Offense comes alive,
but Cougars fall to Texas
By Ed De La Garza
Daily Cougar Staff
UH quarterback Kelly Robertson connected
on a three-yard touchdown pass to tight end Grover Thompson in the first
half of Saturday's football
game, giving the Cougars the lead against
the University of Texas Longhorns.
But there was still one minute and 19 seconds
left until intermission.
Kevin Harwerth/The Daily
Junior running back Joffrey
Reynolds scampers down the sideline on a 38-yard pass and run to score
the Cougars' first touchdown against the
University of Texas on Saturday.
A brief 14-10 lead lasted little more
than one minute. Texas quarterback Chris Simms marched the Longhorns 60
yards to take the lead back
with eight seconds remaining in the first
half. A mishandled squib kick recovered by Texas allowed UT kicker Dusty
Mangum to attempt -- and
make -- a 47-yard field goal as time expired.
But for one minute, the Cougars had put
the fear of former UH head coach Bill Yeoman into the minds of UT and its
fans (which had turned
Robertson Stadium into Memorial Stadium
"The kicker did a great job to get a field
goal," UH head coach Dana Dimel said. "Now all of a sudden the game --
where we've outplayed them
the whole first half completely -- is
20-14 at halftime."
The Cougars threatened again at the start
of the second half. A holding call pushed them back to first-and-30 from
their own 34-yard line, but
Robertson connected on a 38-yard strike
to wide receiver Orlando Iglesias on second-and-27, taking the Cougars
into Texas territory.
Robertson lost the ball on fourth-and-inches
at the 26 and Texas took the momentum back for good with a 74-yard drive
"That was a crucial play for us," Robertson
said. "We were driving well there and we had a quarterback sneak with six
inches to go. Somebody
came in or something knocked the ball
out, that's my mistake."
Texas extended its lead to 40-14 to start
the fourth quarter before UH responded, but by then Texas head coach Mack
Brown had eased into
cruise mode. The 'Horns piled on two more
scores to appease fans and pollsters, but still couldn't cover the line.
"The game was pretty much over with about
10 minutes left to go in the fourth quarter," Brown said.
Though the Longhorns were ranked No. 5
going into Saturday's game, the Cougars refused to back down.
"They did a good job on kickoff returns
against us, which has not been happening to us," Brown said. "Overall,
our defense we felt like gave up
too many big plays. We needed a real tough
game on the road."
Junior defensive end Adrian Lee may have
had the last word when he sacked Simms.
"He didn't say nothing to me," Lee said.
"Only thing he did was just wink his eye at me. I just smiled at him."
Robertson allayed some early season critics
following the Cougars' 21-14 loss to Rice by posting a huge passing day,
311-yard performance with a 20-of-33 for
364 yards day.
"Three weeks of practice really helped
us get together and be on the same page," Robertson said. "We just came
out more relaxed this game
and executed better."
A nonexistent running game against Rice
was quickly forgotten, as junior running back Joffrey Reynolds was one
of the main reasons the
Cougars were able to stake a first-half
lead. He carried 15 times for 56 yards, much of which was compiled before
the UT defense clamped
down on the UH ground attack.
The defense gave up 53 points, but there
were some bright moments, namely a standout performance from freshman cornerback
Routt. Routt intercepted a Simms pass,
a play that led to UH's go-ahead score.
"We came out and played hard with them,"
senior cornerback Jason Parker said. "Sometimes we have to take it an extra
notch and I don't think
we did that."
The final statistics may give the Longhorns
a 27-point win, but UH played well enough to give Dimel hope as the Cougars
head into conference
play against Texas Christian on Saturday.
"Our whole offense executed well enough
to beat anybody on any given Saturday," Dimel said. "If we continue to
execute I think we've got a
great chance to make a run at this conference