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Volume 68, Issue 60, Monday, November 18, 2002


Costly mistakes keep adding up for the Cougars

By Geronimo Rodriguez
The Daily Cougar

As the Cincinnati Bearcats slapped the Cougars with a 47-14 loss, the teamis final road effort was marred by six turnovers. And whether it was one or six, turnovers have tainted some of the Cougarsi most promising moments of the season.

Cougar quarterbacks have now thrown 15 picks while the team has fumbled 17 times, owning an unfavorable -1.10 turnover margin.

In the bruising Conference USA loss at Nippert Stadium on Saturday, senior running back Joffrey Reynolds scrambled 28 times for 76 yards, sparking up the scoreboard for the gameis first touchdown. But Reynoldsi three-yard touchdown run faded into nothing more than a flicker as the Bearcats answered by bolting five times for the end zone.

Lorrie Novosad/The Daily Cougar

Freshman defensive back Roshawn Pope fumbles a kickoff return during the Cougarsi 47-14 loss to Cincinnati on Saturday. UH dropped to 4-6 (2-5 in Conference USA) with only two games remaining.

As the Cincinnati defenders subdued Reynoldsi ground game, Eddy was asked to step up. Completing 10-of-23 passes for a measly 152 yards, Eddyis reply was as cold as the Cincinnati weather. The junior quarterback improvised early by catching blitzes and ultimately connected with six different Cougar receivers, including Brandon Middleton and KeyKowa Bell both grabbed four passes for 78 and 49 yards, respectively.

But three of Eddyis misfires led to interceptions and UC senior defensive end Antwan Peek returned one of Eddyis two fumbles for a 21-yard touchdown.

Returning turnovers for touchdowns has become quite the rally call for Cougar opponents. While the Cougars have turned the ball over 19 times in their four losing efforts, opposing defenders have run back turnovers three times including a 43-interception return by Texas Christian senior safety Kenneth Hilliard on Oct. 5 and a 95-yard fumble return by Tulane senior defensive end Floyd Dorsey on Sept. 4.

Reynolds leads the Cougar ball handlers in fumbles with eight, including costly cough-ups against East Carolina on Nov. 9 and a two-fumble performance against Tulane on Sept. 4.

Like most coaches, Cougar head coach Dana Dimel is quick to point out his teamis turnover ratio after loss. And some may ask just how much of a difference it makes to lose a possession.

Look at the Cougars four wins, where the team has lost the rock 16 times, and itis obvious, even on a decent day, the Cougars have a long way to go to clear their game of self-inflicted mistakes.

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