No. 19 Houston visits UConn 1 winner in season finale
EAST HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) — Number 19 Houston heads to UConn on Saturday in an effort to avoid the overconfidence that might…
East Hartford, Connecticut (AP) – Houston No. 19 heads to the Yukon on Saturday in a bid to avoid the overconfidence that might come with ending an already successful regular season against the one-win Huskies.
Cougars Dana Holgorsen (10-1, 8-0 American, No. 24 CFP) were actually undefeated in their conference and secured a place in the December 4 American Athletic Conference title match against the 4th seed Cincinnati.
But Holgorsen said his team still had reason to focus on the hapless huskies (1-10).
Houston will come to Rentschler Field on a 10-game winning streak with a chance to become the fifth team in program history to win 11 games in a single season.
“We can put our name in the top five by getting to 11, and that should motivate you,” Holgorsen said. “Maintaining good momentum should motivate you.”
Ocon’s victory came against Yale on October 16, a victory that ended an 11-game losing streak. The Husky hasn’t beaten an FBS opponent since winning at UMass in October 2019.
The Husky parted ways with coach Randy Edsall in just two games in their first season as a freelancer after the American left. They will play their last game under interim coach Lou Spanos before Jim Mora, the former UCLA and NFL coach, takes over.
Mora, who has been working as an assistant coach since his appointment was announced earlier this month, has spent his vacation week on the employment track, taking part in high school football games across Connecticut.
Cougars average over 417 yards per game, while Huskys shed an average of 450 yards. By contrast, the Husky only allowed 267 yards per game, while Houston allowed 293 yards.
Houston’s 10-game winning streak is the fourth-longest in the program’s history and the longest since the program featured 11 in a row in 2015, beginning with the Armed Forces Championship in January. The line is the fourth longest running nationally active line.
And full-back Donavan Moten, who was forced off the field during Houston’s win over Memphis, is doing well, Holjorsen said.
But in his weekly press conference, Holgorsen didn’t say if Motin would be able to play, either against Ocon or in the conference title match against Cincinnati.
“First of all, his health and safety are the number one thing we are concerned about,” Holgorsen said. “And it’s good.”
Holgorsen said Moten’s placement in play will be determined by the team’s medical staff.
UConn is expected to lose many players as it changes coaching staff, a process that has already begun.
Defensive linebacker Jeremy Lucien was left out this week, before announcing his entry into the NCAA transfer gate. The 6-foot-2 youngster has had 29 tackles and interceptions this season.
“I gave you everything I had both on the field and in the classroom,” Lucien said in a tweet to UConn fans. “I know the victories haven’t come, but I hope your fortunes will change in the future.”
Cougars and huskies met three more times before the Yukon left America. The last meeting was at Rentschler Field in 2019, when Logan Holgorsen, son of Houston coach Dana Holgorsen, started in the middle and helped the Cougars win 24-17. Holgorsen Jr. is now the equipment manager in Houston.
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