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Sunday, October 17, 2021

Football

‘Clayton’s our quarterback’: Dana Holgorsen is sticking with Tune at QB


Clayton Tune and the UH offense start deep in the Cougars own territory during a second quarter drive Saturday night against Texas Tech. | Armando Yanez/The Cougar

Clayton Tune and the UH offense start deep in the Cougars own territory during a second quarter drive Saturday night against Texas Tech. | Armando Yanez/The Cougar

Despite Clayton Tune’s four interception performance in Houston’s 2021 season-opener against Texas Tech, Dana Holgorsen reassured his confidence in the 6-foot-3-inch junior during his weekly news conference Monday.

“Clayton’s our quarterback and he feels responsible for the performance (against Texas Tech),” Holgorsen said. “He owns it and we’re going to work hard to get better.”

Holgorsen was pleased with Tune’s overall accuracy Saturday, as the UH starter went 27-38 passing, but also understands Tune still has work to do on eliminating the bad plays if he wants to take his game to the next level as the face of the Cougars offense.

Poor decisions have been common from Tune since he took over the UH offense in 2019, as 23 of his last 502 passes have been picked off.

Holgorsen specifically pointed to Tune’s second interception against Texas Tech where he tried to force the ball between two Red Raiders defenders, but was picked off by Riko Jeffers, who took the ball 13 yards back to the house to tie the game.

Holgorsen knows that poor decisions like that from Tune can’t happen if the Cougars want to start winning games.

“Interception number two was inexcusable on every level possible,” Holgorsen said. “It’s what get you beat.”

Spreading the ball around between the Cougars’ receivers was also an issue that Tune needs to fix, according to Holgorsen.

Holgorsen has made getting receivers like Jeremy Singleton and Kesean Carter more involved in the offense a major point of emphasis for Tune moving forward.

“I don’t want a go-to guy. I want multiple go-to guys,” Holgorsen said. “Clayton’s got to do a better job of spreading the ball around a little bit.”

But Holgorsen did not put all the blame on Tune for his rough performance, but also called out the UH offensive line, saying that Texas Tech completely wore down the Cougars’ front five.

Apart from senior center Kody Russey, Holgorsen said there is a lot of work the UH offensive line has to do in order to give Tune the protection he needs.

“O-line is who the finger gets pointed at just because everything starts right there up front,” Holgorsen said. “The reality is that we didn’t block anywhere … I don’t think we have five guys up front that can just dominate and play the entire game. They’ve never shown me that.”

Needless to say, Holgorsen knows the UH offense has a plethora of problems that must be addressed before the Cougars’ offense can execute at the high level of play he believes they are capable of performing at.

And it all starts with protection up front and Tune improving his decision making process.

Got a long ways to go, Holgorsen said. We got to keep working hard.

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