By the numbers: UH set to open at No. 4 Oklahoma
HOUSTON – Are you ready for some college football? It's back in full force this week, and we even have one of our own playing during Sunday Night College Football.
Whose house? The Houston Cougars hope their house for a few hours Sunday night will be Gaylord Family-Oklahoma Memorial Stadium, where the Dana Holgorsen era will be ushered in before a rowdy Sooner Nation crowd of over 83,000.
Let's go behind the numbers to break down the matchup that has a lot of folks talking locally, regionally and nationally.
Countdown to kickoff
Sunday at 6:30 p.m.
Gaylord Family-Oklahoma Memorial Stadium
Last time they met
UH and Oklahoma University squared off in 2016 at NRG Stadium when the Sooners, ranked third, had their hands full with a hungry Cougars squad that prevailed 33-33. The win sent a shock wave through college football's landscape.
OU went on to win the Big 12 title and the Sugar Bowl but was left out of the College Football playoffs.
UH wound up 9-3 in the regular season and AAC final, losing to Memphis after Tom Herman left to take the Texas job.
Holgorsen era to begin
UH brass made two changes change on Jan. 2 that they feel will take them to a new level: Firing Major Applewhite and handing the keys to proven winner and veteran Dana Holgorsen, who is the 15th head coach in the history of the Cougars program.
Alma Mater: Iowa Weslyan, 1993
Career Record as HC at WVA: (61-41, 8 years)
Bowl Games: 7 trips in 8 years
King and his court
UH quarterback D'Eriq King leads the Cougars into Norman as one of the nation's top dual-threat signal-callers.
King is coming off a terrific 2018 season in which he accounted for 50 overall touchdowns. King had 36 through the air and 14 on the ground en route to his record-setting season. King accounted for 302 points and, alone, produced 27.5 points per game.
The Manvel, Texas, product is rising quickly in the UH history books in many categories and will not slow down this fall. Most notably, if King reaches 48 touchdowns, he will pass David Klingler (91 TD) for second overall in UH history behind only Case Keenum, who accounted for 155 touchdowns during his run in 2007-2011.
Winning the takeaway game
Creating turnovers has been a staple for UH's defense since 2013 when they have forced 171, which is ranked first nationally. Their high mark was 43 during the 2013 campaign and 24 a year ago. Beating the Sooners on their home field will require few mistakes and keeping the turnover machine going, when the Cougars have grabbed at least one takeaway in 17 straight games.
Tale of the tape
Oklahoma leads the series with UH 2-1 and no losses in Norman.
UH in 2018
43.9 PPG (5th nationally)
512 YPG (7th nationally)
OU in 2018
48.4 PPG (1st nationally)
570 YPG (1st nationally)
UH's Dana Holgorsen: 61-41 (9th year)
OU's Lincoln Riley: 24-3 (3rd year)
Holgorsen on the record
On the dangers and benefits of playing a high profile game so early in the year, Holgorsen said:
"I love having these games early in the year because it gives you an idea of where you're at. You know you're going to get really motivated throughout the course of the whole year leading up to this game, and we've played a lot of these games in the past. It gives everybody a little extra motivation. It's just one game and it's the first game."
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