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Holgorsen: Houston beat Tulsa by ‘dominating the turnover battle’

Following their 24-14 win against Tulsa, head coach Dana Holgorsen remarked that turnovers were a big part of Houston's success. He believes they did what they had to do both offensively and defensively, which is was they were missing in their loss against Memphis. | Kathryn Lenihan/The Cougar

Following Houston’s 24-14 win against Tulsa, head coach Dana Holgorsen said turnovers were a big part of the team’s success. He believes they “did enough to win offensively, (but) the amount of plays that we made on special teams. It was unbelievable.” | Kathryn Lenihan/The Cougar

Winning the turnover battle does not win games alone, but it does play a major role. Heading into its 24-14 win over Tulsa, Houston had been -5 in the turnover ratio, giving up 15 turnovers while forcing 10 takeaways in 10 games.

After the win, UH moved up the ladder, going to -2, while forcing four takeaways for the Golden Hurricane’s offense. That’s what head coach Dana Holgorsen likes to see.

“It ain’t just about winning the turnover battle,” Holgorsen said after the game. “It’s about dominating the turnover battle, which we did.”

The Cougars’ defense forced back-to-back takeaways in the second quarter of the win. The first was a pick from sophomore safety Gervarrius Owens. The second was a 25-yard pick-six via junior cornerback Damarion Williams.

UH reeled in two more turnovers in the fourth quarter. A strip from redshirt freshman safety Jordan Moore halted Tulsa’s momentum. A forced fumble on quarterback Zach Smith, by way of junior defensive lineman Isaiah Chambers, sealed the win.

“You win it 4-1, that affects the game. If you’re plus three, that affects the game,” Holgorsen said. “Clearly, that was something that was good.”

Houston coughed up the first turnover of the day: a fumble from junior tailback Kyle Porter. Nonetheless, it did not halt the Cougars’ defense from getting the ball back and securing the win.

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