TULSA - Maybe the hopes and sights were set too high. Houston came it ranked #8, 7-0, 11-0 and knocking on the BCS bowl door. Lil ol' TU coming in at 8-3, 7-0, after starting the season 1-3. Still, TU was only a 3 point underdog, and were playing much better. What happened was the buzzsaw that is a Heisman Trophy candidate, and teammates who can fly. Houston 48-16.
On a cool and windy day at Chapman Stadium, a crowd of over 29-thousand (30,000 capacity) watched TU get the first touchdown, a 10-6 lead midway thru the second quarter, only to see Houston unfurl the speed and grace that is one of the top offenses in the country. Wind didn't bother QB Case Keenum...a pass into the gusts on a 4th and one to a streaking Patrick Edwards was a thing of beauty, and very, very gutsy. Houston led by 4 at the time, 38 yards from the end zone, it could have been a turning point stop by TU's defense. It turned into the dagger for Houston..11 point lead..turning into a 32 point victory, 12-0 record , and hosting the C-USA Championship next Saturday against Southern Mississippi.
For Tulsa, its a month off before the play the bowl game. Likely the Armed Forces Bowl at SMU Stadium in Dallas.. Still at 8-4 nothing to hang their heads about...7-1 in conference play, after that 1-3 start which included losses to OU, OSU and Boise St. All 4 losses against top 10 competition.
Bill Blankenship and his staff doing a tremendous job in the first year. Remember, this is a team that lost its best offensive threat in Damaris Johnson at the start of the season. . What seemed to improve the most over the course of the season was the maturation of the defense. Giving up 48 points may not seem like an accomplishment, but TU's offense did not do them any favors today.
Overall Grade leading into the bowl- B