Beyond the box score: Memphis game

Thabo Mwaniki in the USF game / Photo by Mario Puente


 
Marcus Jones is the #1 punt returner in the nation with 96 more yards than the man trailing him in 2nd place. He’s also gained more yards in punt returns by himself than any other team in the country.

1. Marcus Jones (317 yards)
2. Kansas State (309)
3. TCU (304)
4. SMU (261)
5. SDSU (245)

Jones has the fourth-most punt return yards in a season in UH history despite playing just 6 games.
 

The Cougars converted just 5 of 16 third-down attempts against Memphis and were just 2/10 on 3rd downs of 5+ yards. Clayton Tune was 2/11 on 3rd for 17 yards. UH picked up just 37 yards on those 16 3rd-down attempts.
 

Other than the game-winning drive, the quick-strike offenses from UH and Memphis appear to be gone. The first nine offensive scores in the game averaged 4:24 of game time.

The game’s four field-goal drives before the game-winner averaged 5:45 in TOP.
 

The 30 completions and 49 attempts were both career-highs for Clayton Tune. And the 84 snaps were the most under Dana Holgorsen.
 

UH is 115th nationally in penalties per game and penalty yards per game.
 

Excluding the kneel down before the half, UH had six non-scoring drives on the day. Those drives totaled 27 plays and 76 yards (2.8 ypp).
 

The USF game was 29% of this season’s rushing yards total (37 carries, 319 yards). UH ranks 76th in the country in yards per game and would be around 100th without the USF game. USF added .75 yards to the season per-carry average.
 

Freshman punter Laine Wilkins has allowed 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, -4, and 0 yards in returns this year. That’s #2 in the country behind A&M’s Aussie (-6 yards).
 

Before the game-winning FG, UH had scored 1 more point than their opponents this year (226-225)
 

In his 18 FBS games at UH, Dana Holgorsen’s teams have been even or lost the turnover battle 15 times. The Coogs are 3-12 in those games with wins over UNT in 2019 and Tulane and Navy in 2020. UH has won the turnover battle just once in 2020 (USF game).

The Cougars are 115th in turnover margin this season.
 

UH is 6th in the country in 4th down conversions (80%). Saturday’s 5 fourth-down conversions were the second-most in the NCAA this season. Teams have converted more fourth-down attempts in a game just 11 times in the last 7 years.
 

If you eliminate Navy and Tulane (non-passing teams), UH has passed for more yards in a game just once in 15 tries under Dana Holgorsen. It was the Cincinnati game this season (the Bearcats ran for 342 yards).
 

UH was 96th in the country in rush defense after the Cincinnati game (201.8 ypg) thanks to the 695 yards UCF and the Bearcats put up in back-to-back weeks.

But in the last two games, the UH defense has come back alive: Joe Cauthen’s boys have allowed just 200 yards total in those games (2.82 ypc). The Coogs are now up to 73rd (172.7 ypg).