It almost feels like it’s the beginning of the season again – just without the excitement. I don’t have a clue what’s going to happen this weekend much like I normally feel on opening weekend. The UH players have had the mother of distraction weeks, as have the coaches, and I’m interested to see how it plays out.
I think Saturday night gives you some hope for the rest of the season or it wipes it all out. This team has been through the wringer in every which way over the past 12 months. My expectations are low and I’m hoping to be surprised.
The Redshirt Game
I guess we’re not the only team to play this game but certainly playing a new version of it. Here are the players that are looking to or will definitely redshirt this season:
I’m not sure about Taures Payne. He did not play in the Tulane game due to injury (has two appearances). I’m watching Terrance Edgeston, too, who was out for Tulane but expected to be able to play again. Does anything from the last week change the situation for them?
And here are the guys I’m watching this weekend. These are players that have not started but have played four games and have a redshirt available.
Obviously, that’s not a full list of guys but we can safely assume (barring injury), if you’ve played in four games but miss the 5th then you’re probably attempting to redshirt. I don’t expect Lark to redshirt but I’m unsure about the rest.
We’ll obviously track any starters that don’t play, too.
News & Notes
Clayton Tune gets thrown back out there. I liked the way he looked early in the Tulane game last year but obviously, he struggled vs. Memphis and Army.
Here’s what I’d like to see in Denton:
1. Compete for four quarters. I don’t want to see Army in the bowl game all over again.
2. Does Dana trust Tune early? How exactly does Dana’s offense change for Tune? Getting the ball out quicker? Using the middle of the field? Does he go back to what he did in 2014 with Clint Trickett, when Holgorsen incorporated more of the motion offense?
3. The OL was unable to protect Tune at the end of last year and he took 15 sacks in the Memphis and Army games. Will it be much of the same? They weren’t protecting King this year, either: King was sacked 12 times in his four games (compared to just one through four games last year).
Liberty / Amon Carter / Gaylord Family / TDECU / NRG / Yulman / Apogee
This insanity of one home game in seven ends Saturday night. We won’t even discuss what could have happened if UH had kept Wazzu at home, put those great northwest kids in the heat and humidity, and had an actual home-field advantage. Is King playing at UNT if that happens?
Since leaving C-USA, the Cougars are 4-1 vs. teams from our former conference. Three wins vs. Rice, one vs. UTSA in the Alamodome and … yeah. 8/29/2014.
Like most staffs, UNT has a few people that are familiar to UH fans. Clay Jennings is the cornerbacks coach. He was at Houston under Art Briles (05-06) and under Major in 2017. He left to go to Texas Tech in 2018.
Jennings coached the entire secondary in 2017 and that unit had 14 INTs. Two years later, the Coogs have 3 secondary coaches.
Adrian Mayes, who served as UH director of recruiting in 2015, is on the staff tight ends coach. George Matsakis is the UNT director of ops and was on Dana Dimel’s staff in 2000-01.
With the rash of injuries in an already limited linebacking corps, I’d expect to see UNT and QB Mason Fine attack the flats this week. Spread them out wide and make those linebackers and the nickel. UH can’t miss tackles at the second level or it’s going to be a long night.
On the flip side: Fine was the CUSA Offensive Player of the Year for the second time in 2018 but has struggled somewhat this year. He has thrown over 210 yards just once this season (FCS Abilene Christian). He was in the top 10 nationally in passing yards per game last season.
In those three games, he’s completing just 56% of his throws – less than 53% in the two losses.
SMU scored 21 points in the 1st quarter in Denton in week two on their way to 45 total.
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