It would seem that rumors of the demise of University of Houston's 2010 season have been greatly exaggerated. The Coogs won their second road game in a row Saturday night in emphatic fashion: after allowing Memphis to score the game's first points on a field goal, the Cougars rattled off 49 unanswered points on their way to a 59-17 rout of the Tigers at the Liberty Bowl.
Quarterback David Piland had a solid outing, completing 20 of 23 passes for 293 yards and five touchdowns and no interceptions. He got a lot of help from running back Michael Hayes, who ran for 123 yards and a touchdown on 20 carries and receiving for another score. And then there was wide receiver Patrick Edwards, who in addition to his two touchdown receptions returned a punt 74 yards for a touchdown. Terrance Broadway also got to see some time at quarterback, completing all four of his passes for 111 yards and a touchdown on a 54-yard hookup to E. J. Smith that was a thing of beauty.
Houston's defense also put in a solid effort, limiting Memphis to three points through the first three quarters of the game. They did allow Tiger running back Gregory Ray to gain 176 yards on 26 carries, but that was okay considering that he was Memphis's only offensive weapon (The Tigers only completed 4 of 12 passes) and nevertheless wasn't allowed to reach the endzone until early in the fourth quarter, when the game had already been decided.
One could point out that Memphis is a particularly bad team, and they'd be correct. But, as history has shown, the Cougars don't always end up beating the teams they should beat. Saturday they took care of business and now find themselves at 5-3 overall and 4-1 in conference. They still control their own destiny in the Conference USA west race.
However, things are about to get considerably tougher for the Coogs. Central Florida, the eastern division's best team, comes to town Friday night. They are going to be tough. And the same Tulsa team which upset Notre Dame in South Bend yesterday awaits the Cougars the following weekend. The Cougars might be without the services of their biggest offensive weapon, too; Bryce Beall suffered a knee injury early in the Memphis game and his condition is unknown at this time.