Cougars reflect on offense, look to improve performance

UH's passing game was stagnant all night, committing six turnovers and two additional turnover on downs. | Justin Tijerina/ The Cougar

UH’s passing game was stagnant all night, committing six turnovers and two additional turnover on downs. | Justin Tijerina/ The Cougar

The Cougars came into last Friday’s TDECU Stadium opener with more than 40,000 students and fans ready to watch them perform in their new home. However, their stagnant offense couldn’t stop turning the ball over.

“I’ll take the full blame for the way the offense played,” said offensive coordinator Travis Bush after the team’s disappointing 27-7 loss. “It’s my responsibility, and we just need to get better at some of the little things.”

Head coach Tony Levine acknowledged the skill of the Roadrunners’ defensive line while looking at the poor performance of his offense.

“I thought that UTSA did a nice job of controlling the line of scrimmage,” Levine said. “Last season in 13 games, we threw 10 interceptions; in just one game we threw four. No one played perfectly, and we just need to protect the ball better.”

Sophomore quarterback John O’Korn threw four interceptions and completed just 48 percent of his passes. He took a lot of chances early, which played into the opposing defense’s hands.

“I wanted to be aggressive and I wanted to attack (UTSA),” Bush said. “I might’ve been too aggressive early by trying to get the ball to the outside guys and take advantage of some match-ups.”

Bush wasn’t the only one taking a look at the UTSA defense; junior receiver Deontay Greenberry was also hoping for the best offensively during Friday’s game.

“I was just looking forward to get on the field and show my teammates I was ready to play,” Greenberry said. “I saw the one-on-one match-ups, and I was looking forward to O’Korn taking advantage of those early. But he didn’t.”

After last season’s strong display that led to a bowl game, the Cougars need to work out the kinks in order to bounce back and meet their conference title expectations.

“The biggest disappointment is you look on film and that doesn’t look like us,” Bush said. “We felt great about everything we saw through camp but we didn’t execute and we didn’t perform to the way we’ve been performing.”

Ending Friday’s game with six receptions for 96 total yards, Greenberry proved that it’s still possible to benefit from games like this. With the way the team needs to play in order to succeed, Greenberry has the necessary recommendations that are key to the Cougars’ offensive future.

“It’s all about having that laser-focus, and it starts at practice,” Greenberry said. “The guys just need to be dialed in at practice and do what they’re supposed to do.”

With that, the Cougars have headed back out to the practice field in preparation for their redemption game against Grambling State Saturday.

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