OTD 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 finale for both schools.
Donald Jordan rushed for 138 yards and 3 touchdowns in the blowout win.
The series began in 1971 after Rice had famously refused to play the Cougars. The Bayou Bucket was introduced in 1974 and after their win OTD in 1983, the Cougars were now 8-2 in official Bayou Bucket games.
The 1983 game was the first time UH played on September 1st and, until last year, the only time the Cougars have ever won OTD. UH has lost every other game played on September 1: 1994, 2001, 2005, 2007, and 2012. None of those losses more embarrassing than the 2012 defeat.
Edit: Thanks to Twitter users @uhcougareditz and @ItsInMeNotOnMe for pointing out that UH beat Rice last year on 9/1. The writer is dumb and should have known that. The story has been changed to reflect the correct information.
Levine’s *Other* Opening Disaster
OTD in 2012: We detailed Tony Levine’s shocking UTSA loss in 2014 in Thursday’s OTD but his first defeat is almost as bad.
In his first game as UH head coach, Levine’s unprepared team loses to Texas State in the Bobcats’ first game in FBS. The 30-13 loss came on a steamy, humid night in front of 32,207 fans. Some didn’t mind the sweltering conditions.
In a new hyper-speed offense, UH ran a play every 15.1 seconds of clock-time but were wholly ineffective going that speed. David Piland struggled in his first game at QB, going 17/44 (39%) with a TD and an INT.
The Cougars punted 14 seconds into the game after three quick incompletions by Piland only to have Texas State march down the field for a score on their opening possession. TxSt would never trail in the game. On UH’s 2nd drive, Matt Hogan booted a (then) career-long 50 yarder to get the Coogs on the board.
Larry McDuffey scored UH’s only TD on a 64-yard slant pass from Piland. Hogan made a 37-yard kick in the 3rd quarter to end the Cougar scoring.
Offensive coordinator Mike Nesbitt was scapegoated for the loss and fired that night. It is perhaps the only time in FBS history that a coordinator has been fired after one game. Travis Bush was given the OC role he coveted all along: many believe Bush manipulated first-time head coach Tony Levine into panicking and pushing Nesbitt out.
Bush’s offense committed 34 turnovers in the remaining 11 games.
Did you enjoy this OTD story?
Our Glory Days features are some of our most popular content. Help us continue to highlight our proud history by subscribing to GoCoogs today.
More GoCoogs Subscription Options