Several days later, and I still don't believe that the Cougars actually won this game.
The Good: Houston's first score of the game was a Matthew Golden 100-yard kickoff return for a touchdown. QB Donavan Smith had a breakout game, going 21 of 27 for 253 yards, four touchdowns and no interceptions; he also rushed for 34 yards and a score. He completed 16 straight passes to end the game, including the hail mary that won the game for the Coogs. Stephon Johnson caught four passes for 96 yards and two scores, including the game winner, while Stacy Sneed rushed for 78 yards on seven carries. On the defensive side of the ball, Isaiah Hamilton robbed West Virginia of a touchdown by intercepting a tipped pass in the endzone.
The Bad: The UH defense gave up a whopping 546 yards to the Mountaineers and allowed West Virginia to convert 13 of 19 third down attempts. The Cougars were up by 11 points midway through the fourth quarter, but lapses on defense and overly-conservative play on offense allowed West Virginia to score two touchdowns in the span of 2 minutes and 41 seconds, including what should have been the game winner for West Virginia: a 50-yard pass from QB Garrett Greene to Hudson Clement on 4th and 10. However...
The Stupid: Following the touchdown, Garrett Green took off his helmet (while he was still on the field) and started waving "goodbye" to the UH student section. That drew a 15-yard unsportsmanlike conduct penalty that was enforced on the following kickoff. That put Houston in field position for...
The Miraculous: Like I said, I still don't believe this happened:
Credit to Joseph Manjack IV (who had a great game himself) for tipping the ball up so that Stephon Johnson could snag it for the game-winning score.
What It Means: This is Houston's first conference win in the Big XII; Houston also becomes the first incoming school to beat an "original" Big XII team and Dana Holgorsen gets a win over his former employer. The Cougars find themselves with a 3-3 record at the season's halfway point.
Next up for the Coogs is the one we've all been waiting for: the Texas Longhorns, at TDECU Stadium, on Saturday October 21st.