Keys to the Game: Houston at South Florida

Houston is in a funk, and the road doesn't get any better with a trip to South Florida and the undefeated Bulls. A few Coog Keys. 

Expanded Role For King

Major Applewhite mentioned something at his press conference, something we've been in favor of for a while, D'Eriq King will get a shot at quarterback, a real shot in a game and stuff! If you saw King play in high school at Manvel, you know how explosive he was at the position. King was considered an athlete coming out of Manvel which is a nice way of saying he was 5-9. He reminds us of Greg Ward Jr. who was similarly undersized out of Tyler. One thing is for sure; King needs the ball in his hands. It looks like Houston might be trying to find a way to accomplish that. 


When Tom Herman packed up, he took Todd Orlando with him. Orlando built the Cougars into a top fifteen defense. The Cougars stifled the run at an elite level. That was 2016, this is 2017, and Mark D'Onofrio's defense has fallen from fifteenth in total defense to 89th. Against the rush, the Cougars have dropped from second in fewest yards per carry to 70th. Saturday the Cougars take on the seventh-rated rush offense in the country in South Florida. 

Running back Depth

The Cougars lost Dillon Birden to a horrific elbow injury last week. Duke Catalon is banged up but should play, but Houston will rely on some new faces in the run game this week. Sophomore Mulbah Car will get first shot at filling in for Birden. Car averages over six yards a carry this season. Transfer Patrick Carr and Davion Mitchell a true freshman from Rockdale will also get a shot. 

News and Notes

South Florida and Houston are meeting for the fifth time, the series is tied at 2 a piece. 

The Bulls are owners of a the nations longest active winning streak at twelve games. 

South Florida is won of just eight remaining unbeaten teams in the FBS.

South Florida has scored 30 or more points in 24 straight games.

Houston is trying to avoid its first three game losing streak since 2013. 

Houston is ranked 9th in the FBS in interceptions with 10. 

The Cougars John LeDay is 19th in kickoff return average with 26.3.

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