Keys needed to open the BCS door

The Cougars were something of an offensive carnival during the 2014 season, and now with a new stadium they hope to build on their 8-5 record last season.

With a year of experience playing together, the pieces necessary for UH to hit the double-digit mark for wins are in good form. In an era where a constant solid quarterback play is needed day in and day out, UH is on solid footing with returning starter John O’Korn at the offensive helm.

Offensive keys:

With O’Korn and his offense having a year of experience under his belt, the Cougars have been in a position to modulate to what head coach Tony Levine is looking for from his playbook. O’Korn, who threw for 3,117 yards, 259 completions and 28 touchdowns, found himself on watch lists for the 2014 Davey O’Brien and Maxwell awards.

O’Korn’s star target, junior wide receiver Deontay Greenberry, was also watch listed for the 2014 Biletnikoff and Maxwell Awards. He’s coming off a season with 82 receptions, 11 touchdowns and 1,202 yards. Greenberry also looks to continue his pace while working with sophomore Greg Ward, Jr., who played seemingly everywhere on offense last season.

Defensive keys:

The so-called Third Ward Defense, anchored by the likes of defensive end Butkus Award Watch List member Derrick Mathews and sophomore Tyus Bowser, should develop further under the leadership of defensive coordinator David Gibbs.

Mathews, who put up 116 tackles last season, 12 for losses, has reached 100 or more tackles for three years in a row and has been named to eight preseason award watch lists. With a front end of Mathews and Bowser, defensive backs like junior Eric Eiland should have more chances to create turnovers.

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