Oklahoma’s football team opened the 2016 season at NRG Stadium in Houston against the University of Houston, and were upset 33-23, with Houston outplaying the Sooners in every phase.
Houston kicker Ty Cummings kicked four field goals, including one as time expired in the first half, to give the Cougars the lead.
The Sooners got the ball first and went 79 yards in 8 plays, with Joe Mixon zipping to a 32-yard touchdown to cap the drive and give OU a 7-0 lead with 11:43 to play in the first quarter.
The Cougars answered, using a 10-play, 71-yard drive to get a 35-yard field goal from Ty Cummings to cut the Sooner lead to 7-3 with 8:13 to play in the first quarter.
Oklahoma responded with a big play, as Mayfield passed to Mixon for a gain of 60 yards.
The Sooner drive was halted at the nine-yard line of the Cougars, and Austin Seibert kicked a 25-yard field to extend OU’s lead to 10-3 with 6:12 to go in the first quarter.
Houston drove into field goal range and got a 27-yard field goal from Cummings on the first play of the second quarter to make it 10-6.
The Cougars stopped Oklahoma for the first time on the next possession, and OU running back Samaje Perine had to leave the game after taking a big hit.
After stopping Oklahoma for the first time, UH then marched to the go-ahead score, with Greg Ward finding a wide open Duke Catalon on a throwback pass for a 14-yard touchdown to give the Cougars a 13-10 lead with 10:12 to play in the first half.
Houston’s lead didn’t last long, however, as Oklahoma struck back with a big play, as Mayfield rolled to his left and found Mark Andrews wide open.
Andrews made the catch and sprinted to the end zone for a 64-yard touchdown, putting the Sooners back on top, 17-13 with 8:37 to play in the second quarter.
Mayfield was 24 of 33 passing for 323 yards and 2 touchdowns, with Andrews catching both and finishing with 3 catches for 94 yards.
Houston responded once again, settling for a 34-yard field goal by Cummings to cut the OU lead to 17-16 with 4:33 to play in the first half.
With two and a half minutes left in the first half, Houston got the ball back and marched to a 47-yard field goal by Cummings as time expired to give the Cougars a 19-17 lead at halftime.
The first big play of the second half came at the end of OU’s first possession of the half, as Siebert was short on a 53-yard field goal attempt.
Houston’s Brandon Wilson caught the missed kick and returned it from the back of the end zone 100 yards for a touchdown, giving U of H a 26-17 lead with 8:28 to play in the third quarter.
Before OU could even recover from the shock of that return touchdown, the Sooners turned the ball over, as Jarvis Baxter was stripped and Howard Wilson recovered for Houston at their own 49-yard line.
Houston then turned the turnover into points, helped by a pass interference penalty on Dakota Austin on a 3rd and goal incompletion.
On the next play, Greg Ward tossed a 2-yard touchdown pass to Tyler McCloskey to put Houston up 33-17 with 2:15 to play in the third quarter.
Ward was 23 of 40 passing for 321 yards and 2 touchdowns.
Oklahoma was driving late in the third quarter and into the fourth until Mayfield fumbled and Cameron Malveaux recovered for U of H at their own 46-yard line.
Houston did not captialize on the turnover, but OU’s offense couldn’t generate anything either until very late in the game.
Mayfield passed to Andrews for a 25-yard touchdown with 2:05 to play to cut the Houston lead to 10.
The Sooners had to go for two points but Mayfield’s pass was knocked away incomplete by Howard Wilson and it was a 33-23 Cougars lead.
Oklahoma rushed for just 77 yards as a team, and didn’t go to the run game much after Samaje Perine left the game for a while in the first half.
It was just the third season opening loss in 18 years for Bob Stoops as the OU head coach.
The Sooners host Louisiana-Monroe next Saturday, September 10, at 6:00 pm.