Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Houston 17, Cincinnati 24

Another defensive struggle, another loss.

The Good: not much. The defense returned a fumble for a touchdown and made two interceptions. For the second game in a row, the Coogs only committed three penalties the entire game. And Cincinnati's field goal kicker kept Houston in the game by missing three attempts.

The Bad: everything else. In spite of the three turnovers, Cincinnati still racked up 401 yards through the air and 172 yards on the ground. The Cougar offense was utterly ineffective. Quarterback John O'Korn had a poor day, completing only 13 of 30 passes for 171 yards and a single touchdown. Of course, he got no help from receivers who dropped catchable passes, an offensive line that could not protect him, a non-existent running game, and predictable and oftentimes bizarre playcalling that led to multiple three-and-outs. Greg Ward also played quarterback but was just as ineffective.

The Ugly: the field at BBVA Compass Stadium. It was in horrible condition. I know the weather (cold and rainy) had an effect, but I was nevertheless shocked.

What it Means: I haven't seen this kind of offensive ineptitude since Kim Helton was coaching the Cougars. They've scored only 4 offensive touchdowns in the last three games and look completely out of rhythm. I know they've played some tough defenses over the past few weeks, but it really seems like offensive coordinator Doug Meacham and his squad have regressed.

This needs to be fixed against SMU Friday at Reliant Stadium. While the Cougars are bowl eligible, I certainly don't want the regular season to end on a four-game losing streak. Besides, we owe the Ponies for last year's debacle.

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