Beyond The Box Score: The Tulane Win

Marcus Jones on the return / Courtesy: Houston Athletics

We go beyond the box score with Stats, Numbers, Oddities, Research, Etc:

On this week’s Talkin’ Bout Them Cougars podcast, Dane Roy said that Marcus Jones was a special punt returner. He discussed how they battled each other every day. Jones got his first chance at returning punts in a game Thursday.

Yes, it’s true: Marcus Jones put it on the ground twice on Thursday night (only one was ruled a fumble). But it’s also true that he had a historic night returning punts.

Since (at least) 2005, UH has had a 100-yard day in total punt returns just twice: Tulane 2011 and Tulane 2015. UH had 108 punt return yards against Tulane again in 2020. All 108 were from Marcus Jones.

Jones’ 108 punt returns yards are just the second time a UH player has gone over 100 in a game since (at least) 2005. Demarcus Ayers did it in New Orleans in 2015 (175 yards).

Jones’ one-game tally is more than UH’s total punt return yardage in 5 different seasons since 2012:

OccurrencePunt Return Yards
Marcus Jones
in 1 game


Seen another way:

Previous 102 games: 1,045 yards
Marcus Jones in 1 game: 108

That’s over 10% of the total yardage of the last 8 years.

The Cougars had just one three-and-out the entire game – midway through the first quarter.

It’s only one game but …

UH is #1 in the country in total defense at 211 yards per game. And the Coogs are #3 in scoring at 49 ppg.

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