On November 12th, the Houston Cougars hosted the Tulane Green Wave in a homecoming game for Houston. While they were able to get a 30-18 victory and improve to 8-2 on the season, it was a sloppy game in most phases. However, as usual in games where the offense isn't playing well, the punter was the team's MVP.
Somebody Get Dane Roy a Game Ball
Against Tulane, Roy punted 11 times and averaged 44.2 yards per punt. His longest on the day was a respectable 53 yards. When the punter can get that type of distance on his kicks, he is likely going to impact the field position battle and help out the team's defense. He was even responsible for setting up Houston's first touchdown when one of his punts was muffed and recovered by the Cougars in the end zone.
The Offense Struggled in the Second Half
On this day, it didn't matter that the Cougars were unable to score an offensive point in the second half. They were up 28-10 at halftime, and the Green Wave would get only a late touchdown and two-point conversion to make it 28-18 with a little more than four minutes left to go in the game. The only points that Houston managed after halftime was a safety that turned a two possession game into a two touchdown game, and Tulane wasn't going to come back from that.
Greg Ward Didn't Run the Ball Very Effectively
One of the reasons why Greg Ward is so effective is because he is a dual-threat quarterback who can beat you with his legs or his arm. However, he barely registered on the stat sheet in either capacity against the Green Wave. Yes, he had a touchdown on the ground and two more through the air, but he only accounted for 186 total yards.
In fact, he has rushed for a mere 15 yards on 39 carries over the past three games. That is in addition to the 12 sacks he has taken over that same time period. Either the coaching staff needs to design better plays or the line needs to start playing better to protect one of their best offensive weapons.
Houston is 8-2 so far in 2016, and they will certainly play in a postseason game. While it won't be a New Year's Bowl game or a College Football Playoff game, they will still want to finish the season strong. Therefore, they need to figure out what they are doing wrong on the offensive side of the ball to make sure that their punter doesn't continue to be their best player. The Cougars will now put their 14-game home winning streak (second highest in the country) on the line against the #3 team in the country, the Louisville Cardinals.