Possession time is key for the success of most college teams. But not always in the ways you might think. With the advent of the spread offense (or the Run and Shoot when June was here), sometimes teams have a really low possession time, but a really really high scoring margin. This is acceptable.
Last night, however, was an example of how this number can be really indicative of the score of the game. Overall, they were -19 minutes in possession time (20 minutes for UH, 39 minutes for Oregon State).
Looking further by half though, UH had the ball for 13 minutes in the first half, to OSU's 17 minutes. It's not shock then, that the score was tied at halftime, 14-14. One of the key things about this stat is that the defense wore down. A lot. While they've managed to play well despite getting very little help on the offensive side of the ball, it's impossible to expect them to keep up that level of play for 40 minutes a game (they just aren't deep enough.) So, when you look at the first half, they were just flying around the field, scoring the team's first touchdown. Juxtapose this with the second half, when they spent 22 minutes on the field, and you can understand why they wore down (and allowed touchdowns.)
Of OSU's 8 first half possessions, the Defense allowed 2 touchdowns, but forced 4 punts, scored on an interception return, and held them at the half.
OSU only had 6 possessions in the second half, but only had to punt twice, and scored two touchdowns and another field goal. So, even if the touchdowns were the same, they came on long drives which wore the defense into the ground. This has to change if UH is going to have success later on in the season. HAS to.