UH will face all 11 opponents from the 2017 schedule. That has never happened in school history. The Coogs add TSU to round out the list of 2018 opponents.
The home schedule is pretty much a dud with the exception of Kevin Sumlin returning to UH for his first game at TDECU Stadium.
The opener across town at Rice will feature a new head coach, QB, and philosophy for the Owls. UH has played Rice 41 times (second-most in school history) but the game on 9/1/18 will be the first time the Coogs have played at Rice Stadium since a 2010 loss. The head coach for the Coogs that day? Kevin Sumlin.
A week later, Sumlin comes to Houston as Arizona’s new head coach. It will be the first game of the 2018 season to feature two early-season Heisman favorites:
This year's preseason Heisman Watch is LOADED. pic.twitter.com/qwsm7o8Fy4
— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) August 24, 2018
UH didn’t face Khalil Tate last year in Tucson but he leads an offense that finished #3 in rushing in 2017. Tate ran for 1411 yards and 12 TDs despite getting just 8 starts. UH held the Wildcats to their lowest point total of the year (16) and their lowest regular-season rushing total in 2017 (152 yards).
The Coogs will face former OC Kliff Kingsbury for the 2nd time as UH heads to Texas Tech in week 3. The game in Lubbock will be UH’s first there since 2010 as well. Tech plays in Houston this week at NRG against Ole Miss at 11 a.m. The game kicks off at the same time as the UH/Rice game at Rice Stadium.
It will be perhaps the only time in 2018 that two FBS games are played at the same time within 2 miles of each other.
The Coogs play three AAC teams that received first-place (division) votes in the media’s preseason poll with 2 of those games at home (USF, Navy). UH travels to Memphis to end the regular season. Many believe that game could be for the AAC West title.
After those 3 and the two Power 5 teams, the UH schedule is poor. According to Sagarin, here’s where the rest of our opponents finished 2017:
Rice – 176th
TSU – 248th (only 254 teams in Sagarin)
Tulsa – 140th
East Carolina – 129th
SMU – 86th
Temple – 71st
Tulane – 91st
According to last year’s final Sagarin Rating, Memphis is the toughest team the Cougars face this season (finished 25th).