The Dana Holgorsen era in Houston is off to a bumpy start as the Cougars are 1-2 after nonconference play. But, there’s good news: the two losses came against ranked Power Five opponents in No. 5 Oklahoma and No. 19 Washington State. A new slate begins in Week 4 as they open American Athletic Conference play Thursday night against Tulane.
Tulane heads into Thursday 2-1 with its lone loss coming against a top-10 Auburn team. The Green Wave have been prolific on offense in their two wins, as have the Cougars despite the two early slip-ups. Expect lots of points on Thursday as the two meet up in The Big Easy.
Houston: A 1-2 record is discouraging, but Houston’s skill talent offers optimism. The Cougs have the most electric quarterback in the conference in D’Eriq King, and through three games, Texas transfer Kyle Porter appears to have emerged as the bellcow running back Holgorsen will lean on this season.
Tulane: Tulane has no identity crisis. Behind quarterback Justin McMillan and a stable of talented running backs, the Green Wave are going to attack on the ground and maul you up front. Houston’s run defense, which gave up 354 yards on the ground to OU in Week 1, will be pushed to the limits here in Week 4 by Tulane ground attack.
Date: Thursday, Sept. 19 | Time: 8 p.m. ET
Location: Yulman Stadium — New Orleans, Louisiana
TV: ESPN | Live stream: WatchESPN.com
Game prediction, pick
SportsLine has Tulane as a five-point favorite in its home conference opener, but I’m leaning Houston here. The 1-2 record is deceiving considering the competition it has played. I think the Cougars go on the road and steal a win in Holgorsen’s debut in AAC play. Pick: Houston +5
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