Cougars Have Been Great In One-Point Games

Case Keenum made a habit of winning close games
Case Keenum made a habit of winning close games

To make good seasons great, you’ve got to win close games. There are a couple of different types of “close games” that I want to examine here.

One-Point Games

UH has been surprisingly good in one-point games. Since the year 2000, the Cougars are 7-3 in one-point games and have won 5 of their last six games decided by a single point.
Here’s a quick look back at those last six games:
Vs. Memphis (2015): W, 35-34 – The Cougars came from 20 points down in the last 13 minutes for the win. Kyle Postma tied the game with a 7-yard run with 1:27 left and Ty Cummings put the Coogs ahead in front of a record TDECU crowd of 42,159.
Vs. Pitt (2014): W, 35-34 – The Cougars came back from 25 down in the 4th quarter to stun Pitt, 35-34. UH scored 29 points in the quarter including a two-point conversion that gave the Coogs the win. UH recovered two onside kicks in the last 4 minutes for the improbable win.

Greg Ward
Greg Ward engineered the miracle in Fort Worth

Vs. BYU (2013): L, 47-46 – UH had a 38-34 halftime lead and a six-point lead going into the 4th quarter at NRG. BYU scored to take the lead early in the 4th before a UH score took the lead back. A two-point conversion failed and UH led 46-41. BYU scored with 68 seconds to play (missed the two-point conversion) and won 47-46.
Vs. LaTech (2011): W, 35-34 – After a second 3rd quarter score, LaTech held a commanding 34-7 lead. The Cougars stormed back with 28 unanswered points in the last 20 minutes for the win. Patrick Edwards and Bryce Beall each scored twice in the comeback.
Vs. Tulsa (2009): W, 46-45 – Last November, we wrote about perhaps the most incredible comeback in UH history, the Coogs scored twice in the last 21 seconds of the game. Matt Hogan’s 51-yard field goal as time expired is perhaps the most dramatic play in UH history.
Vs. Texas Tech (2009): W, 29-28 – We also wrote about Dana Holgorsen’s brilliant play-calling late in the 2009 Tech game. UH trailed by 11 in the first half before coming back in the fourth quarter for a dramatic win. UH shut out the potent Tech offense over the last 19 minutes and Case Keenum scored on a QB option with 49 seconds left.
Other one-point games since 2000:
Miami (2006): L, 14-13
Rice (2006): W, 31-30
Cincinnati (2001): L, 29-28
Army (2000): W, 31-30
It’s notable that in the 9 games listed above that were played before TDECU was completed, only two of them happened at Robertson (Army 2000 and Tech 2009).

Three-Point Games

The 2006 season was UH’s first 10-win season in over 15 years. But what could have been? The 3 regular season losses came by a combined 8 points.
The Cougars are 16-16 in three-point (or less) games since 2000. Major Applewhite was 1-2 in such games (win @Arizona, losses to Tech and @Tulane in 2017). Tom Herman was 3-1, Tony Levine was 0-2, Kevin Sumlin was 3-4, Art Briles was 5-6 and Dana Dimel was 3-3. David Gibbs was 1-0 in an interim role in the 2014 Armed Forces Bowl.
Some things that jump out: Dana Dimel won 8 games here in three years and 4 of those were three-points or less. 2000 could have easily been a winless season, too. Just a few bad breaks and that’s a 22-game losing streak. Egads!
The 2006 season had 4 three-point games and two were losses. The other regular-season loss was by just 4 points. Kevin Kolb’s senior year could have turned out quite a bit better with a few more clutch scores.
In May, GoCoogs wrote about UH in one-score games. The Cougars have won 35 one-score games since the year 2000.

Close Games Disappeared in 2018


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