EXPECT BIG THINGS

Here's why this could be the next breakout star for the Texans

Photo by Tim Warner/Getty Images

It was a solid rookie season in the NFL for 5th round draft pick Charles Omenihu in 2019. After a rookie year that saw him compile 3.0 sacks and two forced fumbles in 14 games, the Texans coaching staff is expecting a big second-year jump from the young defensive end out of the University of Texas.

"He's just becoming a more confident player, and that comes with age and maturity," new Texans defensive coordinator Anthony Weaver said. "Every year in this league you learn a little bit more about yourself and about the guys you're playing against. He's kind of come into his own a little bit. We look forward to that paying dividends once the season starts. He is certainly not a guy who lacks confidence, and that's what you want when you have players out there with his skill set."

Last season according to Pro Football Focus, Omenihu, accumulated 32 pressures in the regular season and playoffs, leading all rookie interior defensive linemen. Omenihu goes up against center Nick Martin in practice all the time and he sees the improvements that the former Texas Longhorn has made.

"For a lot of guys, the biggest jump in the NFL is from that first to the second year, so I'm excited to see what he does this year," Martin said. "I really like what he's doing in the run game, too, especially. Obviously, he can pass rush. He's got that good length. He gets that stab into you and it's a tough move to go against."

On Thursday the Texans held a team scrimmage at NRG Stadium and Texans Head Coach and General Manager O'Brien singled out Omenihu as a player that jumped out to him playing under the lights for the first time in 2020.

"Charles Omenihu, that guy has had a really good camp for us, O'Brien said. "I think a lot of guys have really performed well in a situation where they haven't had an offseason and they've had to just really concentrate in training camp. We've got a ways to go, like I said before, but I think some guys are really trying to get better."

The Texans hope a 'really good' camp translates into a really good 2020 season for Omenihu.


Jake Asman is a national host on SportsMap Radio. You can listen to The Jake Asman Show weekdays from 8 AM - 10 AM Central.

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Carlos Correa had a big home run Saturday night. Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images

With four wins in a row, including the first two of this series, Houston had a chance to keep their momentum going to lock up a series win on Saturday in this four-game set. Although Texas would make it interesting late, the Astros would hold them off to get the victory.

Final Score: Astros 6, Rangers 5

Astros' Record: 23-17, second in the AL West

Winning Pitcher: Luis Garcia (1-3)

Losing Pitcher: Dane Dunning (2-3)

Action in the first

After getting trounced the night prior, the Rangers managed to grab early momentum with a run to start the scoring Saturday night against Luis Garcia. It came after a one-out triple set up a sac fly, giving Texas a 1-0 lead. Houston quickly took control back in their favor, though, putting up four in the bottom of the inning on a two-RBI single by Alex Bregman and a two-run homer by Carlos Correa, making it 4-1 Astros.

The scoreboard went quiet after that inning, with both teams slowing down at the plate. Garcia put together a decent night, allowing just the one run over five innings of work, erasing some runners throughout the night. His final line: 5.0 IP, 5 H, 1 ER, 2 BB, 5 K, 0 HR, 94 P.

Rangers tighten it up late

Bryan Abreu was the first reliever to enter for Houston, taking over for Garcia in the top of the sixth. He worked around a leadoff single, keeping it a three-run game, then returned for a 1-2-3 top of the seventh. Correa led off with a double in the bottom of the inning, setting up a two-run Kyle Tucker homer, extending his recent hot streak and the lead to 6-1.

Ryne Stanek took over on the mound for Houston in the top of the eighth but worked himself into trouble with a single and walk to set up a three-run homer by Joey Gallo to make it a two-run game at 6-4. He would manage just one out before a walk would prompt Dusty Baker to move on to Brandon Bielak. Bielak would allow a run while getting the final two outs, making it 6-5.

Astros secure the series

After a scoreless bottom of the eighth, Ryan Pressly would try to notch another save and close the door on the Rangers. He would get the job done, sitting the Rangers down in order, keeping Houston's winning streak intact.

Up Next: The finale of this four-game set will start at 1:10 PM Central on Sunday. Lance McCullers JR. (3-1, 3.10 ERA), fresh off of a recent gem, will look to continue his success for the Astros, while Kyle Gibson (3-0, 2.28) will try to stay perfect on the season for the Rangers.

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