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Thursday, October 28, 2021

Football

Fiasco in Frisco: New Mexico Bowl sums up 2020 UH football season


Junior tight end Christian Trahan had five catches for 88 yards and a touchdown in Houston's loss to Hawai’i in the 2020 New Mexico Bowl. | Courtesy of Vladimir Cherry

Junior tight end Christian Trahan had five catches for 88 yards and a touchdown in Houston’s loss to Hawai’i in the 2020 New Mexico Bowl. | Courtesy of Vladimir Cherry

Houston’s loss to Hawai’i in the New Mexico Bowl perfectly summed up the Cougars’ 2020 season: slow start, small rally and coming up short.

The Cougars fell behind 21-0 in the first half to the Rainbow Warriors, with UH tallying only 87 total yards on offense, but the Cougars came out in the second half looking like a completely different team.

UH scored 14 straight points, cutting the deficit to seven, before Hawai’i’s Calvin Turner took a kickoff 92 yards to the house, which junior tight end Christian Trahan described as “the dagger.”

Christmas Eve’s game was in a sense, poetic, considering UH seemed to have all the momentum stripped from them right after coming back from large deficits countless times throughout the season.

“Evidently, we can’t handle success,” head coach Dana Holgorsen told the media postgame. “Every time we have some success we turn around and look like crap.”

Holgorsen’s frustration, not only with this game but with the season as a whole, was visible as he stated multiple times in his postgame Zoom call with reporters how glad he is that 2020 is over.

Holgorsen was not the only one that was frustrated with how the season turned out for the Cougars. Many of the players were sick of constantly being left with a bad taste in their mouth game after game.

Senior safety Deontay Anderson struggled to find words to describe how crazy 2020 was for UH.

“Messed up and unpredictable,” Anderson said. “I mean we had eight games canceled. The first five canceled. Later on, we had COVID issues. Other teams had COVID issues. It was unpredictable.”

Thursday’s game, much like UH’s schedule, was filled with inconsistentness. The team’s biggest problem on the field was failing to put together a full 60 minutes of football.

Holgorsen said he is planning to take the next five days to really think about what he and his staff need to do for the team to overcome their unevenness in 2020 because it was chaotic enough for the Cougars.

“I’m sick to my stomach and I’m tired of it,” Holgorsen said. “We played spurts of good football. Still inconsistent and that’s not going to get it done. I’m glad 2020’s over. We got to keep working hard. Hopefully 2021 will be better.”

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