Wednesday, January 26, 2022

The year began with so much promise for the defending West Division champions in Conference USA. However, after three quarterback injuries and all the disruptions that emerge from being decimated at football’s most important position, the Houston Cougars just didn’t have enough resources to overcome all the adversities that swamped them in 2010.

On a sad night in Lubbock, Texas, a non-conference game finished off the sad Murphy’s Law season for a team that had such high hopes three months ago. Houston played hard and with determination, but the laws of pigskin physics suggest that three quarterback injuries will not allow a team to play well enough to win most of its games. That much is true, and as a result, Houston will not only fail to make the C-USA title tilt (a reality confirmed a few weeks ago), but fall short of a postseason appearance.

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It’s sad but true: The Cougars, the recipients of more misfortune than 98 percent of FBS programs this season, moved the ball between the twenties, but failed to capitalize on most of their scoring chances this past Saturday. In the process, the boys from H-Town wound up losing to the Texas Tech Red Raiders 35-20, despite racking up 585 yards of total offense.  The loss was the third in a row for Coach Kevin Sumlin’s squad and means that Houston will not be going bowling, a disappointing end to the season for a Cougars team that had Conference USA title hopes and a Heisman candidate at quarterback in Case Keenum.

Certainly, the Coogs had their chances the Red Raiders on Saturday.  Frosh signal caller David Piland torched the Texas Tech defense, completing 32-of-61 passes for 441 yards and tossing two touchdowns, but he was also intercepted three times.  Piland’s first touchdown pass, a seven-yard strike to Justin Johnson, staked Houston to a 10-7 first quarter lead. The Red Raiders stormed back, however, taking a 21-13 halftime lead, which they extended to 28-13 when Taylor Potts hit Baron Batch for an eight-yard touchdown.

Houston tried to mount a comeback, as Piland connected with Tyron Carrier for a 13-yard touchdown toss that drew the Cougars within 28-20.  However, Texas Tech struck back quickly, taking a 35-20 lead on Potts’ fourth touchdown pass of the game, a 19-yard toss to Lyle Leong. Potts finished with four touchdowns and 373 yards on 32 completions in 46 attempts.  He also threw one interception.

The Cougars were unable to get any closer, as the Red Raiders’ D.J. Johnson intercepted Piland with two minutes remaining in the fourth quarter after Houston had drove to the Texas Tech ten yard line.

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