Another hard-fought defensive struggle against a ranked team on the road, and, unfortunately, another close loss.
The Good: the UH defense has become the story of the season. They held the Louisville Cardinals to their lowest point total of the season and kept Cardinal QB Teddy Bridgewater, whose name has appeared on some Heisman watch lists, from completing a touchdown pass for the first time in 21 games. Special teams also recovered a muffed punt by Louisville, which Houston turned into a field goal.
The Bad: unfortunately, the UH defense had little answer for Louisville running back Dominique Brown, who gained 137 yards and two touchdowns on 27 carries. Worse yet, the Cougar offense was utterly anemic, save the second quarter. Quarterback John O'Korn completed only 16 on 35 passes for 121 yards (he was not helped by receivers who dropped too many catchable balls), and the Cougar ground game could only manage a paltry 74 yards. The playcalling was generally poor, as well.
What it Means: not much, quite honestly. The Cougars were effectively eliminated from the conference title race after losing to Central Florida last week, so this week's loss carries little effect. However, the toughest portion of the Coogs' season is now over and they return to Houston to play their final two games of the season.
Next Saturday's game against Cincinnati has been moved from Rice Stadium to BBVA Compass Stadium.