Behind Enemy Lines: Breaking down Texas State vs. Houston

Sports Editor

(Editor’s note: Behind Enemy Lines is a weekly University Star feature, where sports editor Quixem Ramirez will discuss this week’s football matchup with a member of the opposing team’s media to get a better look at the opposition. This week he’s talking to Efren Diosdado, assistant sports editor for Houston's student newspaper The Daily Cougar.)

Quixem Ramirez: First question and it's a simple one. How good is this Houston team?

Efren Diosdado: I think their last win showed how good they are. There's a lot of hype behind Tom Herman and this team, and rightfully so. He's done a great job improving the offense this year. But I think the defense needs to show a little more consistency. The team also took a hit this week with LG Ben Dew out for the season. Coach Herman said the o-line is not their deepest position, so he had to move some players around this week. It will be interesting to see how it plays out. I'm excited to watch this match up.

QRGlad you brought up Herman. What's been the biggest change under him?

ED: I would say the talent that he's able to recruit. He's gotten nationally ranked players to commit to Houston. He's also brought in some new traditions to the school to increase student attendance and involvement. For example he put the student body's names in the locker room for the players to touch on the way out and he brought a new song for the students and players to chant together before every home game.

QR: From the little that I've seen, Houston is trending in the right direction as a football program. The win against Louisville is the culmination of that improvement.

QR: Now, Texas State is improved too -- albeit not quite as much as Houston. The interesting thing, though, is that the Bobcats upset the Cougars 30-13 in the last meeting three years ago. Those are different squads, of course, but is that lingering on the minds of some of the players? And how is the team's mindset in general leading up to this game?

ED: Yes, Tom Herman pointed out earlier this week that Texas State has a challenging offense that he's had to plan for. He also said he understands that consistency is one of the most challenging things that college football teams face. Every week there's an unexpected upset. As for the team's mindset, I can't speak for the team but we are expecting the stadium's attendance to increase after their win over Louisville. A strong crowd can play a factor so Texas State is going to have to keep them quiet early on

QR: For this game, I'm looking at the quarterback battle as being pivotal considering Jones and Ward Jr. are leading the team in passing and rushing. Any specific matchups that you're looking at?

ED: Yes Tyler Jones had an incredible game against Southern Miss, that's definitely a match up I'm interested in as well. I'm also interested in both teams running games. Kenneth Farrow has been pretty quiet this season, but he's capable of making big plays. I know Robert Lowe is also a capable RB, It will be interesting to see which one performs better tonight.

QR: Houston is a double-digit favorite, which didn't bode well in the last meeting. I still think the Cougars win -- around the lines of 45-31 -- but I'll lob you the question too. What's your score prediction for tonight's game?