Beyond the box score: September numbers weren’t pretty

Happy Greg Ward Day to all that celebrate. But really, why wouldn’t you celebrate? We got into the weeds of the Tech game on the Talkin’ podcast on Sunday. Some quality ranting there. But now, let’s go beyond the box score and look at some good and some definite ungood from the Tech game and the first month of the season.

Alt article title: don’t wake me up when September ends

the daily #63 | 10/2/2023 | Archives

I’m hard-pressed to understand the second half in Lubbock. To start the half, Parker Jenkins caught a ball for a 12-yard gain and ran for four yards on the next play. A lot of times, you get subbed in that spot, but Jenkins was not. Ok. On the next play, Tank Jenkins gets shoved to the side, and the DT hits and forces a fumble by Donovan Smith.

Over the next 28 snaps, Parker Jenkins touches the ball once (12 other rush plays in this period). How does that happen? Why erase him until the game is decided?

This team cannot put four quarters together unless the opponent is abysmal. I count three of them over the last 18 games: Navy ’22, ECU ’22, and SHSU ’23.

For all the bad, there’s some good: the Coogs are 9th nationally in turnover margin.

Before this season, UH was 14-3 under Dana when no INTs were thrown. Now 16-4.

UH is 99th in scoring defense, 99th in rush defense, 101 in total defense, and T-105 in rush TDs allowed. Consistency.

31 teams have attempted 12 or more fourth downs, and 29 of those have converted five or more. One team has converted four (Indiana), and another has converted two (Houston). UH is 125th in fourth down conversion percentage.

Which is actually better than their ranking in fourth-down conversion percentage defense: 129. Out of 130 teams.

UH is one of 10 teams that have not lost a fumble this season. The record of the other nine? 32-11.

W/L by TV Network:
0-1 Fox
1-0 FS1
0-1 NFL Network
0-1 FS2
1-0 ESPN+

Here’s something: The WVU game is on FS1.

The Cougars have played ten halves this season, scoring 14 or fewer points in seven.

Opponents are out-scoring the Coogs 56-34 in the first quarter.

UH’s defense was atrocious when Tech was still trying to score. Tech scored touchdowns on four of their first five offensive drives. They weren’t cheap drives, either: 74, 75, 75, and 80 yards. They were gaining 8.2 per, but they had four plays for 5 yards on the fourth TD. Take those out, and they were averaging 9 yards a play.

Where’s the magical Belk defense we’ve been promised? Or was he pretty good in 2021 with two shutdown corners against the worst schedule in UH history?

UH drive chart after halftime:
7 plays, punt
11 plays, downs
5 plays, punt
3 plays, punt
3 plays, punt
5 plays, merciful end of game

UH shut down the Rice and SHSU rushing attacks. They combined for 121 yards on the ground on 56 attempts (2.16 ypc). Dominant.

But UTSA, TCU, and TTU combined to run it 123 times for 697 yards (5.67 ypc). Each of the three ran for over 200 yards.

Tech had 161 rush yards on 18 attempts in the second half, 8.94 per attempt. UH had 17 attempts for 54 yards after halftime (3.18).

Tech willed their way into rush yards:

23 – 1st quarter
55 – 2nd quarter
76 – 3rd quarter
85 – 4th quarter

UH is ranked 75th or worse nationally in 21 of the 43 team stats tracked by the NCAA. Houston is 10th or worse in the league in 24 of 43.

The Cougars are tops in the Big 12 in turnovers lost and fumbles lost and second in turnovers gained and turnover margin.

Stewart J. Guss, Injury Accident Lawyers, is proud to be a corporate sponsor as the Official Personal Injury Law Firm for the University of Houston Athletics.

“As a University of Houston alum, I am honored that the University of Houston Athletics chose our firm to be their official and exclusive personal injury law firm,” says Stewart J. Guss, the firm’s founder.