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Friday, July 10, 2020

Football

The hottest ticket in town: Cougar football brings heat


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TDECU Stadium will be the place to be this fall, as the Cougars look to build on a history 2015 season. | File photo/The Cougar

Tom Herman, you have our attention. Students, Houstonians and even parts of the entire nation are starting to take notice of the upstart Cougars.

But while the Cougars build on a season that saw them finish at 13-1 with a win in a New Year’s Eve bowl game, fans will have plenty of reason to pack the stands this season for seven games in the city of Houston — including six at TDECU Stadium.

The schedule is stacked

Following the historic 2015-16 season, it doesn’t get easier for the Cougars, as their season opens with a bang against the University of Oklahoma, one of the four teams to make the College Football Playoffs last year.

The Sooners return a number of their key players, including quarterback Baker Mayfield and running back Samaje Perine, who will be sure to test the Cougars defense early and often.

But beyond a marquee matchup in the opening week, Houston will run the gamut of tough opposition the rest of the season both in and out of their conference schedules.

The Cougars will welcome the University of Louisville in the back half of the season, while they host their first home conference game with a grudge match against the University of Connecticut, the only team to beat the Cougars last season.

The atmosphere is buzzing

While two of the Cougars’ six games at home are already announced to be in primetime slots on ESPN, nothing beats the pure energy of being inside of TDECU Stadium. The entire gameday atmosphere is crackling around the stadium, and don’t expect that to change in the second year of the Tom Herman–Era.

Tailgating has quickly become a fan favorite, as a long section of Cullen Boulevard is closed down to make way for fans, students and alumni to celebrate and prepare for kickoff.

The Cougars were undefeated at home last season, but they’ll need the support of every single seat filled to replicate that performance.

The Cougars are rising

After pulling in a recruiting class ranked in the top 40 nationally, the excitement surrounding the team is even higher than last season — if that’s possible.

Murmurs of a possible playoff berth should the Cougars march through their season undefeated are even starting to be heard.

What’s undeniable is that Tom Herman has turned this program into a powerhouse in the state and even helped to thrust the Cougars into the conversation of Big 12 expansion. If you’re not on the Cougars bandwagon yet, there’s no better time to hop on than the present.

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