Former Texas State offensive coordinator Tom Herman returned to his old stomping grounds in San Marcos with his #6 ranked Houston Cougars in tow tonight on ESPNU. UH scored early and often in front of a record crowd of 33,133 in Bobcat Stadium as the Cougars would continue to roll and build their resume for a spot in the college football playoffs.
The first half was all Cougars as Greg Ward Jr. and Duke Catalon raced out to a hot start on offense. Texas State’s defensive line failed to capitalize on any pressure to Ward as Houston scored on each of their first half possessions en route to a 43-3 half time lead. Houston successfully converted three fourth downs as Ward Jr. extended plays with his feet and picked apart the Texas State coverage.
Texas State’s offense had no answer for Houston’s physicality in the first half as the Bobcats would muster just 82 net yards of offense due to errant snaps and negative plays. The Bobcats did show promise on an 11 play second quarter drive as quarterback Tyler Jones targeted freshmen receivers L.G. Williams and PJ Anderson to drive the ball down the field. Unfortunately Texas State would walk away with just a field goal due to a snap that flew over Jones’ head.
No halftime adjustment could spare the Bobcats’ suffering as Houston freshman D’Eriq King ran back the second half opening kickoff for a 99 yard touchdown. Tom Herman granted his former employer a semblance of mercy as Greg Ward Jr. was replaced by Kyle Postma early in the third quarter. Perhaps predictably, a change at quarterback wasn’t enough to slow down Houston’s offense as Postma executed a slick spin move to bump the lead to 57-3.
Houston used a long, methodical drive to end their scoring on the night. Kyle Postma led a 12 play drive that saw the Cougars run the ball on the last 11 plays of the series under the legs of Josh Burrell. Postma slipped past the Texas State defense untouched on a keeper to bring the score to 64-3.
Texas State would fail to #PartyInTheEndZone against UH after the Bobcats were forced to punt the ball away on their last possession. Houston would go on to kneel out the clock and head back to the Third Ward with their undefeated record and playoff hopes intact.
While Greg Ward Jr. put on his usual fireworks show, freshman quarterback/wide receiver D’Eriq King was the player of the game for the Coogs. King passed for a touchdown, returned a kick off for a touchdown, rushed for 27 yards on one carry, caught four passes for 61 yards and, you guessed it, hauled in a receiving touchdown.
The Bobcats will enjoy a bit of a breather next week as they host the Incarnate Word Cardinals of the FCS Southland Conference while Houston will have a quick turnaround, hosting UCONN Thursday night on ESPN at 7:00 p.m. CST to kick off conference play. As we all know, UCONN was the only team that managed to defeat the Cougars in 2015. Needless to say, Houston will likely be looking forward to having a shot at redeeming themselves against the Huskies this year.