This past Saturday, the University of Houston (U of H) Cougars were stunned by the Southern Methodist University (SMU) Mustangs, 38-16. The Cougars have now lost two of their past three games. The defense of the Cougars gave up over 100 yards on the ground. The Cougars have two losses on the season, with both losses occurring when the opposing team has accrued 100 yards or more on the ground.
The Mustangs were able to get on the board first. The Cougars’ Chance Allen fumbled the ball at the Mustangs’ 12-yard line. The Mustangs capitalized on that turnover by driving the ball 88 yards over 11 plays. The Mustangs’ Ben Hicks was able to find pay dirt from the one-yard line.
On the Cougars’ next series, Linell Bonner fumbled the ball. It was picked up by the Mustangs’ Jarvis Pruitt, but they missed a 41-yard field goal by Josh Williams. The Cougars really could not get much going offensively, and at the end of the half, the Mustangs led 28-7. The Cougars came out of the halftime break and finally started to move the ball midway through the third quarter that resulted in a two-yard touchdown pass from Cougar quarterback Ward Jr. to Tyler McCloskey. The Cougars closed the lead to 28-14 at the end of third quarter. The Cougars’ offense went cold the rest of the way, and the Mustangs were able to put the nail in the coffin on with a 10-yard touchdown run in the fourth quarter. The Cougars were able to get a safety late in the game, but it did not matter, as they fell once again to an opponent who dominated on the ground. SMU gained 406 yards, including 228 in the air and 178 on the ground.
The Cougars could now drop out of the top 25 after this loss. U of H is looking to extend Head Coach Tom Herman’s contract to encourage him to stay, but losses like these don’t make things attractive to want to stay at the university, versus going to another well-known program in the country.