This Cougar matchup was full of constant back and forth possessions and penalties galore.
During BYU’s first drive of the game star quarterback, Taysom Hill was getting off to a bit of a shaky start. Houston’s defense forced a punt and the UH offense took over at the HOU. 4-yard line. Ryan Jackson ran for no gain and a loss of four yards, resulting in a safety that gave BYU the automatic 2-0 lead.
During BYU’s second possession of the game, a facemask penalty was called on Houston, giving BYU an automatic first down at the HOU. 11-yard line. Jamaa Williams rushed for 11-yards for the first BYU touchdown of the game with 09:12 left in the first quarter. Trevor Samson’s kick attempt was good for the extra point resulting in a 9-0 BYU lead.
After an unsuccessful Houston drive, Hill rushes for five yards for a TD with 03:24 left in the first quarter. Samson’s kick attempt was good, shifting the BYU lead to 16-0.
Before the conclusion of the first quarter John O’Korn connected with Daniel Spencer for a 20-yard reception and Houston first down.
With Houston in possession at the start of the second quarter, the offense was only able to get into field goal range. Kyle Bullard’s 39-yard FG attempt was blocked and recovered by BYU.
The BYU offense continued to work their way down the field and Hill’s eventual connection with Mitch Mathews for 6-yards resulted in a TD; the extra point by Samson extended the BYU lead to 23-0.
O’Korn once again had the offense in FG range, where this time Bullard had a successful 29-yard attempt. With 03:12 left in the first half Houston scored their first points of the game, 23-3 BYU.
Before the end of the half Joey Mbu had a miraculous defensive play right when Houston needed it, an interception at the BYU 29-yard line.
O’Korn’s seven yard pass was completed to Deontay Greenberry for the first Houston TD of the game. Bullard’s kick attempt was no good with the scoreboard now reading 23-9 BYU, with only 01:17 left before halftime.
Houston’s Third Ward D wasn’t finished yet despite minimal time left on the clock. A fumble by Mitch Juergens was forced and recovered by Adrian McDonald.
With just three seconds left in the first half, O’Korn impressed the nation with a 45-yard Hail Mary to Daniel Spencer.
Spencer had a career-high of 10 receptions for a total of 133 yards against BYU.
Bullard’s kick attempt failed again, but a confident Houston team entered into halftime trailing BYU by only eight points.
Both turnovers that were created in the second quarter by Mbu and McDonald resulted in a Houston TD.
Coming out of the locker room for the third quarter the Houston Cougars appeared to have regained some of their swagger.
During BYU’s second drive of the quarter, Derrick Mathews sacked Hill for a loss of 3 yards. Mathews was the first defensive Houston player to accomplish this against the dual-threat QB.
Once again BYU worked their way toward the end zone; Steven Taylor forced a fumble as Hill rushed for four yards, Hill recovered his own fumble.
BYU was not able to score another TD on the drive, but Hill got his team into FG range. Samson’s 26-yard FG attempt was good with only 00:51 left in the third quarter and BYU taking a 26-15 lead.
During the first BYU drive of the final quarter, Tyus Bowser sacked Hill for a loss of six yards.
Immediately after, Hill rushed for 24 yards to the Houston 7-yard line. Williams then rushed for five and then 2 yards for another BYU TD, with Samson’s successful kick attempt BYU advanced to a more comfortable 33-15 lead.
O’Korn regained his rhythm during the next Houston drive with a 15-yard completion to Greenberry for a Houston TD. Greenberry had two TD’s in Thursday night’s game, for his third multiple-TD game of his career and the first of the 2014 season. Greenberry also became the 11th receiver in the program’s history to record over 2,000 career-receiving yards.
Bullard finally had a successful kick attempt and now Houston was only 11 points away from catching up to BYU’s lead of 33-22 with 09:09 left in the game.
On Hill’s second play of the drive, Mbu sacked him for a loss of two yards.
Trevon Stewart intercepted Hill’s next pass at the BYU 27-yard line.
The Houston offense was able to get into FG range again with 07:18 left in the game. Bullard’s 36-yard FG attempt was good, resulting in the final score of 33-25 for a BYU victory over the Houston Cougars.
As Hill continued to rush for a total of 12 yards during the next BYU drive, Matthew Adams sacked Hill for loss of 7 yards. Hill was sacked four times total during the Houston matchup, while O’Korn walked away with zero sacks for the game.
Houston’s 25 points were the most that BYU has given up this season.
It is apparent that O’Korn regained some of his confidence and appeared more comfortable in the pocket with better protection. O’Korn had his fourth career 300-yard passing game, with a season-high of 307 yards in Provo on Thursday night.