Raise your hand if you saw that coming. Now put it down, because you are lying.
The Houston Cougars destroyed Louisville on Thursday night. They dominated all three phases and rolled to a 36-10 win.
The real story was the defense. Freshman Ed Oliver looked like J.J. Watt again. The Cougars bedeviled likely Heisman winner Lamar Jackson, sacking him 11 times. That’s right, 11. They took control of the game early and never relinquished it. This one was essentially over at halftime with the Cougars up 31-0.
It started on the opening kickoff, when UH forced a fumble and scored one play later. They never looked back from there.
It was the most impressive win of the Tom Herman era. It was also the most baffling. For the last month, the Cougars have looked nothing like the team that smoked Oklahoma opening weekend. On Thursday night they were that and more.
It was bittersweet, however. Those losses to Navy and SMU killed any hopes for a special season. When you see what they did to Louisville, you can’t help but think about what might have been.
As for the Cardinals, their playoff hopes are over. Lamar Jackson will likely still win the Heisman, but last night might have opened the door a little for someone else. For Houston? They can’t go to a major bowl or win their conference. (Technically they could still win the conference, but would need Navy to lose twice). But they once again performed at their best on a national stage.
The next month will be filled with more Tom Herman rumors, more questions about just what the hell happened for two ugly weeks. But for one night, the Cougars reminded everyone just how good they could be.
Big day for the Astros: Jose Altuve did not win MVP. That went to Mike Trout. In fact, Altuve finished a distant third in the voting. But the Astros were still big winners yesterday. They acquired Brian McCann from the Yankees (hey dickweed, Houston is NOT a small market) and signed free agent outfielder Josh Reddick. Reddick is a terrific defensive outfielder who does not produce a lot at the plate, but he does not strike out a lot, either. He will be an upgrade over Colby Rasmus. The real win here is in picking up McCann, who might instantly become the best catcher the Astros have ever had. His numbers with the Yankees were solid, if slightly below what was expected. That happens a lot with free agents in New York. But if he just does what he did there, the team is instantly better. He is also a solid defensive player, too. They could still use another bat, but that might happen internally. Alex Bregman, Yulieski Gurriel, A.J. Reed, Colin Moran…One of those could easily provide the production the team needs. They also desperately need a top-flight starting pitcher. While that also could come internally (I believe Lance McCullers is about to be a star and Dallas Keuchel should bounce back) adding one of the rumored big names out there (Chris Sale, Justin Verlander) could make the Astros legitimate World Series contenders. They could also buy another bat in free agency, which would make them even more formidable. There is still work to be done, but Thursday was a huge day for the Astros.
In case you missed it….GREAT stuff on the site yesterday, starting with my ultimate betting guide to Jackpot Day at Delta Downs, complemented by Tim Burgess’ advance on the Ward-Kovalev fight and A.J. Hoffman’s fantasy rankings.
Gambling updates: Well, we hit both unders last night and are 2-1 on the week (gave out the Saints under on the show). Will have a full gambling guide later today. Don’t expect a ton of plays but do have a couple including one that might be one of our favorite plays of the year. Stay tuned.
Rockets bounce back: The Rockets put a beatdown on Portland last night, recovering from Wednesday’s loss in OKC.
Running is a contact sport? Yeah it is, especially if you are having to deal with deer. Makes me laugh every time I see it.
And just because…I love little people.
QUOTE OF THE DAY
“I have never been happier to be wrong about a football game.”
— Me, anytime UH does what it did last night