Persistent defense continues success for Cougars


Defensive authority allowed the Cougars to run away with Friday night’s game against the Temple Owls, harboring a 31-10 victory with three interceptions, including one from junior corner William Jackson (3), and a fumble. | Justin Tijerina/The Cougar

The Houston defense came out fast and furious as Friday night’s 31-10 victory was not only their fifth game this season with at least three forced turnovers, but also the 30th consecutive game in which Houston has forced a turnover, as well as their 25th multi-interception game in their past 28 contests.

Junior safety Trevon Stewart turned his first quarter interception into the second defensive scoring play for the Cougars this season as he ran the ball back for a 29-yard touchdown, the first of the game.

As sophomore quarterback Greg Ward Jr. completed seven of his eight first quarter passes in his second start as a Cougar, Houston totaled 128 total yards compared to Temple’s 82, 72 of which came from one pass.

Houston’s offense slowed down in the second quarter after junior running back Kenneth Farrow’s touchdown run on the Cougars’ first drive of the quarter, putting up 86 total yards compared to Temple’s 101.

The defense stayed strong though as junior corner William Jackson picked up the team’s second interception of the night, his second game in a row with a forced turnover.

The Cougars allowed another huge pass play from the Owls midway through the third quarter for 74 yards, but the strong defense of sophomore linebacker Steven Taylor forced a fumble in the end zone on the next play resulting in a touch-back and preventing the second Temple touchdown of the game.

Both offenses failed to produce in the third quarter until the final two minutes when Ward connected with junior receiver Deontay Greenberry for a touchdown pass to put the Cougars up by two touchdowns.

Freshman corner Howard Wilson added to the defense performance as he intercepted a batted Temple pass, the third Houston interception of the night, to set up Ward for his 30-yard touchdown pass to junior running back Ryan Jackson.

Three minutes into the fourth quarter, the Houston defense took a blow as William Jackson was removed from the remainder of the game after being penalized for targeting with a helmet-to-helmet hit on Temple receiver John Christopher.

Houston continued to show its defensive strength as Temple was held out of the end zone on a fourth-and-one touchdown attempt, giving the Cougars the ball back as they maintained their 31-10 lead through the end of the game.

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  • the receivers did not drop the ball when ward threw it. But they did drop it a lot earlier this season.

    What about the rumor that one of the players on offense had snitched on some of the players who were smoking MJ? This rumor was discussed on the coog-it proboards forum last week.

    Could that explain how the offense responded so much to ward? There was a change on offense, and maybe the player who is no longer playing is a reason why the team is responding differently?

  • The O was completely different in this game for the better, but they’ve got to continue with intensity through the end of the game or another team will be allowed to catch up in the 3rd and 4th quarters.

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