UH Football and the QB

UH FB history and the QB position has almost always had success when the QB fits the O.

Back in the ancient days of the Bill Yeoman veer/triple option, his best teams did not have future NFL QB’s but they had QB’s that were very good to outstanding at running the O.
Danny Davis led UH to 2 Cotton Bowls, no NFL QB. UH had several other veer teams with solid QB’s that led UH to Cotton Bowls.

Andre Ware and David Klingler were outstanding R&S QB’s who set records, Ware won the Heisman, and both went to the NFL but were not successful. The label “system quarterbacks” became popular because of them. But UH had some of their best teams with them at QB.

Is it no surprise that the drought that followed was not only the lack of wins but a lack of great QB’s for the O that UH ran. That is until:

Kevin Kolb became the QB for Art Briles “nameless O” He was very good and was perfect for the UH O since he played it for several years in HS with Art Briles at QB. This was an O that prepared a QB for the NFL and he was in the NFL for 6 seasons. UH went from its lowest point in FB to being a contender and playing in Bowl games again.

Then UH lost Briles to Baylor and Sumlin became HC. Then UH got a QB that was perfect for the Air Raid O.

Case Keenum did not start right away like Kolb but once he did he set records, many records. What stands out is this system QB label did not fit because when Case got injured and had to sit out most of the season the UH FB team tanked and had a losing season. Case came back for his senior year and UH completed the regular season without a loss and well we all know what happened next. Keenum went on to the NFL and is in his 5th season and has started several games this season for the Minn. Vikings.

After Case UH did not have much of an O nor a direction that fitted any of the QB’s on the team. Levine got fired and one of the QB’s that most felt was the “next great UH QB” was made the starter by Herman.

Greg Ward did something no other UH QB had done by winning the most games in a two year period of time, UH won the American Conference and the NY6 Peach Bowl as Ward mastered the Herman RO O.
Now Ward is on the practice squad for Philadelphia Eagles as a WR.

So, once again UH does not have a QB for the O that it has. This O requires a QB who is real threat at not just running the ball but is a threat to get first downs, make long runs and even TD’s whenever he runs. This O requires a QB to be a good to above average passer and one that sees the field and how to run the option O. But the key is his running ability.

UH has a great passing QB who is perfect for a Michigan O and it has an average career backup QB who can run and pass but is not above average at either.

So like all those seasons between the QB’s mentioned above, no matter what O UH had, the QB or lack of failed to make those memorable ones.

Now next season how well will King or Smith or maybe a FR QB not on campus run this O. UH is recruiting solid candidates for the R/O O and getting them on the field, like our Historical past, is what matters.


We are a program that overall has historically been pretty good. When we have a QB we are very good to great (Mullins, Davis, Elston, Ware, Klingler, Kolb, Keenum, Ward). When we don’t we are average.

We just aren’t a program that overcomes average to poor QB play. But to be fair not many programs can.

1 Like

You are correct. To do so UH must have Michigan type talent everywhere else on the team. O’Korn is not great, but he does not have to be for Michigan to have a good to very good season this year.

Ward “fit” the O…

Just not sure what the “O” was…scramble and run for your life !!

1 Like

Are you ignoring Chuck Clements who was drafted by the NFL and won a conference championship?


Actually forgot about him. Thanks for reminding me. He was a very solid QB who played with an NFL RB and other quality players. He also was good enough at QB that he was drafted and was in the NFL for two years.

UH went 7-5 and that was UH’s first winning season in 6 years. They were 4-1 in CUSA and by beating S. Miss. 56-49 in overtime, they shared the title with them. That was UH’s first official conference title of any sort in 13 years.

UH then lost to Syracuse in the Liberty Bowl, UH’s first bowl appearance since 1988. Good old Helton with P5 type talent and playing 5 seasons in the SWC, was fired after the next year and in 7 years he had an impressive 24-53 record at UH.

Clements and that season was a candle of light in a sea of dark years of UH FB. Hey, back then every game resembled most games this year except SMU. Boring, low scoring, unimaginative play calling, just the type of FB that drives fans away. But Helton was a lifer and not checking out other schools to be HC at.

Let’s hope we will not again take that path back into FB darkness.

1 Like

Chuck Clements thought he was going to play in the Run’N Shoot offense, but Jenkins was replaced by Helton.

We can only imagine how good Clements would have been if Helton kept the RNS and focused on developing a solid defense.


Ware and Klingler got screwed by being drafted to incompetent NFL franchises. They would have been fine at an average to above average NFL team. As someone who follows the Jets, they could have been just as good or better than Vinnie T or Richard Todd. Sometimes its a curse to be the best qb in college.

1 Like

Ware was drafted by Detroit and the coach did not want him. He was thrown into the games with little practice and immediately labeled a failure by the coach.

1 Like

Yep, the Ware thing still irritates me to this day.

The Lions has just drafted Rodney Peete in the 6th round the previous year and Wayne Fontes was in love with him, eventually turning to him as the starter down the stretch in 1989. Ownership thought Ware would be a perfect fit for the R&S offense they were running there, but Fontes loved Peete and wanted them to draft someone else. Fontes then never gave Andre a chance.

Here’s an article about the relationship from 1992 that perfectly encapsulates Ware’s tenure with Fontes:

1 Like

What sucks the most about the bowl game loss was that Ward could have started three straight bowl wins. :sad I imagine that is a very short list.

On a side note:
I still like Tyron Carrier’s streak of 53 games with two catches to never be broken. It’s damn near impossible to play 53 straight games :-o

1 Like

Nope, Levine made Ward the starting QB.

1 Like

Yeah Levine started that year with O’Korn and finally did put Ward in as starter. Unfortunately or fortunately for UH, had Levine made Ward the starter earlier UH might have never fired him and we would have never had Herman, It was Herman and that OSU O that was perfect for Ward’s skill set.

I just read where it is almost impossible for NFL OL to protect pocket passers in todays FB with the athleticism of the DL. Most of the best QB’s in the Pros today are mobile which benifits Case and Watson, Cam, etc.

UH needs another extremely mobile or run for your life QB.


does anyone think that king goes in instead of Allen if Postma struggles against Memphis

1 Like

I don’t think Postma gets replaced for playing poorly. The difference between Postma and Allen is that Postma at least tries to run if the read looks good. Allen never even tried. So if they were to go back to Allen, they go back to giving the defense one less option to defend.

If Postma gets knocked out by injury, it will be very interesting to see who they send in. I can’t call it, but if it were me, I’d use King or Smith.

1 Like

This UH offensive struggles is very reminiscent of Texas post Colt McCoy. Ward just like McCoy masked a lot of the short comings the offense had, once he left Texas went on a decline. Applewhite knows this and needs to start getting King and Smith reps. I understand why Applewhite started Allen, he was hoping for an amazing season for Allen. This would lead Allen to go pro and hopefully be a 1st round pick. Something he can sell to recruits.

Selling point for each class starting with 2012 class,
2012: Team fresh off a 13-1 season with bowl win vs Penn State
2013: Team moving to a BCS conference. Finally a chance to compete for a BCS national championship and BCS bowls.
2014: new TDECU stadium
2015: H-Town Takeover
2016: Team fresh off of a 13-1 season with an American conference championship and a Peach Bowl win over Florida State and a chance to crash the CFP in the fall.
2017: New HC, familiar face.
2018: (if Allen has an amazing season and goes pro) Just had a 1st round pick at QB, you can be that too. (As of right now) Come play with Ed Oliver in his final collegiate season before he’s a Top 3 pick in the NFL draft.

1 Like

I think Allen is done at UH unless Postma goes down. Otherwise, I think if Postma struggles, they’d get King in there and they’d have 9 days to get King prepped for the full time gig for USF.


Not trying to be picky here but Delrick Brown was the starter on our great team of the late '70s and Elston was the reliever so to speak…Elston came off the bench and helped us beat the Aggies there and then Nebraska on a last second TD in the Cotton Bowl. But I get your point…


We can’t keep switching QB’s and expect to be successful. One QB has to get majority of the reps. It’s hard to expect consistent QB play when they are not give consistent reps in practice and game experience. Another issue is none are capable of the second read at the moment. WR’s are running free a lot. I also don’t know why we’ve abandoned the TE position. Slow releases from the TE should be easy to read and it keeps line backers from playing in our back field. Whoever we go with going forward (i’m guessing Postma) needs to finish the season out as the starter; there isn’t enough separation between them to keep up the musical chairs on the depth chart.


The objective is to salvage this season with an eye towards next year . Start King at QB. If it doesn’t work, then we’ve lost nothing because this season is looking like a rebuilding year. If we can’t beat Tulsa, who lost to Tulane by a huge margin, then good luck beating Memphis (Game 7). Let’s see what King has to offer, then make a decision from Game 8 moving forward.