Sep 11, 2021; Houston, Texas, USA;  Houston Cougars quarterback Clayton Tune (3) runs the ball in the second half against the Rice Owls at Rice Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Daniel Dunn-USA TODAY Sports

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Houston looks to build on success when hosting Grambling State

The Houston Cougars look to build on the momentum gained from a definitive Week 2 performance when they host SWAC opponent Grambling State on Saturday evening in the Bayou City.

The Cougars (1-1) rebounded from an opening-week loss to Texas Tech with a 44-7 thrashing of crosstown rival Rice on Sept. 11.

“We all know we needed a win,” Houston coach Dana Holgorsen said. “It just gets the taste out of our mouth more than anything. It’s been a while since we won.”

Houston’s defense limited Rice to 212 total yards and intercepted three passes, the last of which was returned 91 yards for a touchdown by Alex Hogan on the game’s final play.

Houston freshman running back Alton McCaskill scored the first three touchdowns of his collegiate career, becoming the first Cougars freshman to score three touchdowns in a game since Bryce Beall versus Tulane on Nov. 8, 2008. Houston claimed its sixth consecutive victory against the Rice.

“That’s just the start of what (McCaskill) is going to become,” Holgorsen said.

Houston quarterback Clayton Tune was 22 of 30 for 236 yards passing for two touchdowns and posted a team-high 49 rushing yards before exiting early in the fourth quarter.

Grambling State (1-1) comes into the game off a 37-0 loss on Sept. 11 at Southern Miss. The Tigers trailed just 10-0 at the half but could not slow down USM running back Frank Gore Jr. in the second half as the Golden Eagles scored 27 points.

Grambling State finished with just nine first downs and only 141 yards of total offense in the loss.

“We played well in the first half but we made some timely mistakes with penalties,” Grambling State coach Broderick Fobbs said after the loss. “We came out and competed hard against a good Southern Miss team. Now we’ll go back and look at the film, make the adjustments we need to make and prepare for a very good Houston football team.”

Grambling State, which was picked to finish second in the Western Division in the SWAC preseason poll, played two quarterbacks against Southern Miss. Elijah Walker started the game and Aldon Clark came off the bench.

The two teams have met twice in their history with the Cougars winning both, including a 47-0 victory in 2014 that remains the largest win in TDECU Stadium history. It was also their first win at the facility.

–Field Level Media

Field Level Media
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