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Thursday, December 9, 2021

Football

UH football opens season with loss to Texas Tech after second-half meltdown


Junior quarterback Clayton Tune winds up to throw a pass during the UH football season opener against Texas Tech at NRG Stadium. | Armando Yanez/The Cougar

Junior quarterback Clayton Tune winds up to throw a pass during the UH football season opener against Texas Tech at NRG Stadium. | Armando Yanez/The Cougar

A second half collapse plagued UH football in its 2021 season opener against Texas Tech, as the Red Raiders scored 31 unanswered points to hand the Cougars a 38-21 loss at NRG Stadium on Saturday night in the Texas Kickoff.

Coming off a 2020 season in which the UH offense scored only 30 total first-quarter points, junior quarterback Clayton Tune emphasized earlier in the week that starting fast was a major point of emphasis for the Cougars offense coming into Saturday night’s showdown — and the Cougars could not have scripted a better start.

UH opened up the game with a 16-play, 75-yard drive, including two fourth-down conversions, that took 8:23 off the clock and was capped off by a 1-yard touchdown run by Tune.

Holgorsen reached into his bag of tricks early, calling for an onside kick that was perfectly executed to give the Cougars the ball right back.

Once again the UH converted on fourth down early in the drive before marching down the field to go up double-digits as Tune found sophomore receiver Nathaniel Dell wide open for a 23-yard score.

The Red Raiders cut into the Cougars’ lead on their second possession of the game as running back Tahj Brooks ran up the gut untouched for a 41-yard touchdown.

UH regained a two possession lead late in the second quarter, marching 75 yards down the field in 13 plays which culminated in a 9-yard touchdown pass from Tune to senior tight end Seth Green.

The Cougars carried a 21-7 lead into the locker room.

It was all Red Raiders in the second half, dominating UH in every facet of the game.

Texas Tech quickly tied the game at 21 midway through the third quarter on a pair of touchdowns just 48 seconds apart. The first came via an 8-yard run by Texas Tech quarterback Tyler Shough followed two plays later by middle linebacker Riko Jeffers picking off Tune at the 13-yard line and taking it to the house.

Mistakes continued to plague UH football, as Tune threw his second interception of the quarter that led to a Texas Tech field goal to give the Red Raiders their first lead of the game with 36 seconds left in the third.

The Red Raiders put the nail in the coffin with just over two minutes remaining in regulation, as Shough connected with a completely uncovered Xavier White, who walked into the end zone.

Just over a minute later, Tune was picked off for a fourth time and the Red Raiders capitalized plays later, as Brooks rushed 44-yards for his second score of the night to seal a 38-21 Texas Tech victory.

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