A few Monday musings and reviewing the questions we had going into the game. Dana Holgorsen holds his press conference Monday morning and Bayou Bucket week is in full swing.
the daily #35 | 9/4/2023 | Archives
Monday Musings. UH has to do a better job taking advantage of turnovers. Seven points off three turnovers is sub-optimal, especially considering two were gained in plus-territory.
And take a shot! The play calls after the three TOs? Short pass, run right, run middle.
Coogs allowed eight TFLs in 72 snaps (11.1%). Donovan Smith was sacked three times – twice on 3rd down and once on 4th down.
Alex Hogan and Isaiah ‘Zay’ Hamilton played pretty solid at corner against UTSA. Targeted 11 times, they gave up just four completions, and Hamilton had one team’s two pass breakups (David Ugwoegbu had the other). UTSA did a good job of moving Joshua Cephus around and giving the Coogs different looks. His 16 targets came against eight different UH defenders.
According to the game book, UH was credited with just two QB hurries – both from Anthony Holmes Jr.
Questions Answered. On Saturday morning, I wrote about a series of questions that would start to get answered in the first game. Omitting the ones that are still “TBD,” here’s what we found out:
How does the offense gel? Oof
Will they be conservative with the play-calling? Oof x 2
How do 42 new faces work together? Didn’t notice any problems relating to “new” guys and working together. That part seemed to go well.
And what about the penalties? A massive success.
Is Donovan Smith more consistent? This is TBD, but he didn’t do anything to hurt the team.
Does he cut down on turnovers? Yes. Massive success through game one.
Is he used more in a Tune mode, or is he allowed to be a dual threat? It felt more Tune-like than dual-threat, but probably TBD.
Will Matthew Golden be the #1 receiving threat? Will it be Joseph Manjack IV? Or will it be more evenly spread out? 7 targets for Golden, 7 for Manjack, and six for Samuel Brown.
Can Samuel Brown move past his off-field scuffles from 2022 and assert himself into the offense? The other two starting receivers scored touchdowns, but I’d say Brown had the biggest effect. He was targeted six times and made six catches, which helped settle Donovan Smith into the flow early.
Are Unije and Tank Jenkins the guys on the right side of the offense? Unije gave up two sacks and allowed a QB hit, while Jenkins allowed three hurries. That’s six of the seven pressures on Smith (according to PFF.com).
Will these starting five OLs – the same five as in the UTSA game a year ago – give up four sacks again? Officially, they gave up three sacks. The play right before the half – where Donovan was pushed out of bounds for a six-yard loss – was changed at halftime from a sack to a rush. So no, they didn’t give up four, but that’s with a big asterisk.
How are the tight ends used this year? There were several double TE sets late in the game, and Mike O’Laughlin made a critical catch on 3rd & 3 in the final clock-killing drive.
Who is calling plays? Does the process involving Dana, Naghavi, and QB coach Mike Burchett work seamlessly to start the season? Or are there difficulties? After the first 15-20 scripted plays, what does it look like? Joseph Duarte reported just before the game that Burchett called plays, and it did not appear they ever struggled to get a call in. But definitely curious if it changes and how the process works this week.