Keys to the Game: Houston at Tulsa

The season hasn't gone as planned in Tulsa, and now the Houston Cougars roll across the plains for an AAC matchup on Saturday. A few keys to a Coog win on Saturday. 

Beware a wounded team

Tulsa's 1-5 start is a shock to most. Most prognosticators pegged the Hurricanes as a bowl team and a possible contender in the AAC West. After a week two win over Louisiana Lafayette, the Hurricanes are on a four-game losing streak including a blowout loss to Tulane last week. Still, Phillip Montgomery knows how to coach offense and his system is proven. Houston can't take the Hurricanes lightly especially on the road. 

Two Quarterback Situations

As Houston settles on Kyle Postma at quarterback, Tulsa might be trotting out a freshman on Saturday afternoon. Chad President, the Temple native and former Baylor commit, struggled in the early part of the Hurricane schedule and he gave way to Luke Skipper, a redshirt freshman out of Forney. Skipper showed an ability to get the ball downfield and an avoidance of turnovers. That might be the primary reason Montgomery is making the change.

At Houston, Kyle Postma gives the Cougars a different look in the backfield. Postma's running ability has helped solidify Houston's offense and give the Cougars a plan B when things break down in the pocket. Postma's changed the way Brian Johnson and Major Applewhite called games and given the Cougars a more potent attack. The Cougars run nine fewer plays per game in Postma's starts but haven't seen a drop-off in yardage or points per play.  Houston averages three more yards per rush in games since Postma's insertion into the starting lineup. 

Defensive Improvement 

Houston isn't putting up the gaudy defensive numbers last year's unit put up, but they are better in a critical category, scoring defense. Houston gives up seven points less a game and almost a full point less per possession. 

Notes and Numbers

Saturday marks the 42nd meeting between Houston and Tulsa. Houston owns a 23-18 advantage. 

Tulsa and Houston were conference mates before the AAC. Both were members of the Missouri Valley and CUSA. 

Tulsa head coach Phillip Montgomery coached at Houston from 2003 to 2007. 

Two other members of Tulsa's staff also have Houston connections Mike Bloesch and Beau Trahan each coached at Houston. Bloesch is a Houston letterman and graduate. 

Tulsa has the smallest undergraduate enrollment of any FBS university at just over 3,400. 

D'Angelo Brewer is just the fourth Golden Hurricane to have over 3,000 rushing yards. 

Houston quarterback Kyle Postma returned to some familiar roots with his touchdown catch last week against SMU. Postma played receiver for the Cougars in 2015 before moving back to quarterback. 

Duke Catalon rushed for 177 yards against SMU, his first 100-yard rushing game as a collegian. 

John Leday has seven kickoff returns of 20 yards or more this season. 

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