UH holds off Arizona to give Major Applewhite first win

The win was the Cougars’ seventh in a row against teams from Power Five conferences. It was the Cougars’ first true road win against a Pac-12 opponent since 1989 against Arizona State.

In what Applewhite described earlier in the week as a “return to normalcy,” UH played its season opener a week later after Tropical Storm Harvey delivered catastrophic flooding to the Houston metropolitan area. The Cougars wore special helmet decals Saturday night – a Texas-themed UH and a smaller one featuring the state of Texas with a hurricane logo and the words “Houston Strong.”


Houston: Allen showed he has the talent to take over the Cougars’ offense but he made some poor decisions and this Houston team looks a long way from the high-scoring squads of the recent past.

Arizona: The young Wildcats went toe-to-toe with the Cougars all night, especially on defense, but mistakes and a few big Houston plays doomed them.

Arizona’s defense gave the offense multiple chances down the stretch forcing Houston to go 5-for-14 on third down, but the Wildcats couldn’t find the end zone when they got in the red zone forcing Josh Pollack to go 3-for-4 on field goals.

Even when the Wildcats had a pair of interceptions from Demetrius Flannigan-Fowles and Lorenzo Burns in the second half, the offense struggled to move the ball and Houston’s poised quarterback in Texas A&M transfer Kyle Allen completed 25-of-32 passes for 225 yards.

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We beat Arizona St. 62-45 in Tokyo in 1990, but guess that would be neutral.

It’s international

UH gets the AAC on the board with the first win by the conference against a P5 school (and Notre Dame):

C-USA: 2-9 (MTSU over Syracuse, UTSA over Baylor)
MAC: 2-9 (CMU over Kansas, EMU over Rutgers)
MWC: 2-9 (Colorado State over Oregon State, SDSU over Arizona State)
AAC: 1-4 (Houston over Arizona)
Sun Belt: 0-7

AAC has 7 games next week against P5 opponents and 9 remaining this season

Just got back to my hotel. This is a very quick over view. What matters most is that we won the game. We were not in synch especially on offense. The defense played well at times and no so well in different sequences of the game. We did allow way to many yards on badly missed tackles. The Coaches won’t be happy. This is a good thing to learn from mistakes when we win. The offensive line showed some progress over last year. That is a positive point. Duke Catalon seems to be healthy again. This is the good news. The bad news is that Kyle Allen played very poorly. His decision making was bad, his footwork was all over and his throws were not accurate enough. He could have been picked four to five times. After the second Int Major shut down the offense. He clearly had some questions about Kyle’s play. Kyle has to rebound in a hurry or we could see a QB controversy developing. Keep in mind that we played against two sub par QB’s. I can’t even imagine when we play against good ones. Again what matters most is that we won. We need to look at this game as the first step after hurricane Harvey. Practice makes perfect. I have no doubt that we will learn a great deal from tonight.
Very happy to have met our Leader, Mrs. Khator and got a picture with Mr. Oliver, super young man without an once of primadonna between his ears.
Good night from Tucson. GO COOGS!!!


Agree for the most part. The big plus was that UH won the game.

The Arizona offense was terrible, and the COOGS defense was good enough. Too many missed tackles and some costly penalties.

Offensively, the COOGS definitely have work to do. Kyle Allen was not great, but the coaches will work on his game now that there’s film. The running game was pretty decent, and the o-line deserves credit for that.

Overall, it’s best to learn from a loss than a defeat. Lots of work to do and I’m sure Major and the staff will be busy.


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The offensive play calling was so predictable on 3rd and short, short screen pass to the sidelines. San Diego State jumped on 1 of those passes in the Bowl game last season, if I am not mistaken. You have to mix it up.


You act like we did bubble screens on every third down play. We tried draws and we even tried deep passes to no avail. Where we were lacking all night was our mid range passing game, especially to the tight ends. Also the fact that we no longer have a quarterback who can and will run out of the pocket to pick up crucial first downs was evident last night.
We have plenty of work ahead of us but I think this is going to be a very good team and I think Allen will step up and be very good once we get all the kinks out. I just wish we had a speed receiver…

On 3rd and short I want to see the running back push it up between the tackles. A big running back. That play when we give it to the wide receiver running toward the sideline is a joke. I did like the diamond formation out wide. Allen has a great arm, a few of those long passes to the sideline were sweet. The running backs act like they don’t know where to go when they get in open field, still waiting for the replacement for Aldridge. Our dbs are plenty fast enough,just need to get turned at the right time and make the play on the ball. I think 14 will be ok. Davis is good. Our defense still hits hard, I like that. Ed Oliver was awesome as usual.

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Allen completed 78% of his passes. That is a good place to start. One of those picks was because the receiver fell down.
More worried about our running game.
Either way we will score more when the refs don’t make up multiple BS offensive PI calls.

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The first there was a small push, but not normally called, but dude did it, the second was BS. I also think there were a couple of really iffy defensive PI calls… yeah, there was contact, but the contact when we were on defense went both ways, calls were pretty much always against us.

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Go Coogs! I was worried about this one and figured it could go either way. Glad it went our way.

And the other int was on fourth down and put them inside their 10. “BRILLIANT!!!”

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Houston isn’t very good. The Cougars beat a Pac-12 team on the road by doing as little as possible, with a minimum of big plays, gaining just 383 yards a week after small-school NAU rolled up 562 yards on the Wildcats.

And if the Cougars aren’t very good, what does that make Arizona?

This wasn’t an impressive game, but the Cougars leave Tucson with a win. Oliver dominated as expected, and hopefully he finally receives the national attention he deserves. There is plenty of work to do on both sides of the ball, and someone besides Oliver will need to make plays on a consistent basis.

MAC: 2-9 (CMU over Kansas, EMU over Rutgers)

I’m hoping CMU gets back to back P5 wins by knocking off 'Cuse this week.

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A little harsh for a guy that completed 25 of 32 passes (27 if you count the INTs!). He wasn’t great but it was his first game in over 20 months. He made some throws that were really good and made some that were really bad. Hopefully he improves but “very poorly” seems too strong of a description. Let’s see how the next two weeks go against Rice and Texas Tech.


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