BYU football: Five questions with a Houston football insider
UH likes to rotate nine defensive linemen to keep players fresh. Middle linebacker Derrick Mathews is the top defender along with free safety Trevon Stewart, who was a freshman All-American last season. Houston has done a good job with second-half adjustments and has allowed only three touchdowns after halftime this season. The rush defense will be tested against a mobile quarterback like Taysom Hill and the Cougars’ ability to run the ball. UH is one of only eight teams in the nation not to allow a 100-yard rusher.
4. How does Houston view BYU? Where does Houston match up well against BYU and what matchups could create problems?
With the possibility of becoming bowl eligible with a win Saturday, UH coach Tony Levine has preached to his team not to look ahead. The three things that have been mentioned during the week of preparation have been BYU’s size, ability to run the ball and not discounting Taysom Hill’s arm. Pass protection, specifically knowing where linebacker Kyle Van Noy is at all times, is also a priority.
UH's offense struggled to get into a rhythm last week against a Memphis defense that entered ranked 15th nationally. O’Korn doesn’t make a lot of mistakes and has a lot of weapons at his disposal. They’ve also received exceptional play from linebackers Mathews and Efrem Oliphant, who has gone from a third-stringer in spring practice to second-leading tackler.
5. What does Houston need to do to come away with a win this Saturday?
Tackle, force turnovers and take advantage of red-zone opportunities. Houston has done a great job of tackling this season, limiting missed tackles to 10 or fewer in every game. It’s not uncommon to see seven or eight players around the ball each play. As we mentioned earlier, turnovers have fueled the fast start. UH leads the nation with a plus-14 turnover margin.
Lastly, this is an offense that at times has been unable to get into the end zone and had to settle for field goals. UH has scored on only 57 percent (17-of-30) trips inside the opponents’ 20-yard line. That has to change to have a chance against BYU.
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