Houston Cougars Beat Down UNLV Rebels, Win 47-14


The Houston Cougars gave BYU a heck of a run for their money last week after an amazing comeback before the half.

They hung in there throughout the rest of the game but after several three-and-outs the offense seemed to stall and just couldn’t get over the hump.

The running game was almost close to non-existent as the leading rusher had only seven yards to his credit.

Let’s fast-forward to this week…

The Coogs are back home at the friendly confines of TDECU Stadium, their new digs.

I had to opportunity to attend both last night’s game as well as the inaugural season opener at the stadium and it’s definitely a huge upgrade over Robertson Stadium, their previous facility that was on the same site.

The spacious concourses, the plethora of food choices, better sight lines, the beat of the drums of the Spirit of Texas and roar of the crowd all work together to make the in-game experience second to none.

It’s truly a facility that the program needed and will propel them as they continue to get better in the future.

Let’s get to it…

The Coogs run defense sputtered a bit out of the gate and the Rebels’ Blake Decker was able to get it going early with Keith Whitely completing several productive plays within their eventual scoring drive in just a little under four minutes.  UNLV 7, Coogs 0

John O’Korn then went to work and had gotten the team to midfield but threw his first pick of two of the game ultimately ending that drive.  Kenneth Farrow was able to get 28 yards off one carry that helped them move through that drive quickly.

Sep 20, 2014; Houston, TX, USA; Houston Cougars quarterback John O

O’Korn, after the Coogs got the ball back, turned to Ryan Jackson and he was able to help early-in starting with a 33-yard run.  Toward the end of the drive, at the UNLV 15-yard line, O’Korn was able to rack up 14 yards himself after he noticed none of his targets were open.  He got all the way to the goal line for a first down and on the next play, he crossed the plane to get the Coogs on the board. Coogs 7, UNLV 7

Toward the end of the quarter, O’Korn got the passing game going and was able to hand-off to Daniel Spencer who ran for 35 yards and scored a touchdown.  Kyle Bullard missed the PAT kick after he hooked it too far left, bouncing off the left upright.  Coogs 13, UNLV 7

The 2nd quarter involved the tightening of the defense on both ends and the score at the half remained 13-7 Coogs.

I don’t know what Tony Levine told them at the half but they came out guns a-blazing!

Sep 20, 2014; Houston, TX, USA; Houston Cougars running back Ryan Jackson (22) runs the ball for a touchdown against the UNLV Rebels during the second half at TDECU Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Soobum Im-USA TODAY Sports

It took just 30 seconds to score in the first drive, starting with a Demarcus Ayers 38-yard return, a Farrow 17-yard run and finally a 26-yard catch by Jackson for the touchdown!  Luckily, the PAT kick was good by Bullard.  Coogs 20, UNLV 7

Later in the quarter, the Coogs then started to really pull away with another Spencer touchdown and a 41-yard field goal by Bullard.  Coogs 30, UNLV 7

The Rebels didn’t answer until toward the end of the third quarter when Decker started to desperately throw the ball deep to get things going.  He eventually was able to get to George Naufahu to run in for the touchdown.  Coogs 30, UNLV 14

The 4th quarter was all Coogs as well, the first drive got them close enough for Bullard to nail another 41-yard field goal.  Coogs 33, UNLV 14

Then Farrow was able to run in for another touchdown with 11:49 left in the game.  Coogs 40, UNLV 14

The Coogs kept fighting hard even though they had a nice lead and were able to pick off Decker as Adrian McDonald made an amazing heads-up play. He had the interception along with nice 29-yard pickup to the UNLV 23-yard line.

This energized the team once again as most of the bench was in the game now, backup senior quarterback Billy Cosh was in and Javin Webb became the primary target he was handing off to.  Webb was able to get a touchdown run with 9:42 left in the game placing the last nail in the coffin for the Rebels.  Webb ended up with 54 yards on the game.  Final Score:  Coogs 47, UNLV 14

O’Korn went 12-for-27 for 135 yards with two touchdowns and two picks.

The Coogs got the running game as they should have racking up 399 yards along the way.

Sep 20, 2014; Houston, TX, USA; Houston Cougars running back Kenneth Farrow (35) carries the ball for a touchdown against the UNLV Rebels during the second half at TDECU Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Soobum Im-USA TODAY Sports

Jackson and Farrow combined for 27 carries and 260 yards alone.

They didn’t have to pass all of that much to move down field but Greg Ward Jr. did catch four balls for 39 yards.

Even though they won the game, they must pay close attention to their penalties — they had nine costing them 110 yards.

They were a lukewarm 7-for-16 as far as third-down efficiency but they didn’t have to worry because they were in control of the game.  But that stat is going to count against future opponents!

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What a win — the Coogs are now 2-2!

Where they decide to go from here is anybody’s guess but I have a feeling they won’t disappoint.  They’ll continue to keep fighting hard and use the weapons they have to excel.

The Coogs are now in their bye week and will get a chance to rest up for their huge, nationally televised match up versus the UCF Knights Thursday, Oct. 2 at TDECU Stadium.

The game will be televised on ESPN and broadcast on 950 AM.

Go Coogs!