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Saturday, March 25, 2023


History: Houston’s heartbreaking loss to UCF

UCF junior running back Storm Johnson kept UH defenders at an arm’s length away for most of the evening, rushing for 127 yards. | Samantha Henry/Central Florida Future

Former UCF running back Storm Johnson rushed for 127 yards against Houston in 2013. | Samantha Henry/Central Florida Future


The Houston Cougars will try to avenge last year’s loss when they visit Orlando and defend their undefeated streak against the University of Central Florida Knights.

The last time these two teams faced each other, the Cougars lost in a heartbreaking fashion at home with a 17-12 score. Then sophomore quarterback Greg Ward Jr. managed to rally a drive in the final seconds of the game into the Knights’ territory, only to lose the ball and have it called a touch back that ultimately cost Houston the game.

Last year’s Cougars looked dysfunctional with many errors on both sides of the ball being made and losing some close games that they could’ve easily won.

However, things have changed for the Cougars since their last meeting.

Former head coach Tony Levine was replaced with Ohio State’s offensive coordinator, Tom Herman.

With the changes at the head coach position, Herman’s brought with him the formula and mentality that helped the Ohio State Buckeyes win the NCAA Championship against the Oregon Ducks. Successfully transmitting his ideas to the players as they play with a different demeanor from their previous season.

Another thing to consider is the change in the quarterback position.

Before transferring to Michigan, former junior quarterback John O’Korn was the starter for Houston at the beginning of the 2014 season. O’Korn struggling against UCF led to Ward taking over the position for the remainder of the season.

For the 2015 season, however, the team has come far as they’ve shown more resiliency and aggression toward their opponents.

Prompting the “H-Town Takeover” as fans and players alike have come to adopt the message Herman gave since his arrival to Houston.

Houston is the favorite leading up to this match up, ranking 21st in the AP Top 25, and UCF has yet to win a game.

Despite the changes, however, it wouldn’t be wise for the Cougars to underestimate the Knights.

As Herman mentioned in his previous press conference, UCF might be winless, but they have a good program that kept Temple on their toes and will play with the same tenacity to try and give Houston its first loss for season.

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