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Houston bounces back impressively blowing out Rice

The UH Cougars bounced back after their opening week loss with a big win against the Rice Owls. (Courtesy of Mario Puente)

Houston Cougars (1-1) started fast and finished strong on the road against crosstown rival Rice (0-2) Saturday, leaving Rice stadium victorious 44-7 with the Bayou Bucket trophy.

Leading 21-7 at halftime, Houston’s Clayton Tune connected with Alton McCaskill for a 35 yard touchdown pass, the Cougars scored first and never trailed in the game.

Here are the best and worst moments of the Houston versus Cincinnati conference matchup. 

Offensive Player of the Game

Coming off of their loss against Texas Tech, in which Houston jumped out to a 14-0 lead before giving up 31 consecutive points, 24 points coming off of Clayton Tune’s interceptions. Head coach Dana Holgorsen referred to the second half offense as “the worst part of offense he has been a part of ”, vowing his team would be better next game, and that Clayton Tune would be the starting quarterback.

The Cougars spotted themselves 17 points against Rice, leading 17-7 at the half, behind Tune’s two touchdowns passes. This time they did not have a meltdown in the second half. To start the second half, the Cougars did not waste any time putting points on the board. Their first drive took 7:42 to go 75 yards, highlighted by two long third down conversion passes to Nathaniel Dell, finished by a one yard touchdown run by freshman running back Alton McCaskill.

Houston kept their foot on the gas, scoring on the very next possession after a 43 yard run by Tune, capped off by a two yard touchdown run by McCaskill. Everytime the Bearcats needed a big play Tune provided it. Houston held Rice scoreless in the second half. Tune finished the game 21/29 for 225 yards with two touchdowns, adding 49 rushing yards, more importantly no turnovers.

Defensive Player of the Game

Junior defensive lineman Logan Hall led all tacklers with 8 total tackles, two solo, half of a sack and two in a half tackles for a loss. Hall simply dominated the line of scrimmage, playing defensive tackle and defensive end. Holgorsen raved about the growth of Hall throughout the entire off season. Hall logged new career highs in total tackles, plus in tackles for a loss. 

Offensive Play of the Game 

The highlight of the game came on a scramble by Tune, which was the longest offensive play by Houston all game. As Tune broke through the line of scrimmage he juked a Rice defender to the ground in the open field, then scrambled for 42 yards. 

 Defensive Play of the Game

There were a lot of plays to choose from. Houston’s defense once again caused multiple turnovers, by the opposing offense. The defensive play of the game came in the 1st quarter, on Rice’s third offensive possession Hasaan Hypolite intercepted Luke McCaffrey. Led to a Tune touchdown pass to Jake Herslow. 

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