Beyond the Box Score: Whoa & Woe


Whoa! No kickoffs out of bounds, and every single one was a touchback for Bubba Baxa. But woe: the missed PAT was a good snap and hold – he just yanked it.


That’s points by quarter (regulation). It looks worse in a table:


Eight of 12 quarters with 7 points or less. Woe Half the quarters with three or fewer points. Woe. Each game had two quarters of 0 or 3 points. Woe.

Kansas punted on their first two drives of the game but never did so again, which means Nathaniel Dell did not attempt a punt return, which means, for the first time in 2022, he didn’t have a first-quarter touchdown called back by penalty.

The UH offense wants to own the clock, and Dana Holgorsen has made this a cornerstone of his time at UH: keep the defense off the field. But it’s not working this year. After holding it over 35 minutes in regulation vs. the Roadrunners, UH has had it for just 51:15 in the last two games combined.

The first odd prime number is 3 – and this is odd:

33 penalties
.333 win percentage
-.33 turnover margin
3(rd) in net punting
3 sacks a game
3.33 sacks allowed per game
3 fumbles
in 3 games.

If you’re taking a shot after every UH penalty, you probably need to be in a program.

In nine seasons at TDECU, seven opponents have scored over 40 points (2014-Present):


*Major Applewhite

Dana Holgorsen has only coached 13 games against FBS opponents at TDECU Stadium. But his defenses have four of the five worst performances in points given up in stadium history. Against those FBS home opponents, UH has given up 34.9 ppg (and scored 35.8).

Holgorsen’s TDECU Record (2019-Present): 6-7

Losses by 3+: 7
Losses by 7+: 6
Losses by 14+: 5

Wins by 3+: 6
Wins by 7+: 6
Wins by 14+: 3

Clayton Tune threw only one ball past 20 yards in the Kansas game – the first time since ECU 2021 (also a rain game). However, he was pretty good over the middle (16/20, 208, 1TD, 1INT).

Victim of poor blocking: Christian Trahan has just five targets this season (woe), but he’s caught all five (whoa). He was targeted 14 times in the first three games a year ago and had seven targets in 2020’s first three games.

Trahan has stayed in to block on 64% of his snaps, while freshman TE Matt Byrnes blocks on 83%. Together, the two tight ends block on 67% of snaps played (174), with 86% of those in the run game.

Another prime number: 131. That’s the number of teams in FBS. UH is 131 in penalties, penalties per game, and penalty yards per game. DFL.

The silver lining is that the Coogs are just 129th in total penalty yards.

Other categories UH is 110th+ nationally in:

4th down conversions (119)

First down defense (124)
Passing yards allowed (116)
Red zone defense (110)
Sacks allowed (120)
Scoring defense (120)
Total defense (118)

The category that you think would be 100+ is rush defense, right? UH is 93rd in that category, but the numbers are startling yet unsurprising simultaneously.

25/76/0 (3.04ypc)
40/287/4 (7.18ypc)

Starting running backs have carried it 25 times against UH for 76 yards and zero touchdowns. Discounting sack numbers (which shouldn’t be in rushing stats to begin with), starting quarterbacks have run 40 times against UH for 287 yards and four TDs.

Those QB numbers should clean themselves up against Rice and Memphis, but Tulane will be tricky. Greeny QB Michael Pratt can run (he did not show that last year at Yulman, though).

Would anyone have guessed it would be this way defensively?

On the 16 dropbacks where KU pressured Tune, he completed just one pass (six attempts). For the year, he’s 9/30 passing (30%) on 49 dropbacks when pressured. He’s turning some of those into positive plays with his legs, but, far too often, the Cougars go off-schedule because they can’t handle pressure.

UH is in the bottom half statistically (#66-130) in 28 categories nationally (and #64 or #65 in four others).

There are 47 total categories.

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