HOUSTON – The Lamar University Cardinals had no answer for the nation’s sixth-ranked team as Houston (2-0) jumped out to a 28-0 first-half lead and never looked back. The Cougars defeated LU, 42-0, Saturday afternoon at TDECU Stadium in a game that was delayed more than three hours due to lighting. It was the first time the Cardinals have failed to score since the 2012 regular-season finale.
“Houston was as good as we thought they’d be,” said LU head coach Ray Woodard. “I was very impressed with them both on film and on the field. I was proud of our effort out there today, but we were just outmanned.”
The Cougars finished the game with 511 yards of total offense, while holding LU to 73. The majority of Houston’s damage came on the ground as the Cougars rushed for 381 yards and had three players with more than 100 yards rushing.
Senior running back Kade Harrington was held to 23 yards rushing against one of the nation’s top rush defenses. Junior quarterback Andrew Allen came on in relief and was effective in the second half completing 6-of-9 (.667) passes for 44 yards.
The Cougars struck first when Kyle Potsma scored from 39 yards out on the fourth play of drive with 12 minutes remaining in the opening quarter. After forcing a three-and-out, the Cougars got the ball back and appeared to be on the march for another score following a 38-yard rush by UH’s Mulbah Car down to the Cardinals 17 yard line. Big Red’s defense went to work after the run forcing Houston to attempt a 31-yard field goal which ricocheted off the right upright.
It was a similar story on the Cougars next possession. Houston took over from their own 49-yard line and moved the ball down to the LU three before the Cardinals defense held on downs. It was one of four trips inside the LU 20 where UH came away empty handed.
Following the defensive stand, Mother Nature took control of the game forcing a three-hour and 12-minute rain delay. The Cougars took advantage coming out after the delay scoring their second touchdown on a four-play, 36-yard drive that lasted 53 seconds.
Car gave Houston a 20-0 advantage midway through the second quarter when he capped a 13-play, 91-yard drive with a two-yard run through the right side of the line. The drive consumed 4:36 off the clock. The Cougars tacked on two more scores to push their advantage to 28-0 and got the ball back with less than 90 seconds remaining in the half looking for more. Houston moved the ball into Cardinals’ territory before senior Xavier Bethany picked off the pass to thwart the drive and end the half.
The Cardinals were held to 56 yards of total offense in the opening half, while the Cougars finished with 321 – 228 yards on the ground. Houston held the ball 3:58 longer that LU in the opening half.
Due to the lightning delay in the first quarter, both teams agreed to a five-minute halftime but it didn’t effect the Houston offense. The Cougars scored on their first drive of the half when Postma crossed the goal line on a quarterback keeper from five yards out. The play capped a seven-play, 40-yard drive and gave UH a 35-0 lead.
After recording their second goal line stand of the game, the Cardinals gave the ball right back fumbling it away on their own 23. Houston responded with a Josh Burrell – son of 1992 U.S. Olympian Leroy Burrell – touchdown 68 seconds later for the final points of the game.
The Cardinals return to action Saturday, Sept. 17, when they host No. 4 Sam Houston State. The game against the Bearkats is slated for a 7 p.m. kick off from Provost Umphrey Stadium. Tickets can be purchased by calling (409) 880-1715, or by going to www.LamarCardinals.com
(© 2016 KBMT)