Roundtable: Football’s most valuable players so far
The Cougars have finished the out-of-conference schedule and have a bye week to rest before facing Tulsa on Oct. 4.
With that in mind, it is the perfect time to reflect on the season so far and who the team’s MVP is.
Assistant Sports Editor Trenton Whiting
Last year, D’Eriq King was listed on the roster as a wide receiver to start the season. He got the start at quarterback in the South Florida game, and he has evolved into one of the best passers in the nation and the most valuable player on his team.
He has thrown for 15 touchdowns, completed more than 60 percent of his passes, averaged almost 300 yards a game and thrown more than four touchdowns twice.
While stats are not everything, King wins the eye test as well. He is the leader on one of the country’s best offenses and has excelled in the spotlight.
King has dropped dimes deep and squeezed tosses through tight windows of opportunity while still keeping his head on a swivel to look for chances to outrun pressure and gain extra yards.
If King is able to keep up his production, the offense will continue to excel. He is clearly the MVP at this point of the season, and it is realistic to believe he will still be the MVP at the end of the year.
Senior Staff Writer Jackson Gatlin
For a high-octane offense like Houston’s to function, it takes both a strong passing game and a strong rushing game: enter junior running back Patrick Carr.
While Carr’s numbers may not be quite as flashy as King’s, he is a pivotal piece of the lethal Houston offense, which is No. 2 in the nation.
Carr leads the team with over 200 rushing yards and has become the team’s first option at running back after he had just 26 rushing yards last season.
At Rice, Carr had his best game of the season, rushing for 74 yards and scoring a 37-yard touchdown run late in the win against the Cougars’ cross-city rivals.
The home opener against Arizona saw Carr achieve similar rushing numbers to the season opener, though game three against Texas Tech was more of a challenge.
Against TSU, Carr only had two rushes as the team decided to test out the depth chart and give time to players that had not seen the field much.
Even though Carr has only scored one touchdown so far on the season, his presence on the field and the Cougars’ ability to run the ball through him is what ultimately unlocks Houston’s devastating passing game.
Sports Editor Andres Chio
The biggest reason Carr and King have had the success they’ve had is because of the offensive line.
The Cougars have tried to throw the ball over 180 times, and the line has allowed just 21 quarterback hurries and a single sack.
Without the line opening holes for the running backs, they would not get far.
Without the line keeping defenders out of the pocket, King would not have the time to make his reads and the receivers would not have the time to break away from defensive backs.
On top of that, the new offense’s high tempo means the line has to run far and quickly to get set, which no 300 lb. lineman wants to do.
A good line is what makes a team great, and the Cougars have just that.