Injury-ridden Cougars no match for No. 6 Cincinnati
Nothing went right for Houston as they failed to get anything going offensively and struggled to stop the run defensively in the Cougars 38-10 loss to Cincinnati on Saturday afternoon at Nippert Stadium.
The first half was all about the Cincinnati run game.
On their third offensive play of the game, senior running back Gerrid Doaks broke loose for a huge 72-yard run for the Bearcats. Doaks would capitalize on his long run two plays later with a 2-yard touchdown run to put Cincinnati up 7-0.
The Bearcats doubled their lead midway through the second quarter when junior quarterback Desmond Ridder walked into the end zone untouched from 10-yards out to make it 14-0.
After struggling to get anything going offensively for the first quarter-and-a-half of the game, Houston finally was able to sustain a drive, going 65 yards in eight plays that ended with senior running back Kyle Porter rushing for a 3-yard touchdown.
The Bearcats immediately responded to the Cougars touchdown, as they put together a quick drive that was highlighted by a Ridder 32-yard touchdown run.
Houston then proceeded to get the ball to the Cincinnati 11 after junior quarterback Clayton Tune connected with sophomore receiver Nathaniel Dell for 54-yards, but the Cougars were forced to kick a field goal with 38 seconds left until the half.
It looked like the Cougars would go into the locker room trailing 21-10, but things unraveled over the final seconds of the first half for Houston.
After a big kickoff return, Doaks once again broke loose and ran for 46-yards to the Cougars 7-yard line. Two plays later, Ridder threw a 4-yard touchdown pass and the Bearcats took a 28-10 lead into halftime.
Doaks had 166 rushing yards and a touchdown and Ridder rushed for 56 yards and two scores to fuel Cincinnati’s big first half offensively.
The second half was more of the same as Cincinnati’s offense continued to march down the field and put up points while Houston’s offense never could find a rhythm and was shutout in the second half.
As a result, the Bearcats cruised to a 38-10 victory.
With this loss, Houston drops to 2-3 on the season and 2-2 in American Athletic Conference play.
Tune finished the game with 189 passing yards and an interception while Porter led the Cougars in rushing with 69 yards and a touchdown on 16 carries.
Junior defensive lineman Derek Parish led Houston’s defense with nine tackles.