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Saturday, August 20, 2022

Football

Defense steals the show in Cougars’ game against Tulane


All eyes were focused on freshman quarterback Terrance Broadway, but it ended up being the Cougars’

Defensive tackle David Hunter (95) and middle linebacker Marcus McGraw (55) were able to apply pressure when it counted, sandwiching Tulane quarterback Kevin Moore. | Jairo Razo/The Daily Cougar

defense that took the spotlight.

“We knew this would be a defensive game because we had some key injuries on the offense and we stepped up big,” cornerback Loyce Means said. “The penalties helped as well. There were some big time plays for the group, not just one person.”

The Cougars had comfortable lead before surrendering back-to-back touchdowns ending the second quarter with the score 21-14. Returning from the locker room, the Cougars strolled away with victory after delivering solid performances from special teams and defense.

Saturday’s affair was highlighted by several individual defensive performances. Means posted two interceptions returning one interception 42 yards for a touchdown with 2:50 remaining in the fourth quarter.

Head coach Kevin Sumlin said that he couldn’t be prouder of the way that his team, especially the defense, responded to the situation.

“To be in that situation, and see how people responded – particularly our kicking game and our defense – when we had to have something done by those groups,” Sumlin said. “I think it says volumes for who we are right now.”

Holding Tulane to 105 yards rushing, the Cougars were loose in pass coverage allowing backup quarterback Kevin Moore to complete 12 of 26 for 156 yards for two touchdowns of 13 and 36 yards.

The Cougars defense was relentless in the first quarter, holding Tulane’s offensive production to 11 plays for 31 yards with only 8 yards rushing. Adding to the punishing defensive first quarter assault, Phillip Steward intercepted Tulane quarterback Ryan Griffin with 9:13 left in the first quarter.

Defensive coordinator Brian Stewart said that the game was filled with ups and downs, but that there were more positives than negatives.

“It was a good day overall defensively,” Stewart said.

“The even flow of the football game, the peaks and the valleys, you really can’t pinpoint one thing. But at the end we just had to shut it down and play good defense. Luckily, that’s exactly what we did.”


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