Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Houston 47, Nevada - Las Vegas 14

The Cougars took care of business at TDECU stadium last Saturday night, and ended their non-conference schedule with a 2-2 record.

The Good:  The Cougar offense finally got the ground game going, racking up 399 total rushing yards. RB Ryan Jackson had 147 yards on 13 carries, RB Kenneth Farrow had 113 yards and 14 carries, and four of Houston's six touchdowns came on runs. The UH defense, meanwhile, held the Rebels to 16 first downs the entire game and intercepted UNLV three times.

The Bad: QB John O'Korn threw two interceptions, and receivers are still dropping catchable balls. Kicker Kyle Bullard missed an extra point. And why are the Cougars fair-catching punts inside their own ten yard line?

The Ugly: Too many penalties detracted from the overall quality of the game. Houston was flagged nine times for 110 yards and UNLV had 11 flags for 105 yards. Also, although it worked to Houston's advantage, the humidity's effect on the UNLV players was brutal. The Rebel players simply couldn't adjust from the dry desert air of Las Vegas to the steamy conditions of a Houston September night, and were dropping like flies from cramps in the second half.

What it Means: Houston finally gets its first win of the season over an FBS opponent, although nobody is going to mistake UNLV for a good team. A better, and more important, test for the Cougars comes a week from Thursday, when they host the Central Florida Golden Knights.

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