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Houston routs Prairie View A&M 37-17 in home opener

Senior quarterback D'Eriq King rushed for two touchdowns in Houston's 37-17 win over Prairie View A&M. | Trevor Nolley/The Cougar

Senior quarterback D’Eriq King rushed for two touchdowns in Houston’s 37-17 win over Prairie View A&M. | Trevor Nolley/The Cougar

The Cougars did not waste their first opportunity to play at home, as UH went on to win 37-17 over the Prairie View A&M Panthers.

Junior running back Kyle Porter ran for 120 yards and senior quarterback D’Eriq King scored three touchdowns as the Cougars ran off to a blowout win.

UH showed some of the offensive dominance it had last season with its performance in the first quarter. The Cougars scored 24 points and the defense held the Panthers to just 10 points in the half.

Houston was clicking on every phase of the game in the first half.

The offense put up 231 total yards in the half. King scored twice on the ground and threw for a touchdown as well. Porter had a dominant first half as he ended with 101 yards and a touchdown before the break.

The defense had a good first half as well as they held the Panthers to only one touchdown and less than 160 total yards. The PV running game was only able to produce 33 yards on the ground. The Cougars held PV from scoring a touchdown until the closing seconds of the half.

Even the special teams unit had a productive first half. Junior Deontay Anderson blocked two punts that resulted in favorable field position for the Cougars.

The offense took its foot off of the gas pedal in the second half.

The Cougars turned to their clock management playbook and mostly played through runs and short passes. The offense was able to score only three points in the half, but its work in the first half was more than enough to bring carry the Cougars to relatively easy victory.

However, with the starters on the offensive side playing into the second half, offensive production after the break might become a point of concern for the Cougars.

“I thought our body language was bad. I thought our effort was bad,” head coach Dana Holgorsen said. “We thought we had done enough in the first half and wanted it to be over.”

The defensive unit remained solid in the second half, not allowing any points until the Panthers last offensive drive in the game.

Junior Grant Stuard led the way on the defensive end with eight tackles, including one sack and two tackles for loss.

“Defensively, we were still motivated,” Holgorsen said, “We went out there and played well on defense. We took advantage of our snaps.”

The Cougars will have to deal with a shortened week as the team prepares to face Washington State in NRG stadium in Houston on Friday.

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