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Wednesday, September 19, 2018

Football

Cougars suffer first loss of the season against Huskies


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The Cougars suffered their first loss this year at the hands of the UConn Huskies, but still have a chance at the AAC Championship. | File photo/The Cougar

The Cougars hit the road for the last time in the regular season, traveling to face the University of Connecticut but found themselves on the wrong side of an upset, losing 20-17.

Four turnovers by the Houston offense doomed the team, as they drop to 10-1 on the season and 6-1 in the American Athletic Conference.

The Huskies got the afternoon started early, driving the length of the field on their first possession of the game.

Husky running back Arkeel Newsome broke a run for 42 yards on the first play of the game, setting up the scoring drive, which put UConn up 7-0 early.

Sophomore Kyle Postma got the start at quarterback for the Cougars, but the UH offense was ineffective for much of the first half, scoring just three points.

The Huskies were also led by their backup quarterback, Tim Boyle, after a late helmet-to-helmet hit by senior linebacker Elandon Roberts knocked their starter Bryant Shirreffs out of the game.

The first half was riddled with mistakes and penalties on both sides, including two turnovers from the UH offense, one of which led to a field goal for UConn.

The Cougars lone score of the first half came on a 29-yard field goal from junior kicker Ty Cummings.

The scoring picked up in the second half, as the teams combined for 24 points in the final two quarters.

UConn struck first in the third quarter, putting up another field goal, but the Cougars came back scoring their first touchdown of the game on a 38-yard pass from Postma to junior receiver Chance Allen.

The Huskies responded back on their very next drive, going 75 yards in just over four minutes, with the drive capped off by a trick-play touchdown pass for 45 yards.

UH struck back in the blink of an eye, as junior corner Brandon Wilson took the ensuing kickoff 94 yards for a touchdown, his second return score of the year.

That would be the last score of the game, however. The Cougars had two chances to tie or take the lead at the end of the game, but a turnover on downs and an interception capped the loss for Houston.

Postma led the Cougars, going 16-27 passing with 190 yards, one touchdown and an interception, but got banged up a lot during the game.

Junior quarterback Greg Ward Jr. came in to relieve Postma twice, and threw the game-capping pick on the last drive but played minimally.

The Cougars offense was ineffective by their standards, gaining just 318 total yards on the night.

Fumbles also plagued the UH offense, and four total turnovers given up against zero turnovers forced doomed the Cougars.

Houston still have a chance to clinch a spot in the AAC championship game if they beat the United States Naval Academy Friday at 11 a.m. at TDECU Stadium, with the winner clinching the top spot in the West Division.

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