“It’s unacceptable, and you’re not going to win games like this when you do stuff like that,” said Houston coach Dana Holgorsen, whose team amassed 10 penalties for 73 yards. “And it’s my job to continue to harp on that.”
With 11:45 left in the third quarter, after a Houston penalty, wide receiver Joseph Manjack IV approached Sam Brown Jr., also a wide receiver, on the sidelines, shoving him to ground as Brown grabbed Manjack’s facemask. Teammates and staff rushed to break up the fracas. The Jayhawks led, 28-14, at the time.
“Manjack took it upon himself to go over there and confront Sam, which is not the right thing to do,” Holgorsen said. “He was dead wrong and shouldn’t have done it, and knows it, and felt bad about it.”
Houston (1-2) finished with 446 total yards in the loss, but let a 14-0 lead slip away at home against a team that will be a conference rival next season in the Big 12.
“There’s plenty of blame to go around,” Holgorsen said. “I got out-coached. We got out-coached offensively, defensively. Put it on me. We have a lot of work to do.”
Manjack had three catches for 25 yards in the loss. Brown did not record a reception.
“Two minutes later, (Manjack) hugged it out with Sam, and those guys are buddies,” Holgorsen said. “And he apologized.”
The Cougars entered the season with hopes of making a New Year’s six bowl, but that accomplishment looks slim following consecutive losses. Houston hosts Rice next Saturday.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.