UH offense finds success against No. 24 Navy, but turnovers seal season-closing loss
For Houston-Navy, defense was optional.
An off-and-on Cougars offense likely didn’t expect an offensive explosion against the Midshipmen’s stingy defense – who ranked top in the AAC and No. 24 in the nation defensively (323.9 yards per game) before the match.
They did just that.
Navy’s intimidating defense, led by first-year defensive coordinator Brian Newberry, didn’t stop UH from recording their second-best offensive yardage performance of the season in a 56-41 loss.
Houston, despite their offensive prowess wasn’t ultimately able to stop shooting themselves in the foot.
Turnovers defined Houston’s loss to No. 24 Navy on Saturday at TDECU Stadium, leaving the Cougars at 4-8 (2-6 American Athletic Conference) in a disappointing season.
No matter how easily able they were at moving the ball – particularly over the air against a zone defense – UH’s offense failed to score when the option presented itself.
The Cougars coughed up five turnovers, while Navy didn’t give away any freebies.
Four of the five turnovers came by way of sophomore quarterback Clayton Tune. All four of his interceptions came while throwing in double coverage or more.
“Bad decisions,” said Tune on the four interceptions. “I just got to be smarter with the ball. I’m just trying to make plays and being too loose with the ball.”
As it often does, the turnover battle defined much of the game. Navy forced more takeaways than Houston. Navy won.
UH’s inability to stop the nation’s top-ranked rush-attack didn’t help, either. The Midshipmen gashed the Cougars’ defense, no matter if they attacked the edges or inside. Navy gained 447 yards and eight touchdowns on the ground.
Offensively, UH showed improvement, recording their second-best yardage performance of the year. However, yards don’t matter if you can’t finish drives with points.
Houston didn’t finish enough drives with points, therefore ending a dismal season with a competitive loss.
On to 2020.