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Wednesday, December 1, 2021

Football

Spare game?: UH hoping for one more matchup in 2020


UH head coach Dana Holgorsen encourages his team pregame before its game against UCF at TDECU Stadium during the 2020 season. | Courtesy of UH athletics

UH head coach Dana Holgorsen encourages his team pregame before its game against UCF at TDECU Stadium during the 2020 season. | Courtesy of UH athletics

The Houston football team has concluded its regular season portion of the schedule for 2020, at least for now, but the Cougars are hoping they can extend the year by one or two more games.

UH has played in seven games this season, standing with a record of 3-4 and 3-3 against the American Athletic Conference, but it has also lost eight contests to postponements and cancellations due to COVID-19.

Now with the finish line reached, the Cougars are hoping they can re-paint it a little further down the calendar and are actively looking for another opponent next weekend.

“That’s been the plan all along,” UH head coach Dana Holgorsen told reporters on Zoom after the loss to Memphis. “I’m trying to find an opponent for next Friday and hopefully another game after that.”

There has been plenty of speculation on who the Cougars could match up with for another game, with names like Rice and other schools thrown out, but the head coach said that UH has not gotten any closer to marking its calendar with another foe.

There is also the possibility of UH playing in a bowl game, but nothing has been announced at this time.

If the Cougars are able to get a game, however, it appears that it will not be the Owls.

“I’ve heard no talk of trying to extend (with) a regular-season game at this point,” Rice head coach Mike Bloomgren said after his team’s loss to the University of Alabama-Birmingham.

As for the UH players, they too want to extend the year and get a shot at cleansing themselves from the heartbreaking 30-27 loss to Memphis.

“It would be amazing,” said junior quarterback Clayton Tune, who had two turnovers in the loss, including a mishandled snap in the red zone that led to a scoop and score by the Tigers. “It would be another opportunity to redeem ourselves, redeem myself.”

At this point, a good portion of the Cougars’ roster is wishing for one thing this Christmas, filling that slot for next weekend.

“We’re down to play anyone,” UH junior Marcus Jones said. “Whoever wants to play us, then we’ll play them.”

Even senior wideout Marquez Stevenson, who received an invite to the Reese’s Senior Bowl and could have potentially played his final game with UH as the journey to a potential NFL career looms, said that he hopes the Cougars are able to kickoff at least one more time.

“Today ain’t end how I wanted to,” Stevenson said. “Having another game would be a blessing to go out how I want to go out.”

The receiver said that he has yet to make a decision on whether he will fully commit to pursuing the NFL once this season is undoubtedly over.

For now, the Cougars are calling just about anyone, and they want one thing: a football game.

“If we have an opportunity to play, we’ll play,” Holgorsen said.

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