The Cougars’ dominance in Dallas came to a close with a 72-42 loss to SMU on Thursday. It was the Cougars’ first loss to the Mustangs on the road since 1992.
UH committed nine turnovers, with six interceptions and three fumbles. SMU scored 45 points from those turnovers. The Cougars also dropped passes, punts and kickoffs that weren’t fumbled.
Adding injury to insult, starting quarterback David Piland left the game late in the second quarter with a head injury. Piland was given a concussion test on the sideline and never returned.
UH had problems before Piland exited the game though.
After forcing SMU to punt on their first possession, junior receiver Dewayne Peace muffed the punt, giving SMU a short field. The Mustangs cashed in; Garett Gilbert tossed an 8-yard touchdown pass to Jeremy Johnson, giving SMU an early 7-0 lead. Gilbert finished with four touchdown passes and 265 yards passing.
UH finished with four first half turnovers, including a pick-6 by SMU linebacker Taylor Reed late in the half that gave SMU a 14-point lead going into the break.
The third quarter began the same way. Freshman running back Ryan Jackson fumbled the opening kick off that SMU special teams player Kevin Pope ran 20 yards for a score. The game got out of hand in the third period. UH was outscored 31-14.
The Cougars couldn’t get their running game going, as junior running back Charles Sims rushed for 53 yards. Sims had a big night out of the backfield catching seven balls for 114 yards. Piland finished with 180 yards passing. Senior quarterback Crawford Jones threw three touchdowns while filling in for Piland.