Cougars bludgeoned into
cellar by Black Knights
By Tom Carpenter
The Daily Cougar
The ebb and flow of the Army-UH game Saturday
resembled medieval forces sweeping across a plain, crashing together in
It was a contest of routs and rallies as
each offense raced down the field leaving defenders strewn in its wake.
But in the end, the ugly specter of defense
raised its head and changed the game's
destiny into a 21-14 Army victory at Michie Stadium in West Point, N.Y.
With the score tied 14-14 and the clock
winding down in the first half, the Cougars sallied forth on a lightning
thrust deep into Army territory. On second
and goal from the three with 27 seconds
left in the half the Cougars were flagged for a false start and pushed
back to the 8-yard line.
On the next play, UH junior quarterback
Kelly Robertson's pass was intercepted by Army inside the Houston 10 and
returned to the Army 11-yard line.
Three plays later the Black Knights rammed
in their third touchdown to take a 21-14 lead into the locker room at the
For the second consecutive game Cougar
mistakes in the waning moments of the first half cost UH control of the
score and the game.
The catastrophic end of the half sucked
the wind out of the Cougars' sails. Army held UH scoreless in the second
half on its way to a 28-14 romp that left
the Cougars alone in the Conference USA
The tone of the game was set on the opening
series when the Black Knights took the kick-off and marched quickly down
the field to score on a 3-yard run
by Josh Holden. The Cougars took the ensuing
kick-off and promptly raced down the field until the Army defense stiffened
and forced the Cougars into a
fourth down and eight.
UH head coach Dana Dimel the gunslinger
gambled, but Robertson's pass fell incomplete. The Cougar defense held,
but the Army punter killed a punt at
the Houston 1-yard line.
Early in the second quarter, in their finest
but most bizarre drive of the season, the Cougars stutter-stepped 77 yards
to take the lead for the first time, 14-7.
Your normal, everyday 77-yard drive was
increased to a 114-yard crusade because of four Cougar penalties. But,
incredibly, the Cougar offense wouldn't
Robertson passed for more than 200 yards
and junior Joffery Reynolds ran for more than 100 yards in the first half.
Houston's 380 yards in total offense in
the first half dwarfed the Black Knight's
196 total yards, but our gridiron heroes trailed 21-14.
The second half began with a case of déjà
vu. The Cougars drove into Army territory where Kelly short-armed a fourth-and-1
pass to wide-open senior
fullback Tommie Baldwin. Army took over
on downs, but for once the Cougar defense held, forcing Army into a punting
situation at mid-field.
The Black Knights reached into their bag
of tricks and faked the punt. The center hiked the ball to the upback,
who rambled 39 yards to the Cougar 11. The
Cougar defense held and the Army field
goal kicker missed a chip shot. The Cougars were still alive.
On the next series senior wide receiver
Orlando Iglesias came up with a big catch from Robertson for a 29-yard
gain, but the pass was wiped out by the
Cougars' 10th penalty.
Army put the game away when it marched
on a 12-play touchdown drive to make the score 28-14, and those caissons
went rolling along.
The Cougar offense made a heroic effort
to get back in the game, but a fourth-and-goal at the Army 5-yard line
The Houston defense failed to hold. Army
swept around the Cougars' Maginot Line to escape the shadow of its goalposts,
but Army missed another chip
shot field goal. The Cougars took over
at the Army 21 with 5 minutes and 15 seconds to play with a last gasp chance
to pull out a victory.
Robertson's first pass was intercepted
when he forced it into double coverage. The Black Knights then ran out
the clock to win their first game of the year
and send the Cougars spiraling into the