Hi 76 / Lo 53
|Volume 68, Issue 60,
Monday, November 18, 2002
Weather, Bearcats freeze Coogs
The Post-Game Show
After taking a pounding on the frozen turf of Nippert Stadium in Cincinnati, thatis how the Cougars must feel. Everything was ice-cold for the Cougars on Saturday.
The rushing game, the passing attack and the defense all froze up on Dana Dimelis team.
This time, there was no big lead to blow.
There was no costly mistake late in the game. There was no single big play that changed everything.
This time, star running back Joffrey Reynolds could not put the Cougars on his shoulders and carry them to a competitive showing.
Junior quarterback Nick Eddy struggled Saturday against the Cincinnati Bearcats, throwing for just 152 yards on 10-of-23 passing. He also had three interceptions.
The Cincinnati Bearcats just came out, lined up and whipped the Cougars in every facet of the game.
The Cougar defense played what was possibly its worst game of the season, allowing the Bearcats to move the ball at will, posting 47 points on 492 total yards.
The offense, once again plagued by turnovers, managed just two touchdowns, with one of them coming late in the game when the outcome was no longer in doubt.
Throwing for just 152 passing yards and three interceptions, junior quarterback Nick Eddy never found his rhythm, and the Cougar offense was rendered ineffective all game.
Reynolds entered the game as Conference USAis leading rusher and the No. 5 runner in the nation, but was held to just 76 yards on 28 carries.
Reynolds streak of four consecutive games with 100 or more rushing yards was broken.
Although the Cougars had a poor showing Saturday, plenty can be salvaged from this season. After the crushing defeat to East Carolina, a rebound victory at Cincinnati had to seem unlikely to even the most ardent UH fanatic.
Two upset wins over South Florida and Louisville would give the Cougars a .500 record and bowl eligibility. Although a bowl berth would be unlikely, C-USA does have several bowl affiliations and few bowl contending teams, so you never know.
A 6-6 record would also give the program momentum heading into next season. Remember, this team was 0-11 last year. Relatively speaking, a 6-6 campaign would be a remarkable success. It could also stabilize the coaching situation and give Dimel a little room to breathe.
The season is not over. But it is starting to feel a little frigid.
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