The Cougars started the season off on the right foot Friday evening with a convincing win over the Southern Jaguars at Reliant Stadium.
The Good: True freshman John O'Korn had a solid debut, completing 11 of 15 passes for 107 yards and three touchdowns. He and David Piland, who started the game and completed 15 of 23 passes for 148 yards and a touchdown, will probably be rotating behind center for the next few games. Running backs Ryan Jackson and Kenneth Farrow were workhorses, combining for 217 yards and two touchdowns on 30 carries. The Coogs finished with 627 yards total offense. The team also recovered four Southern turnovers without suffering any turnovers of their own.
The Bad: The defensive secondary got torched by Southern QB Joseph Dray, who completed 27 of 36 passes for 268 yards and two touchdowns. The Coogs committed 14 penalties for 126 yards. I know it's the first game of the season, but that's a ridiculous statistic. Also, an offensive lineman was lost for the season with an injury. The team really doesn't need the injury bug to bite them again this fall.
What it Means: A win is a win, but it's really hard to get a read on how the Coogs will fare this season based on an easy win over a mediocre FCS opponent (although a lot of schools had problems with FCS opponents over the weekend, which I'll write more about later). We'll know more about the Cougars after next Saturday's trip to Temple.