Cougars Pull Out An Ugly Win…Again

Once again, the Houston Cougars played down to the competition and, once again, managed to escape with a too-close-for-comfort win over a lousy league team. It is the sixth one-score game of the season (UH is 4-2 in those games) but the first one since October 7 (Memphis).
 

Clayton Tune and Matthew Golden made plays down the stretch to get UH into the end zone for the game-winner with 40 seconds left.

Golden had one catch for four yards before the final drive but he made big plays late. He grabbed a 12-yarder for a first down, then two plays later caught the bomb from Tune. The score and two-point conversion bumped Houston from T-18 in scoring offense to 16th nationally (37.4 ppg), leapfrogging Kansas (36.9).
 

Houston Cougar Basketball and Houston Cougar Football each allowed 36 points in a home game this week.

Points allowed since last weekend:
UH Football – 113
UH Basketball – 91

Points allowed in their last three games:
UH Football – 141
UH Basketball – 140
 

UH is 4-0 against AAC teams with a losing conference record and 0-2 against teams with a winning record. The Cougars are 14-0 vs. the five worst teams from each of Dana’s first four seasons and 3-11 vs. the rest.

Houston plays at 3-3 ECU on Saturday before finishing with 1-5 Tulsa.
 

Houston’s six wins are not a murderer’s row, according to ESPN FPI and the Massey Composite (131 ranked):

 ESPN FPIMassey Composite
UTSA5744
Rice117104
Memphis5866
Navy8795
USF108122
Temple112121
AVG89.892.0

 

Through five games, Clayton Tune averaged 32.2 attempts per game while targeting Tank Dell nine times a game. Tune is averaging 11.2 more attempts in the last five games, and Dell has 5.2 more targets per. His three highest-target games in his career have come vs. Memphis (17), SMU (17), and Temple (16) in the last few weeks.

In these last five games, Dell has 52 catches for 564 yards and eight touchdowns.
 

D’Anthony Jones had seven pressures vs. the Owls but, officially, is not credited with any as of this writing.

I mean…

The forced fumble was credited to Anthony Holmes Jr. but was obviously DA. Doing in-game stats is a hard job, and there’s so much happening, but they have to get this one right.
 

Temple and Houston have played nine times, including seven as members of the AAC. In seven of the nine games, Temple scored 13 points or less. The only two they did not: the eight rushing-TD day against the Mark D’Onofrio defense in 2018 and Saturday.
 

The pass defense struggled again, giving up 486 yards passing and 3 TDs to EJ Warner. Warner went 42/59, mostly in underneath throws across the middle. Mordecai and Warner have combined to throw for 72.9% for 865 and 12 touchdowns in the last two weeks.
 

Houston was favored by 20 in the game but failed to cover. Houston is 3-7 against the spread this year and a remarkable 0-5 ATS at home this season. The Cougars are 9-1 in hitting the over (missed Tulane by half a point).
 

The Cougars are 14-2 in their last 16 conference games.
 

Houston is 99th or worse nationally in 15 major categories. The most staggering is 123rd in scoring defense, giving up 36.2 ppg. Houston is also 129th in passing yards allowed.

Oddly, the bottom 10 includes 9-1 UNC, 9-1 Tennessee, 8-2 Oregon, 7-3 Oklahoma State, 6-4 UH, and 7-3 Ohio (the Bobcats are last in the country at 316 ypg given up).
 

Tank Jenkins played more snaps at RG than Tyler Johnson. Reuben Unije played every snap at RT in UH’s final two drives.
 

Dana Holgorsen said early in the week and after the game that EJ Warner had as fast a release as any he’d ever seen. It’s hard to disagree. The ball left his hand so quickly.

 

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Jason Holmes
Jason Holmeshttp://www.hounil.com
Ryan is the publisher of GoCoogs. He is also a real estate agent and entrepreneur.
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