Thursday night the Cincinnati Bearcats will honestly be playing their conference game of the year. I know it is early, but with the way the Houston Cougars have played last year and starting this year to be frank they are the measuring stick for the conference. The Cougars are 6th in the nation and hold wins over Oklahoma and Florida State in two of their last three games. Heck of a resume right?
The Cougars will be traveling to Nippert Stadium on Thursday night and Bearcat Insider wanted to give #BearcatNation some information on the Cougars before this huge game.
The Cougars offense is led by offensive coordinator/ quarterbacks coach Major Applewhite. Applewhite has been the coordinator going on two years and during his tenure which coincides with Tom Herman’s, Houston has been explosive. He currently has his unit averaging 37.5 points per game so far this season.
The signal call is Greg Ward, Jr., the Bearcat faithful know him well and with the rise of the program the nation knows who Ward is also. He sat out the Lamar game, but word is he will be playing against Cincinnati. During the season he is 23 of 40 for 321 yards and 2 touchdowns. We all know he can make plays with his feet also he has 30 yards rushing currently.
The main running back is Duke Catalon, but like Ward he sat out the Lamar game. He has 93 yards so far this season, but if Catalon is slowed down they have a few running backs who can pick up the slack in Kevrin Justice and Mulbah Car both have over 100 yards already this season.
At wide receiver the main target is Steven Dunbar who already has 9 catches for 132 yards. The core doesn’t stop at Dunbar as Linell Bonner and Chance Allen are playmakers also.
This offensive line has only given up 2 sacks this season so far so to call them solid is at least fair.
The Cougars defense is led by defensive coordinator/linebackers coach Todd Orlando. Like Herman and Applewhite, Orlando is also in his second year with the Cougars and so far in the current season his unit only giving up 11.5 points per game.
The guy on the defensive line to watch is freshman defensive tackle Ed Oliver. Oliver already has 4.5 tackles for loss and 2 sacks.
The big guys up front make it easier for the rushing outside linebackers Tyus Bowser and Steven Taylor to cause havoc. Taylor leads the team in tackles with 12, 4 tackles for loss and 3.5 sacks which also lead the team. Bowser currently has 10 tackles, 3.5 tackles for loss and 2.5 sacks.
In the secondary nobody has an interception on the team as a whole, but cornerback Brandon Wilson is playing good with 12 tackles, 1 tackle for loss and 1 pass break up.
|Houston Cougars Depth Chart - 2016|
|WR||Chance Allen||Isaiah Johnson|
|TE||Tyler McCloskey||Romello Brooker|
|LT||Josh Jones||Marcus Oliver|
|LG||Mason Denley||Kameron Eloph|
|C||Will Noble||Ryan Deshotel|
|RG||Mac Long||Alex Fontana|
|RT||Na'Ty Rodgers||Braylon Jones|
|WR||Steven Dunbar||Derek McLemore|
|QB||Greg Ward, Jr||Kyle Postma|
|FB||(WR) Linell Bonner||(WR) D'Eriq King|
|HB||Duke Catalon||Mulbah Car|
|Base 3-4 Defense|
|LDE||Jerard Carter||B.J. Singleton|
|NT||Ed Oliver||Nick Thurman|
|RDE||Cameron Malveaux||Zach Vaughan|
|LOLB||Tyus Bowser||Leroy Godfrey|
|LILB||Matthew Adams||D'Juan Hines|
|RILB||Steven Taylor||Nomluis Fruge|
|ROLB||D'Juan Hines||Emeke Egbule|
|CB||Howard Wilson||Jeremy Winchester|
|SS||Garrett Davis||Terrell Williams|
|FS||Khalil Williams||Collin Wilder|
|CB||Brandon Wilson||Javian Smith|