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Sunday, September 24, 2023


New coaching staff thrills Cougars

Cougar football players have a lot to be enthusiastic about as they head into the new season. The new coaching staff has come in and created a lot of buzz, promising to improve a squad that finished fifth in the American Athletic Conference with an 8-5 overall record and a victory over Pittsburgh in the Lockheed Martin Armed Forces Bowl.

Let’s take a closer look at what the talk is all about and what some of the players had to say about it.

tom herman

Herman is about to tackle his first season as head coach of the Cougars. | File photo/The Cougar

Tom Herman takes the reins of the program:

Herman had a tremendous 2014 season, winning the 2014 Frank Broyles Award as the nation’s top assistant coach and helping the Ohio State Buckeyes take home the national championship. Only months into his first head coaching job, he has already begun to make his mark on the Cougar program and the players.

“It’s been a big change compared to the coaches from last year,” said junior linebacker Tyus Bowser. “It’s a little more strict now, more formal, more organized, and that’s a good thing.”

Junior linebacker Steven Taylor agrees.

“He’s a tremendous leader,” Taylor said.  “He makes us work and holds everybody accountable, which makes us hold each other accountable.”

Major Applewhite and his new offense:

New offensive coordinator Major Applewhite is a household name in Texas, and his innovative offenses have had a lot of success under his watch appearing in nine bowl games – three at the BCS level – and the 2010 BCS National Championship.

“It’s going to be more physical when we step onto the field,” said senior running back Kenneth Farrow. “More of a downhill running style, and just more aggressive. We are going to get after some teams this year for sure.”

Todd Orlando and his aggressive scheme:

The Cougar defense was already a strength of the team, finishing 15th nationally in scoring, but new defensive coordinator Todd Orlando looks to dial-up the aggressiveness in 2015.  In his two seasons as Utah State’s defensive coordinator, Orlando’s blitz-heavy scheme produced 59 turnovers, the nation’s eighth-best two-year total.

“We’ll be getting down and dirty, with more contact,” junior offensive linebacker Tyus Bowser said. “When you have a system like that, where you get down and gritty with your opponent, it’s pretty fun, so it should be very interesting.”

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