Monday, September 24, 2001  Volume 67, Issue 23


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 Cougar

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 South).

"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 after that.

"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, eclipsing Simms'
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 Stanford
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 championship."

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