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Saturday, September 30, 2023


Second half comeback lifts UH over Navy in AAC opener

Senior Marcus Jones was all smiles as he returned a punt for a touchdown for the second straight week in UH football's win over Navy. | James Schillinger

Senior Marcus Jones was all smiles as he returned a punt for a touchdown for the second straight week in UH football’s win over Navy. | James Schillinger/The Cougar

Houston overcame a first half slum and outscored Navy 21-3 in the second half to sink the Midshipmen 28-20 Saturday night at TDECU Stadium.

On just the third play of the game, Navy Sophomore Xavier Arline ran 40 yards down the field to put the Midshipmen up 7-0 early in the first.

The Midshipman ran the ball 3 times for 76 yards in under a minute.

For the second time in as many weeks, senior Marcus Jones made his impact on special teams, returning a punt 73 yards for a touchdown to tie the game at 7 late in the first quarter.

Navy retook the lead in the second quarter, putting together a 15-play, 62-yard drive that ended in a Bijan Nichols 30-yard field goal.

The Midshipmen scored another touchdown with less than a minute left in the half to take a double-digit lead into the locker room.

After a lot of back and forth after halftime, the Cougar finally punched in their first offensive touchdown of the game towards the end of the third quarter on a 2-yard touchdown run by junior running back Ta’Zhawn Henry, capping off a 7-play, 43-yard drive.

UH showed no signs of slowing down after a lethargic first half, following up the Henry touchdown with a 7-play, 81-yard drive that ended with a 47-yard touchdown pass from Tune to Jones.

On the first play of Navy’s next drive, Xavier Arline fumbled the snap and junior linebacker Malik Robinson recovered, giving UH the ball at Navy’s 26-yard line.

UH capitalized on the turnover with a 5-play, 26-yard drive that ended a 1-yard touchdown run by Henry, his second of the night.

Desperately trying to reclaim its lead, Navy responded with a long drive that ended in a field goal, cutting the Cougars’ lead to just 8.

Navy got the ball back with a chance to tie the game but the UH defense held strong, securing a 28-20 Cougars victory.

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