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Monday, August 15, 2022

Football

2021 UH football position grades: Quarterbacks


UH quarterback Clayton Tune scrambles in the Cougars Birmingham Bowl victory over Auburn on Dec. 28, 2021. | Steven Paultanis/The Cougar

UH quarterback Clayton Tune scrambles in the Cougars Birmingham Bowl victory over Auburn on Dec. 28, 2021. | Steven Paultanis/The Cougar

With the 2021 Houston football season wrapped up, it’s time to take a look at how each position group performed as a unit.

First up is quarterbacks.

Questions to begin the season

When the season began, many questions arose surrounding whether Clayton Tune could be the guy for UH based on the struggles he showed the previous two seasons. 

These concerns were further escalated after the Cougars’ season opener, as Tune threw four interceptions in a UH loss to Texas Tech.

After his rough beginning to the season, many Cougars’ fans called for a new starter to replace Tune, but UH head coach Dana Holgorsen’s belief that the program could win with Tune never wavered.

Turning things around

Tune showed signs of improvement in week two against Rice, throwing for 236 yards, two touchdowns and no interceptions.

Tune suffered a hamstring injury in the second half of the game which sidelined him for most of UH’s next game against Grambling State. Backup quarterback Ike Ogbogu filled in for Tune and played well, throwing for 196 yards and two scores.

Tune returned the next week as UH opened American Athletic Conference play and found his groove.

In the Cougars’ eight conference games, the 6-foot-3-inch junior quarterback completed 68 percent of his passes and threw 18 touchdowns compared to just three interceptions. This hot stretch for Tune included a streak of 192 pass attempts without an interception.

In the latter part of the season, Tune’s hamstring was much improved and he began to create plays with his legs, whether it was a big run or scrambling away from pressure to extend a play.

Tune finished his 2021 campaign throwing for 3,544 yards, 30 touchdowns and 10 interceptions. He also added 154 yards and two scores on the ground.

Performance grade

Tune took a major step forward in year three as the UH starting quarterback. 

He showed much improved decision making as the season progressed, and it showed up on the stats sheet as Tune cut down his turnovers in a major way.

There are still plenty of areas that Tune has to grow in but Holgorsen and the UH coaching staff should be pleased with their quarterback’s overall performance in 2021 as well as the way Ogbogu stepped up in Tune’s absence.

Grade: B

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