The American Conference was one of the lucky conferences to have a game in week one. Charlie Strong’s South Florida squad easily handled the Spartans of San José by a score of 42-22. Although the score might not indicate it, the Bulls of USF were trailing 16-0 and at times in trouble against the Spartans. The Bulls would have crushed their big bowl aspirations with a heartbreaking Week 0 loss. That got me thinking… which AAC team in Week 1 has the most to lose?
The Houston Cougars have the most to lose in Week 1 facing off against the pesky Roadrunners of UT San Antonio. The Cougars opened up as 11 point favorites to win but this matchup has much more than meets the eye. The Cougars are traveling south to the Alamodome in San Antonio and although some fans are calling this game a scrimmage for Houston, the pressure is entirely on them to prove that they are legitimate.
After starting last season well, Houston spiraled down to close out the season. Ultimately leading them to an embarrassing loss to San Diego State University at the Las Vegas Bowl. At times last season, Houston was being whispered among teams with a chance to make the College Football Playoff, only to finish at a record of 9-4. The Cougars need to put last season where it belongs, in the past and move forward to this season.
If Houston’s defense can showcase its prowess led by defensive tackle Ed Oliver (above) and safety Garrett Davis (below) than they should have no problem beating the Roadrunners. Houston’s defense holding up against UT San Antonio coach Frank Wilson, whose first real recruiting class (2016) with the program will be looking to make their impact known this season.
The key for Houston to win this game will be for the Cougars to stay calm and trust their talent. The Cougars have much more talent than the Roadrunners and as long as they do not shoot themselves in the foot there is a strong chance Houston will be leaving San Antonio undefeated. But what if Houston does lose in miraculous fashion? Will new head coach Major Applewhite’s (pictured) seat get a little warm? All I know is that you should not be pushing the panic button after Week 1 but if Houston loses against UT San Antonio, I might make an exception.
Cover Photo via Paper City Magazine
Article Photos via Coog Fans and UH Cougars