Tech puts 63 on UH
Tech’s freshman QB racks up 605 passing yards in second start
LUBBOCK — Major Applewhite scanned the statistic sheet after the worst loss of his two-year coaching career at the University of Houston.
“It’s unacceptable,” Applewhite said after the Cougars surrendered their most points in sixyears in a 63-49 loss to Texas Tech on Saturday before a crowd of 53,484 at Jones AT&T Stadium.
Alan Bowman, a true freshman making his second career start, shredded the Cougars for 605 yards and five touchdowns as UH was doomed by missed tackles, dropped passes and the inability to keep Texas Tech’s high-powered offense off the field. It was the fifth 600-yard passing game in school history. So long, UH’s perfect record. That’s only the beginning of the Cougars’ problems. Senior safety Garrett Davis suffered a broken left foot on the game’s opening drive and will miss the remainder of the season. And, suddenly, after a 2-0 start — highlighted by a dominating win against Arizona and onetime Heisman Trophy hopeful Khalil Tate — the Cougars must look for answers after being victimized on defense for 704 total yards.
“We have to come back and figure it out,” Applewhite said.
The 63 points were the most allowed by UH since a 72-42 loss to SMU on Oct. 18, 2012.
Arena football came to West Texas. Passing was mandatory. Defense was optional, if not strongly discouraged. Houston and Texas Tech, former Southwest Conference rivals, combined for 112 points and 1,339 yards, most of it coming through the air.
Bowman, who started in place of injured McLane Carter, was 43of-59 and sacked only once as the Red Raiders got rid of the ball fast to neutralize the UH pass rush.
“Tackling was a big issue,” UH linebacker Emeke Egbule said. “If we would have made some of those tackles no telling what it would be like right now.”
Tech (2-1) scored touchdowns on seven trips inside the red zone.
“You are going to give up some big plays,” Applewhite said. “But then you have to show up in the red zone. We didn’t force them into field goals. We didn’t play well enough to legitimately say we had a chance to win this game.”
The teams matched scores for most of the first half, with Marquez Stevenson providing two of the biggest moments of the season on touchdown catches of 57 and 79 yards. After UH took a 28-21 lead on 18-yard TD grab by Keith Corbin, Tech responded with a 6yard TD catch by Antoine Wesley.
Bowman completed eight straight passes, the last a 1-yard score to T.J. Vasher with 3 seconds left for a 35-28 halftime lead.
On the opening possession of the second half, UH needed just six plays and 1 minute, 57 seconds to tie the game at 35 on a 31-yard run by Terence Williams.
Ta’Zhawn Henry scored on runs of 19, 13, and 1 yard in the second half as Tech pulled away. The Red Raiders scored touchdowns on six of seven possessions in the second and third quarters.
“Just a day where you look deep inside your defense how we respond,” said All-America defensive tackle Ed Oliver, who was constantly double-teamed and finished with six tackles, one for a loss. “We didn’t execute well across the board, from the defensive line to the backend. You take the loss, evaluate and overcome. This is when you see teams turn and be great or see teams fall apart.”
Wesley had 13 catches for a school-record 261 yards and three TDs. After a hot first-half start, D’Eriq King was only 14-for-26 for 144 yards and one touchdown in the second half. For the game, King was 30-of-51 for 431 yards and five touchdowns, all career highs.
Stevenson finished with nine catches for 177 yards, both career highs. Corbin had seven catches for 103 yards and two scores.
Applewhite was not interested in any silver linings.
“Right now, I’m so mad losing the game,” he said. “I’m sure over the next 24 hours I’ll find some good things from the game. But at the end of the day we lost. I’m not into silver linings. Let’s win the game. We didn’t do what we needed to do to win the game. What did I do wrong? What did I do wrong as an assistant? What did I do wrong as a starter? What did I do wrong as a special-teams player?”
Starting Sunday, the Cougars will begin looking for answers.
Antoine Wesley of Texas Tech makes a touchdown catch against Isaiah Johnson of Houston at Jones AT&T Stadium in Lubbock on Saturday. UH gave up 63 points, the most since Sept. 11, 2004.
Texas Tech true freshman quarterback Alan Bowman passed for 605 yards and five touchdowns in his second career start.