5 things to look for in Houston’s season opener against Texas Tech

By Tyler Tyre
Posted 9/2/21

Houston will open the season on Saturday against Texas Tech and it seems like this might be the year that Dana Hongerson can field a strong team, but there are still question marks. Here are five things to look for during the game.

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5 things to look for in Houston’s season opener against Texas Tech

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Houston will open the season on Saturday against Texas Tech and it seems like this might be the year that Dana Hongerson can field a strong team, but there are still question marks. Here are five things to look for during the game.

  1. Can Clayton Tune protect the football

Clayton Tune has shown the ability to make big plays and lead this Cougars team, but he has also proven to be turnover prone throughout his tenure at quarterback.

In his 20 games he has played in for Houston, Tune has passed for 34 touchdowns, but has also thrown 21 interceptions, an area that must improve if the Cougars want to take a step up this year. Texas Tech is not the strongest defensively, but did force teams into ten turnovers last season, and it will be a good opening test to see where Tune stands in his development with ball protection.

  1. Who can offense count on outside of Dell and Car

The Houston offense knows it has true No. 1 options on offense in sixth-year senior running back Mulbah Car and wide receiver Nethaniel Dellbut the options behind them are unproven.

Coincidentally enough, two players the Cougars are counting on most to provide depth at those positions are transfers from Texas Tech.

Ta’Zawn Henry is electric in the backfield and could be a nice change of pace back for the team and at receiver KeSean Carter had a strong spring and looks to be a good choice to start alongside Dell and Bryson Smith. Tight end Christian Trahan will also provide an option in the passing game.

  1. Is depth on offensive line real?

Holgerson has spent a lot of time talking about needing to bolster the offensive line since he became head coach and he thinks this group has finally fulfilled that wish.

There is only one returning starter among the lineman, in center Jack Freeman, but Louisiana Tech transfer Kody Russey should help make the starting unit a solid point of strength.

Holgerson also feels like he can count on the backups among the lineman can be counted on if an injury happens this year.

  1. Is defensive line elite?

Logan Hall is back to lead the Cougars defense and will be a key piece on the defensive line. The defensive line group may be the biggest strength of the team this year as Hall will be joined by Latrell Bankston, an Iowa State transfer, and an experienced group that should feast on an inconsistent Texas Tech offensive line.

  1. Can Houston defensive backs handle Texas Tech receivers

Texas Tech has one of the strongest receiving cores in the state of Texas with Erik Ezukanma, McLane Mannix, Trey Cleveland and Myles Price among others and it will put the Cougars secondary to the test.

Marcus Jones and Damarion Williams are experienced at cornerback and Hassan Hypolite is a solid safety, but it’s an unknown if the team will be able to handle the talent of Texas Tech’s receivers and quarterback Tyler Shough.

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