State of the Program - Mid-Season Edition

Where is this program mid-season?

People have argued about the schedule, the short weeks, Major Apple(insert some childish ending), or if a couple plays went the other way, we would be 5-1… We are 2-4… and it ain’t looking like things will get too much better.

I don’t buy this excuse that the previous staff mismanaged the roster/the cupboard was empty with the one exception of playing Tune in the bowl game. We were never going to win that game playing a backup QB, third stringers all over the defense, and having them all led by a position coach who had never coordinated, especially against a triple-option team. There was no excuse to burn a redshirt for a throw away exhibition that we were obviously not going to win.

As has been discussed ad nauseum, I strongly believe there was plenty of talent left on this roster to make a bowl-bound team. All the preseason predictions had us in a bowl game and had our over/under on wins near 7.5.

I do believe the roster is being mismanaged right now from the redshirt fiasco to the “good practice” players starting while previous starters are being benched… the couple of moments those former starters play in each game, they dominate, but are then sent back to the bench. Now, the behind the scenes drama is bleeding over into the public realm, and it ain’t pretty.

In regards to the team’s performances, the defense, barring some personnel choices (cough… cough… Chambers) has been somewhat of a pleasant surprise. They are playing well enough to stay in games, getting some stops. Are they a work in progress? Heck yes, but the talent was/is there, and it is being developed into an average defense, which is a massive step forward after the injury-ridden sieve that we had last year.

In contrast, the offense has been a massive disappointment. The air raid is not that complex. It’s not 3D chess, and anyone who says it is, is lying to themselves. What makes it so effective is it is a plug and play straight forward offensive system that creates advantages for teams that can’t bring in top talent regularly. Anyone who says that King or any other QB needs more time in the system to run it effectively is wrong. There has been something off with our offense from the very beginning of this year, and it still isn’t right regardless of who is playing QB.

Special teams have been adequate, except Dane Roy, who is in beast mode. That dude is going to be invited to multiple camps, AND HE IS EARNING IT.

The floor for this team was 6 wins for me. It still is. Anything less and it will be a massive disappointment. And if it is below 6 wins, it will not because of anything that happened with Major Applewhite or Tom Herman. It will be because Dana Holgorsen and his staff mismanaged the roster and offense, and he has no one to blame but himself. No, I wasn’t a fan of the hire, but thought we would at least be sitting at 3-3 and look competitive/disciplined/organized. We have looked far from it. Attendance at today’s game says there are some people that agree with me.

Here’s to hoping that Holgorsen can prove me wrong and we get to 6 wins.


So, you were disappointed when Apple Boy was canned ?



I believe that both Herman AND Apple Boy screwed up the over all talent level, but for different reasons.

Herman could not have cared less as he was interviewing as soon as he got here…and…
Apple Boy…just because he had NO idea what he was doing !!

There is some talent on our roster, but not enough…especially in the O and D lines. And thus the depth is non existent. Youth is really showing.


I will wait for the 3/4 season report to comment.


Unfortunately, my guess is I will be able to copy/paste the same comments, but the record will be 3-6.

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We have talent, but it’s concentrated in certain places, while we lack talent in certain areas.

QB, behind King was badly mismanaged. Herman brought in one QB who retired after one season of not playing. He then brought in a transfer that is currently 4-0 in the NFL only to leave and put him in the hands of a coach who didn’t run a system to utilize his talents (man, could you imagine Allen in the Briles offense? That might have been fun to watch). After losing him, Applewhite brought in a grad transfer to compete with King the following season, but allowed him to redshirt in order to transfer, allowed a true freshman to get murdered in a bowl game while wasting his redshirt, and took another athletically talented kid, who he basically begged to not go to UT because he wanted him to be a QB…and promptly made him a WR that only played QB in gimmick plays. This also doesn’t say anything about the fact that King was brought here to play QB…only to spend his 1st year playing WR/RB and getting hurt because of it, missing the beginning of his 2nd season and a chance at being the QB from the beginning as a sophomore because of that injury even though the coaches loved him, before getting his shot and then sitting out his senior year after 4 games and being on his 4th OC. The position has been badly mismanaged for years and I actually commend CDH for trying to get another year out of King and Tune and trying to get the position stabilized.

WR has lacked any sort of development for a long while now. Drops have plagued us for going on 3 years now, guys can’t run proper routes or get separation, and so many passes go uncaught because of it. Stevenson is the only one we can count on, but even he can only do so much. Sad thing is that this is the deepest and most talented (according to rankings) part of the team. Probably shouldn’t have had a former QB who had no idea how to be a WR and working on his 1st position coach job coaching these guys for two years. Carrier has his work cut out for him getting these guys to unlearn bad habits and figure things out. By the way, didn’t see Lark out there today.

OL wasn’t taken care of at all under Applewhite and Herman leaving killed that first Applewhite class. 2 OL coaches in 2 years, playing guys in garbage time that hadn’t redshirted as freshmen, not really focusing recruiting efforts on the position even though we were behind after Herman left…to have decent success, you need a solid line; we are far from that. I’ll give credit to Josh Jones though…guy is a stud…just need 4 other guys that can play consistently.

LB, like WR, was another position mismanaged badly under the previous two coaches. Our depth chart at ILB was a grad transfer, who got hurt, and a couple of walk-ons (Again, Herman ignored recruiting LBs). No offense to the two walk-ons, but why a guy like Parrish didn’t see more time at the position is confounding, especially when he performed well when he did see the field in garbage time. Maybe it’s due to having another first time position coach trying to spin some of those guys up. Still, we recruited a bunch of 3-4 rush LBs which have had to move to the DL in the new 4-2-5 set. But, then we also wasted a redshirt year on guys like Kirven who now sits as a sophomore instead of a redshirt freshman even though he wasn’t playing all the time.

And then there’s DB which was neglected under Herman and Applewhite. After the famed Jackboyz, Herman sort of ran off Howard Wilson when Herman left, didn’t develop Jeremy Winchester at all, and recruited a total of 2 2* CBs to the program. Applewhite followed that up by recruiting a total of 2 more CBs to the program, 1 left before his 1st year was up and the other got hurt and hasn’t really seen the field since. We started a converted WR and a walk-on for two years (granted, they are both on NFL rosters now) and are now starting a JUCO CB recruited by the current regime and a transfer safety that transferred under the current staff because on eod those 2*’s that Herman recruited was completely lost out there while the other is constantly injured. Those two never come off the field because we have zero depth behind them basically. Herman screwed us at safety as the highly ranked safeties he recruited all chose elsewhere when he bailed. Applewhite did a good job patching up the position and got some talented guys in there (Anderson, Sprewell, Vaughn).

So basically, we’re good at RB and DL and our special teams positions.

That’s tough to fix in year one. Yes, there’s talent on this team, but how do you fix having your starting nickel back not being able to cover or a converted safety as one of your starting CBs? How do you fix 2 or 3 of your OL being inconsistent every game? How do you fix WRs that have talent, but can’t run routes or make catches consistently outside of one guy? How do you fix a LB corp, that was already short on experience, getting decimated by injuries? How do you fix your backup QB situation when you’re choices are a kid who should be a redshirt frehsman, a true freshman, and a kid with amazing athletic talent, but got stuck in the WR room which was a waste considering the lack of coaching he received at that position for two years. There are a bunch of fatal flaws on this team that are constantly exposed every game this season that the coaching staff did not inflict on itself.

However, I will say that there are some troubling things so far with CDH and staff. The clock management issues so far are troubling as today wasn’t the only time we’ve had issues. Conditioning, especially during the Tulane game, has been worrisome (Been a problem since the IPF opened). Guys aren’t playing that probably should (Chambers especially). Discipline has been an issue at times…both on and off the field apparently. There have also been things stated, most notably the grad transfer quip, that haven’t been practiced (we ended up bringing a few grad transfers…one who then caused problems). We’ve recruited 8 guys for next year’s class which seems abnormally low right now. I know we were limited in slots, but I figured we’d be at least in double figures by now. These are issues that bare watching as they could cause more fatal flaws down the line,

But, I’m not going to kill him about redshirting guys this season. He’s right, we need to build this program and it isn’t going to do us any good if we’re 6-6 or 7-5 next season because we’re starting a whole bunch of young kids on offense. Punting on this year and loading up for next season is the smart move…if it works out. If we get back to 10+ wins and a conference championship game, it’ll all be worth it. If not, yikes. Still, good on him for using the system and getting kids (so far) to buy into this.

Should we make a bowl game this season…yep. Will we…I don’t know. If we don’t, barring significant injuries, that’s a failure in my book, even with the flaws on this team.

Still, I believe in the process right now because that’s all I can do at this point.


Well thought out and researched response, Patrick. I think that is a fair assessment overall.

I personally don’t think Safety and Offensive Line were in that bad of shape, especially at Tackle, but that is just my opinion. I will give you the Guards being a sore spot.

However, the QB and CB situation is a total cluster. We have been patching holes with transfers/JUCOs for some time now.

Overall, I think I would say the raw talent was there, but wasn’t being developed over the last two to three years.


Not gonna give up on Holgy just yet.

Yeah we are 2-4, but in how many of those losses did the team quit? I dont think any. Compare that to the Army game coached by apple. That team had quit before even setting foot on the field. Meaning we havent “tanked” anything. I saw a lot of good things today. Specifically, the defense and special teams Defense under Applewhite and Donofrios was absolutely atrocious, it couldn’t have possibly gotten any worse. We were around dead last I believe. As for offense, it will get better, I can trust Dana on that.

I think these things will get ironed out by next season. That said there is still a chance we make a bowl game, so we still have something to play for. On to UGone.

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During the game yesterday there was a video of all the Coogs in the NFL. Except for Ed and Kyle Allen they were already on campus when Herman and Applewhite showed up.

When you look at the number of NFL players were on the Peach Bowl team you realize that team was stacked.

When Herman left he took the heart of that recruiting class with him. Herman’s first recruiting class when he took over wasn’t very good either. Last year’s recruiting class wasn’t very good either.

So this team is made up of three transitional recruiting classes, one of which was a complete disaster. Simply put we don’t have the players, but we will.

I really like the fight in this team. That is something to build on.


Patrick, very good assessment. Regarding the description of the lineup I would only disagree on the defensive line. We had to shore it up over the spring with a bunch of JC players or we would have been playing with backups to Fleming & Young averaging about 260 LBs. But to get a perspective of where the DL is, go watch some of the 2015 and 2016 defensive lines. Much bigger, leaner, and quicker even taking Oliver out of the mix.

Cary, outside of Williams & Jones, Patrick is correct about the OL. Jones is solid and Williams on the other side. But with Williams banged up, Wooten is working hard but not at that level. I like Wooten because he appears to love this school and cheer for him to get there, but not at Jones & Williams level yet.


I don’t like or dislike the fact that we hired CDH. What I see is an experienced head football coach that wants to be here for the long haul. That I can appreciate. The recruiting and player development sins of the clowns before him are the reasons we are where we are today. I think our coaches are doing everything they can to correct the long term negative impacts of our seemingly endless coaching carousel. That is a credit to the head coach and the staff he hired, but regardless of who we hired, it will take some time. The players seem to have great attitudes and play hard. That is a credit to the players and the staff. I even saw improved tackling from #2 yesterday and I never thought I’d ever see that. Lots of opinions on this board. Mostly uninformed, including mine. All we see is what happens on Saturday afternoon, and a bunch of social media BS. Mostly from people that do not have the best interests of our program in their heart. Our coaches live the reality of our program. All day, every day. I believe our program will grow and thrive under the direction of CDH. I think we can bank on that over the long haul. Stay the course, and our younger fans may even learn what it was like to be a Coog under Yeoman and Pardee.


We have to win 3 of the four home games, beat Ugone and Tulsa. I thought it would be Cincy but when I looked at their players it looked like 5 seniors on the offensive line playing 3 freshmen on ours. Was that way the first two drives and then the defense adjusted and got better. After this game I think we have a decent chance to beat either SMU or Memphis and for sure Navy,

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It’s quite simple. Herman took an entire class with him and its now rearing its ugly head up 3 years later. Applewhite was a disaster on and off the field. UH has always been a giant slayer when we have the big chip on our shoulder…it’s got to be rebuilt…sooner or later, you got to pay the piper and the bill has come due for the prior two HC. I love that the expectation levels have been raised. Bowl game would be a great thing for the Seniors that have been through 3 HC in their 4 years at UH. Go Coogs !


Not sure we beat SMU this year, they’re vertical and that’s our kryptonite at the moment. It is a rivalry game and at home so we’ll see. I like our chances against UCF, Tulsa, and Navy. That would get us to 6 wins. Memphis is a weird team to me. Not sure how good they want to be.

You like our chances against UCF, but not SMU ?

I think all games on our schedule are winnable, but the UCF game will take great effort on our part with all breaks going our way.

Reality is most likely 6-6 is probably our goal.

UCF has a host of problems that no one is talking about. The biggest ones are their inability to stop the run and lack of mental toughness. When things don’t go their way late in games, they fold. Go back and watch Pitt and Cincy vs them. They’re experiencing uncharted territory when you play them close and Heupel cant get them to rally. Its remarkable how their will to win evaporated after those win streaks dissolved. SMU looks good on paper but the verdict is still out. Waiting for them to play Temple to decide.

6-6 is doable. Heck 5-7 is bowl eligible if not enough teams qualify. lol


Nice write up. I did see Lark suited up on the sidelines yesterday but never noticed him in the game.

What players return next year that will play on the interior defensive line? The Alabama transfer is a DE as are many of the redshirts. Neither of the junco DL’s looked ready for Div I football. Still confused about Chambers. Is he redshirting or what?