What is your biggest takeaway from the OU game?
Chris McGehee: Despite his passer rating telling a different story, it was shocking to me how rough King’s night was. He finished with more rushes than completed passes, despite the fact that the Cougars spent the entire night playing from behind. That only happened once last year: the SMU game, another night when the offense struggled.
King spent much of the game scrambling trying to turn nothing into something. On Talkin’ Bout Them Cougars: Previewin’ OU, Trey and I discussed the continuity of each team’s offensive line. Oklahoma lost four out of their five starting o-linemen from last season, while UH returned three of their five. And yet, watching the game, you would have thought it was the Coogs with the inexperience up front.
Trey Formas: The Coog offense is going to be just fine. I attribute the slow start to a couple of things: 1) King was still trying to get reacclimated to game speed after coming off of his injury and 2) we have to remember that this game was played in a hostile environment against the number 4 ranked team in the nation. That’s not nothing.
Once King settled in, the offense looked much better than it had through the first quarter and a half. It’s also quite clear that Stevenson will be a difference-maker for the offense this season.
Where do we need to see the most improvement going into the Prairie View game?
Chris: Pass coverage, plain and simple. Oklahoma had 10 different receivers catch at least one ball and as a unit, the Sooner WRs averaged over 16 yards a catch. Jalen Hurts picked the Coogs apart, finishing with as many touchdowns (3) as incompletions.
Week 2 should be a cakewalk before UH gears up for Washington State but after Sunday night’s game, PV may not be as easy as we once thought. In their first game, Prairie View had nine different players catch a pass and their receivers averaged nearly 15 yards per reception. We’ll need to see a lot of improvement out of the defensive backfield. And fast.
Trey: Form tackling. Watching the game on Sunday night, I thought we had too many attempts at arm tackling and trying to dive at the opposing players’ legs as opposed to wrapping up. The OU playmakers had far too many broken tackles – well more than UH can afford to allow.
Which player on PV concerns you the most?
Trey: Quarterback Jalen Morton (#12) has to be licking his chops after seeing what Hurts did to the Cougar defense. We’ve already covered how bad the Houston secondary was, so I want to look at Morton’s game against Texas Southern.
His completion percentage (57%) wasn’t great, but almost all of his completions were for huge gains. In 2018, Morton played 11 games and averaged over 200 ypg through the air and he’s a dual-threat. He was the Panthers’ second-leading rusher last season and, after seeing Hurts Sunday, I imagine that the game plan for Morton will be similar.
Chris: I’m actually going to cheat a little bit here and say that I’m concerned about the 1-2 punch of running back Dawonya Tucker (#1) and wide receiver Tony Mullins (#19).
In the Panthers’ first game of the season, Tucker plowed through Texas Southern’s defense for 188 yards on the ground and three touchdowns, averaging over 17 ypc. As if that wasn’t enough, Mullins torched TSU for for 141 yards on 6 catches (23.5 yards per reception) and a TD.
If they get going, it could spell a long day for the Cougar defense.
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