The big ones
Tuned up and ready
All eyes turned to Clayton Tune Saturday, and the sophomore didn’t disappoint. In fact, he played extremely well. At times, he looked like he’d been starting for multiple years, which could be a result of his time playing last year. Take this play for instance, and keep in mind that it’s early in his first start. He takes time to go through his progressions, can’t find anything, scrambles, and throws a beautiful pass on the run.
Tune also mixed in some touch passes throughout the game. Here he looks off the back side safety, and drops a dime in behind the secondary to Courtney Lark with little room to spare.
Surprisingly, running the ball turned out to be a strength for Houston’s new quarterback. Tune finished with 100 yards rushing on just nine carries. With D’Eriq King out, fans figured the days of a running quarterback were over this year. Same with the magic of eluding pass rushers. Not so fast. Here, Tune somehow avoids the first pass rusher, stays upright, keeps his eyes downfield, and delivers a strike for a first down.
Fans underestimated Tune’s abilities heading into this game. Can he sustain this type of success? It becomes more difficult with tougher opponents ahead, but he gives fans something to be excited about after this week. Given the talent around him, Houston shouldn’t have trouble moving the ball even if he’s not playing his best.
If Tune didn’t play well, Houston’s run game was up for the challenge. Patrick Carr set the tone early with this huge run, and showed why he’s the starter. The play flows to the left, but Carr sees an opening to the right and takes it. There aren’t many defenders waiting for his cutback, and he carries a couple guys into the endzone.
The running back position continues to thrive, which arguably is the surprise of the season. Carr recovered from an injury early in the season, and now takes over with Kyle Porter battling a back injury. He finished the game with 139 yards rushing and three touchdowns.
- Tune’s ball placement played a huge role in the passing game. His accuracy was great most of the game. The game never got too big for him as he appeared poised and confident throughout (finished with just four incompletions).
- Jarrid Williams and Josh Jones must stay healthy. Williams went out for a play, and the next play was a disaster at right tackle. There doesn’t appear to be much depth behind Houston’s two stud tackles.
- Jack Freeman and Dennis Bardwell started at center and right guard, respectively, after learning Braylon Jones would be out for the year and Justin Murphy didn’t make the trip to Denton. Freeman looked like the center of the future, and played extremely well.
- Marquez Stevenson needs to work on catching passes with his hands. He’s become too reliant upon his body to make catches, and that won’t help him in the NFL whenever he decides to turn pro.
Quarterback- A-: Statistically not the best game you could have from a quarterback, but Clayton Tune played extremely confident and didn’t make many mistakes.
Running Back- A: Patrick Carr showed up and produced when Houston needed it. Now just need this group to get healthy.
Wide Receiver/Tight End- B+: Sometimes lacked separation, but still the most consistent group of the offense.
Offensive Line- B+: Best game they’ve played all year, and the interior pressure decreased with the new starters.
Given the distractions earlier this week, it could have been easy for Houston’s offense to play slow. They wouldn’t allow it, and actually played well. Tune’s play gives fans hope for the future, and Dana Holgorsen found a couple lineman that can play consistently inside. A tough remaining schedule awaits, but this group will give it their best shot.