In a year where I’ve had few expectations, the Sam Houston State game stands out as one where I have no clue what to expect. Is the UH team lethargic? Or do they have something to prove? Are they looking ahead to Tech? Surely, after the last two weeks, that can’t happen, right?
the daily #54 | 9/23/2023 | Archives
Today is the perfect day to drop all expectations, see old friends in the tailgate, enjoy a beverage, and be happy if the Coogs win. It can be an ugly or blowout win; it doesn’t matter. UH desperately needs to win.
This team needs a ‘get right game’ about as much as anyone in the country. Players have said they’re embarrassed about the last two weeks, and there’s no better way to rectify that than slapping an ‘inferior’ team. Several players indicated they had a productive team meeting on Monday to discuss the TCU game and move forward.
UH also needs an opening-drive march down the field. They need a clean drive – Donovan Smith has been sacked twice and intercepted in the three opening drives this year.
In fact, UH has started poorly in most of their 16 games over the last two seasons, although TCU was better. The opening drive vs. UTSA was a three-and-out (1-yard), the Rice game was an INT, and against TCU, the Cougars kicked a field goal. Last year, the Coogs scored 5 TDs on opening drives (including three straight games after the Memphis comeback), had six punts, a missed field goal, and two interceptions.
So, in 16 games since the 2021 season, it’s seven punts, five TDs, a FG, a missed FG, and two INTs. The seven punt drives total 30 plays for 73 yards. That’s not starting fast and whatever has been in the opening script, it isn’t working.
Dana challenged the backup offensive linemen this week, implying that some could see playing time against Sam Houston. Will it be when the game is in the balance or the last two minutes of a blowout like last week (Peyton Dunn replaced Tank Jenkins at RG, and Shamar Hobdy-Lee went in for Unije on the last drive)?
The line opened at UH -14 with a total of 38.5 at Circa Sports in downtown Las Vegas. As of 10 a.m. Saturday, it is now -11 and 37.5.