The Cougars managed only 3.5 yards per rushing attempt against the Red Raiders last weekend. Needless to say, the entire running back corps will be looking to bounce back against the Temple Owls on Saturday.
Top among them is junior running back Duke Catalon. Catalon had by far his worst performance with the Cougars to date, finishing the game with 41 rushing yards on 13 carries, averaging 3.2 yards per carry. He credited the Texas Tech defense for their superb job stopping the run, but still holds hope for Houston’s ground game for the rest of the season.
“Everyone has their heads held high,” Catalon said. “We just got to move forward. We’re moving on to Temple now.”
The Red Raiders defensive line was able to stop the Cougars because they were getting a good push, Catalon said. The entire running back unit suffered as a result, combining for 53 yards on 19 carries for only 2.8 yards per carry.
Senior quarterback Kyle Postma had the most success running the football. He rushed for 52 yards on four carries and scored a touchdown after replacing junior QB Kyle Allen on the field.
Luckily for Catalon and the Cougars, they have a chance to redeem themselves this weekend against Temple in their first conference game of the season. The Owls are coming off of a blowout loss, allowing over 300 rushing yards and 43 points, against the South Florida Bulls.
“Their defensive ends shoot up the field,” Catalon said. “So I think our counter (runs) should be able to hit for long gains this week.”
Temple’s aggressive defensive-end play has hurt them in run defense. They rank 112th in the nation in rushing yards allowed, giving up 208.8 yards per game. Look for the Cougars to try to gash Temple on the ground Saturday as well.
Catalon and the Cougars are looking to dominate the Owls with their running game. Putting their loss behind them and starting conference play 1-0 is what is most important to the team, Catalon said.
“The goal is to win conference and to go undefeated in conference and get a good bowl game,” Catalon said.
The Cougar’s game against Temple starts Saturday at 11 a.m. and can be viewed on ESPNU.