1. Does D’Eriq King Show Progress?
Quarterback D’Eriq King was solid in relief against USF a week ago but can he build upon it in his first start? ECU will have film on him and will try to contain him similar to how UH contained USF QB Quentin Flowers, with defensive ends going upfield to keep him in the box.
I don’t expect much from King in the passing game this week but do hope to see him produce on designed-run plays. He’s going to have to take some hits going forward – let’s find out if he can.
2. How does Mulbah Car Handle His Big Chance?
With Duke Catalon as “questionable, probably, maybe” according to Major Applewhite, the bulk of the carries in practice will fall to Mulbah Car. He should have been getting more work all season but has been held back, allegedly, for his lack of blocking.
Look for Car to run with a sense of urgency as he sees his first opportunity to start. I expect big things from him to end the 2017 season and to stake his claim to the starter’s job in 2018.
3. Can the defense continue their good play?
I crushed the UH defense in the last few weeks when they gave up big second halves to Tulsa and Memphis (35 & 42 second-half points, respectively). This week, the unit seemed to turn a corner, at least in terms of giving up points. UH gave up only 17 points to USF after halftime.
The Cougar defense had been getting gassed late in games, losing energy while giving up long drives. USF had 2 second-half drives of 10 plays or more (TD, FG) but UH held them to 6 or fewer plays on the other 5 drives (one was a quick TD). Getting off the field is vital to this team – not so much for ECU but going forward against run-heavy teams like Tulane (15th nationally – rush offense) and Navy (#1 rush offense).