Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Houston 49, Rutgers 14

Had you told me right before this game began that the Cougars, having to go to New Jersey to face a decent Rutgers team one week after a bitter one-point loss to BYU, were going to administer a merciless beatdown to the Scarlet Knights, I would have called you a liar. Or at least asked you to share whatever it was that you were smoking.

The Good: Quarterback John O'Korn completed 24 of 30 passes for 364 yards and 5 touchdowns, one of which was this amazing catch by Deontay Greenbury:

Greenberry also had an 83-yard catch and run for a touchdown. He finished the day with eight receptions for 168 yards and three TDs. Daniel Spencer snagged another six passes for 117 yards, and Aaron Johnson and Demarcus Ayers both had touchdown receptions as well.

Not to be outdone, the UH ground game was strong as well, picking up 234 rushing yards. The oher half of Houston's true freshman QB duo, Greg Ward, scambled for 89 yards and a touchdown on 11 carries, and RB Kenneth Farrow, who had sat out the last few games with an injury, returned to rush for 77 yards and a touchdown on 11 carries.

As good as the offense was, they got a lot of help from the defense, which forced six (!) Rutgers turnovers and kept the Scarlet Knights scoreless in the second half of the game. Rutgers quarterback Gary Nova had a bad day against the UH secondary, throwing three interceptions, and was benched in the second half.

The Bad: Penalties continue to be a problem for the Cougars; they were flagged 11 times for 91 yards. This is something the coaching staff is working on and to the Cougars' credit very few of those penalties were committed after halftime. The Cougar run defense had little answer for Rutgers RB Justin Goodwin, who carried 31 times for 162 yards and accounted for both Scarlet Knight touchdowns, but as the game progressed and Rutgers fell further behind he became less and less of a factor. Finally, O'Korn was sacked four times, while the Coogs could manage no sacks of their own.

With all that said, there was very little "bad" about this game, which really was Houston's strongest performance of the year.

What it Means: With six wins, Houston is now assured a non-losing season and is bowl eligible. The Coogs have a short week before hosting South Florida at Reliant Stadium on Halloween night. The Bulls are not a good team, but the Coogs can't look past them.

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