Houston closed out the regular season with a dominating 45-17 victory over UConn in Hartford, Connecticut to improve to 11-1 overall.
On UH’s first possession of the game, the Cougars drove 55 yards down the field on six plays capped off by a 31-yard touchdown rush by freshman running back Alton McCaskill to open the scoring at 7-0.
McCaskill suffered what appeared to be a right shoulder injury in the second quarter and did not return to the game.
After stalling out on several possessions, the Cougars found the end zone again when junior quarterback Clayton Tune found senior wide receiver Jake Herslow deep for a 49-yard touchdown pass to extend the lead to 14-0.
A 4-yard punt by UH allowed UConn to capitalize on a short field in three plays as quarterback Steven Krajewski found wide receiver Kevens Clercius in the left corner of the end zone for a 34-yard touchdown pass to cut the deficit to 14-7.
Following the UConn score, the Cougars responded with a nine-play, 58-yard drive resulting in a 6-yard touchdown pass from Tune to sophomore wide receiver Nathaniel Dell in the right side of the end zone.
On the first possession of the second half for UH, a 49-yard kickoff return by cornerback Marcus Jones set up the Cougars in enemy territory. Nine plays and 47 yards later, the Cougars found the end zone as Tune connected to Dell on a 13-yard touchdown pass to extend the lead to 28-10.
Dell has now scored in five of his last six games while also posting his third multi-score game of the season, after having three touchdowns against SMU and two against Grambling earlier in the year.
After forcing UConn to punt for the fourth time in the game, the Cougars capped off their third straight possession with a 23-yard field goal by kicker Dalton Witherspoon.
The Cougars kept the fire going on offense with their third touchdown in the last four possessions as Tune found junior wide receiver Jeremy Singleton on a 34-yard touchdown pass to extend the lead to 38-10.
Junior quarterback Ike Ogbogu took over in the fourth quarter and was picked off by UConn’s Malik Dixon who took it 37 yards to the house to make it 38-17.
Senior running back Chandler Smith put the icing on the cake, scoringa 1-yard rushing touchdown late in the fourth quarter to put an exclamation point on the Cougars’ 45-17 victory.
Sack Avenue was alive and well, sacking UConn quarterbacks seven times on the afternoon.
Tune finished the game 21 for 30 for 301 yards and four touchdowns.
Herslow and Singletary both had triple-digit receiving yards with Herslow racking up 111 yards on five catches and SIngleton adding 100 yards hauling in five catches as well.