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Houston Cougars Football Preview Predictions and Schedule 2011
After winning 10, 8, 8 and 10 games between 2006 and 2009, the Houston Cougars slipped to 5-7 last season and sat out the Bowl season. It's safe to say that wouldn't have happened if star QB Case Keenum didn't go down with an injury in the 3rd game of the year against UCLA. But not to worry, the NCAA has given Kennum a 6th year of eligibility and many have him pegged as a Heisman candidate (he's listed at 20-1 odds). Even without Kennum Houston was the 11th ranked team in total offense and 5th in the nation in passing.
But while offense doesn't figure to be a problem, defense does. The Houston Cougars ranked 103rd in the nation in total defense and also finished -6 in the all important turnover category. They do return 7 defensive starters which is a good thing, but also look to be weak in the secondary. If these team were to field even a mediocre defense, they'd be a team to watch. This will be their 2nd year under defensive coordinator Brian Stewart's schemes but it's just hard to see a drastic improvement, from 103rd in the nation, in one year.
Just the same, this team is going to score some big time points this year. They are a threat to win each time they take the field by simply outscoring their opponents. What makes matters even better for the Cougars is a very cooperative schedule. They get their toughest games at home and they don't play UCF or Southern Miss.
If you're looking for a nice spot from a wagering point of view, October 27th looks to be a good one. They host Rice on that date and it will be their first crack and one of their only chances for revenge this year. Rice beat the Cougars 34-31 last year after having beaten Rice 73-14 the year before!
It's safe to say this team will top last year's 5 win mark and will go to a bowl game this year. We think Houston will contend for not only the top spot on the C-USA West with a chance to play in the title game, but should also be a contender for the C-USA crown. They are listed as -175 favorites to win the west at online sportsbooks and are also favored to win the title at odds of +175. Looks like the bookmakers agree with us.
Houston Cougars 2011 Football Schedule
9-10-11 at North Texas
9-17-11 at Louisiana Tech
9-24-11 GEORGIA STATE
9-29-11 at UTEP (Thur.)
10-8-11 EAST CAROLINA
11-5-11 at UAB
11-12-11 at Tulane
11-26-11 at Tulsa
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