blow for the Cougars passing attack.
Defensively, it was another mediocre performance for Houston. Ed Oliver was ruled out before the game, and it was noticeable. The Cougars started off good, and even forced a couple turnovers. However, there wasn’t much they could do to stop the Bulls until late in the game. They can thank their offense for putting up a ton of points.
Houston took it to a ranked team. An overrated one, but a ranked team. USF didn’t do much to stop the Cougars offense, and got exposed against the first good team they’ve faced. D’Eriq King gave USF nightmares that they won’t soon forget, and the Cougars it’s going to be tough to stop their offense.