The biggest play of the Tulane game for the Cougars was obviously Marquez Stevenson’s 97-yard kick return. Stevenson was patient and allowed his blockers to do their jobs in front of him and he slipped out of three tackle attempts including one on the 32-yard line that looked like it would take him down.
Stevenson’s run can be seen here:
Just for the hell of it, we recreated his run using little Angry Wave logos to represent their missed tackles. Stevenson and his convoy ran about 150 yards on this one.
Earlier this week, 2019 Ray Guy finalist Dane Roy discussed Stevenson’s return on the Talkin’ Bout Them Cougars podcast. Have a listen (1:29):
Listen to all of Dane’s visit on this week’s episode of the Talkin’ Bout Them Cougars! podcast.
Stevenson’s return is the 10th-longest kickoff return in history (his WR coach, Tyron Carrier, has 3 that are longer). Marquez also has two other 90+ yard scoring plays, both last year: a 94-yard kick return at Tulsa and a 96-yard reception against SMU.
It is the only 97-yard kick return in school history. There have been six of 100 yards, two of 99, and one of 98. The two other 97-yard plays in UH history: Johnny Jackson’s 97-yard pick-six vs. Texas in 1987 and DJ Hayden’s against UTEP in 2012.
It was the longest play of any kind for the Coogs since 2016.
The 1-2 punch of Marcus Jones on punt returns (43 of his 108 yards were in the 3rd quarter) and Stevenson on kickoffs will keep special teams coordinators busy this season. I don’t expect BYU’s 6’5, 250 lb punter Ryan Rehkow to be kicking it to Jones or kicker Jake Oldroyd giving Stevenson any chances. They’re smarter than that.
Gameplanning the UH returners might take them away from their burgeoning dance careers: