Monday, November 02, 2015

Houston 34, Vanderbilt 0

The Cougars put together their most dominating performance of the season on a rainy Halloween night, shutting out Vanderbilt and remaining undefeated.

The Good: The Cougar defense was obviously the story of the evening. They forced a fumble and three interceptions, one of which was returned for a touchdown by William Jackson III, and held the Commodores to a paltry 185 yards of total offense. On the offensive side of the ball, Quarterback Greg Ward Jr completed 15 of 23 passes for 221 yards, one touchdown and no interceptions. He also rushed for 33 yards and a touchdown. Kenneth Farrow led all rushers with 82 yards and a touchdown.

The Bad: Ward fumbled the ball twice in the rain, and was held below his per-game rushing average for the year. Unfortunately for Vanderbilt, it didn't matter.

The Ugly: There really wasn't anything ugly about this game, other than the weather. And while I know that there's no point in complaining about attendance, I would have liked to have seen a crowd larger than 29,565 at this game. Yes, it was raining, parts of the city had flooded earlier in the day, and a lot of people had Halloween activities to attend. But I was really expecting an undefeated, ranked team playing an SEC opponent to draw a bit better. Coach Tom Herman is not impressed, either.

What it Means: This was Houston's first shutout of an SEC school since 1969 (when they blanked Mississippi State 74-0). The Coogs beat the Commodores, who won against Missouri last week, by 17 points more than Georgia, 23 more than Ole Miss and 25 more than South Carolina. Where's our SEC invite?

The 8-0 Cougars host Cincinnati on Saturday for homecoming. The Bearcats will be the best team, record-wise, that the Coogs have faced this season.

Hopefully the crowd will be more to my - and coach Herman's - liking.

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