If you cannot keep possession of the ball, you cannot win ball games.
The Houston Cougars learned that lesson in quadruplet; throwing four interceptions and controlling the ball on offense for less than 23 minutes, dropping a disappointing contest by the score of 24-7 to the University of Texas at San Antonio Roadrunners on Friday evening, August 29, 2014.
The game, which was the first at TDECU Stadium, saw the Cougars gain a paltry 208 yards of total offense and saw the offense tally a total of seven turnovers
The Roadrunners came on like gangbusters from the start of the game; keeping the pressure on sophomore quarterback John O'Korn all night; sacking him four times.
O'Korn, a native of Fort Lauderdale, Florida and a true sophomore, completed 21 of 43 passes form 204 yards.
Houston head coach Tony Levine discussed O'Korn's performance with the media at the post-game press conference.
“UTSA’s defensive front really controlled the line of scrimmage and they got into our backfield early. They did a nice job controlling our running game and we ended up getting a little bit one dimensional for two reasons: 1. We fell behind with the score and 2. We were not having the success running the football so they were able to get their pass rush and get to John and it felt like we could never get into a rhythm with our passing game either.”
San Antonio tailback David Glasco II put the first touchdown in stadium history on the scoreboard at the 6:50 mark in the first quarter on a three-yard run around the left side. Sean Ianno's kick was good to put the Roadrunners up 7-0.
The added seven more points with 42 second remaining in the first half when Glasco again scurried two-yard for the score.
Ianno again split the uprights to take the score to 14-0 at the half.
San Antonio added 10 points in the third quarter on a Jarveon Williams seven yard run, another Ianno extra point and an Ianno field goal.
Houston finally got on the scoreboard when running back Ryan Jackson capped a 12 play, 70-yard offensive drive with a two yard run with a little more that one minute remaining in the game for their only score of the game.
Ianno added an 30-yard insurance field goal the 4:04 mark in the fourth quarter to end the Roadrunners' scoring.
Offensively, wide receiver Deontay Greenberry caught six passes for 96 yards.
Houston is picked to finish in third place in the American Athletic Conference in 2014 and Levine was asked by the media how the lost will have an impact on the rest of the season:
“I just told our student athletes that everybody right now that was at this game is walking down Cullen Boulevard going to their vehicles thinking what just happened. We had all these men on pre-season watch lists and we have some experience and I just told them that tonight doesn’t have to have a negative effect in terms of our mindset of whether we are going to be a good football team this year. We have the ingredients to be a good football team this year. Tonight, going back to the game specifically and what I’ve talked about for a couple years now is football, turning it over seven times and only getting one you are not going to win a football game. I don’t think our young men and our staff or coaches were reading the press clippings and not having respect for UTSA. Again we went toe-to-toe with them and they went toe-to-toe with us last year for 45 minutes and we created some turnovers in the fourth quarter and we ended up beating them by over 30 points but we knew a lot about their program and again I know they have familiarity with ours and they were the better team tonight.”
The Roadrunners and the Cougars now share a 1-1 series record. Houston won last year's contest by the score of 59-28 at the Alamodome in san Antonio.
The Cougars will now have seven days to prepare for the next contest, also to be played at TDECU Stadium, where they face Grambling State on Saturday, September 6, 2014 with a 7 p.m. CDT kickoff.