4. College Football News Preview 2020: Houston Cougars Defense 3 Things To Know
– The defense had problems, especially late. The move to getting the young parts experience for this year should pay off – at least that’s the hope – after allowing 468 yards and 34 points per game, with 44 or more given up in three of the last four games.
If all goes according to plan, 16 of the top 17 tacklers return, a whole slew of transfers should make a difference, and the pieces are there to be better in a big hurry. There should be a great rotation to go along with the promising starting 11.
– It doesn’t matter where Grant Stuard plays, he’s going to bring the pop. The 6-1, 210-pound senior is a hybrid safety and linebacker who led the team with 97 tackles. There isn’t a whole lot of size in the linebacking corps overall, but again, the depth and options should keep everyone fresh. Donavan Mutin will be a given in the middle, and everything else will fill in from there.
The line loses Aymiel Fleming off the nose, but the pass rush has to ramp up from the ends. The defensive style is more than suited to anyone who’s able to fire into the backfield, but the group has to generate more than 21 sacks.
There’s a nice mix of edge rushers and decent size to play around with the rotation but 345-pound Olivier Charles-Pierre has to gum up the works with his bulk in the interior.
– There Cougars are loaded with options in the secondary. Not only are all of the pieces back, but lots and lots of transfers are in the program to provide a push for jobs. Senior CB Damarion Williams was second on the team in tackles, and junior S Gervarrius Owens is back after making 54 stops – they’re both former JUCO transfers.