Thursday, November 17, 2022

Cougars lose to SMU in shootout, then get past Temple in a nail-biter

I've been very busy these past few weeks: back-to-back weekend weddings in Louisiana, a trip to Miami for a conference, and tomorrow Corinne and I are going to Italy (!) to visit some of her family for Thanksgiving. So I haven't had a lot of time to write about UH football. Some quick thoughts about the last two games:

Houston 63, SMU 77: That's right... The Cougars scored 63 points. And lost.

The combined 140 points in this game set the NCAA single-game scoring record for two teams in regulation; for purposes of comparison, the score of the most recent basketball game between the two schools was Houston 75, SMU 61.

Clayton Tune threw for seven touchdowns in this game and rushed for one more, while SMU QB Tanner Mordecai threw for nine touchdowns and ran for a score as well. The difference in this game is that Tune threw three interceptions, while Mordecai threw none.

I don't know why neither team decided to play defense - I wasn't playing close attention to this game because I was watching another Houston sports team that evening - but the end result was a loss that Ryan describes as "hard to digest." 

Houston 43, Temple 36: Vegas had the Coogs favored by 20 in this game, but the Owls didn't get the memo. They pulled out all the stops, even scoring on a fake field goal attempt, and kept pace with the Cougars the entire game. Temple actually took a one-point lead with 1:22 left in the game; however, Clayton Tune found wide receiver Matthew Golden open for a beautiful 44-yard touchdown pass with 40 seconds left to seal the UH victory.

A bright spot for Houston was RB Stacy Sneed, who rushed for 143 yards and two touchdowns. 

Coming off the previous week's shellacking at SMU, Houston's defense gave up 533 total yards to Temple in this game. Before the season began, UH defensive coordinator Doug Belk was being hyped up as a future head coach. Once the season ends, he's likely to find himself unemployed. 

What It Means: The Cougars are now bowl-eligible with two games left to play in the 2022 season.

Due to my upcoming trip, I will not be able to watch or attend either of the final two games. If I had to guess, the Coogs will lose at East Carolina and defeat Tulsa at home to end with a very mediocre 7-5 record. Then it's on to a minor bowl game.

This is not what anybody expected when the season started, and it's certainly not a harbinger of success as the program moves to the Big 12 next year.

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