Statistically, this Cougar defense is one of UH’s best

Since January 1, UH’s two revenue sports have gone 23-2 vs. AAC teams.

With a win at UConn, the 2021 team will become the second-ever UH squad to go 6-0 on the road during the regular season (2011). The 1952 (4-0), 1979 (5-0), and 1988 (5-0) teams all went undefeated on the road.

UH’s 2021 margin of victory is the program’s second-best since 1989:

2011: 26.9 average margin
2021: 20.1
2015: 19.7
1990: 18.9

The 1989 team had a ridiculous 39.9 ppg scoring advantage.

D’Anthony Jones, who did not record a tackle against Memphis, had eight pressures in 24 pass-rush opportunities. That’s insane. The eight pressures tied his career-high (Tulane 2020).

The UH defense has given up 0 or 1 touchdown in six of 11 games this year. That has not happened since the 1989 team held seven teams to 1 or fewer TDs.

Houston is in the top-10 nationally in 14 of 42 statistical categories. The Coogs are in the top-25 in 26 categories. Before Black Friday games, here are the categories where UH is in the top-10:

CategoryNational Ranking
Total Defense5th
Rush defense7th
3rd down defense3rd
4th down defense6th
1st down defense7th
Passes intercepted9th
Fumbles lost3rd
Turnover Margin2nd
Turnovers gained8th
Blocked Kicks2nd
Blocked Punts1st
Punt return avg9th
Time of Possession9th


In the last two games, UH has allowed just two total TDs: a 1-yard run for Temple and a 5-yard pass by Memphis. Both drives were aided by personal fouls – one in the Temple TD drive and three against the Cougars vs. Memphis.

UH has held six of 11 opponents to 20 or fewer points this season. Since 1989, only two UH teams have held opponents under 20 in seven games (1999, 2011). The 1989 team held eight opponents to 20 or fewer.

The 1979 squad held 11 of 12 opponents to 20 or less. The 12th, Texas, scored just 21.

The 2021 Cougar defense, through 11 games, has given up the second-fewest points per game in a season since 1989. The 1999 team gave up 19.2 ppg while the 2021 team averages 20.1 ppg given up.

USF goes into the UCF game having thrown just 6 TD passes this year. Oddly, two of them came against UH.

Three years ago today, UH was 110th in 3rd down defense, 121st in first down defense, 12th in red zone defense, 128th in TOP, 118th in total defense, and 101st in scoring defense. In 2018, the Coogs were 129th in passing yards allowed (dead last) and are 21st today.

Alton McCaskill is now tied for second with 15 touchdowns in a season (Jackie Battle, 2006). Battle did it in 13 games played as a senior, while McCaskill has done it in 11 games as a true freshman.

Battle shared RB duties with Anthony Alrdige – Quick had 95 carries and 8 TDs that year. In 2021, Ta’Zhawn Henry has 97 carries and seven TDs.

Against Memphis, Clayton Tune was 4/10 on passes that traveled 10+ yards in the air for 69 yards, a TD, and an INT. There were also two drops on throws over 10 yards.

UH’s regular-season strength of schedule is expected to finish 119th in the country, the worst since Clyde Lee was head coach (1948-54). Currently, the SOS is 112th which would also be the worst in 70 years.

With a win Saturday in East Hartford, UH would reach 11 wins for just the fifth time in 76 years of football (1973, 1979, 2011, 2015). In the 18 years that a 12th regular-season game has been allowed, only two Cougar teams (2011, 2015) have gotten to 11 wins in the regular season.


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