Cougars’ blowout of Cards lasts more than 6 hours
Published 12:40 am Sunday, September 11, 2016
HOUSTON — Lamar and Houston waited 3 hours, 36 minutes, to finish up a first quarter Saturday. The end result was of no benefit to the struggling Cardinals.
Sixth-ranked Houston easily beat Lamar 42-0 before 39,402 in a game that kicked off at 11:07 a.m. and finally ended at 5:25 p.m. It was 11:36 a.m. when the first of many lightning strikes in the area forced the game to be paused with 3:13 left in the opening quarter.
“Obviously, Houston’s a lot better football team than we were,” Lamar coach Ray Woodard said. “They’re as good as I thought they were. … We were just outmanned today.”
The game was quite a sleeper, except the Cardinals weren’t napping during the break.
“You come right in and you treat it like halftime,” Woodard said. “You make adjustments on both sides of the ball, and you hear it’s going to be 30 more minutes [the mandatory wait time after each lightning strike], then you talk to them some more, and it’s going to be 30 more minutes … and at some point, you’ve talked all that you can talk, and you lay around in shoulder pads and see whether you’re going to play or not.”
The Cougars (2-0) were going to turn in big plays without question, a week after taking down then No. 3 Oklahoma at NRG Stadium. But it might have been their defense that led to Lamar’s undoing.
It might have been Lamar’s offense, too. The Cards (0-2) never marched into Cougar territory in the first half, getting as close to the 44 on a seven-play, 25-yard series shortly after the lengthy weather delay. Eight of their 11 possessions went three-and-out, and one ended with a fumble.
Lamar was outgained 511-73 in total yards.
“We hardly did anything right offensively,” Woodard said. “It’s very discouraging. I thought by this time, we’d be a better offense than this.”
Andrew Allen made his Lamar debut at quarterback on the Cards’ third series. He finished 6 of 9 for 44 yards, having more success than starter Carson Earp, who was 1 for 4 for 14 yards.
“I was comfortable,” Allen said. “I was getting more comfortable as the game went on. It’s always good to get your feet wet when the football season gets going. So, it was positive for me.”
Woodard hinted that the battle for the starting quarterback role could be reopened after today.
“He’s just not making good decisions right now,” Woodard said of Earp. “We’re not down on Carson Earp as I am the quarterback position. We’ve got to get more productivity out of that position.”
Houston quarterback Kyle Postma started for injured Greg Ward Jr. (shoulder) and engineered a four-play, 70-yard series on Houston’s opening possession. His 39-yard scamper put the Cougars on the board.
Postma also broke a 28-yard run and finished with 106 yards and two touchdowns on seven carries.
The Cardinals came up with two big stops early on, although the Cougars continued the move the ball well. Austin freshman Mulbah Car ran for 38 yards on his first career carry to start Houston’s second drive, which ended on a Ty Cummings 31-yard field goal attempt that hit the right upright. (He went 0 for 2 on the day after beginning his career 12 for 12.)
Postma, on the next drive, rushed for 11 yards to the Lamar 11, but in hurry-up mode threw incomplete rolling right on fourth-and-2 from the Lamar 3.
The Cards’ defense forced the Cougars to punt just once and stopped them on fourth down twice. Still, Houston racked up 511 total yards, including 381 rushing, and Lamar has been outscored 77-0 since halftime of last Saturday’s 38-14 loss to Coastal Carolina.
“That’s six quarters in a row we haven’t been able to throw and catch the football,” Woodard said. “That’s just unacceptable.”
Kade Harrington rushed for 9 yards on the game’s opening play from scrimmage. Earp tried a swing pass on second-and-1 that went incomplete, and Harrington was stopped for a 2-yard loss to be forced to punt.
Coming out of the delay, Harrington ran on six straight Lamar plays for a net of 5 yards before Earp completed a first-down pass to Washington State transfer DeWan Thompson.
Houston finished with three 100-yard carriers for the first time since Oct. 25, 1974, against Cincinnati (John Housman, Reggie Cherry and Marshall Johnson). Housman was 12 rushing yards short of 1,000 that season.
On Saturday Kevrin Justice went for 111 yards and two touchdowns on 27 carries and Car had 109 yards and a TD on 20 totes. Postma was the third 100-yard carrier.
Postma’s 39-yard scoring run gave Houston 201 straight games in which it has scored. The last time the Cougars were shut out was Sept. 23, 2000, when Texas blanked UH 48-0.
Just before the game, American Sports Network, which televised the game, honored Harrington as its Southland player of the week. Harrington rushed for 207 yards and two touchdowns against Coastal Carolina.
LIVE AND LOCAL
Freshman Austin Krautz of Nederland made his Lamar debut in the fourth quarter at running back. On his first play, Navy transfer Trenton Swinton of Port Arthur was stripped after a short catch-and-run. Dillon Birden forced and recovered the fumble, setting up a four-play, 23-yard scoring series.
Krautz had one carry for two yards.
Houston defensive end Cameron Malveaux, a senior from Hamshire-Fannett, made one tackle.
In addition to Postma’s season debut, Lamar was missing two of its offensive line starters.
Center Matt Oubre sat out with a knee injury sustained in last week’s loss. It was his first missed start as a Cardinal (started 12 games).
Right guard Bret Treadway missed his second consecutive start with mononucleosis. He started the first 35 games of his LU career.
NEXT FOR THE CARDS
Lamar begins Southland Conference play at home against Sam Houston State. Kickoff is at 7 p.m. next Saturday at Provost Umphrey Stadium. ESPN3.com will webcast the game.
SHSU (1-0) was off this week after beating Oklahoma Panhandle State 59-21 at home.
I.C. Murrell: 721-2435. Twitter: @ICMurrellPANews