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Wednesday, January 26, 2022

Football

Cougars trio are key to defeating Bulls


Fiona Legesee/The Cougar

The Cougars look to keep their winning streak alive as the team faces the USF Bulls at home on Oct. 27.

Houston is 6-1 overall and 3-0 in the American Athletic Conference and sits at No. 1 in the West Division. The Cougars will take on a 7-0 Bulls team, which remains perfect so far throughout the season.

Junior quarterback Blake Barnett has a 62 percent completion rate and can be a huge threat in the air for the Cougars’ defense. But he has been sacked 10 times in just three conference games and thrown seven interceptions this season.

Barnett had a great performance against Tulsa, however, USF was highly out played in other aspects of the game by ECU and Tulsa.

The Bulls tend to come out slow, so the Cougars’ improving defense could shut down the offense and secure a win.

Junior defensive tackle Ed Oliver and senior linebackers Austin Robinson and Roman Brown have combined for 192 tackles on the season. The three will look to force fumbles and put pressure on an inconsistent offense.

USF has its own strong tacklers in senior linebacker Khalid McGee and junior defensive back Nick Roberts, who have 106 combined tackles. Putting pressure on junior quarterback D’Eriq King could switch the game in the Bulls’ favor and the team has 19 sacks this season.

But overall, the Bulls’ stats in conference are mediocre and their ability to make routine tackles and big plays is lacking.

King, along with sophomore receiver Marquez Stevenson and junior running back Patrick Carr, should eat up the Bulls’ defense.

King has been a dual threat with 1,984 passing yards, 23 passing touchdowns and nine rushing touchdowns on the season. King’s success in the pass and run game should make him the most challenging quarterback the Bulls’ defense has seen all year.

Carr leads the team with 407 rushing yards and Stevenson leads with 613 receiving yards. The trio prove to be electric on the field and will be key players to secure a victory for the Cougars.

However, Houston needs to be consistent both offensively and defensively. Houston’s only competition in conference so far have been 0-3 ECU and Tulsa. USF brings a 7-0 team which could cause a disorganized defense, which Houston has seen before.

A victory would improve Houston’s conference record to 4-0 ahead of its match up with SMU and keep the team in first place in the West.

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