BBVA Compass Bowl Notebook: Cougars continue with opportunistic defense

Freshman quarterback John O'Korn led the Cougars on four scoring drives of less than two minutes. | Caitlin Hilton/The DailyCougar

Freshman quarterback John O’Korn led the Cougars on four scoring drives of less than two minutes. | Caitlin Hilton/The DailyCougar

Turnover prone

After forcing three more turnovers, UH finished the season with 43 turnovers. The team has scored 141 points from turnovers, including seven on Saturday against Vanderbilt in the BBVA Compass Bowl.

Redshirt sophomore running back Kenneth Farrow cashed in on a 6-yard touchdown after sophomore defensive back William Jackson scooped up a fumble deep in Vanderbilt territory. Late in the first half, senior cornerback Zachary McMillian stopped a Commodores drive that seemed destined for points with an interception in the end zone. Sophomore safety Adrian McDonald’s interception of Patton Robinette gave the Cougars an opportunity to take the lead after the game was tied.

The Cougars’ +25 turnover margin is eight more than Florida State, which is second in the nation.

Quick-strike offense

The Cougars’ four scoring drives each lasted less than than two minutes and were all in the third quarter. None of the scoring drives lasted more than six plays. UH has 32 scoring drives this season that lasted fewer than two minutes. The Cougars could have had a fifth, but their first possession of the second half ended on the Vanderbilt 6-yard line on downs. It lasted only 1:24.

Ambles breaks loose

Junior receiver Markeith Ambles nearly eclipsed his production for the season in the BBVA Compass Bowl game. Ambles finished with six catches, 105 yards and one touchdown after 11 catches, 147 yards since his debut during the third game of the season against Rice.

“The 35 days in between our last game and this game — that’s where you have that kind of development,” said head coach Tony Levine. “We talked as a staff and to Markeith specifically during and after practices in the month of December and even here the last couple of days about how much he has improved in the last six weeks or so.”

Read more about Ambles’ big game here:

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