Cougars Prepare For Spring Practice
March 23, 2009
Houston, Texas - With an eye towards the 2009 fall football season, University of Houston head football coach Kevin Sumlin sends his team out to the UH practice fields on Tuesday for the Cougars' first workout of the spring season.
Houston is scheduled for three practices this week, including Thursday, Friday and an open scrimmage on Saturday, March 28, at noon at Robertson Stadium. The first-ever Cougar Youth Experience will follow the scrimmage.
The Cougars practice at least three times a week over the next month, culminating in the annual Red-White Game on Saturday, April 18, at Robertson Stadium. Houston tentatively has another scrimmage scheduled for Saturday, April 4, also at Robertson Stadium.
Fresh off an 8-5 season and a 34-28 win over Air Force in the Bell Helicopter Armed Forces Bowl, the Cougars return 17 starters this season, including junior quarterback Case Keenum, who led the nation in total offense last season with 403.2 total yards per game. He joined on the offensive side of the ball by senior center Carl Barnett and senior wide receiver Chaz Rodriguez, junior guard Jordan Shoemaker and sophomores Bryce Beall (running back), Tyron Carrier (wide receiver), Patrick Edwards (wide receiver) and Chris Thompson (guard).
Defensively, the Cougars return six starters and must replace five starters from the 2008 squad. UH returns a trio of seniors-cornerback Brandon Brinkley, linebacker C.J. Cavness and linebacker Matt Nicholson-as well as juniors Isaiah Thompson (nose tackle) and Loyce Means (cornerback) and sophomore linebacker Marcus McGraw.
Overall, the Cougar return 41 lettermen from last season's team that finished 6-2 in Conference USA...just a game out of winning the West Division. Houston kicks off the 2009 season on September 5, hosting Northwestern State in a first-ever encounter with the Louisiana school from the Football Championship Subdivision.