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Sunday, November 28, 2021

Football

Cougars will be without a number of key players against No. 6 Cincinnati


UH senior defensive lineman Payton Turner celebrates a sack against BYU | Courtesy of UH athletics

UH senior defensive lineman Payton Turner celebrates a sack against BYU | Courtesy of UH athletics

UH’s path to pulling off an upset over No. 6 Cincinnati Saturday afternoon just got more challenging as head coach Dana Holgorsen announced that several key players are out with injuries Thursday evening on his weekly radio show.

Senior defensive lineman Payton Turner, who went down on the field multiple times with an apparent injury in Houston’s matchup against UCF on Oct. 31, will sit out.

“(Turner’s) unfortunately not playing this Saturday,” Holgorsen said. “You know (Turner’s) another one that’s just not quite ready to go.”

This is a major blow to the Cougars’ defense as Turner is the team’s sack leader, with four, and is second in total tackles with 24.

Houston will also be junior linebacker Donavan Mutin for the second consecutive week. Mutin has 22 tackles, which was the most of any player on the Cougars defense prior to the UCF game, and one sack.

“Donny Mutin’s not going to make the trip either,” Holgorsen said.

On the offensive side of the ball, Houston will be without their leading receiver in senior Marquez Stevenson. Stevenson went down with an injury early in the first quarter of the UCF game and was later seen on the sidelines wearing a boot on his left foot.

“Marquez is out,” Holgorsen said. “Yeah it’s a blow.”

While Houston will be without Turner, Mutin and Stevenson against Cincinnati, Holgorsen is confident they will return in the near future.

“They’d play if they could,” Holgorsen said. “I’ve got no reason to believe that they’re not going to be ready as soon as they possibly can.”

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