Tuesday, September 02, 2014

Houston 7, Texas - San Antonio 27

The University of Houston opened a brand new, 40,000-seat football stadium last Friday night. It's too bad the football team itself forgot to show up for the occasion.

The Good: this cool Gigapixel photo of TDECU Stadium taken right before the second quarter. If you look closely, you can see Kirby, my parents and myself sitting in section 309.

The Bad: I knew the offensive line was going to be a weak spot going into the season. But I really didn't think they would be as utterly dominated as they were against the Roadrunners. I knew that Travis Bush was probably not the greatest offensive coordinator in the world. But the sputtering, misfiring, predictable offense looked like it lacked coaching entirely.

Quarterback John O'Korn had a horrible night. The paper-thin o-line gave him no protection (he was sacked four times), he had frequent miscommunications with his receivers, he was picked off by UTSA four times (he also fumbled once), and when he did get the ball to his receivers they oftentimes dropped catchable passes. The ground game was non-existent; the Coogs had -27 yards rushing on the night.

The Cougar defense tried its best to keep the team in the game, but they simply couldn't overcome being put in bad situations by the inept offense. Up 14-0 at the half, the Roadrunners started the third-quarter with a clock-chewing, 60-yard, 13-play drive that ended with a touchdown. With that, the stunned crowd of 40,755 who had expected to see the Cougars open their new home with a solid win instead began heading for the exits.

Cougar special teams fumbled a punt in the first half which led to UTSA's first score.

The Ugly: the fact that the football team was so soundly defeated in the inaugural game in its new stadium is humiliating. Why was this team so thoroughly unprepared to play on Friday night? And why was this the second time in three years that the Cougars have come out so uninspired and overwhelmed in their season opener? This pathetic display falls on head coach Tony Levine, who may have taken a big step towards the unemployment line on Friday night.

What It Means: My preseason prediction of 8-4 looks pretty optimistic right now. If the Cougars continue to play as poorly as they did last Friday, especially on offense, this team will be lucky to manage three or four wins all season. This loss is also going to take a financial toll to the program, as a lot of casual fans and alums who showed up to see the Cougars play in their new stadium last Friday probably won't be back.

The loss did, however, inspire this hilarious Downfall parody, which made me feel better. For a few minutes, at least.

Next up for the Coogs is Grambling State. The Coogs can at least manage a win against one of the worst teams in FCS, right?

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