4 Things Preseason Preview: Houston Cougars

The Cougars.

1. Why fear the Cougars? I always loved Donovan Smith and don’t begrudge him for wanting a full-time opportunity. I think he will do well in Houston and I’ll be really interested to see how he reacts to Holgorsen’s sideline tirades. I don’t know how Houston’s players will handle a full Big 12 season (I know they’ll be fine) but with how they faded last year, I don’t know how things will go. Smith isn’t a big passing quarterback, he’ll be fine, but maybe not the big huge deep plays. I tend to think that David Ugwoegbu will be a big addition and had almost forgotten that former Red Raider defensive back Alex Hogan was still at Houston.

2. The Best Jimmy’s and Joe’s. This is a list of players on preseason All-Big 12 teams and Smith getting a look isn’t surprising, while Mathis is also really good. Having two offensive linemen bodes well for Houston.

  • QB Donovan Smith
  • RB Tony Mathis
  • WR Matthew Golden
  • C Jack Freeman
  • OL Patrick Paul
  • DL Nelson Ceasar
  • DB Adari Haulcy

3. Transfer Report. Holgo definitely went shopping in the portal, particularly for skill positions and defensive help. We know about Smith at quarterback, but also added was Stephon Johnson a receiver from Oklahoma State and Joshua Cobbs a receiver from Wyoming. Defensively, two cornerbacks, Malik Fleming from East Carolina and Brian George from Texas A&M, were added as was linebacker David Ugwoegbu from Oklahoma and defensive end Brandon Mack from Ole Miss.

4. Tough to Replace. Receiver Tank Dell is one player that was fantastic that’s now gone although Matthew Golden and Stephon Johnson should help ease the transition. Clayton Tune is obviously no longer at quarterback and that’s a big part of the program, but having Donovan Smith is a pretty good consolation prize. Derek Parrish was a sack machine, but was drafted as a fullback and that surprises me. Gervarrius Owens was a second-team all-conference cornerback last year and had 8 pass break-ups.

Previous 4 Things Preseason Previews: Baylor; BYU; UCF; Cincinnati; Houston; Iowa State; Kansas; Kansas State; Oklahoma; Oklahoma State; TCU; Texas; Texas Tech; West Virginia

Ed Note. This is what I worked on while on flights. I tried not to get too deep because that would be incredibly difficult to do this for 14 teams and I think most of us want a cursory idea of what opposing teams are. I also found the idea of who is transferring in as more important than the freshmen arriving. That’s definitely changed over the course of years. I also thought that knowing who is being replaced is relevant more than most things.


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