Today in 1983: The Cougars won the earliest SWC game in history, beating Rice 45-14, to retain the Bayou Bucket. The teams had met just 278 days earlier in the 1982 season finale.
UH scored on four straight possessions in the first half, rolling up 24 points in just over 10 minutes of game time. Donald Jordan rushed for 138 yards and 3 touchdowns in the blowout win.
Jordan had run for only 201 yards in his entire UH career before the game. When asked where he’d been hiding the last 3 years, Jordan was frank.
“Jordan’s a good back,” UH defensive back TJ Turner said. “But I’ve never seen him run as hard as he did tonight.”
A reporter, Bonny Yoko Narita, from Hochi Shimbum newspaper in Tokyo was in attendance to watch the game. UH would end the 1983 season playing SMU in the Mirage Bowl in Tokyo.
“The way Houston played will make an impression,” Narita said. “People in Tokyo don’t understand what it’s all about but they like very much touchdowns and all the actions.”
The 1983 game was the 10th time UH and Rice had played for the Bayou Bucket. The Cougars were now 8-2 in those games.