Mistakes too much to overcome for Houston Cougars in Texas Tech loss

Houston Cougars head coach Dana Holgorsen said his team committed too many mistakes to come out victorious against Texas Tech. (Courtesy Houston Athletics)

Mistakes too much to overcome for Houston Cougars in Texas Tech loss

For head coach Dana Holgorsen, the Houston Cougars’ loss to Texas Tech boiled down to UH committing too many dumb mistakes.

From the first quarter when a roughing the kicker penalty wiped out a 47-yard return touchdown by receiver Nathaniel Dell to allowing the Texas Tech offense to convert on a 4th-and-20 in the first overtime period, there were just too many costly errors to pinpoint and blame on the loss, Holgorsen said.

“You can’t play undisciplined football,” Holgorsen said. “You can’t do dumb things that hurt the team.”

The head coach said on the 4th-and-20 conversion by the Red Raiders, the Houston Cougars botched the coverage. The UH safeties were playing coverage too deep, Holgorsen said.

The busted coverage allowed Texas Tech quarterback Donovan Smith to hit receiver Jerand Bradley short of the sticks, but Bradley had more than enough space to turn the catch into a 21-yard gain for the first down.

Had UH gotten the stop on the fourth down, it would have won the game.

The Houston Cougars have found themselves facing a two-touchdown deficit in both matchups to start the year. Against UTSA, UH was able to hold on in triple overtime. Against Texas Tech, UH was unable to hold on after clawing back.

While Holgorsen does not like that his team has gotten in a hole in the first place, he said a silver lining early on the season has been the toughness his team has shown.

“We are resilient. We play hard,” Holgorsen said. “We fight. We don’t panic, that has all been good. My message into this game, really both games, was just keep playing no matter what.”

Despite the resilience, UH will be looking for consistency from start to finish against a Kansas team that enters 2-0 on the year, including a strong win at West Virginia in week two.

When asked about the slow starts his team’s offense has gotten off to in the first two games, the head coach joked that he has lost sight of how to coach offensive football. For Houston, it will be about consistency against the Jayhawks in the home opener.

“We just got to keep working hard to try to get better,” Holgorsen said.

Around the American

Across the American Athletic Conference, Tulsa senior quarterback Davis Brin was named the conference’s offensive player of the week for his 19-of-32 for 322 yards and four touchdowns performance in the Golden Hurricane’s 38-35 win over Northern Illinois.

Houston’s Derek Parish was named the conference’s defensive player of the week behind his 4.5 sacks and 6.5 tackles for loss against Texas Tech. Parish’s 4.5 sacks broke the conference record of four held by East Carolina’s Montese Overton and SMU’s Justin Lawler. His 6.5 tackles for loss broke the old record of six sacks held by Temple’s Quincy Roche in 2019.

Temple receiver De’Von Fox was named the conference’s special team’s player of the week for blocking three punts in the Owls’ 30-14 win against Lafayette.

In the first conference game of the season, Memphis defeated Navy 37-13. The Cincinnati Bearcats crushed Kennesaw State 63-10. ECU beat Old Dominion 39-21. Tulane routed Alcorn State 52-0. South Florida beat Howard 42-20, and SMU beat Lamar 45-16.

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