Patrick Carr after his first touchdown.
Patrick Carr after his first touchdown. / Photo by Mario Puente

Note: This is a GoCoogs subscriber-only article that we’ve made free for all readers. Right now, GoCoogs is $30 off – get content like this several times a week during the football season when you become a GoCoogs subscriber.

Carr Should Be The Focal Point

Patrick Carr did a great job of taking the burden off of Clayton Tune in the UNT game. For the first time in his career at UH, he was the man out of the backfield and his play showed that’s exactly what his role should be.

Carr’s final numbers: 16 carries for 139 yards and 3 TDs as well as four catches for 29 yards.

But Carr’s contribution goes beyond the stat sheet: on his 20 touches, nine went for 1st downs or touchdowns (including 6 in the second half). How big a deal is that? The six touches that went for a first down or touchdown in the second-half ties the most of any game in his UH career (Tulane 2018).

In the 9 plays above, Carr breaks 10 tackles and runs around, through, and by other would-be tacklers. In those 9 plays, he had 145 total yards (16.1 ypp) – sometimes, his linemen make it easy as Jack Freeman does here in the 3rd quarter.

Freeman cancels the NT #97:

The best part of that play, of course, is the safety #4 waiting a yard deep until Carr scores before he tackles him.

GoCoogs highlighted #4 in an earlier article when he took a ride on top of the Carr on the opening TD:


Carr Slips Out For The Screen

The UNT game was Carr’s first time catching a ball this season (King threw to him once in the Tulane game – a drop). In two previous seasons on the roster, Carr caught just 3 balls for 4 yards (those 4 yards came against Rice in 2017). Last year, he caught a ball vs. Tulsa (-1 yard) and another against Memphis (1 yard).

Five of Carr’s 7 receptions have been thrown by Tune despite the QB starting only 3 games. Major refused to use him as a weapon out of the backfield, yet another indictment of the worst head coach in UH history.

But in Denton, Carr showed what he can do as a ball-catching back. He picked up a critical first down in the second drive of the game (led to a TD) and started off the second half with a catch in the flat as he rumbled 11 yards to get into UNT territory (also led to a TD).

Carr helped to extend drives and make his QB’s job a lot easier. Finally, Patrick Carr became a more consequential part of the offense. If the staff has any sense, that will continue.

In 2018, Carr averaged just under 12 touches a game but he’s over 15 so far this year (in the last two games, he’s over 18 touches a game). Kyle Porter is a competent back and deserves his share but I believe Carr has to stay in the 18-20 range. Doing so will help Clayton Tune and this offense potentially turn the season around.

With a new QB and a slower offensive pace than in years past, the Coogs need a big back making critical runs late in the game. In the 4th quarter vs. UNT, Carr was only given 3 carries but picked up 30 yards. Most importantly, all three carries resulted in first downs that extended drives and ran the clock.

Patrick Carr is UH’s most important player now. His ability to catch the ball out of the backfield will open it up for other backs and the receivers, too. It’s time to commit to giving him the touches he needs – let him be the workhorse for this offense.

Thank You For Reading!

NEW! GoCoogs has lowered our subscription price during the off week. Right now, an annual membership to GoCoogs is just $59.99. That’s $30 our regular price! Subscribe now!

Get more Houston Cougar analysis, more film study, and more player insights when you become a member of!

See All Subscription Benefits

After your first year, your subscription renews at the regular rate available at that time.