(Previous weekly reviews from the 2004-2007 seasons are here).
As noted earlier here, I think the Owls (1-0/1-0 CUSA) are a good bet to surprise this season. They have an excellent and experienced QB in Chase Clement and an All-American caliber senior WR Jarrett Dillard. The Owls’ offense is explosive and difficult to defend. As usual, the defense is undermanned, but they executed reasonably well in defending SMU’s new Run ‘N Shoot-type offense and really just need to play well enough to give the Owls’ offense an opportunity to outscore the opposition. The Owls travel next Saturday to play another CUSA opponent, Memphis (0-1). Don’t be surprised if the Owls start out 2-0.
New Houston (1-0) coach Kevin Sumlin unleashed the Cougars’ new spread offense on undermanned Div I-AA Southern and the result was over 600 yards of total offense and a convincing win. The Coogs have an experienced and talented QB in redshirt sophomore QB Chase Keenum (33-43/390 yds; 5 TD’s) as well as a deep receiving corps (11 different receivers caught passes during the game). The Cougars defense also has some playmakers, to this team has the potential to contend for the CUSA title if it continues to develop. The price of poker goes up next week, though, as the Cougars travel to Stillwater to take on a talented Oklahoma State (1-0) team that dusted off Washington State in Seattle over the weekend.
Key tip to Florida Atlantic coach Howard Schnellenberger — if you really think that the Horns are soft and can be intimidated if hit hard, keep it between you and your team. The Texas Longhorns (1-0) perfectly-named QB Colt McCoy completed his first 13 straight passes and finished 24-29 for 222 yds and 3 TD’s, as well as 102 yds on 12 carries, in leading the Horns to an easy win over overmatched FA. The Horns soft spot — a young and inexperienced defensive secondary — gave up 226 yds passing in the first half, but settled down as the game wore on, giving up only 27 yds in the second half. The Horns have another scrimmage next Saturday in El Paso against UTEP (0-1) before returning home on September 13th for a widely-awaited game against former Southwest Conference rival, the Arkansas Razobacks and their new coach, Bobby Petrino.
Oh my. I don’t think think an opening loss to a mid-level Sun Belt Conference team is what the Aggies (0-1) had in mind as the start of the Mike Sherman era. However, the reality is that the Aggies have a young and inexperience offensive line, one of the worst QB’s in the Big 12 conference, few proven receivers, an undermanned defense and an inconsistent placekicker. Beyond that, everything is just peachy in Aggieland. The Aggies travel to Albuquerque next Saturday to take on New Mexico (0-1) before facing Miami (1-0) on September 20. Inasmuch as the Hurricanes warm up for A&M by taking on Florida, the Aggies better get every win they can before taking on the likes of Miami and their Big 12 opponents. Five wins may be the best this Aggie team can do.