Houston currently has the #1 rushing defense in the nation

The Third Ward defensive line. via Houston Athletics
The stingy Third Ward defensive line. via Houston Athletics

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.