Keys to the Game: Houston at Temple

Last week was...disappointing, but the Cougars get a clean slate with the start of AAC season. A few keys to Houston's trip to Philly this weekend. 

Don't let Tech beat you twice

As disappointing as the loss to Tech was, Houston can't carry that loss forward. Coaches always talk about a 24-hour rule regarding getting over a win or loss, that's all well and good, but if Houston can't get off the mat early against the Owls, doubt could trickle back in. For the Cougars a little swag (and we hate that word) and confidence will go a long way. Temple is in a full-on offensive identity crisis. The Owls average just 17 points a game and are trying to find a quarterback anywhere on the roster. Temple has yet to put up 300 yards of total offense in any game, and last week USF held the Owls to just 89 yards. 

Build Kyle Allen Up

Through three games Kyle Allen has shown a propensity for throwing the ball to the wrong team. Last week his numbers weren't awful, but two interceptions, a fumble on a strip sack, and general inability to push the ball downfield lead to some questions, so much so that Major Applewhite made a change in the fourth quarter. If Houston wants to win the AAC, they'll need Kyle Allen to contribute in a big way. The offensive line will be a focus in helping Allen do his thing, more on that later, but the last thing the Cougars need is a quarterback controversy. 

Focus: The Offensive Line

Last weekend the Cougar offensive line struggled against David Gibbs and his Tech defensive scheme. Temple head coach Geoff Collins is no stranger to good defense. We're sure the Tech tape was on repeat in the Temple football offices this week. Houston's front five should consider this week a challenge and an opportunity to show that they can take over the line of scrimmage. Temple allowed two 300 plus yard rush performances in their first four games, including allowing 422 to Notre Dame. The Owls give up 6 yards a carry. Expect the Cougars to try and capitalize. On the flip side, Temple is 4th in the FBS in sacks this season with fifteen. Houston's offensive line allowed just four sacks this year. Expect the Owls will bring the pressure on Saturday.  

Notes and Numbers

  • Saturday marks the sixth matchup between the Cougars and Owls, the Cougars hold a 5-0 advantage. 
  • Houston's first win over Temple came in 1987 when Jack Pardee coached the Cougars and current Arizona Cardinals head coach Bruce Arians coached the Owls. The win was later forfeited by the Cougars due to NCAA violations. 
  • Matthew Adams had a career high 15 tackles against Texas Tech last week. 
  • John LeDay averaged 50 yards a kickoff return for the Cougars. 
  • Safety Khalil Williams leads the Cougars with two sacks and tackles for loss with six. 

The Roundup...