The Tigers of Texas Southern University are looking to rebound from a 3-7 football season. The Tigers’ last season was under Head Coach Darrell Asberry, but this year they will have a new head coach – Mike Haywood.
Haywood has coached at universities such as Miami (OH) and the University of Pittsburgh. He had great success at Miami (OH), where he brought a conference championship home to the program.
This new coaching regime has brought in a culture of hard work, discipline, and conditioning to this Tigers team, and a different coaching staff which includes offensive coordinator Greg Gregory and defensive coordinaator Tom Anthony.
“The hardest thing is conditioning,” said linebacker Jarius Moore. “There is no walking on the green.”
Last season, the Tigers’ defense was unable to get off the field and could not stop the majority of their opponents’ offense on third down. The team was near the bottom in the conference in that category. The defense could not get to the quarterback to save their lives, and had an atrocious 10 sacks last season, which was second to last in the conference.
Coach Anthony is feeling optimistic about the growth of defense since he first arrived to Texas Southern in the spring.
“They have bought in from spring to now,” said Anthony. “I love our intensity and leadership and I am really happy with where we are.”
The defense was not the only issue for the Tigers last season. The offense also had its fair share of issues. The offense was never able to rely on a quarterback last season. The quarterbacks were either getting pulled last season due to injury, or because of a lack of production on the field.
Coach Gregory has brought in a hard nose offense. He was asked how he would utilize wide receiver Derrick Griffin.
“We don’t try to take a player and market that player,” said Gregory. “We are trying to develop a touch physical football team.”
The Tigers will be a difficult team to play this season due to the toughness that Coach Haywood has implemented. The fans should expect an improvement from last season, but not a drastic improvement. The Tigers will have a tougher schedule ahead of them, after adding schools like Sam Houston State and Houston Baptist.
The prediction for the season should be around five to six wins.
Will the Tigers exceed expectations this season? Who knows?