CFN discusses Cougars’ schedule and gives an early preview

via The Cougar
via The Cougar

The always excellent and detailed College Football News does a very early preview for the Cougars upcoming season. First, some thoughts on the schedule:

Houston Cougars 2015 Schedule

Sept. 5 Tennessee Tech
Sept. 12 at Louisville
Sept. 19 OPEN DATE
Sept. 26 Texas State
Oct. 3 at Tulsa
Oct. 8 SMU
Oct. 16 at Tulane
Oct. 24 at UCF
Oct. 31 Vanderbilt
Nov. 7 Cincinnati
Nov. 14 Memphis
Nov. 21 at Connecticut
Nov. 27 Navy

Non-Conference Games: at Louisville, Tennessee Tech, Texas State, Vanderbilt
Games vs. the East Division: Cincinnati, Connecticut at UCF
5 Keys to the Schedule:
– With an unusually early bye in Week 3, the Cougars will conclude the regular season by playing a game on 10 weekends in a row.
– In Week 2, Houston will renew acquaintances with Louisville, with whom it shared Conference USA membership for nearly a decade.
– The Cougars will play a 2014 BBVA Compass Bowl rematch against Vanderbilt on Halloween, the first-ever meeting in Houston between the schools.
– Three of Houston’s most important conference games, Cincinnati, Memphis and Navy, will take place at TDECU Stadium in the pivotal month of November.
– Houston drew arguably the pair of crossover games among West Division schools, having to face Cincinnati and UCF in Orlando.
– WATCH OUT FOR … Texas State. The Bobcats are a well-coached veteran team that can move the ball with balance. The backfield duet of QB Tyler Jones and RB Robert Lowe is capable of fueling an upset on Sept. 26.

Next, the site does a brief preview of how the squad should look in the fall:

Status quo just wasn’t cutting it at Houston, so the program will be plotting a new direction in 2015. After going sideways for three years under Tony Levine, the Cougars cut their losses and hired hot-shot offensive coordinator Tom Herman away from Urban Meyer’s Ohio State staff. It was a bold and decisive move, as well as a clear statement that mediocrity will not be accepted by the administration. Houston, aided by a state-of-the-art stadium and a fertile recruiting base, is eyeing a return to the Art Briles or Kevin Sumlin years, when 10-win seasons and conference contention were not considered outside the norm.

No one is worried about … the defensive backfield. The offensive backfield is pretty good, too, but the secondary could be the American’s most disruptive this year. None of the key contributors were lost to graduation, and CB William Jackson and safeties Trevon Stewart and Adrian McDonald have all-league chops. Underrated Boise State transfer Lee Hightower is also expected back after missing half of 2014 to injury.

Extra attention must be given to … the D-line. When Houston pressured the quarterback in 2014, it was often the result of attacking coordinator David Gibbs, who turned loose his athletic linebackers. Herman’s staff, though, hopes to get more heat from a middling collection of returning linemen, none of whom appear capable of requiring double-teams.

Some very interesting tidbits in the above quotes. I didn’t realize how good our secondary is supposed to be this upcoming season. Hopefully this means the “Third Ward D” and “The Jack Boys” can continue punishing opponents on defense!