A back-and-forth game for three quarters quickly turned into a blowout as the Cougars forced five fourth-quarter turnovers in a 59-28 non-conference win over UTSA before a crowd of 32,487 at the Alamodome.
With this win the Cougars became the first school to sweep the weekly American Athletic Conference football weekly awards on Monday. Quarterback John O’Korn was named offensive player of the week, cornerback William Jackson was selected defensive player of the week and defensive back Brandon Wilson took home special teams player of the week.
O’Korn, making his second career start, was 24-of-36 for a career-high 312 yards and four touchdowns in the Cougars’ 59-28 win over UTSA. Jackson had six tackles, forced a fumble and returned an interception 96 yards for a touchdown. Wilson returned a blocked field-goal attempt 78 yards for a touchdown to give the Cougars a 31-21 lead in the third quarter.
UH coach Tony Levine said the Cougars change the blocking schemes on field goals each week and showed a look UTSA “had not seen.” The blocked field goal turned a potential tied game into a 10-point swing for the Cougars, who went ahead 31-21.
“I thought that was the turning point of the game,” Levine added. Soza repeatedly picked apart the UH defense, completing 22 of 28 passes for 262 yards and two touchdowns through three quarters.
“Soza is a guy we felt going into the game we had to show a number of different looks and be more multiple than we had been,” Levine said. “You feel like the way we had been flying around defensively good things were going to happen.”
“Obviously, the fourth quarter was a disaster,” UTSA coach Larry Coker said. “Where we are we don’t have a lot of margin for error.” Xavier Maxwell had a pair of touchdown catches, including a 22-yarder off a deflected pass that gave the Cougars a 38-28 lead.
Although Maxwell’s stats for the game will not jump off the page, other than the obvious two touchdowns, he had a solid game with three catches for 42 yards. His two touchdown catches were both very athletic plays where he made big adjustments on the ball while it was in the air, one a semi-errant pass from O’Korn and the other a ball that was tipped by defender.