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Thursday, September 21, 2023


Round table: Highlights from the Cougars’ big win

Running back Kenneth Farrow during his final week of practice before the season opener

Senior running back Kenneth Farrow finally had a breakout game following a week one performance which left a lot to be desired. | File photo/The Cougar

Following a big win for UH, The Cougar sports staff takes at the good and the bad from the weekend in Louisville.


How do you rate UH’s play overall against the University of Louisville?

Sports Editor Bryce Dodds: The team played pretty well. The offense stumbled at times, but they protected the ball decently. Greg Ward, Jr. looked pretty good at quarterback. There are still some areas the Cougars need to clean up before they get into conference play, but to go on the road in a tough Atlantic Coast Conference environment and pull out a win is impressive.

Staff writer J.D. Smith: Overall the team played well although there is still plenty of room for improvement. Holes in the secondary and kicking game showed with the fourth quarter drives and missed field goals.

What did the team do well?

Staff Writer Tevin Mills: Controlled the tempo and won the battle of possession. No factors are more important when playing in a hostile environment, other than maybe establishing an early rhythm (they did that too by the way, scoring on the first drive).  The Cougars out gained the Cardinals in total yardage, but the 226-70 discrepancy in rushing yards is where the game was won. That helped them control the pace and keep the Cardinals’ potent offense on the sidelines for a majority of the game.

Staff Writer Michael Calderon: The entire team showed the poise and resiliency of a championship caliber team. There were certainly flaws on both sides of the ball, but the Cougars kept battling. With a very balanced attack, 236 passing yards and 226 rushing yards, UH attacked Louisville from all sides to keep the Cardinal defense off balance. There was simply no panic in this team, as they stuck to the game plan through the adversity.

What did the team do poorly?

TM: Although it didn’t cost them the game, the back-to-back missed field goals by Kyle Bullard were disheartening. They were buzzkills to an offense that was getting down the field with tremendous success and came at a time when Louisville’s momentum was picking up. The secondary was also heavily exposed for some big plays for the second straight week.

MC: Missed opportunities marred what could have been a blowout win for the Cougars. The team shot itself in the foot several times, including a turnover and a couple of missed field goals that prevented the Cougars from capitalizing on the four turnovers the defense came away with. Coming up with just three points on the Louisville turnovers essentially swung the momentum right back in the Cardinals’ direction. Houston cannot leave those points on the field.

In your mind, who was the player of the game?

BD: Junior corner back Brandon Wilson. Not only did he have a good day on defense, with eight tackles and one pass defense, but he had the 100-yard kickoff return touchdown that really sparked the Cougars. It gave UH a ton of momentum, when it looked like Louisville might be able to pull away. It really changed the tenor of the game.

JS: Greg Ward, Jr. He went 23 for 33 for 236 yards and three touchdowns in the air, while adding 98 yards on 21 carries, including two pivotal third down conversions on the game-winning drive. He showed the poise of a veteran, leading the team to four consecutive scoring drives in the second half when they needed them the most.

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