Houston’s 34-0 shutout of Vanderbilt on Halloween night was the Coogs’ first shutout of an SEC opponent since 1969 when the Coogs beat Mississippi State 74-0. Vandy coach Derek Mason was forced to apologize for the team’s poor play. Houston defensive coordinator Todd Orlando’s unit held Commodores to 44 passing yards. The ‘Dores had only five pass completions while committing four turnovers. [hat tip Joseph Duarte for that stat]
Some interesting stats on the Coogs, courtesy of the athletic’s department:
· Houston moved to 8-0 Saturday night when it defeated Vanderbilt 34-0, giving the SEC its first non-conference shutout since Sept. 5, 2004 when Louisville defeated Kentucky 28-0.
· Vanderbilt entered Saturday night ranked 13th nationally in scoring defense, allowing just an average of 16.3 points per game. With 34 points, Houston topped the previous highs scored against the Commodores of 31 (Georgia) and 27 (Ole Miss).
· With its win Saturday night, Houston joins Baylor as the only two teams to defeat six opponents by 21 points or more.
· Ranking fifth in scoring offense (45.9 points per game) and 18th in scoring defense (17.3 points per game), Houston is the only program in the nation to rank in the top 10 in scoring offense and top 20 in scoring defense.
· Herman has vowed Houston will be physical in the trenches and the numbers are reflecting it. The Cougars rank 11th nationally in rushing defense, allowing just 103.6 yards per game, while ranking eighth in rushing offense with an average of 273.9 yards per game. Houston and LSU are the only teams in the nation to rank in the top 11 in both categories.
· Houston leads the nation with a +15 turnover margin and 22 turnovers forced, and is 11th with seven turnovers lost.
· Junior quarterback Greg Ward Jr. leads the nation with 16 rushing touchdowns.
· Ward is third nationally in scoring with 96 points while ranking seventh in points responsible for per game with 20.3 per game.
· Senior linebacker Elandon Roberts leads the nation in solo tackles (7.9 per game) and is fifth in total tackles (11.3 per game).
· Cornerback William Jackson III lives up to his name as he is third nationally with 17 passes defended – 14 PBUs & 3 INTs.
· Junior linebacker Steven Taylor is seventh nationally in sacks (1.0 per game) and is 10th in tackles for loss (1.6 per game).
· The only remaining undefeated coach in his first year with a program, Tom Herman has an opportunity to become the first coach in Houston history to start his career 9-0 after joining John Jenkins (1990) as the only coach to start 8-0.
· This season is the fourth in Houston history for the Cougars to start 8-0 and the first since 2011. Houston has started 9-0 just once in program history, when it started 12-0 in 2011.
Up next: The Cincinnati Bearcats travel to TDECU Stadium for a 2:30pm kickoff this Saturday.