A Record Night On The Hilltop Is Hard To Digest


Giving up 77 points is just hard to process. Scoring 63 and losing is even harder to process. More on that in a minute.

There are many ways to go with Saturday night’s performance, but one sticks out.

In his last 100 games, Kelvin Sampson has given up more than 77 points just five times. In the 120 games since Dana’s hiring, Kelvin has given up more than 77 just seven times. In his career at UH, 269 games, he’s given up more than 77 points just 23 times.

The last eight times Houston had a passer throw for 500 yards, the Cougars have gone 4-4.

Tune’s 500-yard passing day is the 17th for a UH passer (all in the last 35 years). David Piland is the most recent QB to do it at LaTech in 2012. That was also a loss. Case Keenum went 4-2 in games where he threw 500+ yards – winning his most recent (Penn State in January 2012).

Clayton Tune threw seven touchdown passes, tying for 4th most in a game in school history. The SMU game was the 14th time a UH quarterback has thrown six or more touchdown passes, but the first time it happened in a loss.

Here’s a quick quiz – which one would you take? Defense A or Defense B?

Defense ADefense B
Points Per Game31.736.2
First Downs231217
Rush Yards14401452
Rush TDs1815
Pass Yards29162429
Pass TDs1725
Total Offense43563881
Yards Per Play5.56.0
3rd Down %44.5%46.2%

Defense A was Mark D’Onofrio’s in 2018, while Defense B is Doug Belk’s in 2022, both after nine games.

Nathaniel Dell is now 4th all-time at UH with 27 touchdown catches. He trails only UH royalty: Manny Hazard (31), Elmo Wright (34), and Patrick Edwards (43).

NCAA Records Fall

A couple of NCAA records fell in this game. UH and SMU set an FBS record for:

1. most points scored by both teams (regulation) (140);

2. most touchdown passes in a game by both teams (16); and

The teams tied FBS records for the most touchdowns scored by both teams (20).

Tanner Mordecai tied an NCAA record with seven TD passes in a half.

UH also tied an NCAA record for most points scored by a losing team in regulation, sharing that distinction with Rice, Washington State, and Baylor. Weirdness ensues:

1. Rice scored 63 and lost a month after beating UH 10-7 at NRG in 2004.

2. Washington State scored 63 and lost a week after beating UH at NRG in 2019.

3. Baylor scored 63 and lost against Dana Holgorsen’s WVU team in 2012. It was WVU’s first-ever Big 12 game.

The teams fell three points short of tying an NCAA record for points in a first half by both teams (94, Navy and UNT in 2007).

UH, of course, set school records for most points given up, most points given up in a first half, and most points scored in a loss.

In the last 10 games against SMU, the Cougars have given up 362 points. And that includes a shutout in 2013 and just 9 points in 2014. So in the othereight8 games, they’ve averaged 45ppg.

UH is 5-5 vs. the Ponies in that stretch after winning nine of 10 going back to 1993.

The teams combined for 38 “BIG” plays Saturday night, which are passes over 15yards and rushes over 10. UH had 489 yards on 18 BIG plays, while the Mustangs had 480 yards on 20 BIG plays. That’s 969 yards on 38 “BIG” plays – 25.5 per play.

In the other 116 snaps, the teams combined for 383 yards (3.3 ypp), which is slightly less.

Tanner Morecai threw a TD on 32.1% of his completions. Combined, he and Tune threw 16 touchdowns on 64 completions – 25% of the time.

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