Saturday, April 09, 2011

Defense Downs Offense in Houston Cougars Red & White Spring Game, 43-34

HOUSTON, TEXAS (April 9, 2011) The University of Houston football team closed out the spring season Saturday afternoon at Robertson Stadium as the White Team (defense) outscored the Red Team (offense) in a 43-34 victory.

The White Team took advantage of a scoring system that rewards defensive plays, racking up 43 points on six sacks, seven drive stops, four 3 & outs, one fourth-down stop, one interception and one missed field goal.

Redshirt freshman linebacker Jon Witten led the defensive charge, totaling 10 tackles, including two for a loss and a sack. Alex Tillman added nine stops and broke up two passes, while Kris Johnston racked up eight tackles from the linebacker position.

Junior linebacker Phillip Steward posted a game-high two sacks for a loss of eight yards, while D.J. Jones provided the contest’s lone interception, returning the pick 26 yards.

The offensive unit put up 643 total yards, including 507 in the air by four different quarterbacks.

Cotton Turner led the Houston signal callers, completing 16-of-24 attempts for 162 yards and two touchdown strikes. Crawford Jones added 157 yards on 16 completions, while David Piland was 14-of-20 for 127 yards and a touchdown pass.

Junior running back Chris Wilson registered the lone touchdown on the ground, punching it in from one-yard out to cap off the 80-yard opening drive.

Ronnie Williams made a bobbling catch in the corner of the end zone for a 21-yard touchdown reception from Turner to put the Red Team up 14-9 with 2:17 remaining in the first quarter. Williams ended the afternoon with seven catches for a team-leading 79 yards.

Junior kicker Matt Hogan converted a 52-yard field goal midway through the second quarter and followed up with a 57-yard boot to cut the deficit to two points for the Red Team with 3:31 remaining in the second quarter. Both of Hogan’s field goals surpassed his career high of 51 yards.

Piland tossed a touchdown strike to Isaiah Sweeney in traffic with 1:46 left to play until the half, as the junior receiver eluded a defender and took it 34 yards for the score.

Turner led the Red Team down the field to open the third quarter, capping off the drive with a 12-yard strike to Marcus Wiliams to put the squad up 34-29.

The defense would take over from there, scoring the final 14 points on two sacks, two drive stops, an interception and a missed field goal.

Redshirt freshman running back Randall Hollimon led the ground attack with seven rushes for 62 yards.Junior Braxton Welford added 40 yards on eight carries.

Darian Lazard grabbed agame-high nine catches for 74 yards, while DeAndre Perry added five catches for 68 yards.

Houston will open the 2011 season on Sept. 3 against UCLA at Robertson Stadium.

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