Cougar M's take

Split this into a new topic because it veered from another thread topic, but it’s a good post, worthy of a thread, please discuss - pc

==== From COUGAR M

Fresno State was 1-11 last year and hired an excellent experienced coach who inherited next to nothing. Applewhite was given the best defensive player in the country and 18 seniors on the 2 Deep roster including 10 senior starters. The OL he inherited had 86 career starts among them ranking 20th in the country. He lost Greg Ward who was half of last year’s offense. The guys he lost on defense should have been replaceable. Next year’s team is staring a huge experience gap and unproven talent in the face. Applewhite should be taking all the heat he is getting. If we don’t think UH should be competing for the conference title year in and year out, then the battle is already lost. We failed in that regard this year…failed miserably. Barring a shocking hire at OC (like someone who is good and established) there is no reason on paper why next year’s team is going to be better. The QB’s are not going to get better with Major as their tutor.


It is a good take and I completely agree. This is the first off-season in several years that I don’t think “the future is bright.” Two negatives I would add:

  1. Memphis keeping their good coach doesn’t help our cause in the division.

  2. The Tech and Fresno losses were both not as close as the scores indicated. We were clearly outclassed in both games.

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I strongly disagree that Bowser, S Taylor, Malveaux, the Wilsons and even Singleton were “easily replaceable” pieces off of last year’s defense. Find me a G5 team (and this is precisely what we are) that lost 4 drafted D players (+ a 4 year starter in Taylor) and didn’t skip a beat on that side of the ball.

I can’t disagree with too much else though. I think the OL improving in pass blocking is not nothing after being disastrously bad in 2016, but the run blocking was still bad on the whole. I think an offseason with DK as the starter could be beneficial, but I can’t strongly make the case for optimism after seeing CMA’s first offering on that side of the ball this past season.


I thought exactly the same thing!!! Especially at CB where they had concert a WR when Wilson went early. And play a former walk on in Myers. And Taylor was a 4 year starter…not in NFL but 5th big loss. Singleton hurt too and then Jerrod Carter missed first 8 games…he made big Difference when came back


And you go back another year, you lost 3 really good DBs in W Jackson, McDonald and T Stewart after 2015 plus E-Rob at Middle LB. That’s 5 really good college DBs (WJax, A McDonald, Stewart, the Wilsons), 3 really good college LBs (Bowser, Taylor, ERob) and 2 good college DL (Malveaux, Singleton). That’d be a fair amount of talent to replace at a much bluer blood than UH.


Not to be nit picky, but only 3 players were drafted off the D last year, not 4 (Bowser and both Wilsons). I think the defense performed at a respectable level, finishing in the 30’s in scoring defense which is pretty good. Most of the complaints on that side of the ball revolve around the “style” played-soft zone/prevent.

I think the bigger issue was the offense and sticking with a style that really needs a dominant o line ( not just an improved one) if it’s going to function well unless you have a ward to turn busted plays into positive gains. If we had a scoring offense that was in the, let’s say 30’s to go along with our defense we probably would have won 10’games this season.


G5 is irrelevant to the conversation when you are playing in a G5 conference. UH is competing with Memphis and Navy, Tulsa, and Tulane…not Bama, LSU, Texas, and A&M. The talent is equalized across the board. Why didn’t Memphis miss a beat after losing a 1st round QB and good WR’s and a coach? There is no excuse. Poor coaching, period IMO.


Look at the AAC conference championship score and yardage…defense was NOT UH problem…could it be better? Of course.

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I agree with you on this. It’s coaching.

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yep, we can win at a high level if we keep our scoring defense at this level but we have to have a drastically improved scoring offense.

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MThe head coach could and in fact should influence the style of defense. Clearly, the bend and then break style is what CMA favors.

While I thought the D was pretty good against the run for the most part, 3rd down defense reminded me of the Skladany days when we played back on our heels and ran backwards at the snap. Nothing like giving a QB all day to pick out a receiver. Hell, we made the ECU kid look like Tom Brady.

The offensive lacking is ALL on CMA. He is the common denominator for the last 3 years. Take away Ward and we have sucked offensively for 3 years. Totally lacking in innovation.

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I think the next OC hire will say more about Applewhite than the entire 2017 season.


I have said before on other threads that we were 1 play away from 10-1 regular season and now we can add a bowl victory to that. In each case it was player execution - either our guys made a bad play or their guys made a great one - not play calling or scheme.

Texas Tech - No McDowell fumble on the punt and I like our chances.
Memphis - Don’t kick the d-mn ball to the best return man around! Also late pick by QB stopped possible winning drive
Tulane - DK’s INT in the end zone.
Fresno - Pick-6 result of great defensive play. DK may have forced the throw, but a 90% of the time that ball hits the ground.

So we didn’t HAVE TO average 35 ppg to win 10 or 11 this year. We just needed to execute. Better play calling will help our blood pressure but regardless, not making plays (or making bad ones, depending on how you look at things) is what lost games that should have been won.

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Nailed it dead straight through the uprights

But you can say that with any close game:
Tech missed a bunch of easy field goals so they could have won easily
The Arizona qb that got benched after our game made a bunch of sloppy plays or they could have won
I’m sure USF fans are saying “what if” on a few plays that cost them that game
The temple coach complained to the conference about a few calls that went our way that he felt gave us the win

So we could have just as easily been 3-9. You have to look at it from both sides


We lost four games last year and five this year. That’s not some huge drop off or something.


I mean I guess…You could also say Herman went 9-3 and Applewhite has gone 7-6 since then.

4 of 13 is 31%
5 of 12 is 42%

11 percentage points is pretty significant.


We got dominated by Fresno and Texas Tech. Don’t let the scoreboard fool you.