A few news and notes before heading to the Hilltop:
- This is the only away-game before Black Friday for the Coogs. Win it and you’ve got to feel really, really good about playing for a conference title.
- A win and a Tulane loss at USF Saturday puts the Cougars dormie in the West – 3 up with 3 to play.
- This season, Ford Stadium features “value priced” concessions – if you’re heading up, enjoy $2 soda and water and $5 beer (16 oz).
- SMU QB Ben Hicks was a UH commit for over 7 months in 2014 before switching to SMU days after Tom Herman was hired. After Tony Levine was fired, Hicks quickly developed a bond with recently-hired SMU coach Chad Morris.
- Hicks loved him some Travis Bush, though.
“Both Coach Levine and Travis Bush are very good coaches and I can’t wait to learn from them,” he said after committing.
- Hicks going to the Hilltop was a blessing for the Coogs. Instead of muddying the waters at the QB position, as well as mixing a pro-style and a dual-threat, Greg Ward took control under Herman. And we know how that ended:
A 22-5 record over his last two seasons with an AAC title, a Peach Bowl title, and three wins over top-5 teams.
- Hicks is a typical drop-back passer with a career rushing total of -104 yards (120 attempts). His style would have fit the eye of Major Applewhite but he wouldn’t have been what UH needs.
- Hicks has languished this year in his RS-junior season – SMU coach Sonny Dykes even benched him earlier in the year. Hicks has completed just 53% of his passes for 1325 yards (6.65 per attempt). His 11 total touchdowns pale in comparison to D’Eriq King’s total of 39.
- That said, don’t be surprised if SMU tries a trick play or two in this game – especially one involving Hicks catch a pass. It’s Homecoming and they’ll be desperate to get a November win against a ranked team.
- For the last few years, SMU has had two great play-makers at wide receiver – Trey Quinn and Courtland Sutton. In the game at TDECU last year, the duo combined for 28 catches for 316 yards.
Both declared for the draft after the 2017 season leaving this team depleted of offensive skill talent.
- SMU’s scoring average has plummeted 11 ppg this year. The Ponies are scoring just 27 a game while giving up 36. They’ve given up over 40 points four times and their 2 FBS wins have come by just 5 total points.
Chad Morris escaped to Arkansas and left a dumpster fire behind. Dykes really hasn’t done much to extinguish it.
- In 33 tries, we’ve beaten SMU 21 times (21-11-1) – a winning percentage of .652. The Coogs have played 23 schools at least 10 times and our series winning % is higher in only 3:
Florida State .824 (13-2-2)
Rice .738 (30-11)
Tulane .727 (16-6)
Ridiculously Good Numbers on Offense
This Cougar offense is a mile better than the 2017 offense. But how much better?
- UH has scored 59 more points in 8 games than they did in 12 last year.
- The Coogs need 589 yards of offense to eclipse last year’s 12-game total.
- UH needs only 101 yards rushing to do the same in that category.
- Bonner and Dunbar combined for over 1900 yards last year but just 8 TDs. Marquez Stevenson has 10 TDs (8 receiving, 2 rushing) alone in 2018.
- Three QBs combined to throw 16 TDs in 2017. D’Eriq King beat that total in just 5 games. King has 28 TDs in 8 games.
- Three QBs combined to rush for 9 TDs in 2017. King has 11 this year. He’s rushed for a TD in every game played so far.
- Point differential by season:
- Times over 40 points:
2017 – one.
2018 – all.
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