Houston Cougars frustrated with Kansas loss, still believe season’s goals are achievable

Houston Cougars running back Ta’Zhawn Henry (No. 4), caught five passes for 107 yards in UH’s 48-30 loss to Kansas on Sept. 17. (Courtesy Houston Athletics)

Houston Cougars frustrated with Kansas loss, still believe season’s goals are achievable

The Houston Cougars suffered their second straight loss against the Kansas Jayhawks on Saturday inside TDECU Stadium.

For UH, it was just too much of the Jayhawks’ juggernaut offense that entered Saturday’s matchup averaging 55.5 points a game. The offense did not disappoint against the Cougars, leaving Houston searching for answers.

“(Kansas is) as good as advertised … We didn’t tackle the quarterback once,” Houston head coach Dana Holgorsen said. “We didn’t stop them once after the first two drives. Not pointing the finger on the defense, I mean the offense should have scored more, and they didn’t. There is plenty of blame to go around. I got out-coached.”

Houston jumped out to an early 14-0 lead, and then Kansas left the Cougars (1-2) in the dust, outscoring them 48-16 the rest of the way, including a period of 28 unanswered points by the Jayhawks.

Kansas quarterback Jalon Daniels finished with five total touchdowns on the night, three passing and two on the ground. Daniels completed 14-of-23 passes for 158 yards and rushed for an additional 123 yards on 12 carries.

The Jayhawks (3-0) scored on eight of the final nine drives of the game, including getting touchdowns on six consecutive drives and field goals on the following two drives before taking a knee to end the game on their final drive. Houston forced two three-and-outs on the first two possessions of the game.

“Everything they ran is what we worked on in practice,” Houston defensive lineman Derek Parish said.

For Parish, knowing what the Jayhawks were going to do and still being unable to stop it was even more frustrating, he said.

On the offensive perspective for the Cougars, running back Ta’Zhawn Henry and UH knew it was going to be a tough challenge going up against a red-hot Kansas team, Henry said.

In a game like Saturday’s matchup, Houston needed to continue putting points up on the board, and it just failed to do so, Holgorsen said.

For Henry, the players need to go out on the field and execute. If the Cougars can do their jobs correctly, the running back believes UH can turn things around and find consistent success on offense, he said. Henry finished with 56 rushing yards, 107 receiving yards and two touchdowns in Saturday’s loss.

“We angry,” Henry said. “We deserve more, and I feel like it’s not on coach (Holgorsen), it’s on us type of deal. Everybody pointing the fingers at coach (Holgorsen), but at the end of the day, we are the ones between the lines. We are the ones playing, carrying the ball, so I mean it’s on us.”

Houston has one nonconference game remaining against Rice on Sept. 24 before it opens up American Athletic Conference play against Tulane on Sept. 30.

The Cougars need to come together as a team and look at themselves in the mirror, adjust and keep moving ahead, Parish said. The team’s offseason goals are still attainable, he added.

“We still have everything we want in front of us, and that is a conference championship,” Parish said. “So, we are going to move forward towards that.”

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