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Sunday, March 7, 2021

Football

Keenum suffers another injury as Coogs whipped 31-13 by UCLA


Two games in a row quarterback Case Keenum tried to make a stop after throwing an interception and suffered an  injury afterward.

When trying to make a tackle on UCLA linebacker Akeem Ayers in Saturday’s game at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, Calif., his knee locked.  He was carted off the field and was not seen on the sidelines in the second half of the 23rd-ranked Cougars’ 31-13 loss to UCLA .

Backup Cotton Turner took the field with four minutes to go in the second half. He too had to come off the field with injury after suffering a shoulder injury before the end of the third quarter.

Quarterbacks Austin Elrod and Terrance Broadway were called upon thereafter.

It’s seemingly possible that the remainder of the season has gone up in smoke after a demoralizing trip to the West Coast.

It was a significant non-conference game for UH against UCLA, a Pac-10 team, and the Bruins rolled. Keenum started despite speculation that he would sit out after suffering concussion-like symptoms in last week’s win over UTEP, but the Cougars still struggled.

The game started with both teams trading three-and-outs.  On its second possession, UH struck first with a 29-yard field goal from kicker Matt Hogan, a lead they would hold for only one minute and 42 seconds.

UCLA came back with a five-play, 51-yard drive to go up 7-3 on an 11-yard rush from Johnathan Franklin . After another UH three-and-out, the Bruins went up 14-3 after quarterback Kevin Prince threw a 16-yard touchdown pass to Nelson Rosario.

The Cougars made it to the Bruins’ 30-yard line on the next drive but threw an interception, leading to another Bruin touchdown.

The next UH drive showed some promise, highlighted by a 45-yard rush by Keenum to the 2-yard line. Keenum then threw an interception to Ayers and went down after trying to stop Ayers.

Turner took over the Cougars’ offense, which punted after three quick plays. UCLA went into halftime with a 21-3 advantage.

The Cougars kicked off to start the third quarter, and the Bruins extended their lead by three points with a 42-yard field goal. The Bruins scored again to make it 31-3 when Turner’s shoulder was banged up.

Elrod entered the game with 2:09 left in the third quarter. He threw a pass to Kierrie Johnson, who lost a fumble that was recovered by UCLA.

Head coach Kevin Sumlin decided to sacrifice Broadway’s redshirt, and it got the Cougars back on the scoreboard. Broadway and James Cleveland connected on a 10-yard touchdown pass to make the score 31-10.

Cleveland was a lone standout for the Cougars with six receptions for 144 yards.

Hogan notched a 31-yard field goal to make the score 31-13 with 6:27 left in the fourth quarter.


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