(Photo by Darla Tamulitis-La Vita Loca Photography, Copyright 2010, All Rights Reserved)
By Robert H Kelly
Copyright 2010 TexSport Publication
HOUSTON, TEXAS (September 4, 2010) Blasting out to a 54-7 lead at halftime, the Houston Cougars racked up 497 yards of total offense in downing the Texas State Wildcats 68-28 in the season opener for both football teams in front of 32,119 fans at Houston’s Robertson Stadium.
The Cougars wasted little time getting on the board, scoring on a 40-yard pass from quarterback Case Keenum to Michael Hayes at the 13:23 mark in the 1st quarter.
They came back less than three minutes later when Keenum found Patrick Edwards on a 63-yard pass play to make the score 13-0 with 10:42 left in the 1st quarter.
Texas State answered back at the 4:26 mark on a 14-yard run by Tyler Arndt on a 10 play, 80-yrd drive that lasted a bit over six minutes.
The Cougars scored again with 1:39 left in the 1st quarter on an 8-yard run by Bryce Beall to make the score 20-7.
The Cougars continued their dominance in the 2nd quarter; scoring five times off one running and three passing plays, along with one interception return.
The first pass play came at 11:31 in the quarter on a 35-yard pass play from Keenum to Kierrie Johnson. He then connected with James Cleveland at 4:29 mark and again with Johnson 11 seconds later.
The second Johnson score came as a result of a Bobcat fumble which was recovered by Matt Nicholson.
Beall again found the end zone on a 3-yard run with 2:52 remaining in the quarter.
The final score of the half came when Matt Nicholson picked off a Tim Hawkins’ pass and scampered 42-yards to give the Cougars a 47 point lead going into the locker room.
Texas State finally got their second score of the game in the 3rd quarter when Arndt connected with Eric Gentry with a 22-yard pass. The score came as a result of a 14-play, 83-yard drive which took seven minutes.
Houston added 14 points to their tally in the 3rd quarter on a 26-yard pass from Cotton Turner to Isaiah Sweeney and a 5-yard run by Michael Hayes.
The Bobcats added two touchdowns in the 4th quarter on a 1-yard run by Frank Reddic and a 5-yard run by Arndt.
Keenum continued his offensive productivity from last year by completing 17 for 22 for 274 yards in the air with five touchdown passes.
Offensively, the Cougars neted 346 yards in the air while rushing for 162 yards.
Cotton Turner showed he has what it takes to eventually take the reins of quarterback upon Keenum’s departure. Staring the 2nd half, he went 8 for 11 for 72 yards and one touchdown.
The 2nd half was virtually a “reserve” festival. The Cougars for the most part, emptied their bench, allowing many players to gain some needed game experience which will be beneficial as the season progresses.
A total of seven players gained rushing yardage while nine saw action on the receiving end of passes.
The Cougars will next face UTEP in a 9:00pm start on Friday, September 10 at Robertson Stadium.
UTEP will be coming off a 31-10 Saturday evening win over Arkansas-Pine Bluff.