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Sunday, September 24, 2023


Greenberry meeting expectations

When sophomore receiver Deontay Greenberry came to UH, he was the first five-star recruit ever for the football team. | Courtesy of UH Athletics.During the midst of his career game last weekend against Temple, sophomore receiver Deontay Greenberry was only focused on his offense crossing the goal line.

Greenberry and the rest of his teammates didn’t get their wish until the final minute of the game. Sophomore running back Ryan Jackson got into the end zone with 1:06 remaining on the clock and put an end to their nightmarish red zone woes.

“When you come off the field, you’re never as bad as you thought you were, nor were you as good as you thought you were,” said head coach Tony Levine.

“When you sit down and watch the video, we had some missed opportunities inside the 10-yard line that we need to learn from.”

The offense had no issues moving the ball up and down the field, as they made eight trips inside the red zone, compared to Temple’s three. With that said, the offensive statistics were lopsided in the Cougars’ favor, mainly because of Greenberry being a strong force all afternoon. The Owls were able to muster only 300 yards of total offense compared to the Cougars’ 524 yards. Greenberry contributed largely to that number.

Greenberry posted career highs with 14 catches for 165 yards and was named the American Offensive Player of the Week. It was the second-best single-game NCAA total this season.

“We pretty much knew what they were doing on first and second down and pretty much executed a certain play based on what they were doing,” Greenberry said.

Greenberry’s presence in the inside proved to be deadly for the Temple defense. He was able to make the majority of his catches in the middle of the field, a place where he wasn’t able to receive as many last season. The 2012 campaign concluded with him having a total of 47 receptions; now, he  has 20 from the first two games.

The Cougars’ rushing attack was effective all afternoon with their 250 yards total rushing. It forced the Temple defense to bite on the Cougars’ play action, which enabled Greenberry to get loose and make big plays with a series of slants and seam routes. Nine of his catches went for first downs, including a third-and-15 play in the fourth quarter.

“He had some big-time catches in critical situations that were not easy. He really helped us move the chains, and he’s only going to get better as the season progresses,” Levine said.

It’s been a pick-your-poison situation for the defenses facing the Cougars from the first two games. The emergence of Jackson, who has rushed for at least 100 yards and a touchdown in his past three games, dating back to last season; Greenberry’s career day; and junior receiver Daniel Spencer, who had a 100 yards receiving against Southern on Aug. 30, have proved to be legitimate weapons against opposing defenses.

In college football, like in many other sports, it’s treated like a marathon or chest match. Levine said he ran 40 percent of their offense and defense against Southern and held another 60 percent to show against Temple.

The Cougars have a bye this week and will face Rice on Sept. 21 at Reliant Stadium. Levine said he and the rest of his coaching staff will seek to address and fix any deficiencies with the team. Sophomore running back Kenneth Farrow, who rushed for 78 yards on just nine carries, suffered an ankle injury in the second half and was forced to sit out the remainder of the game. Levine said he would be doubtful had the game been this weekend, but expects him to suit up against Rice.

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