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Greg Ward picks up where he left off in Cougars' win over Sooners

Greg Ward Jr. threw for two touchdowns and 321 yards in the Cougars' win over Oklahoma. Thomas B. Shea/USA TODAY Sports

Maybe No. 15 Houston's 33-23 win over No. 3 Oklahoma on Saturday shouldn't have been such a surprise, given what Cougars quarterback Greg Ward Jr. had done in his career entering the game.

On the ground

Last season, Ward was one of two quarterbacks to rush for 1,000 yards and 20 touchdowns (Navy's Keenan Reynolds was the other).

Ward and Deshaun Watson were the only FBS quarterbacks to pass for at least 2,000 yards and rush for 1,000 last season, but Ward averaged more yards per game and more yards per rush than the Clemson star.

Ward's 44 rushes of 10 or more yards were the 13th-most in college football, more than standout running backs Alex Collins and Samaje Perine and one fewer than Ohio State's Ezekiel Elliott.

Through the air

Ward's overall passing numbers from last season don't leap off the page (2,828 yards, 17 touchdowns), but the advanced stats reveal his effectiveness.

His 78.2 Total QBR ranked 15th in the nation, ahead of Ohio State's J.T. Barrett, UCLA's Josh Rosen and Tennessee's Josh Dobbs-- all of whom entered the season with better odds than Ward to win the 2016 Heisman Trophy.

Some key advanced passing stats show nearly identical production from Ward and Clemson's Watson, as the chart indicates.

Ward in big games

After Houston's loss to Connecticut last season, a game in which Ward's play was limited because of injury, Ward played at an elite level in Houston's final three games last season -- all against 10-win teams.

Navy: Ward was 26-of-35 passing for 308 yards and three touchdowns, with 83 yards and one touchdown rushing. Houston won 52-30.

Temple: 17 carries, 148 rushing yards and two touchdowns against the Owls, who had allowed 3.8 yards per rush entering the game. Houston won 24-13.

Florida State: 25-of-41, 238 yards and one touchdown passing; 67 yards and two touchdowns rushing. Florida State had given up the fourth-fewest points per game in the nation entering bowl games (15.7) and had held opponents to seven rushing touchdowns all season before the Peach Bowl. Houston won 38-24.

With Ward at the controls, the Cougars were 4-0 against opponents in The Associated Press Top 25 last season. The only team to win more games against ranked foes last season without a loss was Stanford (5-0).

Early Heisman statement

The Heisman increasingly has become a quarterback's award with the popularity of the spread offense. Since 2000, 13 of the 16 winners have been quarterbacks.

Since the start of 2000, five quarterbacks have had 20 passing and 20 rushing touchdowns in a season. Of those five -- three (Johnny Manziel in 2012, Cam Newton in 2010 and Tim Tebow in 2007) won the Heisman Trophy that year.

Did you know?

Each of the past 10 Heisman Trophy winners finished outside the top 10 in the previous year's voting, as Ward did in 2015.