UH tramples Rice in Bayou Bucket Classic
Freshman running back Alton McCaskill found himself all alone down the left sideline, securing the easiest catch of his young career and strolled 35 yards into the end zone on the Cougars’ first drive. McCaskill’s touchdown perfectly encapsulated UH’s 44-7 clobbering of in-town rival Rice on Saturday night at Rice Stadium to keep the Bayou Bucket in its display case on Cullen Boulevard.
Apart from a second quarter in which the Cougars only managed to pick up three total yards, the UH offense marched up and down the field at will.
In just his second collegiate game, McCaskill established his presence in both the UH pass and run game. Along with his game-opening 35-yard touchdown reception, the freshman scored a pair of second-half touchdowns on the ground.
“I think that’s just the start of what (McCaskill) is going to become,” said UH head coach Dana Holgorsen postgame.
Junior quarterback Clayton Tune played interception-free football, going 22-30 for 236 yards and two touchdowns through the air.
“This team believes in Clayton Tune. I believe in Clayton Tune,” Holgorsen said. “Clayton Tune’s the quarterback and he played his ass off today and I was proud of him sitting in there and doing so.”
Tune and sophomore receiver Nathaniel Dell were in sync, connecting whenever a third down conversion was needed.
Senior cornerback and new offensive weapon Marcus Jones hauled in four receptions for 51 yards.
Despite losing junior defensive lineman Sedrick Williams to a broken ankle in the first quarter, Cougars’ defense stifled Luke McCaffrey and the Owls’ offense.
The defensive line consistently pressured McCaffrey, sacking the Rice quarterback three times.
Sophomore safety Hassan Hypolite and junior cornerback Art Green both picked off McCaffrey.
Junior cornerback Alex Hogan put the icing on the cake, picking off McCaffrey and returning it 91 yards to the house as the game clock ran out.
The Cougars’ defense held the Owls to a mere 212 yards on the night.
Backup quarterback Ike Ogbogu picked up some valuable real game experience, as the junior took over the UH offense in the fourth quarter.
With the victory, UH washes out the sour taste of its season-opening collapse and improves to 1-1.
“We all know we needed a win,” Holgorsen said. “… It just gets the taste out of our mouth more than anything. It’s been a while since we won.”