Player reaction to the Baylor win & Holgorsen’s ‘makes sense’ comment


Houston beat Baylor, 25-24, in overtime on Saturday. It wasn’t the prettiest win, but at this point, any win should be celebrated for the three teams coming from the American. UCF and Cincinnati are 0-10 against the “Hateful 8” schools that remain from the prior iteration of the Big 12. UH now has two wins against the remaining group.

Here are some highlights from the postgame player availability:


And news and notes and player video from after the game:

The Cougars ran just 53 plays in regulation – the same number they ran against West Virginia.

It was the first win over Baylor since 1993. Since the end of the Southwest Conference, UH has wins over Rice, SMU, Texas Tech, and Baylor. The Cougars have not beaten TCU (0-6) or Texas (0-4) and have not played Arkansas or Texas A&M.

With the win, UH is now 28-28 against former SWC rivals since the league broke apart in the summer of 1996, with 14 of those wins coming over Rice, 12 against SMU, and once each vs. Texas Tech and Baylor.

Dalton Carnes made his second-straight start replacing Jack Manjack IV. Dana said in the postgame that he expects Manjack back next week.

In an ESPN+ pregame interview, Dana Holgorsen commented on the Kansas State game, a remark that some people online have objected to. Here’s his quote:

That was a tricky game. We’ve had some emotional games here in the month of October. Go up there, play a really good Kansas State, just made no sense to our players, to be honest with you. It will over the course of time in the Big 12, but not now.

This game here, this game makes sense to our university, it makes sense to our players.

In his postgame press conference, he made a similar comment about the Kansas State game not making sense to the players. I asked him for more context on those comments. His response:

It’s just foreign. It’s just foreign. It’s hard. For the last 28 years, being in Group of 5 conferences, you have a war against West Virginia, you have a war against Texas, and then you gotta go play Kansas State. In years past, it would be like you gotta play SMU or CIncinnati, and then you go play Temple.

You’re seeing it in this league. This was a big step for us today, it was a big step, and I’m very proud of it. This game makes sense to our team. They grew up watching Baylor. They have a lot of friends and former teammates that are on Baylor’s team.

Later, he said:

This game just made sense. That game last week, it’s going to take a couple of games against those guys. You know, we’re going to have to keep building to be able to handle that, in that situation, after emotional games. It is what it is.

College football is not played on a flat emotional plane. Getting up for three games in a row is virtually impossible for college players, but UH’s effort in the Kansas State game could have been significantly better. The team responded this week, not with a great game, but with a determined effort and made winning plays in the clutch.

“I’d say our team did very good with just moving on from a huge loss like that and just having our minds set,” quarterback Donovan Smith said after the game. “So I’m very proud of the guys just not letting that affect this game and everything and just making sure we handle our business and do what we need to do to win the game.”

Next week, UH hosts Homecoming Saturday night game against the Cincinnati Bearcats. UC comes to Houston having lost seven in a row, two of the last three by five points. Cincinnati is 1-4 in one-score games, while UH is 3-2. The Bearcats put up 515 yards (7.4 yards per play) against UCF Saturday but had two turnovers, eight penalties, and missed a game-tying two-point conversion with less than 90 seconds left.

Which UH team shows up?