I don’t believe in the transitive property in football. That is to say that I don’t believe that beating a team means you are better than some other team that lost to them.
So we are not worse than Texas State, the team that opened the year by shellacking Houston in San Marcos.
The way the defense played tonight, I don’t know if we could beat anyone in FBS. . . .Or has Houston finally adjusted to life after-Keenum/Sumlin? .
(The answer is “B”)
This sucks. It sucks to have your brightest unit (defense) get handled to the tune of 625 yards and 44 points. Charles Sims sliced up the defense for 210 on the ground, added 55 receiving and scored two total. Really, it looked like Houston was playing on All-American in NCAA 13.
Is there much more to say? The offense played better . . . than they did against FAU. There wasn’t much of an offensive renaissance here, though. The running game was just as great as it has always been in running for 233 yards. Derek Thompson was very Derek Thompson. That is to say that he missed some passes that otherwise looked like they should have been complete, and completed enough medium-to-long ones to compliment the run game.
This was about the defense, however. Everyone who looked good in the previous few weeks looked bad in this one. Houston ran a no-huddle offense, much like every other team we have faced if only a tad quicker. The real problem was that they executed said offense much better than even the two top-15 squads we faced. Charles Sims usually wasn’t touched until he reached the secondary and when he was, it was near his feet, as a Mean Greener was desperately trying to wrangle him by his shoelaces.
Constraint plays, those little bubble screens and dump offs meant to keep the defense honest and not cheat up to stop your go-to plays, were deadly thanks to similarly poor tackling on the outside by the corners and safeties. That, my friends, is how you rack up 600+ yards of offense.
So where do we go from here? There is no where to go but up. Those of us who have been watching for a few years know this isn’t the worst the program has seen, but it isn’t so much better. There is an understandable anxiousness in the fan base at being so irrelevant for so long. This is why losses to a beatable Houston team sting so much.
TCU has spent the last decade slowly building to national prominence, SMU has jumped from cautionary-tale to promising thanks to their ca$h. Even perennial laughing stock Baylor jumped up and became sexy.
It isn’t easy to tout nearly imperceptible improvements in this light. It is important to not get crazy (looking at you McCarney-doubters) and stick with the program. This thing isn’t nearly to the point where Dan McCarney would say “This is my kind of team.”
There are a lot of guys that still need to be molded into the kind of team that plays the kind of football DM wants.
Don’t give up just yet.