In an unseasonably cold afternoon in Houston, the assembled crowd for the Red-White game felt like they were in some cold, desolate northern location like McKinney or Sherman instead of typically humid Houston. The cold didn't stop the Cougar band from bringing the sauce as Houston wrapped up spring ball at TDECU. We braved the elements and here's what we saw:
- D'Eriq King is the truth. King seemed to focus on making plays from the pocket most of the afternoon, even if opportunities to run were there. He torched the second team secondary as the day wore on. When King sets up and prep to unload you just can't help but think a big play's coming. He found Terry Mark streaking down the visiting sideline to start the scoring, and the proceeded to pick the defense apart, finding Courtney Lark over the middle before Major Applewhite decided to give the defense a break.
- Speaking of the defense, Houston received some bad news when before the start of the spring game they announced that corner Jeremy Winchester was no longer with the program.
- Ed Oliver played a few series, established that no one could block him and took the rest of the afternoon off. Savor him Houston fans.
- Bryson Smith emerged as the afternoon went on as the more capable back up in our eyes, over Clayton Tune. Smith played the first series with the first team offense after King's exit. He looks explosive running outside the pocket. To say Tune doesn't is an over-simplification, he was capable running as well. Tune did throw a pick six on a route over the middle.
- Houston used more heavy sets with tight ends/H-backs and threw to the tight ends quite a bit. Sid Turnbull, a transfer from Northern Colorado via Seven Lakes looked capable. Parker Eichenberg, another Katy product performed well also.
- At linebacker our theory about Emeke Egbule moving inside was unfounded. He played outside with the first unit. Darrion Owens played inside with a rotation of Roman Brown and Jordan Milburn working alongside. Brown looks like a downhill thumper which we are big fans of.
- Deontay Anderson, the Ole Miss transfer, is a massive addition to the secondary. He looks and plays like an SEC safety.
- TCU transfer Isaiah Chambers had a nice afternoon with two sacks. Zach Vaughan had a solid day at the opposite end.
- Houston's second-team offensive line struggled against the first team defense, but that's to be expected. Corner depth might be an issue as well. The ball skills weren't there, and they struggled in man coverage.
- Kevrin Justice and Mulbah Car look like a capable one-two punch on the ground. Justice ran for 99 yards including a 54-yard scamper.
- Finally, at halftime, a student, misidentified as a female by the PA announcer, raced Isaiah Johnson in a 40-yard dash and almost won thanks to a stumbling start by Johnson. We doubt Johnson would have ever lived that loss down.
Houston opens the 2018 season at Rice.