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Thursday, March 4, 2021

Football

Cougars have ‘a million miles’ to pass before reaching goal


The Cougars have a 5-1 record as they head to Maryland for a showdown with the Navy Midshipmen. | Joe Buvid/ Courtesy of Houston Athletics

 

The Cougar had the opportunity Monday to catch up with head coach Major Applewhite about the storylines heading into this week’s game against Navy.

After beating ECU last week, the Cougars are well aware of the challenges that this Navy team can cause. Applewhite spoke on his keys to defeating them.

“Their time of possession is top five in the country,” Applewhite said.

“When they do get the ball in the red zone, they are first in the country in terms of scoring. Those are the things that we need to focus on. Those are the things that win and lose games. Obviously, the packages of who is playing quarterback, or who’s at fullback, or who’s at slot. All of those things will differ as they will with any offense or personnel. Those are the big battles.”

To beat Navy, Houston will need all their players to make an impact. UH still scored over 40 points against ECU, but D’Eriq King was sacked three times and only threw for 209 yards, much less than his average of 272 per game.

Applewhite is also looking for the freshmen to have good performances. With the new rule that allows first year players to play up to four games without losing their redshirt, the coaching staff has paid special attention to managing its players. They have not decided who will redshirt this season.

“We are going to need every single person on this team to make a run through the conference,” Applewhite said. “As tough as this conference is, you are going to need every single person to play every week.”

The Cougars are going into Maryland with a flawless record against conference foes. Applewhite hopes the team continues doing what it has done well up to this point and it is able to reach the heights the staff sees for it. UH hopes to hit its stride in the second half of the season.

“It’s been a concentrated effort to get better. We’ve come a long way, but we’ve got a million miles to go,” Applewhite said. “We’ve got to keep going. We’ve got to keep striving to be better because our best ball is still out there.”

The Cougars play Navy in Maryland on Saturday, Oct. 20.

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