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‘One of the worst halves I’ve ever been a part’: 2nd-half woes doom Coogs over Big 12’s Red Raiders

Houston Cougars quarterback Clayton Tune finished with 174 passing yards, two touchdowns and four interceptions in Saturday's loss to Texas Tech. (Courtesy Mario Puente)
Houston Cougars quarterback Clayton Tune finished with 174 passing yards, two touchdowns and four interceptions in Saturday's loss to Texas Tech. (Courtesy Mario Puente)

The Houston Cougars football team suffered a heartbreaking blow at the hands of Texas Tech on Saturday. 

UH led by 14 at halftime and were left in the dust in the second half, getting outscored 31-0 in the third and fourth quarters, which might have caused former Texas Tech quarterback Patrick Mahomes, who was in attendance at NRG Stadium, to have flashbacks of the 2019 season playoffs when his team accomplished a similar feat against the Texans.

“I didn’t do a very good job in the second half from an offensive perspective,” UH head coach Dana Holgorsen said. “That’s one of the worst halves I’ve ever been a part of. I admit that. I own that. We’ll work hard on trying to fix that.”

The Houston Cougars offense was completely shut down in the second half. Tune threw three interceptions in just the second half, one of which was thrown into double coverage and picked off by Texas Tech’s Riko Jeffers, who returned it for a touchdown.

The Cougars’ rushing attack was no help either. It actually made things worse. UH rushed for -18 yards in the second half. The team finished with 53 yards of total offense in the second half. Tune finished with 174 passing yards, two touchdowns and four interceptions in Saturday’s loss to Texas Tech.

“They wore us out,” Holgorsen said. “I didn’t feel like we were blocking really well and it makes it hard to call plays.”

When asked about Tune’s interceptions, Holgorsen said he wasn’t sure if he could blame his quarterback for all of them. Outside of the pick by Jeffers, there were a couple that were tipped, including one that went through the hands of tight end Christian Trahan.

For Tune himself, he said Texas Tech’s defense made it difficult to get any vertical attack going. The way the Red Raiders played defense, it baited the Cougars into running the ball, but they swarmed to the ball and made stops, Tune said.

“They don’t want you to throw it over the top at all,” Tune said. “They want to keep everything underneath and they make you play methodically, which is hard for teams to do, especially with our teams and offense. The playmakers that we have, we want to go deep and connect with the long ball, but they don’t allow you to do that.”

UH’s game on Saturday was just one of 12 more regular season games they have on the schedule. While the loss to Texas Tech stings more with the rumors surrounding a possible entry into the Big 12, Tune remains focused on the present.

“I know what we can do,” Tune said. “I know how we’ve progressed from last year to spring, to fall camp, to now and we just got to prove it.”

andyyanez05@gmail.com | @AYanez_5

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