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HTown Takeover’s Major Problem

(ESPN voice)
What if I told you ….

A team had created a killer reputation.

Built on big win….after big win.

They were dragon slayers. Streak Killers. Tenacious Top 10 conquerors.

(Dramatic pause)

What if I told you ….

They took down the Heisman trophy winner 11 times. Shocked the Sugar Bowl champs. And were America’s Peaches and Cream.

And what if I told you it all came crashing down. Dreams died. A city once taken over would barely even notice.

ESPN Films presents: 30 for 30: HTownTakeover’s Major Problem. Check your local listings.

Now for something happy looking before we get into the Memphis game:

Paul Wall at UH

Coogs vs Memphis

Yay Paul Wall and sideline hype! Ok, back to our funeral.

HTown Takeover’s Major Problem

I feel battered and abused. Like my wife left me, my kids don’t talk to me, the dog disappeared in the flood, the plant laid me off and FEMA is taking their sweet time getting me a check. But at least I have Cougar football, right? Take it away, David Allen Coe.

From about the middle of the 3rd quarter in Tulsa to the last minute of Memphis, UH gave up 10-straight TDs in 2nd half play. Pretty disgusting.



“What if I told you …” that we (UH) were up 17-0 at the half and then would score 21 more in the second half. You’d assume we made some sweeeeeet halftime adjustments and had a 99% chance of victory, right?

Tale of 2 halves … halve nots, really: 73 points in these 2 second halves. 590 yards, 10 TDs, a FG, 73 total points, a kickoff return for TD, and the total destruction of a fanbase – all in 6 days.

The good news is that our formerly unemployed defensive coordinator still has 2.5 years on his contract while he’s getting his stuff pushed in by middling-to-bad AAC teams. But at least he’s a good letter writer.

Was anyone in the stadium content with 17-point halftime lead? Anyone happy or relieved? It felt like a lot of nervous energy and a sense of dread. Prescient, it turns out.

Dillon Birden gets the start and goes for 21 and 106 and a score. Major gonna Major though: Catalon still gets more rushes (22) yet 41 less yards (65). More importantly, we reward Catalon on the goal line with 3 TDs.

Key stat: 10 of Duke’s 22 runs were for 1 yard or less.

On the 1st TD drive of the 2nd half, Birden pops a 15 yarder for a first down, gets 2 more on 1st down then is on the bench. Catalon gets all 5 rushes in plus territory and 3 attempts at the goal line.

On the next drive, Birden goes for a 40 yarder, we run the reverse to King, Birden gets a carry to the 25 and then it’s Duke the rest of the way, including 3 more shots at the goal line.

On the season, Catalon has 47% more rushes (112 to 60) but just 163 more yards (496 to 333). 

I give up trying to understand. We have no semblance of balance between the two guys. And we were intent on rewarding Duke for some reason.

We’re 2-5 in the division in the last 12.5 months. We’ve lost to every team (except Tulane) and Memphis twice.

Scoring offense should be up to 75th or so in the country (27.8). So that’s good news. We were 11/21 on third down – also good news. Of teams playing 7 games to this point, we’re 2nd in the country in the # of 3rd downs converted. End of good news.

CoogsWe’ve played 7 games and I’m still waiting for us to put it on film.

7 days ago, we were 15th in scoring defense. Today, we’re 55th.

In 8 first half drives, Memphis punted 6 times, had a fumble and an INT. The very definition of inept. They were 1/8 on third down. They had 12 rush yards and 27 of their 40 plays were throws. They weren’t trying to wear us down.

Then they scored 42 points on 36 plays in the 2nd half.

We need to petition to get rid of halftime.

Kyle Postma had a solid first half (save the wide open middle TD he horrifically missed early) but then he self destructed in the 2nd half. His 3 turnovers in the 4th quarter are unacceptable.

He now has 6 INTs and 3 fumbles in his 4 starts. That’s atrocious. You cannot trust him going forward but with USF in 8 days, I really don’t know what you do. I don’t think Allen is the answer and you don’t throw King to the wolves in a road game against a top 25 team.

Both Postma and Kyle Allen have regressed with our great QB whisperer Brian Johnson guiding them. We clearly did not make a QB announcement before the season because no one had yet stepped up. We’re in bad shape.

Ed Oliver had his best game since Arizona. But his conditioning is still an issue. It’s an issue with the entire defense. I see why Willie didn’t take Grace with him to Oregon.

I’d like to see some semblance of a game plan with this group of coaches. We spend Sunday and Monday looking at film and identifying 3/4 plays we like then run them til they stop working Then…. we have no plan.

I thought we came out with a good offensive identity early in the game only to mostly disavow it after going up 14-0. Our next 3 drives were 4&O, 3&O, and a terrible drive from the 16 after the INT return from Davis.

Later in the 3rd, after we’d matched them score for score twice, I think we went with too much tempo up 17 points. Don’t have to play prevent offense but can be smarter about it. Take your time and eliminate 3-5 minutes on the backend of a game.

Obviously not going for it on 4th down was a Major(®) mistake. Major let his genuine conservative style overstep common sense. We obviously don’t have a coach on a headset that can stand up to him in a moment like that.

A guy like Scelfo should be the voice but clearly didn’t get through. On the fourth down call, the OC and OL coach need to tell their head guy that they got this – but Johnson is probably sitting there worried of being exposed.

8-3 is the best we can do in the regular season. Need to win a bowl game to get to Uncle Tilman’s magic number of 9. USF next week on the road is a helluva challenge with your back to the wall.

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