Sooner fans are well-acquainted with Houston quarterback Greg Ward Jr. The junior racked up 321 passing yards against Oklahoma in the season opener. Now, it's up to the Golden Hurricane to slow him down.
"I haven't seen anybody really keep him in check yet,” said TU head coach Philip Montgomery. “He's a special player. We got our hands full with him. We can't stop him, but we can hope to contain him."
What makes Ward Jr. so dangerous is his versatility. He can light you up through the air, but he can also run. He racked up 94 yards on the ground Saturday in a loss to Navy.
"You have to make a choice, are you going to rush him, and if you rush him you take a chance on him pulling it down and running,” explained Montgomery.
Linebacker Matt Linscott added, "He's a great playmaker. They have a lot of playmakers on that offense, and he's going to be a handful to handle this week. And we're going to have our work cut out for us because he's got a great grasp of that offense."
One advantage the defense has is they're used to seeing an offense this fast-paced because the Hurricane defense has been facing the Hurricane offense every practice since the preseason. That conditioning may be the difference maker come Saturday.
Running back James Flanders said, "One of these games, one of the defensive players told me they were tired because we were going too fast. I just looked at him, laughed at him."
That experience gives the Hurricane a comfort level knowing they'll face a team that likes to push the tempo like Houston.
"What we do, I know our guys have been through it. We've played 106 snaps on offense the last two ball games, I believe, so our guys are ready for that," said Montgomery.
Linscott stated, "Just to see the opposing team usually drained, that gives you confidence, and that has been allowing us to finish games."
Kickoff is set for 6 p.m. on Saturday at TDECU Stadium.