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Run it (Bro)back: Houston Film Breakdown - Offense vs. Tulane

The issues aren’t what you think they are, so let’s take a look at what needs to change

Houston v Tulane Photo by Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images

Tulane couldn’t stop Houston’s offense in the first half of Thursday’s game. The Cougars did just about anything they wanted against the Green Wave to start the game, but the second half was a different story. Just like the Washington State game, the Cougars started strong but finished flat. What went wrong? The same things we’ve seen in the first three games.

Interior Blocking

I don’t know what more needs to be said, but there are times where the interior blocking hinders King’s ability to be special or even make a play. It also affects the run game.

Justin Murphy doesn’t have a problem reaching his man, but overshoots his target. His guy ends up making the tackle here. This is just one of the many examples to use from the game. D’Eriq King’s a special talent that can cover for some mistakes, but it becomes too consistent for him to do anything. This group has the potential to be so much better, but they keep getting blown off the ball or taking poor angles.

King deep ball

No clip for this one, because you all know what I’m talking about. D’Eriq King’s most glaring weakness is his deep ball. Houston wins this game if King can take a little of two or three of his many overthrown deep passes. It’s that simple. Many fans wanted to blame the playcalling late in the second half, but King’s inability to complete long passes and a couple of key drops halted drives early.

Key drops

Another on without a clip. You know the biggest drop. Keith Corbin’s drop in the endzone late in the game didn’t lose it, but it made a big impact. If Corbin catches that pass (and the Coogs make the extra point), Houston’s up four. While the defense should have been paying attention for the trick play, they would have been more alert if they were up four. The pressure also then goes to Tulane, and they might start to press more. I’m not saying Corbin lost Houston the game (because that’s far from the truth), but that drop had more of an impact on the final drive than people realize.

King breaks record

Not all was bad for the Houston offense. The fast start (literally) was noticeable. Houston jumped on Tulane early and often, and the first play made a big statement. King buys time buy faking a quarterback run, and then finds Marquez Stevenson behind the defense who blazes past the Green Wave defenders with ease.

We also saw King get on the board, and etch his name into the record books. He passed Tim Tebow for most consecutive games with a passing and rushing touchdown with 15, and this run adds to his highlight reel. With a defensive back running full speed at him, King makes one move to make that many look bad and the rest is history (literally).

Grades

Quarterback- B: King broke a record, but also struggled beating Tulane deep.

Running Back- B+: Porter went down with an injury after a good start, but Carr and Car took it from there.

Wide Receiver/Tight End- A-: Drops hurt bad, but this group was dominating Tulane’s secondary.

Offensive Line: C: Inconsistencies lead to King running for his life too often.

Conclusion

Playcalling wasn’t as big of an issue as fans made it out to be. Execution was the real culprit. A lack of protection, King’s struggles with longer throws, and a couple drops led to Houston’s demise. Not the final two plays. Tulane should have won this game by three scores, so Houston did well to hang around long enough. It’s okay to be frustrated, but at the same time most of the issues are fixable.