Greg Ward Jr. and the Houston Cougars stunned the Oklahoma Sooners with a dominant Week 1 victory in the 2016 college football season
If you watched the Houston Cougars last season, you should’ve expected big things from Tom Herman’s group of young men. With star quarterback Greg Ward Jr. back in the fold, there were big expectations heading into 2016. Of course, they were put to the test right away in Week 1, welcoming the No. 3 ranked Oklahoma Sooners coming to NRG Stadium.
The first half was back-and-forth between the Sooners and Cougars. Baker Mayfield and Joe Mixon were keeping Oklahoma rolling offensively while Ward was tossing around the pigskin incredibly for his team. Though the Sooners went up 7-0 and then 10-3, Houston clawed to keep the pace and went into halftime up 19-17 after a late field goal.
With momentum sill hanging in the balance, though, it was a special teams play that changed the game. Oklahoma attempted a 53-yard field goal, but left it well short. Houston’s all-purpose stud in Brandon Wilson caught it in the back of the end zone and proceeded to roll 109 yards for a kick-six touchdown.
From there, the Sooners looked defeated. Mayfield seemed to be pressing while Mixon and Samaje Perine struggled as well. Meanwhile, Ward continued to stay composed, adding another third quarter touchdown. The Sooner tried to make a late dash to catch up, but a failed two-point conversion left them down 10 points with two minutes left. After a failed onside kick, No. 15 Houston completed the huge upset. However, they’ll be the ones in the position to be upset going forward, surely.
Greg Ward Jr.: The Houston quarterback threw for 321 yards and two touchdowns, though the dynamic runner did next-to-nothing on the ground
Duke Catalon: A sophomore Texas transfer, Catalon was big for the Cougars as he came up with 87 yards on the ground. He added 29 yards receiving and a touchdown as well.
Joe Mixon: Though Baker Mayfield was big for the Sooners, Joe Mixon was the most dynamic player for the Sooners. He took only six carries for 47 yards and a score while catching five passes for 77 yards as well.
Houston will look to keep rolling next week as they take on Lamar next season. Oklahoma hopes to rebound against Louisiana-Monroe after starting 0-1.