This past Thanksgiving weekend I went to my very first college football game, the University of Houston (UH) vs. Navy game at TDECU Stadium. The experience was way more than what I expected at the game. Being able to attend this game at the new stadium, I was able to check off a couple activities off of my bucket list, which includes attending a college football game and checking out different stadiums.
From the moment my friend and I drove in to the parking lot, the atmosphere was buzzing with Cougar pride. There were fans of both teams tailgating everywhere you looked. Not only were they in the parking lot but they were on the grass too. After hanging out in my friend’s GMC Sierra for a little while soaking in the tailgating action, we began our journey to the stadium.
As we reached the stadium, I was in awe as I looked around the giant 40,000-seat stadium. As I was gazing in amazement, I spotted a couple of monumental statues, which included one of legendary UH coach Bill Yeoman and the other was Shasta, the UH mascot. I had to take a picture with both of them, including one with my friend for a memory of our first game at TDECU Stadium.
It was getting close to game time so we circled the stadium to get to the gate. We were finally in our seat when I saw a the most beautiful sights ever at a sporting event: the majority of the stadium was covered in red, (which is the best color ever and also my favorite color) and you have a view of the gorgeous Houston skyline. Even though the majority of the stadium was red, unfortunately the whole left side of our section was filled with Navy fans. Basically we were sitting next to the opponent’s fans, but that didn’t matter because the home crowd obviously overpowered them.
The best part of the game occurred when the “Star Spangled Banner” was being performed followed by fireworks. This marked the the official beginning of the game and it was kickoff time. Things were underway at TDECU Stadium.
For approximately the next three hours I was witnessing an incredible college football game. From elusive running to incredible catches to trick plays and an electric atmosphere, this game had everything.
Navy was led by quarterback Keenan Reynolds, who holds the record for FBS all-
time rushing touchdowns with 83 and counting. I heard he was fast and he could run, but before this game, I had never seen a Navy game so I had never watched Reynolds play. Man, I was amazed! From the first play that Navy ran in the game, it was a play-action fake with Reynolds running for 52-yards. That was about the only explosive play on the ground for Reynolds because the rest of the game Tom Herman’s crew held him in check. Reynolds did manage to throw for 312-yards and a score a touchdown as well as rush for 84-yards with a four-yard touchdown. UH’s electric offense with Greg Ward Jr. under center was too much for Navy to handle as the Coogs scored 52 points and won by a margin of three touchdowns.
The best play of the day, and arguably a top play of the season for the Cougars, came from receiver Demarcus Ayers who made a SICK one-handed, leaping 62-yard touchdown catch. You can even say he “Nuk’d” it.
The halftime performance by the Cougar Marching Band did not disappoint as well as they performed Bruce Springsteen’s “Born In The U.S.A.” and also formed a peace sign on the field. The performance of “Born In The USA” was perfect timing because on the way to and from the game my friend and I listened to the entire album “Born In The U.S.A.” without having any idea they were going to perform that song.
The only aspects I wish were different about this game were the weather. I wish it was nicer instead of it being cloudy and gloomy. Also I wish I would have been at my seat during the moment of silence for legendary Cougar Head Basketball Coach Guy V. Lewis, who passed away on Thanksgiving at the age of 93.
Overall, my first college football game experience was more than a success. It was as usual, another sporting event I won’t forget.