Football Sports

A look at where the Cougars rank nationally entering 2020 season

Sophomore quarterback Clayton Tune made his fourth career start following senior quarterback D'Eriq King's decision to redshirt for the 2019 season. | Trevor Nolley/The Cougar

Quarterback Clayton Tune will look to improve when the season kicks off following an inconsistent 2019 season when he was thrown into the fire after D’Eriq King’s choice to redshirt. | Trevor Nolley/The Cougar

With the start of the 2020 college football season tentatively set to kick off in a few months, CBS Sports recently released the top 130 teams in the NCAA, in which the Cougars are No. 91 in the country ranking ninth amongst American Athletic Conference teams. 

Coming off a 4-8 season under first-year head coach Dana Holgorsen that saw Houston quarterback D’Eriq King sit out for most of the year after playing in only four games, the Cougars must now move forward with a new leader on offense after his transfer to Miami.

Outside of King, Houston also lost 14 seniors from 2019, most notably offensive-tackle Josh Jones, who is projected by some to go as high as the first round in the 2020 NFL Draft.

As for the returning players, it all starts with the quarterback. 

The keys to the offense will likely belong to junior quarterback Clayton Tune, who stepped in last season to replace the then-redshirted King throwing for 1,533 yards, 11 touchdowns and nine interceptions in seven games.

Last season’s leading rusher in running back Kyle Porter and leading receiver in wideout Marquez Stevenson will return for their senior seasons, and so will senior wide receiver Keith Corbin after he also redshirted for the remainder of last season after only four games.

Not much will change on the defensive side of the ball, as Houston’s top 10 defensive leaders statistically from last season are set to return.

On defense, Houston is led by senior linebacker Grant Stuard, who led the Cougars in solo, assisted tackles and tackle-for-loss, with 97 combined total tackles.

Even though it is still wait-and-see for Houston when it comes to production after an inconsistent 2019, the Cougars have a lot of upside with the players they have coming back for the 2020 season.

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