Oklahoma vs Houston Review

Oklahoma vs Houston Review
NORMAN, OK - SEPTEMBER 1: Quarterback Jalen Hurts #1 of the Oklahoma Sooners runs up the middle against the Houston Cougars at Gaylord Family Oklahoma Memorial Stadium on September 1, 2019 in Norman, Oklahoma. The Sooners defeated the Cougars 49-31. (Photo by Brett Deering/Getty Images)

Here is our Oklahoma vs Houston review. Game one for both schools is in the books. With that said, were more questions answered or have bigger questions yet to be resolved? Do these teams know more than they did prior to game one?  On the other hand, did game one provide more questions than answers?

Oklahoma vs Houston Review

Oklahoma Sooners 49

Houston Cougars    31

Clearly, Houston has a lot of questions on the defensive side of the ball. Houston still has a lot of talent on the offensive side. Houston will need to outscore a lot of opponents to be successful this year.

Undoubtedly, Oklahoma hasn’t skipped a beat on offense.  Also, hopes should be high for an improved defense.  Conversely, there should be concern about special teams.  Oklahoma is accustomed to virtually every kickoff being a touchback. That just didn’t happen in game one and 0-2 on very makeable field goals. There is work to be done from Oklahoma’s perspective in the special teams game.

Houston Offense

Obviously, Houston has a lot of weapons on the offensive side of the ball. D’Eriq King is definitely one of the top quarterbacks in the country.  Junior wide receiver Marquez Stevenson is an extremely talented pass catcher. Houston has quality athletes at running back, as well as most skill positions on offense. The offensive line is solid as well.  Despite the big deficit, the offense didn’t phone it in. The offense will improve as the season goes forward under first-year head coach Dana Holgorsen.

Houston Defense

With that being said, the Houston defense was atrocious. The defense was not good in any area. Oklahoma was able to move the ball at will, both on the ground and through the air.  On many occasions, it appeared there was a total lack of effort on the defensive side of the ball. There doesn’t appear to be much improvement on the defense, at least in game one.  If Houston hopes to be competitive in the America Athletic Conference the defense must make dramatic improvements.

Oklahoma Offense

It appears Oklahoma hasn’t missed a beat on offense. Despite a somewhat different style than Baker Mayfield and Kyler Murray, Jalen Hurts has a firm handle on the offense.  Hurts was clearly the leader on the field and was the dominant player on offense. The Oklahoma quarterback amassed 508 yards of total offense in his debut.  Hurts was 20-23 for 332 yards and three touchdowns, Hurts also rushed for 176 yards and three scores.

The offensive line performed better than expected. Conversely, the success was partly due to the poor performance by a very mediocre and eventually worn-down defense. All things considered; Oklahoma’s offense was relatively penalty-free.

The running backs and wide receivers performed well as expected.  Oklahoma is without a doubt loaded at receiver. There is no better group as a whole in the country.

Conversely, the offense put the ball on the ground too much. The turnovers allowed Houston to get off the field and put points on the board.

Oklahoma Defense

Much unlike the offense, there was a lot of inconsistency on the defensive side. Oklahoma can take away many defensive positives from this game. The Oklahoma coaches have a lot of good teaching opportunities heading into game two.

The defense did a much better job of tackling, and much more aggressive getting players to the ball. The defense seemed a lot more organized than a year ago. A much better job on third down and getting actual red-zone stops. As well, the secondary had far fewer busts against a quality offense like Houston. The defense seems to have bought into first-year defensive coordinator Alex Grinch’s aggressive style of play. Without a doubt, the top players on defense are Kenneth Murray and Ronnie Perkins.

Conversely, there is a lot of room for improvement. There were still far too many missed tackles. Clearly there are areas needing improvement. Oklahoma’s defense committed too many needless and costly penalties. That being said, Oklahoma has an opponent in South Dakota next week that should give the defense an opportunity to get experience for younger players and iron out some mistakes from game one.

The Final Word

The Oklahoma Sooners got off to a great start. With that being said, many opportunities were missed in the first half. The Sooners could easily have been up by 28 to 35 points at the break. With respect, the Houston Cougars they didn’t panic and they kept the game a two-possession game at halftime.

In conclusion, Oklahoma is clearly a dominant offensive team again in 2019. Conversely, there should be hope for a much-improved defense. Although the defense was not without areas needing improvement. Arguably, Houston has the best offense Oklahoma will face until they are in the playoffs.

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