Clayton Tune gets the snap
Clayton Tune gets the snap / Photo by Mario Puente

At the halfway point of the season, the UH offense has not been very good but it’s far from the worst the Cougars have fielded in the modern era (I consider the modern era to begin with Art Briles’ first season of 2003). Through six games, a few offenses have been worse:

Average Points Through 7 Games

32 in 2019
49 in 2018
26 in 2017
44 in 2016
46 in 2015
28 in 2014
41 in 2013
31 in 2012
47 in 2011
39 in 2010
41 in 2009
39 in 2008
36 in 2007
32 in 2006*
28 in 2005
19 in 2004
31 in 2003

*The 2006 team scored 193 points in the first 6 games. The 2019 team has scored 192.

From 2018 to 2019 is the second-biggest ppg drop-off in the modern era. The 2019 team also has the worst point differential through six games since 2004. Since that year, UH has finished with a negative point differential just once (2012) – the 2019 team is currently -1.

Passing Game Vs. Cincinnati Is Worst Since 2003

The 10 completions in the Cincinnati game is somewhat noteworthy. That is the fewest completions by a UH team since Kevin Kolb went 9/14 vs. UAB in 2003. That was 201 games ago.

The Coogs had 11 completions last year in the SMU game in a loss. Before that? You have to go back to 2004 to find a game with 11 or fewer completions (11, Miami at Reliant).

Cincinnati was just the 9th game in the ‘modern era’ where the Cougars have completed 12 or fewer passes. Until last year, UH had won 6 of those 7 games. In those 6 wins, the Coogs averaged 311 yards rushing and had 25 TDs on the ground. In other words, completions were not vital.

In the eight prior games with 12 or fewer completions, UH averaged just 22 attempts and did not have a game with 30 or more. Against Cincinnati, UH went 10 for 30.

In addition to the low completion numbers, the Cincinnati game was the lowest completion percentage game (33.3%) for the program since at least the 2000 season. UH had been under 40% in a game just twice in the last 20 years: the Miami game referenced above (39.2%) and the Texas State in 2012 (38.6%).

Houston had not had a regular-season 4 INT game since Tulane in 2014 (SDSU in the Hawaii Bowl was a 4 INT game). A UH team had thrown 4 INTs in 40 or fewer attempts just twice since the rain-soaked Louisville game in 2000: SDSU (34 attempts) and Tulsa in 2010 (36). That means the Coogs got to 4 INT on Saturday faster than any team in two decades.

Other Stats & Notes

These stats got me thinking: what were Dana’s worst numbers game when he was OC here in 2008-09? That would be the infamous Marshall game in 2008. UH went 22/42 in the game (52.4%). The 22 completions and the percentage were both the worst of his two-year stint (the Coogs also had 22 completions against Air Force in the FW Bowl in 2009).

At WVU, Dana had four games with 10 completions including a 10/30 game in the Heart of Dallas Bowl vs. Utah. So the Cincinnati game is tied for his lowest number of completions and completion percentage as a head coach or coordinator. The game also ties for the most INTs by his team (vs. Oklahoma State, 2017).

Back to Cincy: Marquez Stevenson was targeted 10 times in Saturday’s loss. It was the most targets of any player this year. This season, Stevenson has been targeted 51 times in UH’s 161 attempts (31.6% of the time). Wazzu was his only game with fewer than 8 targets.

The Cincinnati game was just the second time in the last three years that UH did not have a rushing TD (Memphis 2018). In two years, Tom Herman’s teams went without a rushing TD four times while it happened nine times under Tony Levine. Kevin Sumlin’s 2010 team didn’t score a rushing TD in the last four games.

Record With 0 TDs:

Holgorsen: 0-1
Applewhite: 0-1
Herman: 2-2
Levine: 1-9**
Sumlin: 2-12
Thurmond: 0-1
Briles: 2-6
Dimel: 3-9
Total: 10-41

**The lone win was the TicketCity Bowl with the 2011 team.

Wins with 0 TDs might be the only stat you’ll ever see Dana Dimel lead.

Note: Stats pulled from SRCFB and game/season stats from UHCougars.

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