On their first trip outside the state of Texas in 2023, the Houston Cougars faced a 41-0 battering against the reigning Big 12 champion Kansas State Wildcats on Saturday.
The Wildcats showcased their dominant running game on their first drive.
After forcing a 3rd & 15 on a sack by junior defensive lineman Chidozie Nwankwo, Houston was unable to contain Kansas State. Senior quarterback Will Howard’s 14-yard touchdown pass to freshman tight end Garrett Oakley gave the Wildcats an early 7-0 lead.
The Wildcats dominated UH with 10:19 minutes of possession as the first quarter ended with a 7-0 Kansas State lead.
A 21-yard touchdown early in the second quarter gave the Wildcats a 14-0 advantage.
The Cougars started the second quarter with a three-and-out on offense.
The UH defense followed up with a huge play as senior defensive lineman David Ugeweobu recovered a fumble in Kansas State territory at the 26-yard line.
A missed 45-yard field goal by junior kicker Jacob Martin on the drive that followed continued UH’s scoring drought.
Kansas State added to its lead with a touchdown from senior running back Treshaun Ward to make it 21-0, while once again the Houston offense was stifled on its following drive.
Sophomore running back DJ Giddens gave the Wildcats a commanding 28-0 lead with 1:30 left in the second quarter.
Houston received the ball to start the second half but continued to struggle, while Kansas State added two more touchdowns in the second half. A missed PAT on the second touchdown put the Wildcats up by a 41-0 score at the final whistle.
The game marked the first time the Cougars were shut out in over two decades.
Junior quarterback Donovan Smith registered under 100 passing yards and Houston only managed 208 total yards on offense.
Injuries didn’t help Houston as junior defensive lineman Nelson Caesar was already inactive coming in. Then, junior defensive back Isaiah Hamilton and sophomore defensive back AJ Haulcy went down over the course of the game.
The loss moves the Cougars to 3-5 on the season and an unimpressive 1-4 in the Big 12 Conference, failing to capitalize on the momentum gained from last week’s promising performance against Texas and the previous week’s win over West Virginia.