If you don’t an unaware fan that the best player in college football was playing in this game, they wouldn’t have identified Louisville’s Lamar Jackson after watching. Instead, they would have easily picked Houston defensive tackle Ed Oliver.
Oliver shocked the world last year when — as a five-star recruit — he committed to Houston over the usual college football powerhouses. On Thursday, he proved just why he had that five-star rating, as he continuously disrupted Louisville’s offensive line to get to the Heisman frontrunner Jackson. Houston had an impressive 11 sacks on the evening, including a safety at the end of the game to really seal the deal.
Oliver, who came into the game as Houston’s leading tackler, helped the Cougars pitch a shutout in the first half, as Houston jumped out to a shocking 31-0 lead. Louisville was able to score in the second half, but they were never able to completely recover, and they lost 36-10.
After Houston fell under the radar after their embarrassing loss to SMU earlier the season, they are now the only team in college football that can boast two wins over teams that were ranked in the Top 5 when they played. The Cougars beat then No. 3 Oklahoma to open the season, and that game looked a lot like this one where Houston just dominated the line of scrimmage.
Houston moves to 9-2 on the season with the win. The loss likely eliminates Louisville from all Playoff contention.