The Cougars jumped out to a 14-0 lead, and then let the Kansas Jayhawks outscore them 48-16 the rest of the way in what turned out to be a dud of a home opener at TDECU Stadium.
The Good: Cougar RB Ta'Zhawn Henry. He rushed 15 times for 56 yards and a touchdown and caught five passes for another 107 yards and a score. RB Brandon Campbell broke off a 40-yard run for a touchdown as well.
The Bad: The gameday experience at TDECU. The lines to get into the stadium were slow. Concessions were understaffed and waits for food and drink were long. I realize that things were complicated by the rain and the 70-minute lighting delay that sent everybody under the concourse for cover, but it just didn't seem like gameday operations were adequately prepared for Saturday's game. Which is disappointing, considering they had two extra weeks into the season to get ready.
Also, the stadium announcer's "third down in the third ward" cheer is just stupid.
The Really Bad: The sputtering Cougar offense. Six out of Houston's 11 drives ended in a punt, a turnover (there were two), or a failed fourth-down conversion. QB Clayton Tune was sacked four times, and the offense attempted way too many ineffective running plays up the middle for little or no gain. The coaching staff's decision to settle for a field goal on the Coogs' longest drive of the day (late in the game, with the team down 18) was also a head scratcher.
The Ugly: Houston's run defense was utterly clowned by Kansas QB Jalon Daniels, who rushed for 123 yards and two touchdowns, passed for 158 yards and three scores, and was not sacked or intercepted once. Three games into the season, and it's obvious that the Cougar defense has no answer for mobile quarterbacks.
The Really Ugly: Tackling (or lack thereof), players out of position, and penalties (10 flags for 73 yards). These problem areas indicate a lack focus and discipline on the part of the Coogs.
The Really, Really Ugly: A sideline altercation between WRs Sam Brown, Jr and Joseph Manjack IV made national headlines and epitomized the disarray that the team is currently experiencing.
What It Means: Three games into the season, and it's clear that the Cougars are simply not a good team. In fact, at this point I'm beginning to doubt that they'll even have winning season.
I don't know if it's because they lost so much talent from last year's team, or because everybody brought into their offseason press, or because there's serious discord in the locker room, or because Dana Holgorsen is spending too much time at the bar and too little time preparing for games. What I do know is that right now this program is a dumpster fire. What I also know is that many of the 30,317 who showed up to watch the game last Saturday are not going to make another trip to TDECU anytime soon.
Kansas is now 4-0 all-time against Houston. Up next for the Cougars is crosstown rival Rice.
Ryan takes stock of some of UH's numbers through the first quarter of the season (they aren't pretty). Dana Holgorsen takes the blame for not having his team "ready to go," while defensive lineman D'Anthony Jones apologizes for letting the fans down. Chris Baldwin notes how the loss has killed excitement for UH football.