UH/USF: the weirdest FBS game of 2021

KeSean Carter had his first 100-yard game at UH / Photo by Jason Roberts (courtesy UH Athletics)

Houston Cougar football is #17 in the AP Poll with Auburn one spot ahead of them. UH basketball is #15 in the AP with Alabama a spot in front of them.

Two kick returns for scores, a safety, and a 90+ yard touchdown run. I don’t have to look that up to confidently say it’s never happened in a UH game before. And but for an unnecessary hold, there would have been a 100-yard INT return by Marcus Jones.

There were six players in the game with 100+ all-purpose yards and would have been seven if Jones’ INT return would have stood. I can’t remember ever seeing that.

Lane Wilkins has punted 78 times in his career and teams have a total of 47 return yards against him. He is 16th in net punting this year.

Alton McCaskill is tied for 12th nationally with 12 rushing touchdowns. McCaskill is already in the top 10 for rushing TDs scored in a season at UH. He needs two more until he is in a tie for third, three more until he ties Jackie Battle’s 2006 season (15 rushing TDs) for second all-time. Greg Ward Jr. is first with 21 in 2015.

McCaskill ran for 125 yards and 3 scores Saturday. It was the 35th time in UH history that a player ran for 100 yards and scored 3 TDs.

Clayton Tune’s passer rating of 243.2 in the USF game is the 11th-highest in UH history. If the season ended today, Tune’s 2021 passer rating of 163.24 would be the third-highest efficiency season ever (174.0 Case Keenum 2011, 167.0 D’Eriq King 2018). Tune’s pace is just ahead of Kevin Kolb’s 2006 season (162.7).

Going into this season, there had been 437 kickoffs returned 100 yards in NCAA history in approximately 81,000 games (.00539 per game). There have been four in the last two UH games. Remarkable.

Two weeks ago, UH was 10th in the country in kick return defense. 10th!

UH is now 128th.

In 75 years and 7 weeks of UH football (849 games), there had been 25 total plays of 97+ yards. Seventeen of them by UH and 8 by opponents.

In the last two weeks, that number has gone up by five. SMU’s 100-yard kick return to start the second half, Marcus Jones’ response at the end of the game, USF’s two 100-yard kick returns, and Ta’Zhawn Henry’s 97-yard run.

Henry checks the videoboard to see how close USF defenders are / Photo by Jason Roberts (courtesy UH Athletics)

Fan of the game – just after Henry’s TD

The USF game was the first time in UH history that three plays of 90+ yards occurred. Two 90+ yard plays have happened once, the rainy Thursday night vs. Rice in 2011. Tyron Carrier took the opening kickoff 100 yards and Rice’s Tyler Smith went for a 97-yard TD.

The Coogs averaged .83 points per play against USF which was

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