No. 15 Houston opens against No. 3 Oklahoma with stakes high


But Houston proved to be the deeper, more physical, better coached team. Playing outside the Power Five in the American Athletic Conference, Houston still will likely have little margin for error if it wants to force its way into the playoff. We expected to win. Three or four of them, however, and we could be talking about escaping Houston with a narrow win rather than an embarrassing loss.

The CFP's first official top 25 doesn't come out until November 1, but this is the kind of nonconference win that will carry weight with the committee all season long. Take the over. Jeff BartlI wonder if the Big 12 immediately extends Houston an official offer to join the conference after the Cougars pull off this "upset".

Ward shredded the Oklahoma secondary, and while he didn't do much as a runner, he completed 23 of 40 passes for 321 yards and two TDs - with 125 yards going to Dunbar.

Wilson reached up to catch the ball, barely keeping his feet in bounds. Reminiscent of Auburn's Kick Six against Alabama in 2013, Wilson went flying out of the end zone and hurdled a fallen teammate to score in what went as a 100-yard return. As seen above, the kick was just short and landed in Wilson's hands and he was gone.

"We decided in that timeout", Herman said.

That allowed Houston to set the return, Herman said. Frankly, didn't it say everything you need to know about both Houston's talent and game-planning that Mayfield - a guy who made a season out of improvising in the pocket a year ago - basically had nowhere to go either running or throwing all game?

"I don't really second guess. I've season Austin make that quite a few times".

Baker Mayfield, Oklahoma's quarterback who finished fourth in Heisman Trophy voting last season, threw for 323 yards and two touchdowns. As the final buzzer sounded, it was Houston knocking off the No. 3 ranked Sooners, 33-23.

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Morgan State stuck around for a while - the Bears led 17-14 midway through the second quarter on Orlando Johnson's 1-yard touchdown dive, his second TD of the game. Wilson took the ball 110 yards for the touchdown, sending the mostly pro-Cougars crowd into a frenzy.

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Wisconsin: 134 rushing yards.

Ohio State's defense held Bowling Green to 244 total yards.

Houston's Greg Ward, Jr. doesn't much care for the limelight, but the Heisman hopeful's stellar skills have made him one of the most talked about college quarterbacks in the country. At first it looked like the Sooners would limit the Cougars to a field goal on the drive, but OU cornerback Dakota Austin was flagged for pass interference on third down and the Cougars went on to score on the next play.

This was a game that could have been a lot closer had the Sooners kept their composure and stayed focus early on. Freshman Malcolm Perry was told to suit up and take over after Smith was lost to a knee injury early in the second quarter. I think we had 14 rushes for 83 yards. He wasn't even able to use his legs a great deal against Oklahoma and still torched them through the air. The offense was equally impressive, scoring points on all five first half possessions, while racking up 410 yards of total offense against a Sooner defense that ranked 15th nationally in yards per play a year ago.

The Huskies raced to a 24-0 first-quarter lead and were never threatened by the rebuilding Scarlet Knights, in their first game under new coach Chris Ash. As a junior at John Tyler, Ward racked up 3,596 yards and 32 touchdowns while rushing for 1,212 yards and 18 touchdowns on 207 carries.

Royce Freeman rushed for 87 yards and two scores for the Ducks, who have won five straight season openers. Defensive tackle Ed Oliver - who had two sacks Saturday - was the first five-star recruit to sign with a Group of Five school. Since then, Ward has set record after record for the Cougars heading into his senior season. Houston had scored on every first-half possession but settled for three field goals in the red zone.