Victory and Respect: With Peach Bowl win, Coogs show they belong with college football’s elite

via Houston Athletics

Nobody gave the Houston Cougars much of a chance against the Florida State Seminoles. The majority of college football writers and fans all thought the ‘Noles would demolish the kids from Cullen Boulevard. Most people said it would be a blowout and that Houston should just be happy to have made it there. The Coogs just proved most people wrong.

An Incredible Win

In the final game of an already tremendous season, the Houston Cougars dominated the stunned Florida State Seminoles 38-24. The much vaunted Third Ward Defense forced five ‘Noles turnovers and held the electric Dalvin Cook to only 33 yards on 18 carries. Houston defensive coordinator Todd Orlando and staff called an excellent game, sending much pressure towards the ‘Noles quarterbacks in addition to shutting down their run game. The Coogs held the Seminoles to only 16 rushing yards.

Houston quarterback Greg Ward, Jr. was his usual dynamic self, completing 25 of 41 passes for 238 yards and one touchdown, while adding 20 carries for 67 yards and two rushing touchdowns. Two of Houston’s Jack Boyz added two interceptions each: William Jackson III and Trevon Stewart.

Herman Makes History

via ESPN

With the win Houston coach Tom Herman becomes only the fourth head coach in college football history to win 13 games in his debut season, and joins Chris Petersen (formerly of Boise State) as the only one’s to do it since the leather helmet era.

Proving the Doubters Wrong

Let’s not forget: Before Herman even took the job at the University of Houston many colleagues warned him not to take the job. They told him Houston is a pro football town that UH is irrelevant on the city’s radar. With the Texans struggling to make it into the playoffs in a weak division, the 13-1 Coogs and their fast-paced offense and hard-nosed defense are a wonderful change of pace. Hopefully the cynical Houston alumni who told me they’ll only go to a UH game when we play real teams will consider the Florida State win big enough for them to get off their ass and support the Coogs!

Also, don’t forget how every “knowledgeable” college football fan said Herman would be one-and-done at Houston and would quickly skip town to coach at a bigger program. Herman proved them all wrong by signing a contract extension and stating that he’s looking to continue to build on his success here at UH. With Houston’s incredibly strong 2016 recruiting class and NY6 win in the Peach Bowl, it’s entirely possible that Herman knows the UH job is better than all but maybe a dozen jobs in college football. There’s also very few places where he’ll have as much local high school talent as he does in the greater Houston region. Regardless of whether the Coogs can pick up a Power 5 invitation or not, Herman just proved how much the Coogs can accomplish without one.

Game Recaps:

CFN
FoxSports
ESPN: Peach Bowl win serves as a springboard for Houston in 2016.
Sports Illustrated
Houston Chronicle
Herman’s Takeover at UH Complete

via Houston Athletics