Cougars trounce Tigers in final season game
The cold rain didn’t stop the Cougars as they crushed the Texas Southern Tigers 59-6 Saturday in their highest scoring game of the season
It was the first meeting between the two schools, but it was also the last time UH’s seniors would play at Robertson Stadium, and they made sure to leave their mark.
Many Cougars were also rooting for Rice on Saturday, as UH needed Tulsa to loose against the Owls in order to win the Conference USA West Division title.
Tulsa (9-3, 6-2 C-USA) ended the Cougars’ hopes for a repeat title when they took the 48-43 win over Rice and a berth in the C-USA Championship game against Central Florida on Saturday.
The Cougars (8-4, 6-2) started the game against TSU (0-11) more decisively than they had all season – they scored on seven of their first eight drives and went into halftime with a 47-point lead.
Senior running back Anthony Alridge was the first to strike, scoring on Houston’s first possession of the game with a 52-yard touchdown run. He finished with two touchdowns and 157 of Houston’s 664 total offensive yards.
"Our defensive line dominated their offensive line, so we came out (and) we knew we were going to run the ball," he said.
The Cougars took advantage of that defensive mismatch and relied heavily on the running game all night, but senior wide receiver Donnie Avery pulled down the Cougar’s only passing touchdown on a 24-yard throw from redshirt freshman quarterback Case Keenum on the Cougars’ second drive of the game.
"It was an exciting game for us. We went out there (and) we had fun," Avery said.
Avery and Alridge, "the 2-22 connection," combined for 311 of the Cougars’ 457 yards in the first half.
"Me and Donnie, it’s been a long five years. We went out with a bang," Alridge said. "It’s not all about adding up the stats, it’s about making your teammates better and doing your job,"
With the lead solidly cemented by the first half, head coach Art Briles took the chance to put a variety of players into the game.
Freshman running back Terrance Ganaway and redshirt freshman running back Andre Kohn saw considerable playing time when Alridge sat out for much of the second half.
Ganaway was the team’s second leading rusher, finishing the night with 122 total yards and two touchdowns, and Kohn scored on a 4-yard touchdown run in the third quarter.
Briles said that the seniors made many contributions to the team throughout the years and capped it off against TSU.
"Not many universities are going to have eight wins in the nation. Not many teams won 15 of their last 18 conference games," Briles said. "That’s what these seniors have done for us. So we’re proud of the seniors and where they’ve helped this program get to. We learned a few lessons, and we taught a few this year, too."
The Cougar seniors will have one last chance to play in their hometown as UH accepted a bid to play in the Texas Bowl on Dec. 28 at Reliant Stadium.
An opponent hasn’t been named, but UH will face a Big 12 team. This will mark the fourth bowl appearance for the Cougars in five years.
Additional reporting by Jong Lee