‘They wore us out’: Second-half struggles continue to haunt UH
Over the offseason, Houston vowed 2021 would feature a completely different football team than what it had displayed in the first two years of the Dana Holgorsen era and it showed Saturday night— at least for the first 30 minutes of play.
Controlling the ball for the first 13 minutes of play and jumping out to a 14 point lead, it appeared the Cougars were on their way to bulldozing past Texas Tech.
But just like UH’s first two years under Holgorsen, the Cougars once again failed to find a way to execute the game plan for a full 60 minutes.
While the first half was everything the Cougars could have asked for to kick off the 2021 season, the second half was laden with sloppiness and mistakes all around from UH.
“I didn’t do a very good job in the second half from an offensive perspective,” Holgorsen said after the game. “That’s one of the worst halves I’ve ever been a part of.”
UH could not muster up any offense in the second half, being held to a mere 53 total yards and putting up a goose egg on the scoreboard.
Junior quarterback Clayton Tune struggled mightily, throwing three of his four interceptions, including a pick-six which evened the game at 21, in the second half to fuel the Red Raiders 31 unanswered points.
While Tune took responsibility for his second-half struggles, the Red Raiders’ defensive line enforced their will in the trenches, shutting down the UH run and getting a consistent pass rush.
“I just think (Texas Tech) wore us out,” Holgorsen said. “They wore us out.”
On the other end of the ball, Texas Tech drove the ball down the field at will, torching the UH defense with big plays on the way to piling up 246 yards of offense in the second half.
The failure to execute over the course of four quarters showed that the Cougars still have many of the same problems from the past two seasons even with a revamped roster with noticeably more depth.
Defeat has become a familar taste within the UH football program under Holgorsen and the Cougars know that the only way for that to change is to start making plays more consistently throughout a full 60 minutes of game time.
“(Texas Tech) just came out in the second half and did some things, got after us a little bit,” Tune said. “We just didn’t make as many plays. That’s what it comes down to.”