Written and authored by NCAA Football Expert Analyst Charlie McDougall. Charliessports.com produces it for NCAA Football news and notes. The 2015 Houston Cougars Football program welcomes former Ohio State Buckeyes offensive coordinator Tom Herman in the family. Herman added a BCS title Championship to his resume. Houston returns thirteen players on both sides of the football. There is also something to build on with a 35-34 come from behind Armed Forces Bowl win over Pittsburgh. The Cougars have the talent to compete with any team in the American Athletic Conference, Houston plays home games at the new 40,000 seat TDECU Stadium in Houston, Texas.
The 2015 Houston Cougars offense will be led by junior quarterback Greg Ward. The versatile Tyler, Texas native passed for (2,010) yards and ran for (573). The Cougars went 4-2 with Ward under center. Senior Running Back Kenneth Farrow returns after gaining 1,037 yards on the ground and scoring fourteen touchdowns. The Cougars return two offensive linemen, but Herman is a master at blocking schemes. Left Tackle Zach Johnson missed the entire 2014 season; he handles protecting Ward from the blind side. Wide Receiver Demarcus Ayers is back after a 335-yard receiving campaign in 2014. The Houston Cougars went 7-5-1 on NCAA Football Expert Picks last season, going over the betting odds total five times and staying under the betting odds total eight.
*The Houston offense averaged 415.5 yards per game last season, 58th in the nation.
*Houston went 2-5 ATS at home in 2014.
*The Cougars were 5-0-1 Against The Number on the road.
*The betting odds over total came in twice at TDECU Stadium.
*Houston went over the betting odds over the total three times on the road.
*The Cougars also stayed under the betting odds total three times on the road last season.
*The passing attack put up 230.2 yards per contest through the air, 65th in the FBS.
*The 29.8 ppg was 60th nationally.
*The Cougars rushing attack averaged 185.2 yards per game running the ball, 44th in NCAA Football.
Outside Linebacker Steven Taylor (76) tackles with three forced fumbles returns. The rest of the corps are young but talented. First Team All-Conference Safety Adrian McDonald is the leaders of a talented secondary. Cornerback William Jackson was good enough to earn second-team All-Conference last season and will anchor the position again. Free Safety Trevon Stewart and Brandon Wilson round of the defensive backfield. Houston will struggle up front in 2015, B.J. Singleton is the only proven commodity on the “D-LINE”. The Cougars defense will allow plenty of rushing yards in 2015. The coaching staff has to mix in blitz packages.
*The Cougar defense gave up an average of 343.4 yards per contest, 60th in College Football last season.
*The 200.1 yards per contest given up by the pass defense ranked 28th in the FBS.
*The 20.6 ppg the defense allowed was 15th in the NCAA Football landscape.
*The 143.3 yards per game given up by the defense on the ground was 37th in the land.
*Houston plays a fairly soft non-conference schedule. The Cougars travel to Louisville in week 2 and hosts Vanderbilt on October 31st.
Bovada lists Houston at over and under 8′ wins in 2015.