Know Your Foe: This week’s match-up with the Houston Cougars


Houston running back Duke Catalon (2) evades Texas State safety Javante O’Roy during the first half of an NCAA college football game, Saturday, Sept. 24, 2016, in San Marcos, Texas. Houston won 64-3. (Darren Abate/AP Photo)

The UConn football team will look to bounce back from Saturday’s loss when they travel to Houston for a Thursday night matchup with the No. 6 Houston Cougars.

The Cougars, led by star quarterback Greg Ward Jr., have gotten off to an impressive 4-0 start to begin their season. Houston defeated Baker Mayfield and the Oklahoma Sooners to begin the season and just routed Texas State 64-3 for their fourth win.

Houston is led by second-year head coach Tom Herman. He is 17-1 in his time at the helm with his only loss coming at the hands of Bob Diaco and the Huskies in an upset in Hartford late last November. Despite the loss the Cougars went on to win the American Athletic Conference title and defeat No. 9 Florida State in the Peach Bowl. It was the school’s first win over a top-ten team in a bowl game since 1979. The Cougars finished the season No. 8 in the rankings.

Following the victory over Texas State, Herman was quoted saying there was “added motivation” for the upcoming game against the Huskies.

Houston has outscored opponents 179-42 through four games, converted on 53 percent of third downs and have had nearly 2000 yards of offense through four games.

Running the show for the Cougars is their star senior quarterback Greg Ward Jr. He has played in three out of the first four games for the Cougars and has already racked up 936 passing yards and five passing touchdowns. Ward is just as dangerous on the ground, amassing over 100 rushing yards and three rushing touchdowns.

The Huskies will have to watch out for Houston’s backups as well. Junior quarterback Kyle Postma has rushed for four touchdowns and has thrown for over 140 yards on just 30 attempts. Third-string quarterback King D’Eriq has been dangerous all over the field. A true freshman, D’Eriq has found time at both quarterback and wide receiver as well as returning kicks and punts.

Sophomore running back Duke Catalon is the leading rusher for Houston. The Houston native has ran for 225 yards on just 48 carries. Freshmen Kevrin Justice and Mulbah Car have also played significant snaps for the Cougars.

Junior wide receivers Linell Bonner and Steven Dunbar have led the way in terms of receiving yards. Bonner has 280 receiving yards through four games and Dunbar has 229, while both have just one touchdown. No one on the team has more than one receiving touchdown on the season, but six different players have caught passes for touchdowns.

The Houston defense has been impressive. The Cougars have allowed an average of 10.5 points per game, and have only given up an average of 192 passing yards and only 37 rushing yards.

Senior linebacker Steven Taylor leads the Cougars’ defense with 5.5 sacks through four games. Taylor has amassed 23 total tackles, one behind the team lead. Sophomore Wilson Howard leads the secondary with three interceptions.

Houston has outscored opponents 179-42 through four games, converted on 53 percent of third downs and have had nearly 2000 yards of offense through four games.

Connor Donahue is a campus correspondent for The Daily Campus. He can be reached via email at He tweets @conn_donahue.

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