The Cougars jumped out to a 28-10 lead at halftime and held on for the homecoming win.
The Good: The Cougars scored a touchdown on a muffed Tulane punt reception early in the first half, and the QB Greg Ward Jr accounted for Houston's other three scores (two TD passes and one rush). LB Tyus Bowser played his first game since being sidelined by an injury last September, and ended the game with 11 tackles and 3 sacks. The defense scored a safety late in the game to seal the win. Punter Dane Roy had a busy evening, punting 11 times; he averaged 44.2 yards per punt.
The Bad: The reason Dane Roy punted so much is because the Cougar offense was completely ineffective, especially in the second half after Greg Ward Jr was playing with an injured shoulder. Tulane actually ended the game with more total yards (341) than the Cougars (287). The Coogs committed 7 penalties for 55 yards and turned the ball over twice.
The Ugly: The Houston offensive line is about as sturdy as your average brand of tissue paper. They cannot block for the run - the Cougars amassed a paltry 66 yards rushing for the entire game - and they gave up four sacks.
What it means: I was really hoping to see the the Cougars play better than this, especially after their halftime revival against UCF and the benefit of an off week to heal. They simply cannot expect to play like this against #3 Louisville on Thursday and be anything close to competitive.
That being said, a win is a win and the Coogs are now 8-2. They have now won at least eight games per season for the past four seasons.