The Houston Cougars are for real, and now America knows all about them.
On a monster stage, with an entire season on the line, the Cougars came up with a huge effort, beating Oklahoma 33-23.
Make no mistake, Oklahoma is a terrific team. They deserved to be No. 3 in the country coming in.
On Saturday, the Cougars were better. They won the turnover battle, forcing two fumbles. They outcoached the Sooners, coming up with a touchdown on a long missed field goal that turned the game around. The UH defensive line dominated OU’s offensive line. For the first time in history, the Cougars have back to back wins against top 10 teams. Make no mistake, UH was the better team.
Greg Ward Jr. looked like the superstar he is. Despite being locked down in the running game, he passed for over 300 yards and a touchdown and was outstanding throughout.
The real stars, however, were on defense. Ed Oliver, the 18-year-old 5-star recruit, looked like a college version of J.J. Watt. The secondary, which lost first round pick William Jackson and two ball-hawking safeties, had some busts early but was terrific when it mattered.
The future is bright. The Cougars should be in the Big 12 soon. But for this year, every dream is still alive. They have some tough tests ahead, but if UH plays anything like this moving forward, only Louisville will likely be favored the rest of the season. It is shaping up as an interesting fall on Cullen Boulevard.
As for OU, the Sooners still have a chance to recover. They are a solid team that should get better. They will have plenty of chances for quality wins, including Ohio State.
The Cougars are already pretty good. And now the nation knows.