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Volume 72, Issue 55, Monday, November 6, 2006


UH all class in win over Tulsa, fans maybe not


Mark Suarez 

Running down the sideline, junior Anthony Alridge must have felt as though he had taken flight over John O'Quinn Field. 

His turf blinding speed gave way to a 59-yard sprint that left Tulsa defenders wallowing in a cloud of dust. The run would have resulted in a 73-yard touchdown if Alridge had not stepped out of bounds, side-stepping a tackle on the Tulsa 14-yard line. 

The significance of the play was not that it led to a chip-shot field goal off the reliable boot of sophomore kicker Ben Bell, but that Alridge set the tone for a Houston team that refused to be pushed around in their house.

From that moment the Cougars (7-3, 5-1 C-USA) scored 20 unanswered points en route to a 27-10 thrashing of the hyped-up Tulsa Golden Hurricane (7-2, 4-1 C-USA). The Houston victory swung the balance of power in the C-USA West Division and allowed UH to move into a first place tie with Tulsa while snagging the head-to-head tiebreak. 

The Cougars out-classed the Golden Hurricane in every aspect of the game, and emphatically silenced its critics in the media and on annoying Internet message boards everywhere who continually questioned their toughness against the run. 

The Daily Cougar sports section itself has a big plate of crow to eat after Houston's linebacker corps put on a tackling clinic. Defensively, the Cougars were down right nasty as senior Wade Koehl, junior Trent Allen, and sophomores Cody Lubojasky and Rodney Rideau combined to make 27 total tackles. 

Houston held Tulsa to 113 rushing yards on 24 carries. 

The defense stepped up and made a huge play when they pounced on a crucial fumble by Tulsa junior halfback Courtney Tennial with 2:35 remaining in the third quarter and up 24-10, effectively shutting the door on Tulsa's comeback bid. The whole team stepped up its game and played inspired offense to boot. 

In addition to catching a momentum-shifting 14-yard touchdown pass prior to halftime to put Houston up 17-10, senior Vincent Marshall became the UH all-time leader in receiving yards. Marshall got a standing ovation from a Houston crowd that didn't always show flashes of brilliance during the game. 

In the third quarter with 6:12 remaining, Tulsa sophomore cornerback Chris Duncan sustained a leg injury on special teams coverage on a Golden Hurricane punt. Duncan was on the ground for several minutes while a stretcher made its way onto the field. 

During the delay, fans at Robertson Stadium began to do a wave that eventually made its way to the Tulsa fan section, where it abruptly ceased while Duncan was being attended to.

This has to be considered one of the lowest moments for Cougar fans this year who should know better than to do the wave while a student athlete lays on the ground motionless for several minutes. The fans redeemed themselves, however, when they gave Duncan a standing ovation as he was carted off the field. But the fact still remained that the wave was not an act of good sportsmanship by a group of fans so elated to see their team win that they rushed the field in celebration after the game. 

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