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Thursday, September 28, 2023


Cougars boast strong ground-and-pound attack

Some of quarterback John O’Korn’s teammates may have been a little upset with him after the team evened its record Saturday night.

O’Korn purposely took a knee on the last play of the second quarter and headed into halftime with a 13-7 lead. The play resulted in a 1-yard loss to the team’s rushing total — and UH’s rushing attack finished the night a yard shy of 400, a school rushing record that was set back nearly 30 years ago, in UH’s 47-14 dominant win over UNLV.


Junior running back Ryan Jackson was among the many Cougars to contribute to the team total of 399 rushing yards. Jackson set a new career-high, rushing for the biggest share of the team’s yards with 147.  |  Justin Tijerina/The Cougar

“We have a few offensive linemen a little disappointed in the locker room right now having only rushed 399 yards, and really again I place the blame on John,” head coach Tony Levine said jokingly.

Junior running back Kenneth Farrow, redshirt freshman Javin Webb, senior receiver Daniel Spencer and O’Korn each rushed for a touchdown in the team’s rushing attack that averaged better than 7.5 yards per carry. Junior Ryan Jackson also rushed for a career-high 147 yards, including a 22-yard receiving touchdown to cap the first score of the second half that started the rout.

The Cougars ran the ball 31 times in the second half for more than 250 yards, compared to their zero attempts against BYU. It was an area that Farrow felt was important the offense needed to implement.

“When a running back gets more carries, then you get in a rhythm, and that’s not something we’ve had in the past couple of weeks,” said Farrow, who rushed for 113 yards. “I think we have to establish that. When you get more carries and get in a rhythm, you see more holes open up, which is something me and Ryan (Jackson) were able to do tonight, and the offensive line did great.”

The offensive line simply wore out the UNLV defensive front. It had no answer for UH’s myriad of run packages that included up to three players in the backfield.

The combination of runs to the outside and inside that consisted of draws, handoffs to the running backs out of shotgun formation and sweeps to the outside kept UNLV defenders guessing all night.

O’Korn finishes strong

O’Korn netted 47 yards rushing and gave the offense balance. After a rocky start, he made up for it to by extending plays with his feet and tossed two touchdown passes in the second half to put the game out of reach.

“His second half was very accurate. He made some great decisions after throwing the two interceptions in the first half,” Levine said. “He responded very well. He didn’t rattle. He kept his composure very well, made some great throws and extended some plays with his feet as well.”

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