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Wednesday, December 6, 2023


UH offense goes dormant in home loss to Cincinnati

UH fell flat in its penultimate home game against 2-7 Cincinnati, losing 24-14. | Anh Le/The Cougar

Houston was not able to get anything going offensively and the Cincinnati offense ran all over the Cougars, as UH lost its first homecoming game in the Big 12 conference 24-14.

Cincinnati received to start the first half and went right down the field in 11 plays, scoring on a seven-yard receiving touchdown by Ryan Montgomery. 

Early on, junior quarterback Donovan Smith had a lot of designed quarterback runs early in the game and scrambled effectively as well. Smith had a huge gain of 35 yards toward the end of the first quarter to set the Cougars up in prime position. 

A seven-yard touchdown pass from Smith to sophomore wideout Joseph Manjack evened the score up at 7-7. It was a 12-play, 83-yard drive in just under 5 minutes orchestrated by Smith.

A 62-yard burst by junior RB Corey Kiner brings the Bearcats into Cougars territory. Kiner finishes off the drive with a one-yard rushing TD on 4th down as Cincinnati retook the lead 14-7. 

Midway through the second quarter, Smith threw an interception which was then fumbled and recovered by Manjack, saving the Cougars.

The Houston defense forced a fourth down stop to keep the score at 14-7, but the UH offense was unable to come up with anything more as the halftime score stayed right where it was with Cincinnati holding a seven-point advantage.

On the first play of the second half, Smith threw his second interception of the game to senior linebacker Dorian Jones. 

The Bearcats were only able to get three points out of the turnover: a 31-yard field goal by sophomore Carter Brown to extend the lead to 10 at 17-7. 

Cincinnati decided to go for it on 4th and 1 at the Houston 40-yard line to start the fourth quarter and came up short, giving possession to the Cougars at their 43-yard line. 

Houston was unable to make use of the turnover on downs, as they were not able to convert on fourth and two. The officials ruled the spot short after further review. 

The Bearcats added to their lead with a touchdown, Kiner with his 2nd of the game from five yards out to hold a dominant 24-7 lead and effectively seal the game. Cincinnati finished with 206 yards rushing.

The Cougars scored late in the fourth quarter with Smith’s 2nd TD pass to Manjack making it 24-14.

Manjack led the team with 22 receiving yards and two touchdowns after missing the last two games with a concussion.

Houston ran just 51 plays on offense, the lowest under head coach Dana Holgorsen.

Houston’s loss was Cincinnati’s first-ever Big 12 win.

UH dropped to 4-6 on the season, with the final home game coming next Saturday against Oklahoma State.

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