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Monday, November 19, 2018

Football

Roundtable: Football’s final record predictions


The Cougars open the season across town against Rice Sept. 1, then have their home opener against Arizona Sept. 8. | Thomas Dwyer / The Cougar

The Houston Cougars had a disappointing season last year, finishing with a 7-5 record and not making it to the conference championship.

This season, the team has more stability at quarterback and has added a new offensive coordinator and defensive pieces that could upgrade the team.

Three of our writers gave their thoughts on how well the team will perform this year.

Sports Editor Andres Chio

Houston’s record last season could deceive a lot of people into thinking the team was worse than it really was, but if a few plays had gone the Cougars’ way, the team could have had an 11-1 record.

Four of the five losses were one-score games, though the fifth was a complete blowout at Tulsa where Houston could not stop the run.

This season, Houston has upgraded its secondary, the offense has a stable leader at quarterback and head coach Major Applewhite has another year of experience at the helm.

The Cougars have had a lot of recent success at TDECU Stadium, and it will be disappointing if they do not win at least four games at home. But Houston has three tough road games against Texas Tech, Memphis and Navy, which are big threats for a loss.

I think the Cougars will take at least one of the aforementioned road games and go undefeated at home, but Tulsa and USF are big threats to beat UH at TDECU if Houston is caught out of form.

Houston has a lot of potential and could end up with 12 wins, but the team has not shown that it can consistently win on the road under Applewhite, so I think it will end the regular season with a 10-2 record.

Staff Writer Brayley Crowe

This year, led by preseason All-American Ed Oliver and a revamped secondary, the Cougars will look to improve their record and find themselves in the American Athletic Conference Championship Game.

With Oliver commanding the defense against several offensive-minded teams like Texas Tech and Memphis, the Cougars will be poised for success. On the other side of the ball, UH will look to improve from last year’s struggles in the passing game.

The likely starter will be junior D’Eriq King, who was the most successful of the three UH quarterbacks last season. King was a prolific runner and a strong passer who scored eight touchdowns on the ground and another seven with his arm.

Junior Mulbah Car will look to fill his shoes after being Houston’s second option last season and rushing for three touchdowns and 388 yards.

The upgrades should earn UH some more wins, but it is hard to say that it will fix all the problems.

I predict the Cougars will finish the season with a shootout win against Memphis to earn a spot in the AAC Championship Game and finish 9-3.

Staff Writer Jhair Romero

There is no questioning the difficult path for Houston, but the revamping of the defense this offseason will definitely help.

The secondary in 2018 is slated to be one of the best in the conference with the addition of sophomore safety Deontay Anderson and other transfers. The upgrades on defense will help Houston redeem itself against Texas Tech and Tulane, who beat UH last season by only three points.

Anderson and other new faces will undoubtedly make the team better than last year, but there will still be trouble in the bigger games.

In 2017, Memphis ranked second nationally in points per game and South Florida was No. 10. Arizona’s explosive offense could also be trouble for Houston, as it led its conference with an average of 489.5 yards per game.

Houston might not win the AAC, but the Cougars will have a successful 2018 season with an 8-4 record.

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