Game preview: Houston vs. Kansas

Houston vs. Kansas in UH’s 2022 home opener will take place on Saturday. Houston defensive lineman Derek Parish had a strong performance in week two against Texas Tech. (Courtesy Houston Athletics)

Game preview: Houston vs. Kansas

THE MATCHUP

Houston (1-1) vs. Kansas (2-0)

Game time: 3 p.m. CT

TV/radio: ESPNU/KPRC 950 AM

What’s at stake: The Houston Cougars are looking to avoid back-to-back losses in a single season for the first time since 2020. UH is also looking to get its first win against Kansas all-time. Kansas has won all three of the prior meetings, according to UH. The last time both programs faced off was in 2005 in the Fort Worth Bowl. The Jayhawks won 42-13.

When the Cougars have the ball: Look for UH to try to break its offensive struggles. How it attacks Kansas could depend on the health of its running backs. Head coach Dana Holgorsen on Monday said both Ta’Zhawn Henry and Brandon Campbell are dealing with injuries but did not rule out either of them for Saturday’s game. On Thursday, the head coach said on his weekly radio show both Campbell and Henry will see action in Saturday’s game.

Henry has suffered an injury to both ankles through the course of the first two games, Holgorsen said. Campbell rushed for a team-high 80 yards against Texas Tech. He also scored his first collegiate career rushing touchdown. Houston did not disclose the injury that Campbell suffered during the first overtime period against the Red Raiders.

Houston will also be looking to clean up the penalties. The Cougars committed 11 infractions that cost them 121 yards and a Nathaniel Dell punt return touchdown against the Red Raiders.

When Kansas has the ball: Both Holgorsen and defensive coordinator Doug Belk gave high praise to Kansas quarterback Jalon Daniels. He threw for 219 yards and three touchdowns as well as ran for 85 yards in Kansas’ win over West Virginia in week two.

Through two games, Kansas has three players that have rushed for over 100 yards for the season. Running back Devin Neal leads the way with 150 rushing yards through two games. Running back Daniel Hishaw Jr. is second with 119 rushing yards, and Daniels is third with 114.

Kansas runs a lot of shifts and motions that will provide UH with various difficulties, Belk said.

“The challenge is going to be as great for us as it has been all season,” Belk said. “Probably the most difficult preparation that we will have, so it is an even more motivating factor for our guys to come in and prepare the right way. If not, things will get exposed very quickly.”

Key Cougars to watch: Quarterback Clayton Tune said he believes the UH offense can turn around the early struggles by focusing on the small details. Tune struggled against Texas Tech completing just 51% of his passes and also throwing an interception to go along with his one touchdown. He will be a player to watch to see how he bounces back against Kansas.

Defensive end Derek Parish is coming off a record-setting performance against Texas Tech. He garnered 4.5 sacks and 6.5 tackles for loss against the Red Raiders, both of which are American Athletic Conference records. It will be interesting to see what Parish does for an encore.

The bottom line: With under a year left until it joins the Big 12, Houston does want the conference preview, as Holgorsen called it earlier during the week, to be one that saw the Cougars suffer two losses to two programs not expected to be at the top of the Big 12’s standings come the end of the season.

Related Posts:

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *