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Friday, May 29, 2020

Football

Looking back: Houston football’s top performances of 2019


Sophomore quarterback Clayton Tune galloping past the Tigers defense on his way to a 68-yard touchdown. | Katrina Martinez/The Cougar

Houston sophomore quarterback Clayton Tune galloping past the Tigers defense on his way to a 68-yard touchdown. | Katrina Martinez/The Cougar

The 2019 season Houston was an eventful year, from the plethora of redshirts to pesky injuries, which cumulated into a disappointing 4-8 season in head coach Dana Holgorsen’s first campaign with the Cougars.

However, while the Cougars look to turn the page towards 2020, there are still a few highlights to take from the 2019 season. 

Here are the top five moments for Houston in 2019:

Dana Holgorsen gets first win with Houston

Holgorsen captured his first win as UH’s head coach in a 37-17 victory over Prairie View A&M in Week 2.

The former West Virginia head coach previously tenured with Houston as the offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach from 2008-09. 

After a season-opening loss on the road at then fifth-ranked Oklahoma, Houston defeated the Panthers in their next game at home to give Holgorsen his first victory as Houston head coach. 

Junior running back Kyle Porter had a strong performance on the ground as he rushed for 120 yards and scored a touchdown in the win.

Patrick Carr’s red-hot performance against Mean Green

Senior running back Patrick Carr had his best game of 2019 in a 46-25 victory against North Texas, rushing for 137 yards and three touchdowns in the process.

The tone of the game was set on the opening play for the offense when Carr took the football and outran UNT defenders for a 68-yard touchdown.

In the win, Carr became the 56th player in Houston history with multiple 100-yard rushing games during his career and set a few different career highs in the win, which included the number of rushing yards and touchdowns in a single game.

Carr also caught four passes for 29 yards.

This individual performance was one of many performances during his stint in Houston, which led the 5-foot-10-inch running back to sign an undrafted contract with the Seattle Seahawks in April.

Marquez Stevenson 96-yard TD reception against SMU

Down by 11 on UH’s 40-yard line with 4:59 remaining in the fourth quarter against then-undefeated No. 16 Mustangs, junior wide receiver Marquez Stevenson caught a pass on a slant and raced down the field straight between the hash marks for a 96-yard touchdown to cut the deficit to three points after a successful two-point conversion. 

Though Houston lost the game 34-31, this play kept the Cougars within striking distance to pull off an upset.

Stevenson finished the contest with a whopping 211 yards and two touchdowns on only five receptions.

Clayton Tune’s 68-yard Homecoming score

Midway through the first quarter against then No. 18 Memphis, sophomore quarterback Clayton Tune escaped a broken pocket and sped through the middle of the field, cutting between two linebackers, outrunning defenders and breaking a few tackles on his way to a 68-yard touchdown run to give the Cougars a 14-7 lead. 

Although Houston fell to Memphis in its Homecoming game 45-27, this touchdown run highlighted Tune’s athleticism and versatility as a quarterback.

Tune finished the game with 157 passing yards and two total touchdowns in the loss.

Grant Stuard’s 15-tackle game vs. UConn

While the defense struggled tremendously for much of the 2019 season, junior safety Grant Stuard was the constant bright spot on that side of the ball, and on this October day, he put on an outstanding defensive performance, in which he totaled a career-high 15 tackles that included six solo tackles and two tackles-for-loss in a 24-17 victory against UConn. 

Stuard finished the season leading Houston with 97 total tackles.

His presence on defense all game long, especially late in the fourth, helped the Cougars hang onto their one-score lead in Connecticut.

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