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Friday, July 1, 2022

Commentary

Questions leading up to Houston’s first conference match-up against Tulsa


WEB-Justin-Tijerina-IMG_0409

Junior wide receiver Demarcus Ayers completes a reception against Texas State. | Justin Tijerina/The Cougar

 

As the Cougars get set to travel to Skelly Field at H.A Stadium to take on the Tulsa Golden Hurricane for their first conference game, questions still remain.

How will UH’s secondary be able to contain Tulsa’s high-powered offense?

The Cougar secondary will need to come ready to play on Saturday. They limited the Texas State offense while managing to force four turnovers last week in what turned to out to be a rout over the Bobcats. However, former Baylor coordinator Philip Montgomery is at the helm of the Golden Hurricane and the team is ranked No. 6 in the nation in passing offense led by quarterback Dane Evans.

Tulsa posses an elite receiving tandem in Keyarris Garrett and Keevan Lucas, who are among the top in the nation in receiving. They have combined to rack up 796 yards and six touchdowns with an average of 17.7 yards per catch. It will be interesting to see how the Cougars’ secondary matches up with them and whether the UH offense will be able to control the time of possession in order to limit the opportunities the Tulsa offense has on the field.

With more attention being focused on Demarcus Ayers, do you think he will continue with the success he’s had this season?

Ayers has gained attention as he has emerged as the Cougars’ leading receiver. In just three games for the Cougars, Ayers has hauled in 26 receptions with an average of 8.7 yards per catch, ranking him No. 5 in the nation.

Herman raved about how elusive Ayers is with the ball in open space, whether it be out of the backfield or through the air. Teams will be looking to take away Greg Ward Jr.’s favorite target in the upcoming games and force other receivers to beat them.

However, if there is anything that can be exploited it is Tulsa’s defense who have struggled to stop the run and the pass. Through three games, the Golden Hurricane has given up an average of 39 points per game.

If the Cougars fall behind early, do they have an offense that’s built to play from behind?

In two of their three games, the Cougars have not had to play from behind. The Cougars posses a potent rushing attack ranked No. 10 in the nation.

But will offensive coordinator Major Applewhite’s play calling change? Will he insist on abandoning the run or will he stick to it. Of course it’s all-circumstantial, but it will be interesting to see if at some point during the course of this season, the Cougars find themselves down behind a fair amount.  With the No. 7 offense in the nation, they should have no trouble. But it remains to be seen how the team will respond when things aren’t going their way

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