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Game: Tulane 6.5 at Houston -6.5 Thurs October 8, 2020 7:30 eastern
The Houston Cougars begin their 2020 campaign after a 5 week delay. Their opponent Tulane has already played three games of football. While the record is 2-1, the Green Wave are still unproven. They needed 2 fourth quarter touchdowns to beat South Alabama 27-24. Blew a 24-0 halftime lead to Navy, losing 27-24. Then bashing Southern Miss 66-24 after falling behind 14-0 early. So which Green Wave rolls into Houston?
Keon Howard started the first two games at QB. He was benched in Southern Miss game and Michael Pratt is now starter. He was 8 for 18 in the blowout. He will need to play much better if he wants 100 yards passing against Houston. Tulane relies on a trio of Running Backs. Tyjae Spears went over 100 yards against USA and Navy. He had 50 yards vs Southern Miss and then tore his knee in a season ending injury. Cameron Carroll already has 8 rushing TDs in three games. He ran for 163 yards against Southern Miss. Backup Stephon Huderson showed up and posted 120 yards in the blowout. Nice job fellas.
KEY STATS - Total Defense Ranking - South Alabama 106 Navy 115 Southern Miss 124
The Houston Cougars were 4-8 last season. Their star QB got injured and transferred to Miami. The defense allowed almost 500 yards per game. Dana Holgerson looked to be tanking in his first year. He said he had a plan and it looks like he may be right. D'Eriq King is gone but Clayton Tune looks capable and ready to put up lots of points. Houston returns 16 starters. On offense, they have a solid RB Kyle Porter, a fifth year Senior who ran for 600 yards last year. Tune will have his choice of receiving targets as well as plenty of time behind an experienced Offensive Line. Marquez Stephenson is a Senior who posted 900 yards last year and 1,000 in 2018. He should once again be Tune's main target.
Houston picked up half a dozen defensive players from other college teams to fill weaknesses. Jovanni Stewart comes from West Virginia and will boost their nickel defense right away. The Cougars will probably play hyper-aggressive on defense. High risk - high reward. The offense could be good enough to hide any defensive weakness. However, this team could gel much faster than many think. Points from Special Teams and the Defense could push this Cougar team into the Top 25 later this year.
So what happens tonight?
Houston could start rusty. It's been a long time since they played real football.
Tulane could get a touchdown or two in 1st quarter. However, the Cougar train will roll and roll often. Don't expect Holgerson to back off. Once he's three Red Bulls deep, no holds barred.