Tuesday, October 07, 2014

Houston 12, Central Florida 17

Last Thursday's game was the first time the Cougars were held without an offensive touchdown since a 50-3 loss to Michigan in 2003. Houston had a late chance to win the game; however, while reaching out for what would have been the go-ahead touchdown with about half a minute left, Greg Ward fumbled the ball through the endzone, securing the victory for Central Florida.

The Good: Kyle Bullard accounted for all of Houston's points by hitting field goals of 39, 42, 51 and 49 yards; he had no misses. The Cougar defense held Central Florida to 10 first downs and 228 yards for the game; the two touchdowns they gave up were the result of being put in bad field position by the offense.

The Bad: Where to begin? John O'Korn's performance at quarterback - he completed only 12 of 28 passes for 98 yards, was intercepted twice, and was flagged for a personal foul penalty on the second play of the game - was so abysmal that he was benched in the second half in favor of Greg Ward (who isn't even the second-string QB on the depth chart). The receivers dropped way too many catchable passes; Deontay Greenberry had a particularly bad night in that regard. Central Florida dominated the Cougars at the line of scrimmage, and the Cougars were flagged 11 times for 99 penalty yards.

The Ugly:  Sometimes I wonder if offensive coordinator Travis Bush is actually calling plays, or if he just has a trained monkey pull plays out of a hat for him. For example, early in the game the Cougars found themselves with first and goal at UCF's two yard line. However, a truly ridiculous set of play calls, along with poor offensive execution, meant that the Cougars came away with no points. That set the tone for the evening, at least until Greg Ward came in and gave the offense a much-needed spark by playing what amounted to sandlot football.

What it Means: At this point, it's clear that Travis Bush, and very probably head coach Tony Levine, are in over their heads. Unless they can turn things around - quickly - one or both of them will likely be unemployed by seasons' end.

Next up for Houston is a trip to Memphis. I can't say I'm optimistic about that one.

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