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Questions leading up to Louisville


Breaking down three factors that are still in the air ahead of Cardinals matchup.  | Justin Tijerina/The Cougar


As the Cougars look to build upon their performance against the Tennessee Tech Golden Eagles from last Saturday, questions still remain as they prepare for a non-conference opponent in Louisville.

Can Kenneth Farrow rebound form a disappointing opener?

Coming off a game where he gained 49 yards on 11 carries and fumbled once, Farrow’s play will have to improve if the Cougars hope to pull off the upset. Houston was able to put the game away early, and head coach Tom Herman hopes the limited workload pays off against the Cardinals.

“Once the game got to a point where we knew we didn’t need him to win the game, we got him out to keep him fresh for next week,” Herman said.

Farrow and the entire offense hope to capitalize on a University of Louisville defense that gave up 190 yards on 4.6 yards per carry in a 24-31 loss to No. 6 Auburn University.

How will the secondary respond after a poor performance?

The Cougars’ secondary will need to improve following a performance that co-defensive coordinator Craig Naivar called “a complete embarrassment” (Houston Chronicle), giving up 312 passing yards and a record 264 yards on nine receptions for Tennessee Tech receiver Brock McCoin. Houston will need to stop the big play, after giving up multiple touchdown passes of over 70 yards to McCoin.

Louisville may be just what the secondary needs to recoup, as injuries have devastated the Cardinals’ receiving group. They had to start three freshmen while the top returning receiver, James Quick, left midway through with an apparent ankle injury.

How will the Cougars contain Louisville QB Lamar Jackson?

True freshman Lamar Jackson proved to be a true dual-threat quarterback against No. 6 Auburn, eclipsing 100 yards in both passing and rushing. Despite being in his first collegiate start and going against one of the top defenses in the country, Jackson showed plenty of promise as he completed nine of 20 passes with 100 yards and one interception in the air, in addition to picking up 106 yards on 16 carries including a 10-yard touchdown.

The Cougars will need to keep Jackson contained. Fans have seen from Greg Ward Jr. just how dangerous a dual-threat quarterback is when given the opportunity. Houston’s front seven dominated Tennessee Tech, holding the Golden Eagles to 29 yards and picking up two sacks.

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