UH Loses Battle of Cougars to BYU

Categories: Sports

Stephen Pinchback/Houston Athletics Communications
UH QB John O'Korn looks for an open receiver
The Houston Cougars (5-1) scored points in every way imaginable on Saturday afternoon. There was a kick return, and an interception return. The defense collected a safety. The quarterbacks tossed four TD passes. There was even a field goal. But in the end, after a marathon of a game that lasted over four hours, the Cougars just were not able to put up enough points, losing to the visiting BYU Cougars (5-2) by a score of 47-46.

BYU jumped off to the quick 10-0 lead, taking advantage of a John O'Korn interception on the game's first play and catching UH off-guard with a passing attack that it had previously kept under wraps. But Houston stormed back into the game on the strength of Demarcus Ayers' 95-yard TD kick return, a 69-yard Greg Ward, Jr. To Xavier Maxwell TD pass, and Derrick Mathews' 29-yard interception return for the touchdown which put Houston up 21-17.

The UH defense made adjustments during the game, forcing BYU back into the run game, and was able to get some stops. But by this time both offensive squads were turning into quick-strike scoring machines, rarely staying on the field longer than two minutes while finding the end zone with regularity and the score was 38-34 UH over BYU at the half.


John O'Korn threw for 363 yards and three touchdowns. He escaped multiple sacks and made several miraculous throws just as it appeared he was about to be tackled. He also threw three interceptions and at times left people wondering just what was it he was doing and thinking on the field. But as head coach Tony Levine reminded after the game, O'Korn is just a freshman who is far from perfect.

I think our fans and even coaches forget he is an 18-year-old true freshman...." Levine said of O'Korn. "Did he play perfectly? No, and I've said it every week that he is never going to. He's going to learn from his mistakes and I see improvement in that young man at the end of every week."

The kid has the faith of the coaching staff, and he's developed some real chemistry with his receivers. He is just a freshman, and it needs to be remembered that not even Case Keenum was the perfect QB in his first several seasons.

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