Cougars claim third quarter
Shortly after the third quarter of UH’s match against UAB on Saturday concluded, junior running back Charles Sims and redshirt sophomore quarterback David Piland were on the bench.
“I liked their energy. I like how we came out in the second half and executed the few adjustments that we made,” Levine said. “It was a big statement to come down and score a touchdown, and then hold them on defense. That put the game out of reach and gave us momentum.”
By the end of the third quarter, UH led 36-10 and had scored on all four of their drives. Freshmen running backs Kenneth Farrow and Ryan Jackson capped nine play drives with rushing touchdowns. Senior kicker Matt Hogan booted two field goals, one from 52 yards — a career long — and the other from 29 yards, on his way to setting a Conference USA and UH record with six field goals.
The Cougars outgained UAB 207-89 yards in the third quarter and UH’s two most-decorated offensive players came alive. Piland threw for 125 yards, and Sims gained 51 rushing.
The defense did its part too, holding UAB scoreless in the third period. In four drives, the Blazers turned the ball over on downs twice, fumbled and punted. The Cougars had three quarterback hurries and a sack while holding the Blazers to 1-4 on third down conversions.
Senior linebacker Phillip Steward said the increased pressure on UAB’s redshirt freshman quarterback Austin Brown aided their success as a unit.
“We know that when there’s pressure on the quarterback, he gets uncomfortable and starts throwing the ball everywhere. I think we did a great job tonight doing that.”
Senior corner D.J. Hayden recovered a fumble on UAB’s second possession of the third quarter and was the primary defender against UAB junior receiver Jackie Williams on fourth down, when the Blazers turned the ball over on downs. Steward had a sack, a quarterback hurry and assisted on a thwarted fake punt attempt.
After taking care of business in the third quarter against UAB, Piland said the team is already looking toward a Thursday matchup with SMU, which has Conference implications.
“We’re really focused as a team to come out and play on Thursday,” Piland said. “I will be up there today studying. We’ve got a lot of work to do. There’s a lot things that need to be done this week. It’s going to be fast paced. We’ve got to be at a 100 percent by Thursday and get this team going.”