By Bill McCaughey
For The Fort Bend Star
With a national television audience ready to declare Louisville’s Lamar Jackson the presumptive Heisman Trophy winner, the University of Houston Cougars stunned the Cardinals and the television audience with a 36-10 dominating performance.
The Cougars recovered a fumble on the opening kickoff, and 11 seconds into the game took a 7-0 lead.
“Anytime you get a break down there, it is a great momentum builder. Momentum is a very, very powerful thing in college football,” Houston Coach Tom Herman said.
From that point on, the Cougar defense and the TDECU record crowd of 42,822 controlled the game. Louisville, which had been averaging 49.6 points per game and 583 yards of total offense, were held to 312 yards of total offense and just 10 points, all scored after the game had been decided. The loud TDECU crowd caused the Cardinals to commit seven false start and two off-sides penalties.
“What an unbelievable crowd. They were loud and in it. They continued to be loud in the third quarter when we gave up a score and had a couple of three and outs,” Herman said. “Hats off to our students and hats off to our fans. It just shows how powerful this stadium is when it is filled and how it can directly impact wins.”
Freshman defensive lineman Ed Oliver was a disruptive force all night, and when Louisville began focusing on Oliver, Steven Taylor, Howard Wilson and Jeremy Winchester all stepped up to stop Jackson.
Taylor ended the game with 14 tackles, 2.5 sacks, 2.5 tackles for a loss and one forced fumble, and Oliver had six tackles, two sacks, three tackles for a loss and a forced fumble. Wilson and Winchester each had six tackles. For the game, the Cougars sacked Jackson 11 times.
While the defense was controlling Louisville, the offense continued to put points on the scoreboard. Greg Ward Jr. was 27 of 46 for 298 passing yards and two touchdowns. Offensive coordinator Major Applewhite pulled a few plays out of the depths of the playbook, when wide receiver Linell Bonner threw a 50-yard touchdown pass to Chance Allen, and punter Dane Roy threw a 15-yard pass on fourth down to keep a drive going.
Duke Catalon rushed 14 times for 39 yards and a touchdown, and had nine receptions for 68 yards and two touchdowns. Chance Allen had four receptions for 105 yards and a touchdown, and Linell Bonner had eight receptions for 67 yards.
For Louisville, Lamar Jackson was 20 of 43 for 211 passing yards and a touchdown, and rushed 25 times for 116 yards.
The Cougars (9-2 overall and 5-2 in conference) finish their season at Memphis (6-4 and 3-3) on Nov. 25.
Q1 • 14:49 • UH
Duke Catalon 13-yard TD pass from Greg Ward Jr. (Ty Cummings kick)
Q1 • 00:49 • UH
Ty Cummings 33-yard field goal
Q2 • 12:18 • UH
Duke Catalon 13-yard TD pass from Greg Ward, Jr. (Ty Cummings kick)
Q2 • 06:53 • UH
Duke Catalon 2-yard TD run (Ty Cummings kick)
Q2 • 05:13 • UH
Chance Allen 50-yard TD pass from Linell Bonner (Ty Cummings kick)
Q3 • 10:02 • LOU
Hikutini 12-yard TD pass from Lamar Jackson (Creque kick)
Q4 • 14:51 • LOU
Creque 46-yard field goal
Q4 • 05:57 • UH
Ty Cummings 46-yard field goal