Wednesday, September 25, 2019

Houston 31, Tulane 38

Good thing that the remnants of Tropical Storm Imelda caused my flight to New Orleans to be canceled so I didn't have to witness this travesty in person. It was hard enough to have to watch on TV.

The Good: The Coogs scored on the first play from scrimmage and jumped out to a 28-7 lead early in the second quarter. D'Eriq King threw for 229 yards and two touchdown passes, while the Cougar ground attack accounted for 304 yards and two more touchdowns on the evening. The UH defense recovered a Tulane fumble, making it 21 games in a row - the longest active streak in FBS - that the Cougars have recorded a turnover.

The Bad: In what has become a pattern for the Coogs this season, Houston was completely impotent in the second half. The Green Wave scored 24 unanswered points to take the lead, 28-31, midway through the fourth. During that stretch the Cougars missed two field goals and punted three times.  The Cougars finally made a field goal of their own to tie the game with 21 seconds left. It looked like things were headed to overtime, but then this happened:

It was a stunning and bitter way to lose, but let's face it: after blowing a 21-point lead, the Cougars honestly had no business winning that game at all.

The Ugly: Third Quarters. As Ryan explains, ugly is the only description. Through four games the Cougars have scored a total of 10 points - and given up 42 - during the third quarter. Something is horribly wrong in the locker room if the team consistently comes out flat like this.

What It Means: The Cougars are now 1-3 on the season and at this point are probably looking at a losing record. This is perhaps one of the reasons quarterback D'Eriq King made a stunning announcement earlier this week that he has decided to take advantage of the NCAA's new redshirt rules and sit out the remainder of the 2019 season. Wide receiver Keith Corbin made a similar announcement.

Both players claim that they have no plans to transfer and will return to the team in 2020; I honestly have a hard time believing that. Coach Dana Holgorsen, for his part, claims that these developments do not mean that the Cougars are giving up on the 2019 season. However, given everything else that is wrong with this team right now, it's hard to believe that this team can be even remotely competitive without its main offensive weapon.

At the very least, the brutal Sunday-Saturday-Friday-Thursday stretch of six-day weeks is over (thanks alot, ESPN!). Next up for the Coogs is a trip to Denton for the 2019 Edition of the Mean Green Cougar Red Bowl.

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