Start time: Saturday, September 10th — 12 p.m. EST
Location: TDECU Stadium, Houston, Texas
(no betting line or over/under published)
Look, ESPN’s Matchup Predictor gave Houston a 99.1 percent chance to win this game.
That might be a little low.
If you didn’t watch Houston’s 33-23 win over Oklahoma last week, I’ll assume you just woke up from a coma. If so, welcome back! It’s been a wonderful week — or longer — since you’ve been gone.
Here are some other things you might have missed:
- Houston is No. 6 in the AP poll.
- Houston DB Brandon Wilson was named the National Defensive Player of the Week by the Walter Camp Foundation after his performance Saturday, which (obviously) included a kick six.
- Houston QB Greg Ward and DB Brandon Wilson were named the AAC’s Players of the Week.
- Houston kicker Ty Cummings was named the Groza Star of the Week by the Palm Beach County Sports Commission after making four field goals of 26, 33, 35 and 47 yards in the win over Oklahoma.
- The Football Writers Association of America (FWAA) selected Houston as the National Team of the Week.
This week, the Cougars should handle the FCS Lamar Cardinals, from nearby Beaumont, Texas, with relative ease.
Lamar lost to Coastal Carolina 38-14 last week. It was Coastal Carolina’s first game, and first win, as an FBS program.
The Cardinals took an early 14-0 lead behind the strength of their running back, Kade Harrington, but then the Chanticleers ripped off 35 unanswered points in the second half to earn the win.
Lamar will be clearly overmatched this week but keep Harrington’s name at the forefront of your mind. He’s no joke. He scored on runs of 59 and 64 yards against Coastal Carolina.
Last season, he rushed for 2,092 yards and 21 in just 10 games. He put up 213.4 all-purpose yards per contest.
He’s good, there’s no doubt. But if the Cougars’ defense can bottle him up the way it did Samaje Perine and Joe Mixon after the first quarter of last week’s game, UH should not have a problem with Lamar.
And just to make sure it’s addressed, if you think this might be a game Houston will overlook or take lightly, rest assured Tom Herman will not let that happen.
This team and this coach are on a mission.
We’ll see healthy doses of Duke Catalon and Greg Ward in the rushing game early and then UH will probably phase out Ward to keep him as healthy as possible. And it certainly won’t be a shock if backup QB Kyle Postma plays most, if not all, of the fourth quarter.
Ward will hit deep routes to Chance Allen, Steven Dunbar and Isaiah Johnson. Linell Bonner will get some quick strikes and probably another absurd highlight-reel catch.
Allen will reemerge in the this game and the Cougars will rack up points quickly with the passing game in first half.
Houston’s defense will largely bottle up Harrington. He’ll get enough carries to have a respectable game but I doubt he will reach 100 yards rushing.
Lamar quarterback Carson Earp threw two interceptions versus Coastal Carolina and the odds of him throwing one or two at TDECU Stadium are pretty high.
Ultimately, Lamar will probably score a few points late in the game against Houston’s second string defense but the genuine threat of an upset is very low — like, 0.9 percent.
Houston wins 56-10