Herman: Farrow's starting job may be in jeopardy if fumbles continue

Kenneth Farrow is a team captain for the UH football team, but if he continues to struggle, Tom Herman said Tuesday that could cost the senior his starting job as Houston prepares to play Louisville.

"Kenneth fumbled the ball in practice," Herman said after Tuesday's practice. "I've never had a starting running back fumble the ball in practice. That was a bit discouraging. If the ball is even loose these next three days, even close to coming out, we won't start him.

"If he can't protect the football, he's not going to play for us, so I think that message was heard."

This comes after Farrow had 49 yards on 11 carries, with one of the team's five fumbles, in Houston's season-opening 52-24 win over Tennessee Tech.

During Tom Herman's weekly press conference on Monday, the Cougars head coach let it be known he wasn't pleased with the overall play of the running backs position.

"Kenneth Farrow didn't play very good," Herman said on Monday. "And it's certainly not for (lack of) effort or lack of want to, that's for dang sure. Chalk it up to maybe being a little too excited or maybe pressing too much. Ryan Jackson did not play well, missed some holes in there that we've got to figure out why.

"I was not pleased with the way the running backs played," Herman continued. "I don't think they helped our offensive line out very much at all. So Farrow and Jackson need to play better for us to have a chance."

Farrow knows himself he has to get better.

"You've got to look at criticism and think, that's their job," the senior running back said. "You want the hardest criticism you can get because that's what it takes to be the best. Most of the time after practice, I'm  looking for Coach to tell me something every day."

It's just that the message after Tuesday wasn't overwhelmingly positive, even as Herman noted Farrow's strong work ethic.

"I think it's (that he's) pressing," Herman said. "I'll probably pull him into my office and have a conversation with him about relaxing and just playing his game. There needs to be a controlled intensity and focus when it comes to protecting the football.

"I think he's just pressing really hard and I think when you do that, you forget the fundamentals," Herman continued. "And the biggest fundamental for a ball carrier is to protect the football."