Houston’s record will be better without Tom Herman. There’s enough back on both sides of the ball to expect a run at the conference title. The offense won’t miss a beat plugging Kyle Allen into a system that won’t change much under Major Applewhite. The defense will still get it done with a mix of returning talent and fresh faces that’s good enough to play at the same high level as last year.
Quarterback Kyle Allen will be a Heisman contender. This isn’t that far of a stretch. Allen was a super recruit and burst onto the scene with Texas A&M as a freshman back in 2014. He hit some rough patches and lost the confidence of head coach Kevin Sumlin, but he has all the tools to be special in this offense. Plus, he’s got a solid group of receivers and an offensive line that should be ready to rock after a year of seasoning. It could all add up to some eye-popping numbers in the fall.
The defense will actually be better than last year. I know, I know. Starting middle linebacker Steven Taylor is gone, and the coaching staff must replace both corners and two linebackers. But leading tackler LB Matthew Adams returns as does the disruption of DT Ed Oliver. Mix it all with a good hire in Mark D’On0frio at defensive coordinator, and the Cougar D will be ready to get after it again.