Houston Cougars, off to 1-2 start, try to get back on track with visit from Sam Houston

Sam Houston (0-2) at Houston (1-2), Saturday, 7 p.m. ET (ESPN+)

Line: Houston by 12 1/2, according to FanDuel Sportsbook.

Series record: Houston leads 4-2.


The Cougars look to get back on track after consecutive losses to Rice and TCU when they host Sam Houston, which is looking for its first win. Houston will try to jumpstart its offense after failing to score an offensive touchdown in the 36-13 loss to the Horned Frogs last week in its Big 12 debut. The Bearkats, who won the FCS national title in 2020, are in their first season in the FBS, joining Conference USA this year. They haven’t beaten an FBS team since 2011 and are 3-31 all-time against such foes.


Houston WR Samuel Brown vs. the Sam Houston secondary. Brown leads the Big 12 in yards receiving with 343 and his 20 receptions are tied for most in the league. His 343 yards receiving are the most by a Houston receiver in the first three games since Deontay Greenberry had 381 in 2013. The Bearkats gave up 257 yards passing in their opener against BYU before playing Air Force, which runs the triple option and rarely throws.


Sam Houston: QB Keegan Shoemaker. He has thrown for 191 yards this season but has three interceptions without a touchdown pass. The senior is in his second year as the starter after throwing for 1,132 yards and six touchdowns last season.

Houston: DB Malik Fleming. He’s tied for first in the nation with three interceptions this season. His six interceptions since the start of the 2022 season are tied for eighth in the country. All six interceptions have come in his last 10 games.


The first three games between these schools came between 1946-48 and Sam Houston’s only wins came in the first two meetings. … This is the first meeting between these teams since a 31-10 win by the Cougars in 2005. … Houston’s Matthew Golden had a 98-yard kickoff return for a touchdown last week. … The Cougars have forced seven turnovers this season. … Houston DE Nelson Ceaser has three sacks this season. … The Cougars haven’t lost consecutive home games since Oct. 2020.


AP college football: https://apnews.com/hub/college-football and https://apnews.com/hub/ap-top-25-college-football-poll