Excitement surrounds Houston as Coogs open home slate against Rice

Written by Ryan Musich


HOUSTON, Texas—Coming off of an impressive 19-16 win over the Arizona Wildcats in Tucson, Arizona, the University of Houston Cougars will face off against the Rice Owls in the Bayou Bucket game in what is the Coogs home opener. This will only be the Cougars 2nd game under new Head Coach Major Applewhite as the team’s originally scheduled season opener against University of Texas-San Antonio was cancelled due to the carnage of Hurricane Harvey. This will be Rice’s 3rd game of the season as they’re 1-1 and coming off of a win against UTEP 31-14.

Houston and Coach Applewhite had a good reason to be happy after the win Saturday night, as A&M transfer Quarterback Kyle Allen threw for 225 yards and a touchdown. Allen is taking over for Greg Ward Jr. who graduated this past summer. Allen also threw 2 interceptions but that’s not bad in a debut with a new team. The defense also played well as Pre-Season All American Ed Oliver tied for the team lead in tackles with 11. The defense played well and their night was capped off with a Garrett Davis interception of Arizona Quarterback Khalil Tate in the final 4 minutes of the game. The Cougars rushing attack was on full display against Arizona as Running Backs Duke Catalon and Dillon Birden 161 yards on 32 carries. As good as the Cougars played Saturday, Coach Major Applewhite thought they could’ve played with a little bit more effort, “I talked to the coaches after the game that I thought we could’ve played with some more effort. Especially when it comes to taking the foot off of the gas”. And when asked what a rivalry like this means to a player, Applewhite uttered 2 simple words, “Bragging rights”.

After a complete thrashing against Stanford opening weekend, Rice will be looking to build on their win last week against UTEP. Rice’s rushing attack was fierce last weekend as 18 of the 31 points scored by the Owls were of the rushing variety. Rice’s Quarterback play was solid from Sam Glaesmann, who threw for 131 yards and a touchdown while also rushing for a touchdown. Rice’s defense was stellar as they held the Miners to 14 points. The defense was led by Junior Defensive End Blain Padgett.

The Owls have a tough task ahead as this Cougars team will be hyped up for their home opener at TDECU Stadium. Not to mention the Bayou Bucket will be on the line. My prediction for this one is that the University of Houston offense will be on fire and the defense will be flying all over the field. Houston takes this one 35-14.

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