The University of Houston Cougars ended their disappointing 2004 campaign with a 27-65 loss to Louisville last Saturday at Robertson Stadium. The Coogs were actually able to keep the score close for much of the game and only trailed the 11-ranked Cardinals 27-35 early into the fourth quarter. But the Cardinals scored 30 points in the fourth quarter, including two points on a safety resulting from a bad Cougar snap, and the Cougars ended a sour season on a sour note.
The 2004 season was, needless to
stay, a huge step backward from the success of
2003. A grossly unfavorable schedule, combined with the
loss of several key players to graduation, academic
ineligibility or injury, resulted in a 3-8 record –
the Coogs’ 14th losing season out of the last 20. A
Cougar offense which scored an average of 34.5 points per
game last year sustained key losses to the offensive line
and receiving corps and only managed to score 20.9 points
per game this season. There was only minor improvement in
the porous defense over last season, and special teams
saw a wholesale regression from the previous year.
Bright spots? If
you’re somebody who believes in so-called
“moral victories,” then you’re pleased
that the Cougars covered the spread against the
powerhouse Miami Hurricanes or that they were able to
force Southern Mississippi into a thrilling overtime
game. But, quite frankly, I find it hard to find many
positives about the 2004 Cougar football season. It
started badly (with a loss to Rice) and went downhill
from there. Thankfully, it is over.
Some Cougar fans are
already looking forward to 2005; there’s hope that,
with a good recruiting class, some offseason adjustments,
and a more favorable schedule, the 2005 season could be a
good one for Houston. But I’m not going to get
excited yet; the start of the 2005 season is over 9
months away, and, as this past season clearly showed,
there’s a lot of work that needs to be done between
now and then.
(Retroblogged on August 23, 2015.)