Houston Cougars Fall To #25 BYU 33-25 Despite Comeback


I’ve said many times that when you’re a fan of Houston sports, the two attributes that one has carry with at all times is hope and patience.

To make sure that there’s a positive outlook at all times, it’s paramount that those two are in alignment with each other.

I honestly think that there’s hope that the University of Houston Cougars will get things turned around and I know I have to be patient as the team has made some changes since last season.

Although a lot of the key players are back in the fold this year, there’s a new sheriff in town in regard to who’s coordinating the offense.

Sep 11, 2014; Provo, UT, USA; Brigham Young Cougars quarterback Taysom Hill (4) and Houston Cougars quarterback John O

That would be Travis Bush who is entering his second season with Houston Cougar Football.

UH is his fourth stop in his career with previous stints at UTSA, Texas State and TCU in various roles, primarily offensive duties.

He did not look all too good when the team faced the UTSA back two weeks ago.

The team was only able to garner just seven points against the Roadrunners and those seven points were in garbage time when the game was quite out of reach for the team.

The team wasn’t even able to rack up any positive yardage having -26 of those on the game.

But it seems as if Bush has made some adjustments and now things are looking a bit better for the team on the offensive front.

They trampled over the Grambling State Tigers 47-0 last Saturday but one must be careful not use that win as a barometer.  The Tigers haven’t been good in quite some time but at least it feels good for the Cougars to get a win to try to mitigate the sting of the previous week’s loss.

And so we fast-forward to last night…

Sep 11, 2014; Provo, UT, USA; Houston Cougars running back Ryan Jackson (22) runs past Brigham Young Cougars defensive back Dallin Leavitt (2) during the second quarter at Lavell Edwards Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Chris Nicoll-USA TODAY Sports

The Cougars headed up to Provo, UT to face the No. 25 BYU Cougars in its toughest test of the season.

A match up of Cougars of sorts…

The bright lights were lit and the big stage on ESPN, the world-wide leader of sports, open for them to show the world that they can compete with the powerhouses of college football.

It just didn’t look that way starting out…

It all started with running back Ryan Jackson being denied any gains with a safety as Zac Stout mowed him down before he even had a chance to get going.  BYU 2, UH Cougars 0

This was of much delight to the raucous, jam-packed crowd at LaVell Edwards Stadium.

Sep 11, 2014; Provo, UT, USA; Brigham Young Cougars linebacker Zac Stout (47) tackles Houston Cougars running back Ryan Jackson (22) in the end zone and gets a safety during the first quarter at Lavell Edwards Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Chris Nicoll-USA TODAY Sports

For the rest of the 1st quarter and into the 2nd quarter, it was all BYU with quarterback Taysom Hill leading the charge.  He ended the first quarter with five-yard run that was as quick as the blink of an eye.  He pretty much got himself into the end zone with unfettered access.

BYU eventually mounted their lead to 23-0.

You know what?

The Coogs had enough of the beating they were taking and took matters into their own hands.

The 2nd quarter belonged to the Coogs who were able to reel off 15 unanswered points starting with a Kyle Bullard 29-yarder, a Deontay Greenberry seven-yard catch for a touchown with 1:17 left and an amazing 45-yard catch for a touchdown right before time expired in the half by Daniel Spencer!

John O’Korn threw a missle on trajectory path out to Spencer that floated just the right amount of time and fell right into his hands in the right corner of the end zone.

Sep 11, 2014; Provo, UT, USA; Houston Cougars quarterback John O

O’Korn did an outstanding job dodging the coverage in that play and was able to get his pass off despite running for his life from the BYU defense who looked like a pack of hungry wolves!

Right, Left, Step-Back and the throw!

The Cougars made their statement by closing the half 23-15, down by just one score.

It’s definitely notable on how the team was able to change the momentum of the game.

The Coogs were pumped and carried out that intense energy at the beginning of the second half.

Sep 11, 2014; Provo, UT, USA; Brigham Young Cougars wide receiver Mitch Mathews (10) tries to get away from Houston Cougars linebacker Derrick Mathews (49) during the third quarter at Lavell Edwards Stadium. Brigham Young Cougars won the game 33-25. Mandatory Credit: Chris Nicoll-USA TODAY Sports

Although they couldn’t quite get a score, they turned up the defensive intensity and was only able to allow a field goal which still allowed them to be within striking distance!  BYU 26, UH Cougars 15

At the beginning of the 4th quarter, the Coogs’ defense seemed to tire a bit and Jamaal Williams was able to punch through the Coogs’ defense for a two-yard run for a touchdown.  BYU did some excellent blocking to allow him enough of a hole to get into the end zone.  BYU 33, UH Cougars 15

With 9:09 left in the game, the Coogs answered back with another beautiful 15-yard pass to Greenberry for the touchdown putting the team back in the game.  BYU 33, UH Cougars 22

When BYU got the ball back, the Coogs’ defense was as fierce as ever starting with the sack of Hill by Joey Mbu.  He tackled for a loss of two yards.

On the next play, Trevon Stewart was able to pick off Hill giving the Coogs the ball back and another chance to get a bit closer!

Unfortunately, it was to no avail…

The Coogs were just not able to convert their opportunity cleared for them but they did get within field goal range and Bullard was able to nail a 36-yarder  BYU 33, UH Cougars 25

After a series of first downs BYU was able to get on the next possession, the Coogs got the ball back again to try one last time.

It was the hurry-up on steroids of sorts but it resulted in another three-and-out forcing them to punt and pretty much handing the ball game to BYU.   Final Score:  BYU 33, UH Cougars 25

You know, I’m extremely proud of the Cougars for fighting back hard on this one.  They were able to get themselves out of a hole and compete with one of the better teams in the country.

Although they have to make some strides in terms of getting yardage on the ground as well as the offensive line improving their protection of O’Korn, I still think this team can and will be competitive this season as it progresses.

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O’Korn looked mighty solid out there — he went 30-for-52 for 307 yards with three touchdowns and no picks.

The leading rusher for the Coogs was Kenneth Farrow — he was only able to rack up a paltry seven yards off just three carries.


But Spencer and Greenberry anchored the passing game — Spencer caught 10 balls for 133 yards and Greenberry had six receptions for 74 yards.  Spencer was a key component in the drive to get back in the game before the end of the 1st half.

On to the next one!

The Coogs head back home to face the UNLV Rebels at TDECU Stadium next Saturday, Sep. 20.  Kickoff is scheduled for 7 p.m.  The game will be televised on ESPN3 and broadcast via the radio on 950 AM (KPRC).

Go Coogs!