MORGANTOWN, West Virginia — The Houston Cougars met the Rice Owls last night in what was dubbed “The Battle of West Virginia” by some due to former West Virginia head coach Dana Holgorsen coaching Houston and former West Virginia starting quarterback JT Daniels leading Rice.
Rice jumped out to an early 28-0 lead in the first half, but Houston came back in the 2nd, tying the game and forcing overtime. However, Rice hung on to a 43-41 win in double overtime, leading Houston fans to wonder how much longer they will have to put up with the mediocre results that Dana Holgorsen has produced over the last four seasons.
Following the game, Holgorsen took the blame, saying his team wasn’t ready and that it was on him, but seemed to have a variety of excuses ready for the loss: “I warned them,” Holgorsen said of his players. “Maybe we practiced too hard on Tuesday. I can’t explain it. Maybe it’s a trap game. Maybe it’s a trophy game. Maybe it’s a rivalry game. Maybe we were looking forward to the Big 12 and TCU. I don’t know. Maybe we didn’t respect our opponent and they whipped our tail. At the end of the day it’s on me.”
Holgorsen’s total compensation through the end of his contract (December 31, 2027) is $22,500,000 – an average of $4,500,000 per year. In terms of a buyout, he is owed 100% of his salary/non-salary compensation in 2023, 2024, and 2025 and then 60% of the final two years. Just last week, Holgorsen said, “I’ve never been fired and don’t plan to ever be fired.” With that kind of contract buyout, it may be impossible to actually fire him.
The Houston fanbase took to social media after the loss and almost unanimously, saying that they want Holgorsen gone. Here’s just a small sample of the social media posts from Houston fans:
If UH won’t fire Dana Holgorsen after this, at least publicly spank him.
— Archbishop Deshaies (@HouCounterplot) September 10, 2023
Dana Holgorsen will bleed your university dry of resources and depth and then choke in the moments that matter (not including his press conferences).
— Fam Dogg (@TheFamDogg) September 10, 2023
— Cam (@Cameron_W11) September 10, 2023
Dana Holgorsen following Houston's loss to Rice: "The first seven possessions were just 100% unacceptable. Not ready to play, not respecting our opponent. Thought we could just go out there and play." pic.twitter.com/DySRc8Hqi2
— Andy Yanez (@AYanez_5) September 10, 2023