Duke Catalon scored three touchdowns and Houston’s defense hurried and harassed Heisman favorite Lamar Jackson all night to propel the Cougars to a stunning 36-10 victory Thursday night that dashed No. 5 Louisville’s playoff hopes.
Louisville (9-2) was outdone by a Houston team that saw its own playoff hopes foiled by two losses to unranked teams after a 5-0 start.
Things went wrong quickly for the mistake-prone Cardinals when they fumbled the opening kickoff to Houston (9-2). Greg Ward threw his first touchdown pass on the next play to make it 7-0. Brandon Radcliff lost a fumble later in the first and Houston added a field goal on the ensuing drive to make it 10-0.
Jackson threw for 211 yards and a touchdown, but it didn’t come until the second half.
Houston then scored touchdowns on three straight possessions in the second quarter to push the lead to 31-0 at halftime. Catalon caught a touchdown pass, ran for another score and Houston got the third score in that span on a 50-yard pass by receiver Linell Bonner after a lateral.
Louisville opened the second half with a 12-yard touchdown pass by Jackson, but he fumbled in the red zone on the next possession to ruin a chance to close the gap.
The Cougars were in Jackson’s face constantly, sacking him a season-high 11 times and keeping him from hurting them with his feet. He ran for a season-low 33 yards after piling up 338 yards rushing combined in the last two games.
No. 18 Auburn will start Jeremy Johnson at quarterback against Alabama A&M in his final home game. Tigers Coach Gus Malzahn said on his weekly radio show Thursday that the senior will replace Sean White on Saturday. White has an injury to his throwing shoulder. ... Yale University has introduced its new mascot, just in time for Saturday’s rivalry football game with Harvard. Handsome Dan XVIII, an Olde English bulldog, succeeds Handsome Dan XVII, who died in August after serving as mascot for nine seasons. ...
Florida kicker Eddy Pineiro is facing misdemeanor charges that he damaged two scooters on campus. The University of Florida Police Department filed its report Nov. 7 with the State Attorney’s Office. According to the police report, which alleges misdemeanor charges of property damage, multiple witnesses saw Pineiro “pushing over scooters that were next to his” in an on-campus parking lot on Nov. 7. Pineiro damaged two scooters by “kicking them and then ripping off the side mirrors” before driving away. The total damage to the scooters is estimated at $800.