2009 Texas Tech Opponent Prospectus
Game 1: North Dakota Fighting Sioux // Game 2: Rice Owls // Game 3: Texas Longhorns // Game 4: Houston Cougars
The Houston Cougars come off of an impressive 8-5 2009 season, where head coach Kevin Sumlin did a fine job leading Houston to a winning record, a bowl win, an exciting offensive team to watch (helped by former Texas Tech coach Dana Holgorsen), all in his first year as a head coach.
Join me after the jump for a closer look at the Houston Cougars.
|Opponent||University of Houston|
|Head Coach||Kevin Sumlin|
|2008 Record||8-5 (6-2)|
UH Athletics with Steve Campbell (Houston Chronicle)
Fourth And Fifty (Houston Sports)
|Links||2009 Depth Chart|
|Pass Offense||401.62 (2)||413.15 (1)|
|Rush Offense||161.15 (47)||117.84 (94)|
|Total Offense||562.77 (2)||531.00 (4)|
|Scoring Offense||40.62 (10)||43.77 (3)|
|Pass Efficiency||160.03 (8)||158.76 (9)|
|Sacks Allowed||2.08 (71)||1.00 (4)|
|Pass Defense||238.31 (91)||242.23 (94)|
|Rush Defense||175.15 (94)||140.38 (61)|
|Total Defense||413.46 (100)||382.62 (79)|
|Scoring Defense||30.92 (91)||27.85 (74)|
|Pass Efficiency Defense||137.27 (91)||130.56 (72)|
|Sacks||1.84 (64)||2.62 (18)|
|Tackles For Loss||6.23 (44)||4.85 (95)|
|Turnover Margin||-0.46 (88)||0.62 (22)|
|Rushing||Bryce Beall (198 / 1,247 yds / 13 TD)|
|Passing||Case Keenum (397-589 / 5,020 yds / 44 TD / 11 Int)|
|Receiving||Tyron Carrier (80 rec. / 1,026 yds / 9 TD)|
|Tackles||Marcus McGraw (103)|
|Sacks||Tyrell Graham (1.5)|
|Interceptions||Brandon Brinkley and Loyce Means (4)|
A Few Things
- Keenum is Special: Graham Harrell was outstanding last year, part of the best passing offense in the NCAA last year, but Case Keenum wasn't far behind and in fact led the NCAA is total offense in 2008. Yep, Keenum is an incredibly special player and if you aren't at all worried about Keenum, you should be.
- Home Field Advantage: In the last decade, Houston is 31-21 at home, which is a winning percentage of 59.1% , good for 74th in the nation, so there's not the hugely decided advantage that you might expect playing at home. As an example, in the last decade, Texas Tech has the 12th best home winning percentage at 47-10 or 82.5%.
- Brothers In Arms: There's a very simple similarity between Texas Tech and Houston in that both have great offenses and weak defenses. Houston was decidedly worse, by 20 teams, last year, ranking 100th in total defense. This is a team that struggled to stop Conference USA opponents (and there are some really good ones), but the Cougars gave up 38 points to SMU, 37 to Marshall, 37 to UTEP and 56 to Rice. That's a lot of points.
- No Pressure: Houston is not returning many pass rushers from last year and Houston's best rusher last year was Phillip Hunt (14.0 sacks; 18.5 TFL) and Tate Stewart (5.0 sacks; 6.5 TFL) sacks. That's a lot of defense that's missing and it's going to be tough to make up and if Texas Tech has success, it might be based on the fact that Houston hasn't found a consistent pass rush early in the season.
- Beall Takes Opportunity: Bryce Beall is the perfect example of a guy that has taken advantage of a situation where (I think) a player was hurt, Beall gets inserted into the starting lineup and was just tremendous for the Cougars, as a true freshman. If you remove the first 4 games for Beall where he didn't start, he averaged over 124 yards a game, including two games where he had 176 (Tulane) and 167 yards (UTEP). The guy can run.
- Stopping the Run: We looked at Houston's lack of returning pass rusher, but the other big defensive issue is Houston's rush defense, where the Cougars gave up over 175 yards a game. The good thing for Houston is that they do return a fairly stout linebacker corp, but the defensive line is rebuilding.
- O-Line Return: Houston is only returning two starters along the offensive line, but are returning their left tackle, Sebastian Vollmer, center, Carl Barnett, and right guard, Michael Bloesch. The penciled in starters at left guard is a sophomore and right tackle is a redshirt freshman.