Quick look: UH’s 2021 football schedule

Marcus Jones in the 2020 Tulane game / Photo by Mario Puente

The 2021 schedule is finally complete and the Houston Cougars will have five true home games for the third-straight year. UH will begin the season at NRG.

I really don’t like playing at NRG in any situation. It is not conducive to a great crowd or the feel of college football despite the perfect storm of the 2016 OU game. UH will “host” Texas Tech before a lackluster crowd that would look much better at TDECU.

Then UH heads to Rice for week two of in-town/off-campus before the real home-opener with Grambling. The start to the 2021 schedule is not an ideal situation for a program that needs to put butts in seats but you have to figure that UH is 2-1 or better after three weeks.

Conference play begins the following with Navy at TDECU. Dana Holgorsen needs a fast start in 2021 and 4 games Houston in the first month should help him. The flip side of that is the Coogs will only have 3 home games in their final seven (just two on Saturdays).

The following two weeks the schedule gets tricky: the Cougars go to Tulsa on a Friday and then to Tulane the next Thursday. It will be the fifth-straight season that the Coogs and Greenies play on a weekday. The last Thursday night game at Yulman for UH set off a crazy set of circumstances that killed the 2019 season.

The Coogs get an off week at the mid-way point of the schedule before back-to-back home games with ECU and SMU. UH needs to be ascending by that point because November will get rough. In that month, Houston will travel to Tampa and Philly before a Friday night game with Memphis and a final roadie to UConn. Expect a couple 11 a.m. games in those three east coast trips.

The Thanksgiving weekend game in Storrs is a recent addition to the schedule. UH and UConn were the last FBS teams needing a game this season and had been working on the agreement for weeks.