Roundtable: Wide receivers, safety help secure victory against Temple
It took a balanced effort from offense, defense and special teams for the Cougars to leave Philadelphia with a win against Temple. The Cougars did just enough to secure a victory in their conference opener, improving to 6-0 all time against the Owls.
The sports staff takes a look at some of the best performances from last Saturday and discusses why they did so well.
Assistant sports editor Peter Scamardo
When sophomore defensive tackle Ed Oliver left the field with an injury, the Cougar defense knew they had to step up to secure a victory. Junior safety Garret Davis had another performance worthy of a team captain.
Against the Owls, Davis was third on the team with five total tackles and intercepted Temple quarterback Logan Marchi twice. Marchi was far from a threat in the game — he completed only 20 passes. But Davis and the other defensive backs made sure the Temple receivers were never able to get hot.
Davis’ second interception ended the game, but he easily could have had three picks on the day. At one point during the game, the Owls were in the red zone when Davis intercepted Marchi in the end zone, but it was overturned due to a holding call by junior cornerback Isaiah Johnson.
But on the very next play, Marchi threw a pass right at Davis, only for Davis to drop the ball. Throughout the game, Davis broke up pass after pass, making sure the Cougar lead stayed at seven points.
Davis now has three interceptions on the year and continues to be a leader among the defensive backs.
Sports editor Frank Campos
Linell Bonner was one of the few bright spots of Saturday’s game against Temple. He may not have walked away with the most yards, but he did leave the game as the Cougars’ leading receiver and scored a key touchdown in the second half.
Junior quarterback Kyle Postma seemed comfortable on the ground and through the air thanks to his wide receiver corps, especially D’Eriq King and Steven Dunbar. The senior quarterback went to Bonner early and often as he got comfortable with the offense in the first half.
The wide receiver has now scored in three of his first four games and looks to be a mainstay in the end zone this season. Bonner has already matched his career-high in touchdowns and will be in the double digits if he keeps up his early success.
Bonner ended the game with only 43 yards but made his presence known on the field by bringing down multiple catches for first downs and keeping the corners busy all game.
The offense as a whole slowed down greatly in the second half but not before Postma connected with Bonner to put the Cougars up by 20 points within the first five minutes of the third quarter.
Now, Bonner looks to face a tough SMU defense that will be a challenge for the senior, but it’s not one that he won’t be able to overcome. Much like Temple, Bonner and the Cougars should be able to do just enough to overcome the resurgent Mustangs.
Staff writer Anthony Cianciulli
D’Eriq King continues to establish his case as the Cougars’ most skilled athlete with another impressive performance last week against the Temple Owls.
The offensive specialist compiled 25 rushing yards and a touchdown on four carries and matched his career-high for receptions with seven for 51 yards in the game.
King missed the first two games of the season due to an injury, but since returning to action, the Manvel High School alum has wasted no time displaying his playmaking ability. The dynamic athlete has scored in a plethora of ways that include a receiving and rushing touchdown each to his name.
The most impressive aspect of King’s game is his ability to line up anywhere on the field and be efficient. He is one of the few bright spots on a Houston offense that has struggled to establish consistency.
The sophomore is listed as a quarterback, but he’s seen the bulk of his playing time at wide receiver and running back. King came to Houston as a four-star recruit following an impressive high school career at Manvel High School. The young signal-caller finished with over 10,000 yards through the air along with 3,000 more on the ground for the Mavericks.
The quarterback situation remains murky with Kyle Postma and Kyle Allen jockeying for starting status. If neither are able to establish themselves as the leader of the offense, we just might see the beginning of the King era.