UH defense proves critics wrong with dominant performance against Tulsa
Heading into the Tulsa game week, the UH football defense heard lots of outside noise about how an explosive Golden Hurricane offense would expose the Cougars’ defense as overrated.
Rather than letting this get into the player’s heads, these criticisms and doubts provided further motivation for the Cougars’ defense to make a statement against Tulsa Friday night — and they sure did.
“It just puts that little fire underneath you,” said junior safety Gervarrius Owens. “It just sets that fire for the rest of the game, the season. We hope we came out here and we hope we made a statement.”
The Cougars defense was clicking on all levels from start to finish Friday night.
The UH defensive front made Tulsa quarterback Davis Brin, who was coming off a pair of 350 plus yard performances, a living nightmare. Brin was constantly under heavy pressure as the Cougars sacked the Golden Hurricane quarterback four times.
Along with consistent pressure on the quarterback, the Cougars completed eliminated a Tulsa run game that entered the night averaging five yards per carry. Up to Tulsa’s very last drive of the game, the UH defense held the Golden Hurricane to a mere four total rushing yards.
UH football head coach Dana Holgorsen described the defensive line’s performance as “complete domination.”
Despite losing junior cornerback Jayce Rogers on the first play of the game to targeting, the Cougars’ secondary made nothing easy for Brin.
Junior cornerback Alex Hogan and senior cornerback Damarion Williams picked Brin off on consecutive drives in the first half.
Owens took a ball tipped by junior linebacker Donavan Mutin 45 yards back to the house in the first minute of the third quarter.
Being able to score in his home state of Oklahoma was a special moment for Owens.
“To do this in front of all my family, friends (and) loved ones it’s a blessing,” Owens said. “Shoutout to Donny (Mutin). He got the tip. (I) took care of the rest. My teammates made some good blocks. It was beautiful.”
The Cougars’ defense believes they deserve to be given the respect they have yet to receive with their dominant performance Friday night.
But regardless of what people say, the UH defense is confident it can continue to play at a high level, shutting down any offense no matter the opponent.
“We just showed how exciting and dominant we can be when we all are playing together,” Owens said. “No team just comes in here, respect to Tulsa, and beats them like that. I feel like for us to come out here and do that shows exactly how dominant and explosive we can be when we’re clicking on all cylinders.”