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Offense picks up, Stuard continues to shine for the Cougars

Junior safety Grant Stuard had eight tackles Saturday. | Trevor Nolley/The Cougar

After withstanding a tough loss to OU the previous week, Houston returned home and took care of business against Prairie View A&M with a 37-17 victory.

Despite the win, UH had an erratic performance throughout the game.

Up, then down 

The Cougars’ offense started the game on fire. The run game and the passing game were clicking early, and they were putting up points in a hurry.

Each of Houston’s six drives in the first half resulted in a score, including senior quarterback D’Eriq King’s three touchdowns, with two being rushing and another passing.

Junior running back Kyle Porter also had a great first half, as he eclipsed 100 yards before the break. The team ended up scoring 34 points in the first half.

In the second half, the offense was a shell of its first-half self. Even with the starters still in the game for the most part, the offense was only able to create three points the entire half.

The offense struggled for the rest of the game, and King ended up throwing his first interception of the year.

Stuard shines again

Junior safety Grant Stuard is continuing to become one of the top performers on defense.

For the second game in a row, Stuard led the Cougars in total tackles with eight. He also picked up two tackles for loss and his first sack of the season.

Stuard has taken the role of the high-energy playmaker on the defense. His effort is an overwhelming positive for the Cougars, and he has taken his opportunities to really affect the game and lead the defense.

He will need to continue to improve along with the defense in order for the Cougars to remain at a high level of play this season. The Cougars have a chance to redeem the team from some of the defensive woes it experienced last season.

If Stuard plays to the standard he has established in his first two games this season, the defense will be that much closer to reaching its potential.

Speaking of defense…

The Cougars’ defense was the constant throughout the game. Despite a couple of lapses on big plays, the defense held down the Panthers with a relatively dominating performance.

Even when the Panthers were able to make progress down the field, they were mostly kept out of the end zone by the UH defense.

The defense also made its share of big plays as it picked up three sacks and an interception against the opposition. Junior safety Deontay Anderson even blocked two punts in the game.

This performance was crucial for the defense, especially after the previous game’s performance at Oklahoma.

It proved that even when the offense falters, the defense can protect a lead. That is an extremely important part of the defense’s development this season. The offense will likely be effective for a majority of the season, and the two bad quarters against PVAMU will likely just be a bad memory at some point.

But if the defense is creating a standard for its performances, and it continues to play with an aggressive mindset, the team as a whole is going to be dangerous.

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