Houston vs. UCF prediction roundtable with the Campus Insiders staff. Breaking down what will happen in Saturday’s battle between the Cougars and Knights.
Has all the pressure of possibly leaving Houston gotten to Tom Herman? More importantly, are the rumors finally starting to wear on his players? The loss to Navy was understandable. But it’s mind-boggling that the Cougars could be blown out by a sub-.500 SMU team. I’ll go with Houston to bounce back this week, but if I’m a Cougars’ fan, I’m worried Herman already has one foot out the door.
I’m tempted to go with UCF here, because why the hell not – motivated team closing in on a bowl, hungry young coach, playing against a team that’s entire season has gone in the dumpster (if you subscribe to the theory that anything short of a New Year’s Six game would be a disappointment for Houston). Still, Houston is too talented to lose this game at home. Now becomes Tom Herman’s latest audition: proving he can rally players when things don’t play to their favor.
Scott Frost has done a great job in his first season with UCF. The program will surely continue to trend upward while he’s there, but Tom Herman isn’t going to let his team fall flat again this season. Greg Ward Jr. will throw three touchdowns and run for one more. Houston will build up an early lead in the first half and continue to pour it on en route to a victory.
Houston takes care of business at home against a UCF team that is playing pretty good football in Scott Frost’s first season, but I worry if the rumors surrounding Tom Herman have affected this Houston squad. Last week’s loss to SMU was simply inexcusable, as the Cougars played so poorly. The Houston offensive attack gets back on track this week, but not without a fight from the Knights.
You have to wonder (and I wrote about this in my game preview) about where Tom Herman’s head is right now considering there’s an extremely good chance he will be leaving Houston after this season. Is he focused on his team who is struggling after a big loss to SMU, or is one leg already out the door? UCF is a good team that the Cougars must be ready for. I think they will and get back in the win column.