Thursday, October 25, 2018

Houston 49 Navy 36

The Cougars traveled to Annapolis and got off to another slow start; they could not stop Navy's option attack and trailed by as many as ten points in the second quarter. But Houston finally found their groove late in the first half and rattled off 35 unanswered points to take a 49-24 lead with six minutes left in the game. Navy scored two late touchdowns to make the final score look closer than the game actually was.

The Good: Houston linebacker Austin Robinson had a tremendous game, with 21 tackles (11 solo), including 4.5 tackles for loss and 2 sacks; he might have even set up Nick Watkins' pick six that essentially sealed the game for the Coogs. On the offensive side of the ball, D'Eriq King was his usual self with 413 passing yards with three TDs (and no INTs), and 56 rushing yards and a TD. RB Patrick Carr ran for a score as well.

The Bad: For much of the first half, the UH defense looked like it had never seen the option before. Until their last drive of the first half, the Midshipmen were averaging 7.6 yards per play. The UH defense finally figured out how to win first down and I hate to credit that turnaround on an injury to Navy quarterback Malcolm Perry, but let's face it: once he went out of the game, things got easier for the Coogs. 

The Ugly: WR Keith Corbin dropped several easy passes in the first half, and UH online forums were clamoring for him to be benched at halftime. He redeemed himself in the second half, to his credit, but the first half might have gone a lot better for the Coogs had he caught the balls that were thrown his way.

The Unacceptable: Navy attempted to injure Ed Oliver through the use of illegal chop blocks. He had to leave the game in the fourth quarter and is questionable for this weekend's game against South Florida. One hesitates to accuse service academy players of dirty play, but... Yeah, Navy played dirty. 

What It Means: The Cougars are now bowl-eligible at 6-1 and are alone atop the AAC West. 

An undefeated and ranked South Florida team comes to TDECU Stadium Saturday afternoon.

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