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Monday, November 19, 2018

Football

Cougars expect the best in their upcoming rival


Sooner quarterback Baker Mayfield took a beating on Saturday as the Cougars delivered shots to the senior all afternoon. | Justin Tijerina/The Cougar

Despite their huge win last week, the Cougars will go into Saturday’s Lamar game with a 0-0 mentality. | Justin Tijerina/The Cougar

Although they played their last game at nearby NRG Stadium, the Cougars will play their first official home game when they take on the Lamar University Cardinals this Saturday.

The Cougars had little time to celebrate one of the biggest wins in the University’s history — over the No. 3 team in the country. On Sunday, they headed back to practice for the game against the Cardinals.

Head coach Tom Herman compared this week’s upcoming game to last week’s. He said that the Cougars will be the Cardinals’ University of Oklahoma, meaning that if the team wants to win they will have to keep playing at an elite level to avoid an upset.

But as it has always been during the Herman era, the Cougars will go into the game with the mindset that they are 0-0 and looking for their first win.

Despite entering the game as favorites, the Cougars will take the week to correct the mistakes that they made on all sides of the ball in the previous game.

“We’ve got to be able to run the ball,” Herman said. “You know, when you have a 16-point lead you have to be able to get a couple of first downs.”

He also said that the secondary had some broken coverages during the game that they will need to clean up. Additionally, the Cougars will need to work on returning kickoffs as they failed to reach the 15-yard line in their first two attempts.

Following the game against Lamar, the Cougars will have a short week before they head to Ohio to play the University of Cincinnati next Thursday. However, the Cougars are adamant about not getting ahead of themselves and focusing on what is only in front of them.

“We knew this short week was coming, and our coaches have launched and had a preliminary report on Cincinnati,” Herman said. “We will spend zero-practice time or game time other than on Lamar.”

The Cougars have to play every game at their best because they know that any hiccup will ruin the chances of the potential payoff.

Herman said he has the utmost respect for Lamar’s head coach, Ray Woodard, and their program. He also praised senior running back Kade Harrison and sophomore Davon Jernigan.

During Monday’s press conference, redshirt sophomore Duke Catalon reiterated his coach’s sentiments.

“I respect all men, so I don’t underestimate anybody,” Catalon said. “I’m going to come into the game preparing like we prepared for Oklahoma.”

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