Houston beats Tulane 30-18

By Bill McCaughey
For The Fort Bend Star

uhlogoThe University of Houston Cougars recovered a fumbled punt in the end zone just 77 seconds into the game and went on to defeat Tulane 30-18.

With No. 3 ranked Louisville coming to TDECU Stadium on Thursday night, the big question for the Cougars is the health of both of their quarterbacks. Greg Ward Jr. left the game just before halftime with a shoulder injury, and Kyle Postma sustained a season-ending arm injury on the last play of the third quarter. Ward then returned to finish the game.

“Ward was about 75 percent during the fourth quarter,” UH coach Tom Herman said.

The Tulane offense had 341 yards of total offense compared to 287 yards for the Cougars, but the UH defense did not allow Tulane to get into the red zone the whole game, and limited their third down conversions to 5 out of 19, and fourth down conversions to 1 of 4.

“I was really proud of the way the defense responded to being on the field so much,” Herman said.

The Cougars had 231 yards of offense and scored four touchdowns in the first half with a healthy Ward completing 16 of 24 attempts for 164 yards. In the third quarter, the Cougars had 52 yards of total offense under Postma, and when Ward returned for the fourth quarter, UH had only four yards of total offense.

“The offense started clicking in the second quarter, but obviously when your first two veteran quarterbacks go down, it is very difficult to play offense,” Herman said.

For the game, Ward was 18-30 for 189 yards and two touchdowns. Duke Catalon had 20 rushes for 50 yards, and Linell Bonner had nineeceptions fo r 97 yards. Chance Allen had three receptions for 64 yards and a touchdown, and Steven Dunbar had two receptions for 33 yards and a touchdown.

The defense was led by Tyus Bowser with 11 tackles and three sacks.

“Bowser was great. He played fantastic in his first game back after surgery,” Herman said. “I expect him to be even better next week.”

Jeremy Winchester had eight tackles, and Khalil Williams, Matt Adams, Brandon Wilson and Nick Thurman each had five tackles.

Punter Dane Roy averaged 44 yards on his 11 punts with six of them being downed inside the 20-yard line.

“The punting game was pivotal. When you are not playing great offense, but are playing good defense, you need the punt team to pin them back,” Herman said.

The Cougars take on Louisville on Thursday at 7 p.m.

“Lamar Jackson (Louisville quarterback and Heisman Trophy candidate) is the best player in college football right now. It will be a big-time challenge for our guys,” Herman said.

“It’s going to be fun,” Elkins alumni Chance Allen said. “It’s very exciting to be going against Louisville on a Thursday night in my home town.”

Scoring

Q1          13:43     Houston
Jeremy Winchester recovers fumble in end zone for touchdown (Kick by Ty Cummings)

Q1          06:27     Houston
Greg Ward, Jr. 5-yard touchdown run (Kick by Ty Cummings)

Q1          00:41     Tulane
Darnell Mooney 21-yard touchdown pass from Cuiellette (Kick by DiRocco)

Q2          13:39     Tulane
DiRocco 41-yard field goal

Q2          07:17     Houston
Steven Dunbar 16-yard touchdown pass from Ward (Kick by Ty Cummings)

Q2          04:27     Houston
Chance Allen 6-yard touchdown pass from Ward (Kick by Ty Cummings)

Q4          04:27     Tulane
Owens 28-yard touchdown pass from Cuiellette (Pass by Rounds)

Q4          03:51     Houston
Team Safety

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