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Houston stumbles, but survives against Rice 45-27

It wasn’t pretty, but there were things that went well.

Houston v Rice Photo by Tim Warner/Getty Images

Well, that was ugly.

We knew that this would be the second best game in the city of Houston, but we didn’t expect this.

Houston began the 2018 season.....and it showed. The Cougars were in a battle with Rice right off the bat, and couldn’t seem to pull away. There were miscues everywhere. The Owls offense looked explosive, Houston missed some kicks, and the Cougars were down at the half.

We all know it wasn’t a great game, but there were things that did go well. Offensive coordinator Kendal Briles said that the offense would take more downfield shots, and he delivered. It took a while to get going, but D’Eriq King found some chemistry with his new weapons. Marquez Stevenson (167 total yards, 1 TD), Courtney Lark (82 yards, 2 TD), and Keith Corbin (93 yards) all were effective in the passing game.

Ed Oliver was Ed Oliver once again, but he did receive some help. Isaiah Chambers made his Houston Cougars debut, and added three tackles for loss. The linebackers were still finding their way, and the secondary struggled as well, so it was good to have the defensive line thrive.

Overall, the defense struggled to stop the Owls offense, which is concerning going forward. King and his receivers were good enough to win the game, but there is still plenty to work on. It wasn’t a good start for Major Applewhite’s second season, but Houston is 1-0. Life gets a lot harder next week.

We were reminded that the defense needs to get more experience, it was tough to watch them struggle against a team like Rice. That isn’t promising heading into games against Arizona and Texas Tech. Maybe the offense will be able to carry the team, but that can’t be a weekly expectation.