The Third Ward D is still cranking things up to eleven as the Houston Cougars are now ranked #5 in the nation in total defense at 228.8 yards per game.
The Coogs remain first in the nation in rushing defense holding opponents to an incredible 37 yards per game on the ground. There’s a huge jump to second place Air Force which is at 51.67 yards per game and third place is Pitt at 61.25. The Coogs have only allowed 148 total rushing yards and 1 rushing touchdown in four games. Houston’s scoring defense is in fourth place at 10.5 points per game.
The Houston offense isn’t too far behind in 24th place nationwide which is very good considering it’s out of 128 FBS programs. Many teams are much higher in offense but terrible in defense, such as Texas Tech which has the #2 offense and the #124 defense. No wonder Kliff is scared of Houston getting a Big 12 invite.
University of Houston alumnus Brett Cullen is currently guest staring on season 2 of the hit Netflix series Narcos which you should totally watch because it also involves Pablo Escobar and the gorgeous country of Colombia. Mr. Cullen plays US Ambassador Arthur Crosby who is trying to keep the country from further devolving into chaos in the narco wars of the late nineteen eighties and early nineties.
My wife and I had the pleasure of meeting Mr. Cullen the night before the UH-UCLA game in 2012 out in Pasadena, California. Mr. Cullen was super friendly in spite me still seeing him as Eddie Martel.
The Narcos series is excellent but it’s easy to gloss over the heavy toll paid on all of the parties involved and to ignore the fact that Colombia is a far safer country than it was a few decades ago. After finishing Narcos, be sure to watch the Sins of My Father documentary (also on Netflix) about Escobar’s son who talks about how his family was exiled from their homeland and how he had to come to terms with his father’s reign of violence. It’s quite sobering. Another good documentary is the ESPN 30 for 30 episode “The Two Escobars” about Pablo Escobar and Columbian soccer star Andrés Escobar.
The University of Houston Athletics Department and ticket sales office have been working hard behind the scenes at increasing support for the Coogs’ football program. Football season ticket sales have more than triple since the 2009 season thanks to their hard work. Players like Case Keenum and Greg Ward Jr as well as winning coaches like Briles, Sumlin, and Herman have done a tremendous job as well winning lots of football game and helping put the school on the map. Here’s some of the numbers since 2009:
Texas State Bobcats fans spent time before Saturday’s matchup against Houston talking trash, which is always in good fun. But one of the odd insults Bobcats fans had against UH was our strength of schedule, which already includes wins over perennial top-25 contenders Oklahoma and Cincinnati. Maybe the Bobcats were insulting themselves by implying that Houston’s schedule is weak because we’e playing Texas State and they’re not a good team? Either way the Coogs slapped down the Cats 64-3, including 429 yards of total offense and 43 points at the half.
Houston true freshman quarterback D’Eriq King saw time in non-QB roles and became the first player in UH history to catch a touchdown, pass for a td, and return a kickoff for td all in the same game. It’ll be interesting to watch the quarterback battle next fall against King and A&M transfer Kyle Allen. Be careful to assume King will be a wide receiver: Greg Ward Jr. was a wide receiver for his first year and a half at UH before transforming to the next legendary UH qb and becoming an early candidate for the 2016 Heisman.
Also interesting was this became the most lopsided win in Houston’s history since beating Louisiana Tech 73-3 back in 1991. Ward helped his Heisman credentials by adding 20 for 26 yards passing for 289 yards and three touchdowns (passing and rushing).
Most impressive is the fact the Coogs didn’t commit a penalty in the game and also the play of the Third Ward Defense. Gone are the days of tons of passing, zero defense, and 64-54 wins. It’s nice having a balanced attack.
The Coogs have won 18 of their last 19 games going back to the Armed Forces Bowl win against Pitt in the 2014 season. The only loss was to UConn last November when Greg Ward Jr. was out with an injury. Look for the Coogs to be extra amped up for revenge this Thursday night at TDECU Stadium. Be sure to be extra loud for the Coogs so the team knows we support them and to give the added home field advantage!
“Keenum to Edwards, Touchdown!” Houston Cougars fans got used to hearing those words from 2008-11 while gunslinger Case Keenum was setting the NCAA’s all time record for passing yards, completions, and touchdowns. Wide receiver Patrick Edwards was a key reason why Case was able to have such a successful career as he was on the receiving end of many of those passes. Originally a walk-on, Edwards would rack up 4,507 receiving yards and 43 touchdowns in four years on Cullen Blvd.
Now Edwards has joined UH alumnus and former offensive coordinator Jason Phillips at the University of Kansas. Edwards is currently working as an intern on the KU strength staff. It wasn’t that long ago that Todd Reesing was lighting up scoreboards and the Jayhawks were two games away from being in the national title game. Hopefully Phillips and Edwards can help bring some of that high-octane offense back to Lawrence.
The Houston Cougars basketball team has picked up a commitment from 6’6″ 220 lbs. forward from Three Rivers Community College out of Poplar Bluff, Missouri. Grant scored 18.3 points as a freshman playing for Three Rivers. Grant is originally from Chicago and chose the Coogs over Wichita State and UAB. Welcome aboard Gabe!
Three star safety Donovan Stiner from Bellaire High in Bellaire, Texas has flipped his commit from Baylor to Houston. Stiner, who is part of the class of 2017, also had offers from Missouri, OK State, SMU, & Rice. The Jack Boyz are getting stronger!
The CardiacCoogs crew has to hold down the fort for the football program while the team is at away games. Us Coog fanatics were out in full force at Calhoun’s Rooftop on the UH campus for the official watch party, just in time to get featured live on the local news. Notice how the reporter mentioned the Coogs are well on their way to having a Power Five fanbase and luckily everyone proved how true that is with our rowdy Coog spirit!
Next, be sure to watch this video of Calhoun’s erupting as the Coogs sealed the victory over the Bearcats. No apologies for me not being able to keep the camera from shaking as the bar got a little nuts!
Three weeks into the 2016 college football season the Houston Cougars lead the entire nation in rushing defense at 38.33 yards per game. The Coogs are also second in total rushing yards allowed with 115, tied for fourth in rushing touchdowns allowed with 1, and are fifth in total rushing attempts per game (by their opponents) with 26.33.
Houston defensive line coach Oscar Giles and defensive coordinator Todd Orlando have done an excellent job turning true freshman Ed Oliver into a monster alongside senior linemen Cameron Malveaux.
Not to be outdone by the d-line, Houston senior linebacker Steven Taylor leads the nation in sacks with 5.5 and CFN has him in first place for national defensive player of the year. Cornerback Brandon Wilson is tied for the national lead in total number of returns over 50+ yards.
It’s quite refreshing seeing Houston known for defense and, if the Coogs can stay healthy, look for the Third Ward D to be an underrated force behind Houston’s hopes for repeating as conference title champs.
The Houston Cougars (3-0) opened conference play last night with a strong 40-16 win over the Cincinnati Bearcats (2-1). In spite of the game being close throughout most of the contest, the Coogs and their vaunted Third Ward Defense turned on the jets with two pick-sixes to seal the victory.
All week Cincy fans were Tweeting out #HTownTakedown as a response to the #HTownTakeover, even though UH fans have already used the slogan in the past. Reflecting on it after the game it seems like the hashtag wasn’t well thought out because the kids from H-Town sure gave Cincy a takedown. Cincy fans also hilariously tried to call out the Coogs for Drake wearing a UH jersey at his concert in Houston two weeks ago:
Their tepid response was to Tweet out a photo of Tupac wearing a Cincy jersey, even though Pac never once mentioned Cincinnati in a song and no connection to the city. Drake at least considers Houston like a second home and is very well connected in the city, to people like the Prince family and Rap-a-Lot Records in particular who were instrumental in Drake getting signed to Cash Money. Never mind Paul Wall, Slim Thug, Z-Ro, and Bun B all coming to UH football games in person to support the program. Nice try tho Bearcats:
As the season progresses, Houston looks to continue to gain national respect and push towards another record breaking season. It’s easy to talk about the postseason, but it’s still way to early: There’s still a lot of football left to play and how a team looks in September doesn’t mean it’ll look the same way in late November and December. For now, the focus should be going 1-0 each week and not underestimating a single opponent. We aren’t the underdogs anymore so we’ll have a big target on our backs the rest of the season.
Be sure to re-live last night with the highlight video below: