Cougars give Memphis the blues in 56-17 victory
The last time the Cougars played a team with one win, they suffered an agonizing loss to Rice.
But there was no mistaking the result Saturday, when they easily deflated Memphis 56-17.
The Cougars (5-3, 4-1 Conference USA) never faced a punting situation and compiled 651 total yards on offense. The team appears to be gaining steam at the right time of the season.
The Cougars had a comfortable 14-3 cushion in the second quarter, but the next three scores would steal the momentum and burst the game open.
A 74-yard punt return for a touchdown by Patrick Edwards made it 21-3. It was a career-long return for Edwards, and his first punt-return touchdown of his career. The last time UH scored on a punt return was in the 2005 season.
With 5:58 remaining in the third Piland threw a long pass to a double-covered Edwards. The baill sailed and looked as if it might be intercepted. Instead, Edwards snatched the ball out of the air, and waltzed in the end zone for a 54-yard touchdown reception – his second of the game.
On the Cougars’ next score running back Michael Hayes caught a 22-yard screen pass and made an acrobatic somersault over two Memphis defenders to get into the end zone, essentially sealing the win before halftime.
Piland led the way, throwing for 292 yards and five touchdowns. With the victory he improved to 2-3 as a starter.
Terrance Broadway got a chance to shine when he entered late in the third quarter. He made good use of his time, completing all four of his passes for 111 yards and a touchdown. The performance gave him a passer rating of 415.6.
He showed arm strength on two of his passes completing a 45-yard bomb to Isaiah Sweeney, and a 54-yarder to E.J. Smith for a touchdown. He also had 19 yards on four rushing attempts.
Running back Bryce Beall sustained a knee injury early in the first quarter, and was held out the remainder of the game as a precaution. Head coach Kevin Sumlin said he would be further evaluated, but the injury did not look to be severe.
With Beall on the sidelines, Michael Hayes had a career-high 123 rushing yards. He also added two catches for 36 yards and a score.
Chris Wilson received his most playing time of the season with 18 rushing attempts for 95 yards.
The team now returns to Robertson Stadium for its last two home games of the season.
UCF (6-2) edged ECU 49-35 Saturday, capturing first place in the East Division. The Knights remain perfect in C-USA with a 4-0 record.