Houston will look to extend its winning streak to four games when it visits Tulsa in an American Athletic Conference game on Friday night, making for a short week for both teams.
“You take what you’re dealt, and you make the most of it,” Houston coach Dana Holgorsen told reporters. “We’ve got a plan. We haven’t snapped the football a ton, and we haven’t left the city. We’re healthy and that’s all I can ask for.”
The Cougars (3-1, 1-0 AAC) are coming off a 28-20 win over Navy to open conference play last Saturday. Marcus Jones scored on a 73-yard punt return and a 47-yard reception, and the Cougars rallied from a 10-point halftime deficit.
Ta’Zhawn Henry’s 2-yard touchdown run with 3:16 left in the third quarter pulled Houston to within 17-14. Houston took the lead for good on its next possession when Jones caught a 47-yard touchdown pass from Clayton Tune seven seconds into the fourth quarter for a 21-17 lead.
After opening with a 38-21 loss to Texas Tech, the Cougars have outscored their next three opponents — Rice, Grambling and Navy — by a combined score of 117-27. Houston has opened with three wins in its first four games for the first time since 2018.
Jones, who had a 48-yard punt return for a touchdown against Grambling on Sept. 18, became the fifth player in program history to score multiple punt return TDs in a season. His two punt returns for touchdowns are tied with Boise State’s Stefan Cobbs for the national lead.
Tune has gone 75-for-105 passing for 729 yards with five touchdowns and five interceptions. Alton McCaskill leads the rushing attack with 233 yards and four scores on 51 carries, with Nathaniel Dell posting a team-high 25 catches for 342 yards and three touchdowns.
Tulsa (1-3, 0-0) ended a three-game losing streak with a 41-34 victory over Arkansas State in a nonconference game on Saturday. But the Golden Hurricane are looking to avoid their first 1-4 start since 2018.
Davis Brin went 17-for-25 passing for 355 yards with three touchdowns and an interception Saturday. Shamari Brooks rushed for 155 yards and a score on 22 carries and Josh Johnson caught nine passes for 127 yards against Arkansas State.
“I think it’s going to carry us with some momentum and going into conference (play),” Brin said. “But like we always say, we want to go 1-0 every week. And we’re going to keep focusing on that.”
–Field Level Media