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Tuesday, October 27, 2020

Football

How UH’s offense stacks up against BYU’s defense


UH junior quarterback Clayton Tune airs out a pass against SMU during the 2019 season. | Trevor Nolley/The Cougar

UH junior quarterback Clayton Tune airs out a pass against SMU during the 2019 season. | Trevor Nolley/The Cougar

UH takes on No. 14 BYU on Friday night after a 49-31 win over Tulane, a game in which Houston trailed 24-7 early in the second quarter due to several early turnovers.

Despite the mistakes, however, Houston turned in an impressive night offensively and showed its potential to pour on points, but facing off against the red-hot BYU team will be a different challenge.

The turnovers against the Green Wave held UH back from an even greater night last Thursday, but another sloppy start like that by UH’s offense against BYU will almost guarantee a loss.

Here is a closer look at UH’s offensive performance in its opener and how the unit could stack up against BYU’s defense:

Turnover trouble against Tulane

The UH opener last week started off with a rough 64-yard pick-6 by Tulane junior safety Macon Clark on just the fourth play of the game.

UH’s early turnovers were responsible for 21 of the 24 points that Tulane scored when they led 24-7. Despite all that, Houston was still able to rally behind a turnover-filled start and lit up the scoreboard.

Houston’s offense overview

UH had 22 first downs, 319 passing yards and two passing touchdowns from junior quarterback Clayton Tune, and the team also had 157 rushing yards and four touchdowns, three of which came from senior running backs Mulbah Car and Kyle Porter and one from Tune.

The Cougars exploded after being down 24-7 and looked unstoppable after cleaning up the turnovers. UH finished with 476 total yards, more than double of Tulane’s total.

All of UH’s scoring drives were over 40 yards and only one of them clocked in over five minutes, so Houston was scoring fast and furious.

However, the Cougars will have to stretch out the execution they had in the final three quarters against the Green Wave for an entire 60 minutes to pull off the upset against BYU.

BYU’s defense overview

BYU is an undefeated football team entering Friday with a rock-solid defense, ranking fourth in fewest yards allowed per game among FBS schools.

The four games that BYU has played show that beating that team defensively will be a challenge, however, BYU’s defensive liability, if any, is the struggles it has had against the passing game.

BYU allowed 287 total passing yards against UTSA. The game before that it allowed 239, however, most came while the opponents were trailing.

BYU’s strength on defense is its ability to stop the run as the team is fourth in the nation in fewest rushing yards allowed. One spot behind Houston, although BYU has a longer sample size.

Running backs have statistically struggled against BYU all season long as all of the opposing teams it has faced have combined for only one rushing touchdown against that defense.

BYU’s defense is also averaging one forced turnover per game. The matchup between Houston and BYU will be an intriguing one as UH’s offense has shown its potential to be explosive but in a small sample size. Tune and the rest of the unit starting off strong out the gates will be key.

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