Beyond the box score: Texas Tech

Dana Holgorsen during the Alma Mater
Dana Holgorsen during the Alma Mater / Photo by Mario Puente

UH combined the best first quarter the program has had in 3 years with the worst half UH has seen in 17 years.

UH was 3/3 on 4th downs in the first quarter. Holgorsen went for it on 4th down at his own 34 and the Tech 16 in the first drive and from the Tech 45 in the second. Potentially, that’s 109 yards and two scores that don’t happen without those conversions. UH ran 24 plays for 129 yards in the first quarter.
The Cougars had 49 snaps for 122 yards in the final three quarters.
Houston’s 3 touchdown drives accounted for 37 plays and 204 yards. The other 36 plays resulted in 47 total yards.
UH had 6 yards in the 3rd quarter, the lowest yardage total for a quarter since the 2nd quarter vs UTSA in 2014 (2 yards).
UH had 7 yards in the 3rd quarter of that UTSA game.
The Cougars had -18 yards rushing in the second half Saturday night. Against UTSA in 2014, UH had -53 yards rushing in the first half (and for 3 quarters since Levine’s offense did not attempt a rush in the 3rd quarter).
The Tech game was Clayton Tune’s third time to throw 4 INTs in a game in 18 starts. It is the 6th time he’s thrown multiple INTs in a game.
It is Tune’s sixth straight game with an INT. He has thrown 7 in his last two games.
Tune was sacked 4 times by Texas Tech. He’s been sacked 3 or more times in 10 of his 18 starts at UH.
He has taken 8 sacks in his last two games.
In the last two games, Tune has thrown an INT or taken a sack in 10% of UH’s offensive snaps. When eliminating runs by other players, Tune takes a sack in 15.5% of plays (97 snaps) in the last two games.
In his first start as a freshman, against Memphis on the road on a windy 50-degree day, Clayton was 18-43 for 256 yards and 3 TDs and 1 INT. He was sacked 5 times. Against Tech, nearly 3 years later, he was 27-38 for 174 yards and 2 TDs and 4 INTs. He was sacked 4 times.

Until the last two drives, Tech had run just 42 plays for 257 yards. The Red Raiders were just 1/6 on 3rd down through 3 quarters. From late in the first quarter until halftime, UH was 4/6 on 3rd down but just 2/11 the other 43 minutes.
The UH running backs combined for 22 attempts for 40 yards. Car’s 17-yarder accounted for nearly half of those yards; otherwise, the RBs had 21 rushes for 22 yards.
On 3rd and 1 in the 1st quarter, UH had a false start (Keenan Murphy). On 4th and 1 in the 4th quarter, Tune took a delay of game. Inexcusable. Murphy (hold) and Tune (grounding) were UH’s other two offensive penalties.
On the delay, it took 7 seconds from the time McCaskill was stopped until the play clock started. UH had 47 seconds to get a play in and get it snapped. The team broke the huddle with 18 seconds and Dell went in motion and was set at 11 seconds. That horrendous mistake was on Tune (although Holgorsen could have called time out, too).
Tune was 16/21 for 103 yards in the first half which is 6.44 yards per completion. He was 11/17 in the second half for 71 yards, for 6.45 ypc. But three of his 6 second-half incompletions were INTs.
The UH offense has been held under 300 yards five times in Dana’s 21 games. Saturday was the second-worst total yardage game since 2016.

Sub-300 yard games under Holgorsen
2019 Tulsa – 231 yards
2021 Tech – 251 yards
2019 Memphis – 256 yards
2020 Cincinnati – 282 yards
2019 UConn – 284 yards

In addition, the 2020 Hawaii produced just 307 yards.
In 13 out of Dana’s 21 games, the offense has scored 3 or fewer touchdowns. To compare, Major Applewhite’s offense scored 3 or fewer 11 times in 26 games.
The Cougars finished with just 53 yards in the second half. The last time that happened in a half? The first half against Rice in 2004 (also the season opener at NRG). That day, UH had 53 yards on 31 snaps in that half.
Outside of the 2013, when NRG served as UH’s home stadium, UH is 2-6 in games played there.

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