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Thursday, November 23, 2017

Football

Commentary: Cougars have fixable issues after loss


Commentary

The Cougars offense struggled all game against Tulsa at H.A. Chapman field in Tulsa, Oklahoma on Saturday. Although things seem lost, now is time to stick with the team. | Thomas Dwyer/ The Cougar.

Memphis creates a tough challenge for the Cougars who are still searching for answers after a 45-17 loss against a weak Tulsa team Saturday night.

In a short week, head coach Major Applewhite must find answers to his offense that too often finds itself in third-and-long situations and a defense that manages to get a stop on third down only to give the team another set of downs because of penalties.

Things looked bright during senior quarterback Kyle Postma’s first two games under center because the team walked away with victories against both Temple and SMU. With the loss to Tulsa, however, his carelessness with the football is quickly becoming a glaring issue that needs to be remedied if Houston wants to have a chance against a strong Memphis team, which just beat a ranked conference opponent in Navy.

I don’t know if I like the approach of playing the hot hand between him and Kyle Allen, but something needs to change because there have been too many times in the last few weeks that the offense has taken its foot off the pedal after taking a lead.

It happened again last Saturday. After the Cougars went up 10-7 in the first half, they seemed to be stalled in first gear and had a tough time moving the ball down the field. Tulsa managed to score 38 points in the second half and never looked back against a stagnant Houston team.

No one should be in panic mode yet. Applewhite coached under head coaches like Nick Saban and Mack Brown for many years before his first job as head coach. There have been too many times during the games that the team shows flashes of true greatness.

Applewhite won’t be perfect in his first year as a head coach. There will be growing pains, and fans should be patient with him. It’s a long season, and just like Tulsa upset the Cougars, Houston may have a surprise in store for teams like Memphis, South Florida and Navy.

Postma has shown that he is more than capable to be dynamic and just needs to limit his mistakes. A team that can’t win the turnover battle isn’t going to have much luck with winning games.

Giving up on the team this early in the season and into Applewhite’s tenure is as bandwagon as it gets. Seasons with hardships like this are the perfect way to test your fandom and how much you actually care about the team that represents students, the school and alumni alike.

Don’t be that fan who forgets we have a team then shows interest only when they are ranked and in conversations for the playoffs like last year. By then, everyone will know you are phony, or your guilt won’t allow you to join the team.

Lastly, show the team how much you support them by wearing black and coming to the game on Thursday. If they lose, shake it off and get ready for the next game. If they win, congratulations: You made it through one of the best parts of being a fan.

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