Houston QB Clayton Tune starred in the Cougars’ 37-35 victory over UTSA. (Courtesy Houston Athletics)
No. 24 Houston escaped San Antonio with a thrilling victory on Saturday. The game included overcoming a 14-point deficit, clutch field goals, three overtime periods and a dive from UH quarterback Clayton Tune to finally seal the win for the Cougars.
For head coach Dana Holgorsen, the final offensive play of the game from his QB was no surprise. He knew if his fifth-year senior was put in a position to win the game, he would do anything he could to make sure he came out on top—including doing his best Cam Newton impersonation.
“I knew he was jumping,” Holgorsen told reporters after the game. “If he is put in a situation where the game is on the line, he will do whatever he’s got to do.”
Tune finished the game with 206 passing yards, three passing touchdowns and the play of the game when the Carrollton native hurdled over UTSA safety Kelechi Nwachuku to give Houston the go-ahead 37-35 lead on a two-point conversion attempt in 3OT.
Despite the offensive explosion in the fourth quarter and overtime periods, Tune and the rest of the offense struggled to get things going for the first three quarters.
A reason for that was Houston’s offensive line, which Holgorsen said will need to do a better job at keeping Tune clean in the pocket. Holgorsen looks forward to watching the film and coaching the group up, he added.
Regarding Tune, however, Holgorsen is confident his quarterback is playing at an elite level. Outside of the final go-ahead play in 3OT, Tune made several other plays, including hitting receiver Nathaniel “Tank” Dell for the two-point conversion in 2OT that gave UH an eight-point advantage.
Holgorsen said receiver Joseph Manjack IV ran the wrong route on that play, which led to him being in the same area as Dell. Despite the mistake, Tune zipped the pass to Dell for the two-point conversion anyways.
“That is where he is at,” Holgorsen said. “That is his mindset.”