What UH coach Dana Holgorsen is saying about Cougars this year

University of Houston head football coach Dana Holgorsen answers questions during a June 2019 interview with KPRC 2.
University of Houston head football coach Dana Holgorsen answers questions during a June 2019 interview with KPRC 2. (KPRC)

The college football season is just around the corner, and this week, conference media days are being held across the country.

In about six weeks, opening weekend will arrive. The football chatter is clearly flowing already.

University of Houston head coach Dana Holgorsen is in Rhode Island this week with a few of his Cougars for the American Conference Media Day. Holgorsen transitions to UH after seven years as head coach at West Virginia.

Holgorsen on taking over at UH

“(I'm) really proud of what we did at WVU, where we won a lot of games, but the potential here at UH is what outweighed everything else when I took the job. We have great leadership in President Renu Khator and Tilman Fertitta. The city is outstanding, (and) our academics and facilities are in place, and we can recruit the city of Houston.”

UH by the numbers

  • 8-5: record in 2018  
  • 5-3: record in the American Conference (tied for first in the AAC West)
  • 2019: 46 lettermen return, 20 lost
  • 2019: 14 starters back, 10 lost
  • 23-3: Home record the past four years

Holgorsen on AAC

“It’s a scary one now. There’s no difference in the majority here and in the Power 5 Leagues. We’ve always considered ourselves a Power 6 and have a chance to put a team in the CFP or New Year’s six like UH did a few years ago. We are a conference they don’t want to deal with. From a coaching circle, we are a conference people don’t want to deal with.”

Holgorsen on QB D'Eriq King

"I watched video of him and we’ve had a lot of talks this offseason. I didn’t want to turn him loose in the spring but he was 100%. We watched a lot of film on Kyler Murray. Kyler never got hit and watch D’Eriq, played multiple positions. He likes to play but he has to be smart. He can’t put his body in harm's way and expect to play the 12th, 13th and 14th games. I kept him under wraps by design this spring so I haven’t seen his breakaway ability so far but it’s there and we’ll keep coaching him and (we're) excited to watch him.”

D'Eriq King in 2018 by the numbers

  • Games: 11
  • Pass/attempt: 219/345
  • Passing yards: 2,982
  • Passing TD: 36
  • Rushing yards: 674
  • Rushing TD: 14

Holgorsen on offensive weapons overall

"I’ve always adapted to what our personnel is. Some years we throw for 5,000 and rushed for 3,000 or 4,000. We have a lot of returning guys on offense. This team is used to playing fast and scoring. My experience is we have another side to worry about and control the ball and find ways to win the game.”

Holgorsen on challenging schedule that begins with Oklahoma

"When I got hired, the first thing I looked at the schedule and saw Oklahoma, who I’ve faced (the) last seven years. It’s a game we’ll expect to win and will be challenging. We’ll line up and go toe to toe with them. A lot of six-day windows, which is tough. Challenge opening the season and it’s the conference we are in.”

UH schedule

  • At OU - Sept.  1
  • Prairie View - Sept.  7
  • Washington State - Sept. 13
  • At Tulane - Sept. 19
  • At North Texas - Sept. 28
  • Cincinnati - Oct.  12
  • At UConn - Oct. 19
  • SMU - Oct. 24
  • At UCF - Nov. 2
  • Memphis - Nov. 16
  • At Tulsa - Nov. 23
  • Navy - Nov. 30