Third Ward Keeps Bayou Bucket
Saturday night was the first game of the season in Houston for both the University of Houston and Rice University. In wake of Hurricane Harvey, the two teams showed off their love for the city with uniform upgrades: UH wore “Houston” nameplates on the back of their jerseys, while Rice’s helmets donned the map of Texas, with a heart where Houston is, and their patented old English “R.”
“It’s cool to show the city is unified,” Cougars quarterback Kyle Allen said. “It’s a rivalry game, but after all Houston has been through recently, we’re unified as a city. We’re here to give back and help rebuild the city.”
The teams came together with a pre-game handshake that showed it wasn’t just about the game, it was for the community and was greatly needed after Hurricane Harvey.
“It’s just a sign of solidarity towards our community,” Houston head coach Major Applewhite said. “There’s a lot of people who graduated from both of these fine schools and still live here, and, at the end of the day, this is a great thing for the city of Houston, this game is, and I think we should do it every season.”
UH started the game with a bang and showed no mercy to the Owls, letting them know that the Bayou Bucket was going to stay in Cougar territory.
“We gotta challenge ourselves, be very humble in our approach, and realize that we played with leads, and that, some point, you’re going to play with a deficit and we gotta get ready for a great team that can do that to you, that can score a lot of points, so we’ve got a lot to improve on,” Applewhite said.
The entire game can be summarized in the first half. Houston forced Rice into three turnovers and racked up five touchdowns and a field goal, going into halftime with a 38-0 lead. That would be enough scoring for Houston for the rest of the game.
Thanks to a second-half Owls field goal, the final score was 38-3.
The Cougars celebrated their fourth consecutive win over the Owls since 2011 by having linebacker Matthew Adams take the trophy to the student section to let the fans touch, and the team gave out high-fives to their supporters.
Next week, UH goes up against Texas Tech, their second Power Five opponent of the season. The wait to see what moves the Cougars will do next couldn’t come soon enough.
“I think we are gonna have a pretty good, flashy year this year,” Houston wide receiver Linell Bonner said.