Tech puts 63 on UH

Tech’s fresh­man QB racks up 605 pass­ing yards in sec­ond start

Houston Chronicle Sunday - - SPORTS SUNDAY - By Joseph Duarte STAFF WRITER twit­­d­uarte

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.

John Weast / Getty Images

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.

Brad Tollef­son / Associated Press

Texas Tech true fresh­man quar­ter­back Alan Bow­man passed for 605 yards and five touch­downs in his sec­ond ca­reer start.

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