Game Notes | Houston vs. UTSA - Friday at 8 p.m.

    Aug. 26, 2014


    Gameday Central | Game Notes Central

    THE GAME AT A GLANCE
    Date Friday, Aug. 29, 2014
    Time 8 p.m. CST
    Location Houston
    Venue TDECU Stadium
    Capacity 40,000
    Surface Synthetic Turf
    TV ESPNU
    Radio KPRC 950 AM
    Live Stats UHCougars.com
    Hits on Houston

     

    » The University of Houston Football program opens up its 68th year of existence vs. UTSA Friday night at 8 p.m., in the first year of existence of TDECU Stadium.
    » Houston returns on campus to TDECU Stadium as the new facility was constructed on the footprint of its former home, Robertson Stadium. Houston #PaintedHoustonRed in 2013 with games at two sites in the nation's fourth-largest city. The Cougars played five games in NRG Stadium, home of the NFL's Houston Texans, and two games at BBVA Compass Stadium, home of MLS' Houston Dynamo.
    » Houston's all-time record in its first 68 years of existence is 397-345-15. The Cougars are 35-31-2 in season openers and 39-29 in season openers at home. The Cougars have won five of their last six season openers.
    » Houston's depth chart sports 15 underclassmen vs. 29 upperclassmen, including just 12 seniors. It's a small change from 2013 when 23 underclassmen dotted the Houston depth chart in the season opener. The change in numbers are evidence of the talented depth built by Tony Levine's first three recruiting classes, billed by some as the best in UH history.
    » QB John O'Korn led all true freshmen nationally last season with 28 passing touchdowns.
    » The Cougars led the nation last season with a +25 turnover margin and 43 turnovers gained.
    » The Houston defense has multiple forced turnovers in 20 of its last 21 games and has a turnover in 23 straight games.
    » Sophomore FS Trevon Stewart led the nation in 2013 with a combined 10 turnovers - six fumble recoveries, one for a fumble, and four interceptions. His six fumble recoveries led the nation and set a Houston single-season record.


    Coaches

    Tony Levine | Minnesota, 1996 | 14-12 (3rd year as HC/7th year at UH)

    Larry Coker | Northeastern State, 1970 | 19-15/79-30 (4th year at UTSA/10th year overall)


    Facts on the Series

    » Series Record Overall: Houston leads, 1-0
    » Series Record at Houston: First meeting
    » Series Record at UTSA: Houston leads, 1-0
    » Last Meeting: Houston 59, UTSA 28 (Sept. 28, 2013 at UTSA)



    The weekly one-hour call-in radio show will take place each Tuesday from 8-9 p.m. CT and will air live on KPRC 950 AM. Join Houston head coach Tony Levine and host Jeremy Branham each Tuesday at Ragin Cajun restaurant at 4302 Richmond Ave. for the show.

    TEAM COMPARISON
    STATS UH UTSA
    Points Scored 33.2 25.6
    Points Allowed 21.8 26.3
    First Downs 21.7 21.9
    First Down Def. 22.3 21.6
    Rushing Yards 139.0 175.4
    Rushing Def. 149.0 143.1
    Passing Yards 280.5 242.4
    Passing Def. 266.8 233.2
    Total Offense 419.5 417.8
    Total Defense 415.8 376.3
    Int. Thrown/Def Int. 10/25 13/8
    Sacks By/Allowed 31/29 21/18
    3rd Down Off./Def. 36/35% 45/45%
    Red Zone Off./Def. 83/76% 61/65%
    Kickoff Return Avg. 25.3 21.0
    Punt Return Avg. 3.7 5.2
    Fumble Lost/Gained 8/18 8/6
    Penalties 98/67.8 75/55.5
    Field Goals 17-23 11-19


    The Opponent

    » In its fourth season under head coach Larry Coker, UTSA opens its fourth year of existence and its third on the FBS level with Friday's game.me Saturday at home against Louisville, 34-3.
    » UTSA welcomes back 54 letterwinners, including an FBS-best 21 starters (9 offense/10 defense/2 kickers) and an FBS-leading 37 seniors, from last season's squad that posted a 7-5 record and finished second in the West Division with a 6-2 mark in its Conference USA debut.
    » The returnees account for 92 percent of the receiving and 65 percent of the rushing yards gained, 81 percent of the scoring, 82 percent of the tackles, 83 percent of the fumble recoveries and 75 percent of the interceptions posted a year ago.
    » The Roadrunners also boast the nation's most-experienced offensive line (143 starts) and defensive backfield (133 starts) in addition to a returning receiving corps that has combined for 416 catches for 4,927 yards, which both rank third in the country.
    » Houston leads the overall series with UTSA, 1-0, claiming the first ever meeting last season, 59-28, in San Antonio.


    Ties With UTSA

    » Houston assistant head coach and offensive coordinator Travis Bush spent the 2011 season at UTSA as the team's offensive coordinator. Bush and UTSA offensive coordinator Kevin Brown are well versed with each other as Brown was an assistant coach under Bush at Texas State from 2007-10 when Bush was the team's offensive coordinator as did UTSA tight end's coach Charlie Reeve. Brown was also a wide receiver for two seasons and a graduate assistant for one season while Bush was a graduate assistant at TCU from 2001-03.
    » Houston outside receivers coach Tony Jeffery joined the UH program last spring after spending four seasons as the special teams coordinator and receivers coach at UTSA.
    » Houston offensive quality control coach Eric Soza was the Roadrunners starting quarterback for the last three seasons.
    » UTSA Head Coach Larry Coker and Houston linebackers coach Vernon Hargreaves spent eight seasons together at Miami where Hargreaves oversaw linebackers and Coker was the team's offensive coordinator before being promoted to head coach. In the eight-year span, the two coaches enjoyed eight straight bowl appearances and won the 2001 National Championship.


    About the Cougars

    » Twenty-eight full or part-time starters return in 2014 for Houston. The 2013 leader in every major stat category, outside of punting and field goals (Richie Leone), returns for the Cougars as well.
    » The program welcomes an incoming class of 27 that is comprised of 23 high school student-athletes, one junior college transfer and three four-year transfers. Two of the 27 newcomers enrolled in the program in January for spring workouts - QB Bear Fenimore and OL Carter Wall.
    » Houston's roster sports 54 upperclassmen and 58 underclassmen. Fourteen players redshirted in 2013.


    Honoring Andre Ware


    » This season marks the silver anniversary of Houston's Andre Ware capturing the 1989 Heisman Trophy.
    » The Houston legend, who spends his weekends as a color analyst for ESPN College Football and the Houston Texans radio team, was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 2004.
    » Ware is being honored this year on the field with his jersey number, 11, marked on the 11-yard line in the southeast corner of John O'Quinn Field at TDECU Stadium.



    THE AMERICAN ATHLETIC CONFERENCE STANDINGS
      AMERICAN OVERALL    
    TEAM W L Pct. W L Pct. LAST WEEK THIS WEEK
    Houston - - - - - - - UTSA (Fri)
    Cincinnati - - - - - - - -
    UConn - - - - - - - BYU (Fri)
    ECU - - - - - - - NC Central
    Memphis - - - - - - - Austin Peay
    SMU - - - - - - - at Baylor (Sun)
    Temple - - - - - - - at Vanderbilt (Th)
    Tulane - - - - - - - at Tulsa (Th)
    Tulsa - - - - - - - Tulane (Th)
    UCF - - - - - - - Penn State (Ireland)
    USF - - - - - - - Western Carolina
    2014 NON-CONFERENCE OPPONENTS
      Conference Overall    
    TEAM W L Pct. W L Pct. LAST WEEK THIS WEEK
    UTSA (C-USA) - - - - - - - at Houston (Fri)
    Grambling (SWAC) - - - - - - - at Lamar
    BYU (Independent) - - - - - - - at UConn (Fri)
    UNLV (MWC) - - - - - - - at Arizona (Fri)


    Remembering Sam Hariston

    » University of Houston Football letterman and Sgt. 1st Class Sam Hairston was killed on Aug. 12 in Ghazni, Afghanistan when his unit took small-arms fire from the enemy.
    » Hairston, 35, competed as a linebacker and defensive lineman with Houston Football from 1997 to 2000. He competed in 42 games during that time, posting 55 tackles with four sacks, an interception and fumble recovery.
    » Hairston was a paratrooper and platoon sergeant with A Company, 1st Battalion, 504th Parachute Infantry Regiment, 1st Brigade Combat Team, 82nd Airborne Division of Fort Bragg, N.C.
    » His awards included the Bronze Star Medal, Purple Heart Medal, Meritorious Service Medal, Army Commendation Medal with three oak leaf clusters, Army Achievement Medal, Meritorious Unit Citation with two oak leaf clusters, Army Good Conduct Medal with two oak leaf clusters, the National Defense Service Medal, Afghanistan Campaign Medal with two Campaign Stars, Iraqi Campaign Medal with two Campaign Stars, the Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal and the Global War on Terrorism Service Medal.
    » Hairston is survived by his wife, Staff Sgt. Tawana Hairston, and his son, Hayden.



    Degrees in Hand

    » Seven Houston seniors entered the season having already earned an undergraduate degree. Eric Braswell, Jeremiah Farley, Rowdy Harper, Bryce Redman, Shane Ros, Daniel Spencer and Jon Witten all completed degree requirements prior to this season.
    » Five additional Cougars complete their degree requirements this December: Wayne Beadle, Randall Hollimon, Joey Mbu, Emeka Okafor and Efrem Oliphant.


    On the Offensive


    » Since 2006, no team in college football has racked up more offensive yards than Houston who has 53,780 yards in that time.
    » Houston scored in 41 of 52 quarters (78.8 percent) last season with TDs in 36 quarters and double digits in 19.
    » UH opened the year by scoring in the first 32 quarters of the season and was the nation's last team to be held scoreless in a quarter before UCF posted a first-quarter shutout on Nov. 9.
    » Just 57 of Houston's 193 offensive drives in 2013 resulted in a three-and-out (29.5 percent).


    Quick Strike Potential


    » Of Houston's 65 offensive scoring drives last season, 32 came in under two minutes. Sixteen of those 32 came in under a minute. Its quickest lasted just four seconds as Kent Brooks plunged in from one-yard out against SMU. Houston had two 12-second scoring drives at Rutgers.
    » Twenty-four drives lasted five plays or less.


    Explosive Plays


    » From 2010-12, Houston trailed just Oklahoma State in explosive plays of 20 yards or longer with 254 to OSU's 261.
    » After recording 12 plays of 20 yards or longer in the first two games of the season, the Cougars exploded for 24 plays of 20 yards in wins over Rice and UTSA, including seven touchdowns. UH ended 2013 with 106 explosive plays on the season including 20 touchdowns.
    » Demarcus Ayers led the team with 27 explosive plays including two touchdowns. Ayers had 23 kick returns and four receptions over 20 yards. Deontay Greenberry was second with 19 receptions of 20 yards or more. Daniel Spencer had 17 explosive plays, 15 receiving and two rushing.
    » Greenberry led Houston with five touchdowns of 20 yards or longer each while Spencer was second with four long touchdowns.
    » Houston's 18 offensive plays of 40 yards or longer and seven plays of 60 yards or longer led the American.


    Off. Coaching Changes


    » Entering his third season at Houston, Travis Bush was elevated to assistant head coach and offensive coordinator and shifted back to leading the program's quarterbacks in January. Bush, whoc coached the running backs in 2013, served as the program's interim play caller and quarterbacks coach for the final 11 games of 2012 and also called Houston's plays in the 2014 BBVA Compass Bowl.from one-yard out against SMU.
    » Houston added three offensive assistants this offseason in Dan Hammerschmidt (running backs), Tony Jeffery (outside receivers) and Gordy Shaw (offensive line). The three have a combined 70 years of coaching experience.


    FBS True Freshman Passing TD
    28 John O'Korn, Houston
    20 Davis Webb, Texas Tech
    20 P.J. Walker, Temple
    20 Christian Hackenburg, Penn State
    18 Jared Goff, Cal
    Openin' Up a Can of O'Korn


    » When David Piland's career ended due to multiple concussions, John O'Korn received his first career start against Rice. He finished the day with 281 yards and three touchdowns on 15-of-33 passing, becoming just the third player in UH history to throw for at least three TDs in his first start.
    » In his first road start, O'Korn led UH to a 59-28 win at UTSA with 312 yards on 24-of-36 passing with four TDs.

    » O'Korn led all true freshmen nationally with 28 passing touchdowns, a number that ranked second in The American Athletic Conference behind the 31 from Louisville's Teddy Bridgewater.
    » The first-year player threw for at least three touchdowns in six games and over 300 yards in three games.
    » O'Korn completed 80 percent of his passes (24-of-30) at Rutgers with a career-high 364 yards and five TDs.
    » He followed his 80 percent performance with a completion rate of 81.5 percent (22-of-27) vs. USF.
    » O'Korn showed off his wheels against UCF with a career-high 56 rushing yards including a career-long 24-yard run for his first career rushing touchdown.
    » He finished just 14 yards from the Houston record for passing yards by a freshman and captured the UH freshman records for passing touchdowns (28) and completions (259).
    » O'Korn, who has added over 25 pounds this offseason, was selected to serve as a counselor at the Manning Passing Academy in July.
    » A second true freshman, Greg Ward Jr., provided relief for O'Korn in eight games, throwing for 310 yards and one touchdown on 19-of-28 passing while rushing for 176 yards and two touchdowns on 45 attempts.
    » Ward also saw time at receiver in the final four games of the season, recording 10 receptions for 95 yards and a touchdown.
    » The win over Rice marked just the second time in UH history two true freshmen QBs played in the same game.

     


    Slice of Greenberry Pie


    » In his second collegiate season, Deontay Greenberry easily surpassed his 2012 numbers. The American's leading receiver with 1,202 yards, ranked 17th nationally, despite leaving the Louisville game on the first drive of the game with a head injury and missing the SMU game. Greenberry was third in the league and 20th nationally with an average of 6.8 receptions per game. Take away the Louisville game and Greenberry averaged 109.3 yards and 7.5 receptions per game, which would have ranked among the nation's leaders - ninth and 15th, respectively.
    » Greenberry was second in The American Athletic Conference with 11 receiving touchdowns, a number that ranked 10th nationally.
    » The Fresno, Calif., native was fifth in The American in all-purpose yards at 100.7 yards per game.
    » Greenberry pulled in at least six receptions in nine of his 12 games.
    » Greenberry became the 17th player in UH history to record 1,000 receiving yards in a season and the first since Patrick Edwards and Justin Johnson in 2011.
    » His 1,202 yards were the 10th best single-season total and he needs just 156 yards to break the top 10 for yards in a career at Houston.
    » Greenberry was removed from Houston's game at Louisville after taking a shot to the head in the first quarter and was limited in the second half of the Cincinnati game with a lower leg injury. The lower leg injury would keep Greenberry out vs. SMU.


    Downfield Options


    » Deontay Greenberry is one of 12 players returning with receptions in 2013 including nine who had touchdown receptions - Deontay Greenberry (11), Daniel Spencer (6), Ryan Jackson (2), Markeith Ambles (1), Greg Ward Jr. (1), Wayne Beadle (1), Kenneth Farrow (1), Demarcus Ayers (1) and John Leday (1) - pulling in touchdowns.
    » Greenberry was second in The American with five 100-yard games while Spencer was tied for third with four 100-yard games last season. Ambles joined the list as well with 105 yards against Vanderbilt in the BBVA Compass Bowl.
    » Two sophomores in the starting lineup who came on strong at the end of 2013 are Ayers and Ward. The 2013 American Co-Special Teams Player of the Year, Ayers pulled in all of his receptions in the season's final seven games while Ward, who started the season at quarterback, began playing receiver in the season's final four games.
    » Houston also welcomes back to its receiving group senior Shane Ros who sat out the 2013 season after suffering a torn ACL in the 2013 spring session. Ros pulled in 23 receptions for 337 yards and three touchdowns in 2012.


    Thunder and Lightning


    » Houston's backfield features a thunder-and-lightning combination in junior RBs Kenneth Farrow and Ryan Jackson.
    » Jackson led the way for Houston in 2013 with 661 yards on 139 carries (4.8 average) and six touchdowns. Farrow matched his touchdowns playing in two fewer games and finished the year with 514 yards on 103 carries (4.8 average).
    » Jackson rushed for over 100 yards in Houston's first two games, part of a three-game streak of 100-yard rushing games dating back to last season's finale.
    » Farrow, who is still looking to eclipse the 100-yard mark in a game, had one of his most effective games at Rutgers as he averaged 12.3 yards a carry with 74 yards and one touchdown on six attempts.
    » Farrow recorded his first career game with a rushing and a receiving touchdown with his two-TD game vs. USF. He has a rushing touchdown in three of the last four games.
    » In games against Rutgers, USF and UCF, Farrow was effective when his number was called, averaging 9.1 yards a carry as he had 182 yards on 20 attempts over the three games.


    The Line on the Line


    » Two of Houston's most experienced players return in 2014 to anchor the line in RG Rowdy Harper and C Bryce Redman, both seniors. Harper has started 39 consecutive games, all of the games in his career. The 39-game streak ties for the nation's longest among offensive linemen. Redman has started the last 19 games at center, taking the position over early in the 2012 season and never looking back.
    » Houston welcomes three new starters to its offensive line in junior LT Damien Parris, junior RG Ben Dew and junior RT Alex Cooper. Dew is the only Houston newcomer of the three as Parris, a junior college transfer, redshirted last season, while Cooper enters his fourth season with the Cougars. Cooper has provided depth along the line for the last two seasons, recording one start in 2013 as a jumbo tight end.
    » The group of starters sports an average height of 6-4 with an average weight of 300 pounds.
    » The group took a big hit in the spring when junior tackle Zach Johnson suffered a torn ACL and was lost for the year.
    » The group added seven newcomers in the form of two four-year transfers, Ben Dew (Hawaii) and Travis Cross (Oklahoma State), one junior college transfer, Carter Wall, and four freshmen in Darius Joiner, Colton Freeman, Marcus Oliver and Emerald Faletuipapai.


    Take it Away,Don't Give it Away


    » Houston led the nation in 2013 with a +25 turnover margin.
    » The Houston defense led the nation with 43 forced turnovers - 18 fumbles (NCAA best) and 25 interceptions (second nationally).
    » Offensively, Houston committed just 18 turnovers: eight fumbles and 10 interceptions. The 18 turnovers were second in The American behind Louisville (10).
    » Ten players had interceptions for the Houston defense with Adrian McDonald leading The American with six interceptions, a number that ranked seventh nationally.
    » Eleven had fumble recoveries, led by Trevon Stewart with six recoveries, a number that led the nation. Eleven players forced fumbles including five players with two apiece.
    » If you haven't picked up on it yet, Stewart is a turnover machine. The sophomore led the nation with a combined 10 turnovers - interceptions (4) and fumble recoveries (6).
    » Houston forced multiple turnovers in 12 games and at least three turnovers in 10 games last season.
    » The 43 turnovers resulted in 141 points including 25 scored directly by defenders off three touchdowns (William Jackson, Brandon Wilson, Stewart) and two points from a Derrick Mathews' safety.
    » The Cougar defensive line collected three interceptions as Tyus Bowser, Tomme Mark and B.J. Singleton each had one pick.
    » Players routinely credited the ability to create turnovers on the emphasis paid on turnovers in practice, especially on Turnover Tuesdays.


    Welcome Back, Defensive Staff


    » For the first time since the 2009 season, there was no change on the Houston Football defensive staff. Defensive coordinator David Gibbs and linebackers coach Vernon Hargreaves enter their second seasons while defensive backs coach Zach Spavital enters his seventh season and defensive line coach Ricky Logo his third.


    Def. Halftime Adjustments


    » The Houston defense showed its ability to clamp down in the second half of games in 2013 as UH outscored its opponents 206-106 in the second half of games...
    » Three times in the season, the Houston defense shut out its opponent in the second half. After spotting Temple 13 points in the first half, the Third Ward Defense held the Owls to no points and just 105 total yards in the second half. The Third Ward D did it at Rutgers as the Scarlet Knights were held scoreless after scoring their second touchdown of the game with 7:03 remaining in the second quarter. Houston forced three interceptions and a punt before stopping Rutgers to run out the clock in the second half. Take away the two first half scoring drives and the Houston defense limited Rutgers to 68 yards off 19 plays in the first half. The third game came vs. the previously mentioned SMU win.


    Third Ward D


    » Houston ranked third nationally among most improved scoring defenses in 2013. In giving up 21.8 points per game, Houston allowed 14.2 points less per game than 2012.
    » The scoring defense output was the lowest in 14 years since the 1999 defense held opponents to 19 points per game.
    » On average, the Houston defense forced 5.3 three-and-outs per game, a number that led The American and was 11th nationally. On 69 of Houston opponents' 191 drives or 36.1 percent, the Houston defense got off the field in three plays or less.
    » UH allowed just two rushing attempts of 30 yards or more, a number that was second nationally.
    » The defense was ninth nationally in allowing just eight plays of 40 yards or longer.
    » Houston recorded its first conference shutout since 1989 with its 34-0 win over SMU to close out the regular season. It was the program's first overall shutout since Sept. 24, 2011, vs. Georgia State and marked the first time in June Jones' career to be shutout.
    » The defense held UCF (19), Louisville (20) and SMU (0) to their lowest scoring outputs of the season, with both teams scoring 16 points less then their season average.


    Anything but Secondary


    » The secondary group made a name for itself in the takeaway department, recording 29 of the team's 43 turnovers or 67 percent.
    » At free safety, junior Trevon Stewart has started the last 23 games of his career, earning FWAA Freshman All-America honors in 2012. The Patterson, La., native led the nation with six fumble recoveries and four interceptions. Stewart also forced two fumbles along with his 109 tackles.
    » A high school quarterback, Adrian McDonald started at strong safety in 2013 and led The American with six interceptions to go along with 99 tackles, three pass breakups and a fumble recovery.
    » William Jackson also saw time at corner for Houston, and recorded Houston's first defensive TD of the year, a 96-yard interception return at UTSA. Jackson also forced a fumble in the same game.
    » In what became a rotation at cornerback, Turon Walker saw increased time at the position as well and picked off two passes at Rutgers.
    » The group also welcomes Boise State transfer Lee Hightower who is expected to start on one side of the defense.


    Tackling Machines


    » The 2013 season saw six Cougars account for 27 games with 10 or more tackles.
    » Derrick Mathews led the team with 14 career double-digit tackle games.
    » Mathews leads the nation with 348 career tackles and 39 career tackles for loss. He ranks ninth on Houston's career tackles chart and is seventh on the UH career list with 173 assisted tackles. He also led all linebackers in The American and UH with seven sacks.
    » The team leader in tackles with 134, Efrem Oliphant, had double-digit tackles in five of Houston's six final games. Oliphant finished the year 12th nationally and second in The American with an average of 10.3 tackles per game.


    Look at the Linebackers


    » Derrick Mathews is the defense's most experienced player with 39 career starts and moved to the middle in 2013 after spending 2012 on the weakside. The junior has posted triple-digit tackles in his first three seasons including 116 stops in 2013.
    » Mathews was named The American's Defensive Player of the Week with his work against BYU last season. Mathews picked off a pass midway through the first and returned it 29 yards for a TD. He had four tackles for loss in the game including a career-high three sacks. Mathews had back-to-back sacks late in the third quarter, the latter of which resulted in a safety.
    » Efrem Oliphant, a veteran of 36 career games with 16 career starts - 13 in 2013, had 13 TFLs, leading The American and eclipsing the 3.5 TFLs he recorded in his first two seasons.
    » Oliphant recorded a game-high 16 tackles vs. BYU, the most by a Houston defender in 2013.


    Up Front


    » The Houston defensive line was hands on all season as evident by the group's three interceptions - Tyus Bowser, Tomme Mark and B.J. Singleton - along with four blocked kicks - B.J. Singleton (3) and Trevor Harris (1). Singleton's three blocks ranked second nationally.
    » Joey Mbu was paired with junior Tomme Mark, who had an interception in Houston's season opener, and the two were part of a rotation that included senior Jeremiah Farley and sophomore B.J. Singleton. Mbu led the defensive tackle group with 29 tackles. Farley led the group with nine tackles for loss including three sacks.
    » Harris, a junior college transfer last season, performed admirably with nine games in the starting role, finishing the year with 49 tackles, including 8.5 for a loss, 3.5 sacks and one forced fumble.
    » Then-true freshman Tyus Bowser exploded onto the scene in Houston's win over Rice as the end had seven tackles, 2.5 tackles for loss, 1.5 sacks, an interception and four quarterback hurries.
    » The Houston defensive line was hands on all season as evident by the group's three interceptions - Tyus Bowser, Tomme Mark and B.J. Singleton - along with four blocked kicks - B.J. Singleton (3) and Trevor Harris (1). Singleton's three blocks ranked second nationally.
    » The talented rush defensive end group also includes junior Eric Eiland who started eight games last season and finished with 21 tackles including two tackles for loss and 1.5 sacks.
    » On the other side of the line, sophomores Cameron Malveaux and Chauntez Jackson will be asked to step up in their second year on the field. Malveaux had 12 tackles and one fumble recovery in 12 games last year while Jackson did not record any stats in 10 games last year.
    » While senior defensive end Eric Braswell was lost for the season with a torn ACL in the spring, the group added a four-year transfer in Gavin Stansbury, who was Texas A&M's Defensive MVP in 2013.


    The Book on Bullard

    » Junior Kyle Bullard took over as the team's placekicker in the seventh game of 2013 and will hold the position in 2014 after being placed on scholarship in April.
    » Bullard saw action in seven games in 2013 and connected on all 20 extra-point attempts.
    » Bullard was perfect on the year, hitting all six field goal attempts including a long of 46 yards at Louisville.
    » Also an All-State soccer player, Bullard hit a career-long field goal of 49 yards in high school.


    The Other Foot


    » Ty Cummings will take over the starting role as the team's kickoff specialist. As a freshman, Cummings had five kickoffs for an average of 60.8 yards per game including one touchback.


    Returns Department


    » Houston had six players with multiple returns in 2013 with four returning for the 2014 season.
    » At kick returner, Houston sophomre Demarcus Ayers was named The American Athletic Conference's Co-Special Teams Player of the Year in 2013 as a true freshman.
    » Ayers had 37 kick returns for 1,021 yards and led The American with an average return of 27.6 yards per return, a number that ranked 12th nationally. He had a return of at least 40 yards in six games.
    » With his 1,021 kick return yards, Ayers set the Houston freshman record and was just 153 yards away from the UH single season record.
    » After coming close several times, Ayers finally broke a return for a touchdown against BYU, returning a first-quarter kick 95 yards for Houston's first score of the day.
    » The freshman was second in the nation with 12 kickoff returns over 30 yards.
    » Jack-of-all-trades Greg Ward Jr. took over as Houston's starting punt returner in the season's final two games, finishing with two returns for six yards.
    »Markeith Ambles is the fourth UH player with multiple returns in 2013, finishing with two kickoff returns for 60 yards and one punt return for one yard.


    Punter & Punter


    » Houston will employ two punters in 2014 with juniors Dylan Seibert and Logan Piper sharing the duties.
    » Seibert, an Oklahoma transfer, served as Houston's holder in 2013.
    » Piper joined the program in 2013 after two years with the Houston Baseball program.



     

     

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