“1. Houston:** No one belongs in the same tier as D’Eriq King in this conference. Houston’s star accounted for 50 touchdowns last year, and deserves more respect than he’s getting. Competing for the backup position will be Clayton Tune and coach’s son Logan Holgorsen. If King shows that he’s completely recovered from his knee injury last year, it will be tough to stop him again in 2019. A tougher schedule awaits both King and the Cougars, so a decline in his production might be possible. Still, he’s the only one that belongs in this category.”
" 7. Houston: Four seniors return for the Cougars, but only two will see time regularly. Patrick Carr took over the starting job last year, and looked solid. Mulbah Car isn’t a bad backup to have, but it’s the transfer that might beat out both of them. Texas transfer Kyle Porter decided to join Dana Holgorsen in Houston, and has the skills to win the job. D’Eriq King and the receivers will receive plenty of attention, so a dangerous running game only makes this offense more terrifying."
“1. Houston:** No debate here. Houston’s talent and depth are far above anyone else in this conference. Marquez Stevenson, Keith Corbin, and Courtney Lark give the Cougars one of the best trios in the entire country, even if they don’t seem to get much respect. After that, there’s a ton of talent to go around. Bryson Smith’s one of the most versatile players in the AAC, and Jeremy Singleton and Terry Mark round out a great two-deep. D’Eriq King’s the man, but his receivers also help him out. After getting a full year of experience under their belt, they’ll really hit their stride in 2019.”
" 4. Houston: The rushing numbers can be a bit skewed with a talent like D’Eriq King at quarterback, but the Coogs have the beef up front to wear down opponents. Josh Jones, Braylon Jones and Jarrid Williams, all entering their senior seasons, will have an opportunity to showcase themselves against Oklahoma in Week 1."
" 7. Houston: It’s weird to see the Cougars so low, and even more strange to not see Ed Oliveron their roster. Isaiah Chambers showed in just four games that he can be an elite defensive end. He produced six tackles for loss, including 4.5 sacks in those first four games before being injured. Payton Turner and Aymiel Fleming also return, but need to show improvement. Dana Holgorsen brought in a few junior college transfers to help boost this group."
“10. Houston: Joe Cauthen’s new scheme requires less linebackers, but hopefully that means better play. Leroy Godfrey and David Anenih are the only returners, but there’s potential joining them. Both could see time on the defensive line given their skillsets. Terrance Edgeston is a favorite to win a starting job after coming from junior college, and someone else needs to join him. Grant Stuard could see time at both defensive back and linebacker too in Cauthen’s 4-2-5 scheme.”
8. Houston: This could be an elite group by the end of the season, which is scary to say considering the Cougars finished dead last in passing yards allowed per game last year. Dana Holgorsen addressed that immediately in the offseason. Deontay Anderson and Gleson Sprewell should start, but they’ll be pushed by Jordan Moore (who was granted eligibility to play this season). JUCO All-American Damarion Williams has star potential, and the battle at cornerback should be intense. Don’t be surprised if this group makes a big turnaround in 2019.
3. Houston: Dane Roy returns as one of the most consistent punters in the country, and he’s improved his average every year. Dalton Witherspoon made all of his 72 extra points last year and went 7-for-9 on field goals. Returners Marquez Stevenson and Bryson Smith didn’t score on any returns, but they’re dangerous with the football in their hands.