After a 30-13 loss to Texas State, Mike Nesbitt resigned as offensive coordinator, head coach Tony Levine announced on Monday.
Despite the turmoil, the Cougars said they are ready to move forward with Travis Bush at the helm of the offense.
“Today was as positive a day as we’ve had in a long time,” Levine said after practice Monday. “The kids are energized and it was a crisp upbeat practice. Do I want to stand here and be 0-1 with changes to my staff, absolutely not, but it’s where we are at.”
Bush said that he and Levine are a good match philosophically.
“We want the same things, we see the same things and it makes the transition real easy. I found out late last night and got to work last night. I fell asleep at 3:30 a.m., woke up at 5 a.m. and we’re rolling. It’s been a crazy 48 hours,” Bush said.
Bush will take over the play-calling duties while continuing to coach quarterbacks. Director of Personnel Ken McClintock will take over the position of running back coach.
“The lessons you learn in football relate greatly to life,” Bush said.
“If you’re a back-up, you have to prepare yourself to play everyday because you are one play away from being a starter — the same as in life. In my sense, I’ve been preparing myself. I’m prepared and excited for the opportunity. It’s not the best circumstances but that’s no excuse — we have a game coming in here in five days,” he said.
Bush was the offensive coordinator at UTSA last season and the team finished eighth nationally in passing with 422 yards per game and fourth in scoring with 38.3 points per game.
Bush will be tasked with improving a passing game that struggled to move the ball and convert third down attempts (1-13). Piland completed 17-44 pass attempts and threw for 211 yards.
Twelve of the Cougars’ 14 possessions lasted two minutes or less and UH lost the time of possession battle by a wide margin. Texas State held the ball for 43:09 while UH held only 16:51.
Bush said the offense needs to do the small things to be successful.
“We were close on a lot of plays, missed cuts, missed throws. We need to start converting some third downs and getting some momentum. The key for a young football team is getting confidence and momentum,” Bush said.
After the game, Levine said the Cougars’ futility in throwing deep passes was “probably the worst I’ve seen since I’ve been here five years.”
Levine also indicated a need to get redshirt junior running back Charles Sims more involved. Bush said he would do the same.