Dana Holgorsen gives message to Houston fans: ‘just hang in there’

Houston Cougars coach Dana Holgorsen on the sidelines of UH’s game against the Tulane Green Wave on Sept. 30 at TDECU Stadium. (Courtesy Houston Athletics)

Dana Holgorsen gives message to Houston fans: ‘just hang in there’

The Houston Cougars, led by head coach Dana Holgorsen have had a tough start to the 2022 season.

Through five games, the team sits at 2-3, including an 0-1 mark against the American Athletic Conference. Houston dropped its conference opener to Tulane on Sept. 30. Third-string quarterback Kai Horton led the Green Wave after starting quarterback Michael Pratt was held out of the game due to an undisclosed injury. Justin Ibieta, the game’s starter, went out after the first drive of the game with an injury of his own.

“I don’t know if we let our guard down slightly when we found out their quarterback wasn’t playing because their quarterback is a good player. Pratt is a good player,” head coach Dana Holgorsen said on Monday. “Then they put the second team guy in, and he gets hurt. Third-team guy was a pretty good player. He didn’t make any mistakes.”

For Houston, the loss to the Green Wave was the continuation of mishaps through the first five games. Whether it was the fourth-and-20 conversion by Texas Tech. The inability to stop Kansas’ high-powered offense. Allowing Rice to drive 85 yards in 23 seconds and almost score a late-second touchdown, or against Tulane, which saw the Green Wave score a late touchdown in regulation that was followed by Houston’s inability to respond on offense.

After Tulane scored on its final drive of regulation to tie the game at 21, Houston had 32 seconds with all three timeouts to set up a game-winning field goal.

The drive started off promising as quarterback Clayton Tune hit his trusty receiver Nathaniel ‘Tank’ Dell for 18 yards that had Houston at midfield. On top of that, Dell went out of bounds, so Houston was in business. Then UH left tackle Paul Patrick was called for a holding penalty that pushed the Cougars back to their own 35-yard line.

An incompletion, a delay of game, and a one-yard loss on a rush quickly turned a first-and-10 from Houston’s 45 to a third-and-26 from UH’s 29. Houston opted to take a knee and go to the overtime period.

What followed was a chorus of boos at TDECU Stadium and a frustrated Holgorsen, who was shown by the ESPN TV broadcast at the end of regulation throwing his hands up and clearly displeased.

On Monday, Holgorsen said he agreed with Houston’s fans.

“I was mad too,” Holgorsen said. “I threw my hands up, like ‘yeah, I agree.’ You know we got passionate fans, and I appreciate them. I see other teams drive the field in 30 seconds.”

“Yeah, it is frustrations. That was frustrations. I am frustrated too. And then you go into another overtime game and just didn’t execute.”

Going forward, the road does not get easier for Houston. With one game left until its bye week, the Cougars must travel to Memphis. The Tigers are 4-1 and 2-0 in conference play.

Despite the frustration among the team, the coaching staff, and the fans, Holgorsen had a message for the UH faithful on Monday.

“Just hang in there, man,” Holgorsen said. “I appreciate our fans and how passionate they are. We are working hard. This is a competitive game, competitive sport. I can assure you our guys are working hard. We’ve got work to do, and we are going to go do it.”

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