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Sunday, June 4, 2023


UH football 2020 season grades: Defensive backs

Senior cornerback Damarion Williams (6), and senior linebacker Grant Stuard (0) celebrate after a big play by the UH defense against Tulane. | Courtesy of UH athletics

UH football defensive back Damarion Williams (6) and senior linebacker Grant Stuard (0) celebrate after a big play by the UH defense against Tulane. | Courtesy of UH athletics

After looking at how each position group on the Houston offense performed in 2020, the focus now shifts to the Cougars defense.

First up is UH football’s defensive backs. Here is a closer look at the defensive back’s season and how they fared this season:

Season in review

The UH football defensive backs were led by junior cornerback Marcus Jones and senior Damarion Williams, along with junior safety Thabo Mwaniki and senior Deontay Anderson. All together they combined for 112 total tackles, 18 passes defended and two interceptions on the season.

The numbers are solid especially being an eight-game tenure, with Williams sitting in the top 40 in passes defended and Jones being voted third-team All-American by Pro Football Focus.

Jones alone had 24 total tackles, along with five defended passes and an interception in just six games of play on the season.

The secondary played a big part in preventing big plays which kept UH in many games, even when the offense struggled mightily but also struggled to hold certain opponents in check, giving up 300 yards through the air multiple times, which is one reason the Cougars finished 3-5 on the season.

The good and the bad

The UH football defensive backs were great at making the tackles and saving big runs that made it past the front seven but found themselves giving up too much on occasion through the air.

They allowed just over two passing touchdowns per game on roughly 250 yards through the air, which is average given the fact that it isn’t much different than what UH’s own offense averaged against opponents this season.

They defended passes well but struggled to force turnovers, only coming up with three interceptions on the season.

While Jones was the shining star, he did miss a few games along with others, but the players who filled in performed well and showed that the Cougar secondary has lots of depth.

Performance grade

Only eight games were played this season and many players were in and out of the lineup due to various circumstances, but the secondary still proved to be solid and deep throughout.

Any time a player is named an All-American, something is being done right at the position.

Overall, the secondary was a physical unit, one to make the tackle if needed but also defend the pass well enough to break them up in the air.

Overall Grade: B-

For more of The Cougar’s 2020 UH football offseason grades, click here

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