PHILADELPHIA (NWN) — There are a lot of things Dana Holgorsen’s soccer team can dream of accomplishing next month. One thing on his mind for the Houston football coach is not to forget to set an alarm clock this week.
Holgorsen wants to make sure there’s no shocking wake-up call when the Cougars, number 17, head for the afternoon kickoff in Philadelphia on Saturday against a Temple squad that’s lost four games in a row.
“We have to plan an afternoon game at some point,” Holgorsen said this week. “We have two in the next three weeks. …but we have to adjust our mindset a bit and focus on getting up early and playing the game on the East Coast. I am so excited to have it.”
A win on Saturday would close out the Cougars 8-1 in the American Athletic Conference championship game and a potential performance against No. 5 Cincinnati, chasing the first College Football Playoff invitational from a group of 5 affiliated conferences since the four-team format. Used to be. Established in 2014. (Notre Dame made it an independent in 2018 and a member of the Atlantic Coast Conference in 2020)
The Houston offense has been resounding in the past two weeks in high-scoring victories against SMU (44–37) and South Florida (54–42). After struggling in the early part of the season with a hamstring injury, Cougars junior quarterback Clayton Tune has become a major positive factor. Tune has completed 48 of 55 passes for 797 yards and seven touchdowns in the last two games and has not made an interception since October 1.
“He’s had two really good games in a row, and he’s still not 100%, which is why we’re not doing too many run games with him,” Holgorsen said. “He’s good enough to be able to scramble around and make some plays. …. I would say he’s playing at a very high level, and that’s why our offense has improved over the past few weeks.
Supporters have also stood out for the Cougars – including wide receivers Nathaniel Dale (56 catches, 839 yards, 8 TDs) and Alton McCaskill (603 rushing yards, 12 touchdowns).
Last week’s win at USF marked the first time in school history that the Cougars had multiple 100-yard rushers and multiple 100-yard receivers in a single game. Ta’Zhawn Henry had 130 yards on the ground to compliment McCaskill’s 125-yard run. Dale had 164 yards and was joined by Casein Carter, who had 123.
“The quarterback is playing at a high level and he has really good skills,” said Temple coach Rod Carey. “And the offensive line is allowing them to place and make some holes.”
After enjoying years of success under Matt Roulette and Geoff Collins, Temple is at the bottom of the American Conference in Carey’s third year as coach. Owls have lost their last four games with a combined score of 180-27.
A main issue for Temple has been stopping the race. The Owls have allowed 221.4 yards per game on the field this season – the eighth worst mark in FBS entering Week 11.
“We have to finish the big game,” Carey said. “We made 12 tackles for a loss last week, but then we allowed eight plays over 10 yards. That fixes things and you end up with a bad stat sheet with a run game. It’s real We’ve gone from high level to real low level. We have to eliminate really big plays to bring the level up.”
Houston leads 6-1 in the all-time series and 3-0 in Philadelphia. … Temple has scored five turnovers in the last four matches, but has scored only three points from them. … the Owls have been led 74-7 in the first quarter of this season. Houston beat their opponents 116-38 in the first quarter of this season.
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