UH quarterback, David Piland might still be throwing interceptions if the game had not come mercifully to an end.
Piland threw five interceptions in a 37-6 road loss to UCLA on Saturday at the Rose Bowl. Case Keenum had five interceptions all last season.
The Cougars were plagued with turnovers and poorly timed penalties all game, a trend that has presented itself as the Cougars have fallen to 0-3. After six more on Saturday, UH has lost the turnover battle for three consecutive weeks, respectively.
Piland did not have the benefit of a running game though. UH’s explosive running back, Charles Sims did not play, and UH’s offense labored without a threat out of the backfield.
From start to finish, UCLA was the better team on both sides of the ball.
The Bruins jumped on the Cougars early with a fumble return for a touchdown on the Cougars’ second play from scrimmage. Ronnie Williams was thrown a backwards lateral from Piland. Williams, perhaps thinking it was a forward pass, didn’t jump on the ball and recover the fumble. UCLA’s Eric Kendricks grabbed the ball and rumbled for 21 yards and a touchdown.
UCLA never looked back.
Later in the first, the Bruins extended their lead on a drive aided by UH’s mistakes on defense. The Cougars kept UCLA’s drive alive twice with penalties on third downs. Phillip Steward and D.J. Haydon both dropped interceptions that could have changed the game when the outcome was still in doubt.
Redshirt freshman quarterback, Brett Hundley capped the 17-play drive with a 3-yard touchdown pass to Detona Jones with 4:02 remaining in the first quarter.
Hundley finished 27-42 with 320 yards passing. Hundley spread the ball around, hitting 11 different receivers.
Heisman candidate, Johnathan Franklin cracked the century mark, rushing for 110-yards on 25 carries. He was effective but not as explosive as previous weeks when he tallied 200 yards in each of his first two games this season.
The UH offense was not better.
The Cougars did not score their first points of the game until 4:54 remained in the contest. On the heels of a record setting performance, the Cougars never seriously threatened UCLA’s defense. The Cougars could not create any explosive plays while they still had a chance to win.
David Piland ran for an 86-yard touchdown and Kenneth Farrow had a 38-yard rush that put UH in the red zone late in the fourth quarter, but the game was decided already.
UH did not have a consistent running game all night. Without Sims in the game, the Bruins did not respect the Cougars run game and played more coverage all.
Piland never found a rhythm. Though he had 60 passing attempts, he completed less than half of them (28).
Accounting for the loss of Sims, UH never attained balance. The Cougars only handed the ball off 19 times.
As a result, UH’s offense was stymied for most of the night.
Dewayne Peace stood out, grabbing 10 catches for 103 yards. It is his second 100-yard receiving performance in as many games.
In week one, the offense did not show up, scoring 13 points. In week two, it was the defense’s turn, surrendering 56 points. Against UCLA, losing was a collective effort. UH was outclassed on both sides of the ball.