A Look At The Numbers: UH in Season Openers

Why not: here are 10 totally unnecessary numbers about season openers and UTSA:

1. This will be just the third time UH has opened a season on September 3. The first two have been pretty good to the Cougars:

2016: beat #3 Oklahoma to vault the #15 Cougars up to #6.
2011: beat UCLA in Case Keenum’s first game back from an ACL injury.

2. UH has opened 7 seasons in August, 67 in September, and one in October (2020).

3. All 7 August season openers have come since 1991, when the college football calendar was changed.

Beat LaTech, 73-3, in 1991
Beat SHSU, 43-25, in 1996
Lost to #16 Alabama, 42-17, in 1997
Beat Rice, 24-10, in 2002
Beat Rice, 48-14, in 2003
Beat Southern, 55-3, in 2008
Beat Southern, 62-13, in 2013
Lost to UTSA, 27-7, in 2014

Which means:
John Jenkins was undefeated in August!
Dana Dimel was undefeated in August!
Art Briles was undefeated in August!
Kevin Sumlin was undefeated in August!

And Kim Helton and Tony Levine were 1-1 (each 0-1 vs. FBS teams).

4. UH will face UNLV on August 31, 2024, in Houston and should also play on August 30, 2025. UH is 2-0 vs. UNLV in season openers with a combined score of 106-9. In three total games vs. UNLV, including the second-ever game at TDECU Stadium, UH has outscored the Rebs 153-23.

5. UH is 8-4 vs. Rice in the opening game, going back to the series start in 1971. UH lost:
– the 1972 game at Rice, 14-13;
– by 3 in OT in 2000 at Rice Stadium;
– at Robertson, 21-14, in 2001; and
– 10-7 at Reliant in 2004.

Rice’s four wins in opening games have come by a combined 14 points, and three came in a five-year stretch at the turn of the century.

6. Other than Rice, UH openers versus Texas teams:

1948 win*
1951 loss
1952 loss
1953 tie
1954 loss
1958 win
1961 tie
1962 win
1964 win*
1975 win*
1976 win
1996 win*
2010 win
2012 loss
2014 loss
2021 loss

Until the last decade, UH was 15-7-2 in season-opening games vs. all Texas teams. *Opponent is currently FCS or Division II/III

7. Beating UTSA on the road would be notable for the Cougars. Here are the wins in openers on the road (not named Rice) since starting in the SWC:

2017 – Arizona*
1989 – UNLV
1988 – Louisiana Tech
1979 – UCLA
1976 – Baylor

*UH was scheduled to start the season at home vs. UTSA but Hurricane Harvey prevented that.

Between the wins at UNLV in 1989 and at Arizona in 2017, UH went 0-5 on the road in season openers.

8. The last time UH beat an FBS opponent in the opener that was from Texas (and not named Rice): 1976. The last three openers vs. Texas teams not named Rice: lost to Tech (2021), loss to UTSA (2014), and loss to Texas State (2012). Texas State was FCS when UH beat the Bobcats in 2010.

9. In the 2013 midseason win in San Antonio, BJ Singleton blocked a 3rd quarter UTSA FG attempt, and Brandon Wilson took it 78 yards for a UH touchdown. The kick would have tied the game at 24, but instead, the Coogs went up 31-21. William Jackson returned an INT 96 yards for UH’s final score.

10. Over the last 22:22 of that game, beginning with the drive that ended in the blocked FG, UTSA outgained UH, 246-156, but the Cougars outscored them 35-7. The Roadrunners returned the favor to open TDECU Stadium, outgaining UH 267-138 and leading 27-0 before a garbage-time TD for the Cougars.

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Ryan Monceaux
Ryan Monceauxhttps://gocoogs.com
Ryan is the guy from GoCoogs. He is also a real estate agent and entrepreneur.

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