Eat your donuts, drink your coffee and order your pizza fast. College football is off to a blazing start at noon as the Houston Cougars take on the Oklahoma Sooners.
Date: Saturday, September 3rd
Game Time: Noon ET on ABC
Location: Houston, Texas at NRG Stadium
Why this game is worth watching:
Both teams are ranked in the top 15 of the Preseason AP Top 25 The Oklahoma Sooners are the clear favorite in this game, but the Houston Cougars still have plenty of recognition and could jump into the top ten in the polls with a victory on Saturday afternoon. Houston is coming off a one-loss season that ended with a 38-24 victory over the Florida State Seminoles in the Chic-Fil-A Peach Bowl
This should be the only competitive football game at noon- If you’re the channel-surfing type on Saturdays, noon should be least active time of day for you. Unless you got a hunch the Scarlet Knights are going to do some damage on the west coast, Urban Meyer’s former team knows him too well or Jim Harbaugh is in for a long afternoon against the Rainbow Warriors. The “game to watch” when your day starts is this one.
Expect plenty of offense in this game- Since there’s no other choice with it being the first week, let’s refer to a few stats from last season. Both teams were top-10 scoring offenses, averaging at least 40 points per game. Each team also has their starting quarterback returning. For Houston, it’s Greg Ward Jr., who passed for over 2,800 yards and rushed for over 1,100 yards last season. The Sooners have Baker Mayfield at the helm, who was amongst the top seven in passing touchdowns, completion percentage and yards per attempt in college football last year. Three words to describe this game… Lots. Of. Offense.
Key to the Game:
Avoiding turnovers/costly mistakes- Both teams should be scoring plenty in this game, but a turnover will likely be a double-digit turnaround with the opponent taking advantage of costly mistakes.
It’s also important for each team in this game to keep drives alive, not only to obviously score points, but also get their defense a little extra rest in what should be frantic back-and-forth-paced game. An illegal formation, false start or holding penalty could be the difference between a touchdown and a three and out on a possession without giving the guys on defense much time to recover.
Player who is an X-Factor:
Austin Seibert- Voted as the starting punter on the Preseason All-Big 12 Football Team, Seibert won’t likely be able to show off his skills as a whole lot. Still, he could boost the momentum of the Sooners with a big punt here and there in the game, making the opposition have to travel more than they’d like to, which could be the difference in the matchup on Saturday.
Right away we get a game that could have big-time implications on the College Football Playoff. I got a feeling this game’s gonna go down to wire.
Oklahoma 38 Houston 34
Photo Credit: Sam Bradford (flickr.com)