Cougar Football Notes

HOUSTON (August 29) - The University of Houston football team followed a detailed, pre-scripted workout from new head coach Dana Dimel and completed its first game-week practice on Tuesday, August 29, in exactly two-and-a-half hours. In one of the new wrinkles under Dimel's system, there is a precise time allotment for each item on the practice agenda. If each item is practiced to the coaches' satisfaction, the day's workout will proceed and conclude according to Dimel's meticulous schedule.

Tuesday's workout ended at the predicted time of 6:30 after starting at exactly at 4:00 p.m. The head coach was pleased with the results and is looking forward to his UH coaching debut in the annual battle for the Bayou Bucket against crosstown rival Rice on Saturday, Sept. 2.

"One of the things we're trying to do is get the players to understand that practicing efficiently and with a focused purpose is a critical step to winning," Dimel explained. "How you practice and what you accomplish in practice can tell a lot about a team, and I want to make it a habit for us to be sharp in our assignments and have an all-out effort on the field.

"I think we came very close of getting that today," Dimel added. "We were right on the nose in finishing and that tells me we didn't have to take any extra time on any of today's drills. The intensity was good and we looked a little more polished in some areas. After seeing a lot of the opening games (of the college football season) on TV last week I wanted to make sure we were on top of all the little things, the nuances that cost some very good teams a chance to win last weekend."

Starter's for Dimel's first game at the helm of the Cougar program have been determined but the head coach was still evaluating spots on the second string, particularly on the offensive line. Tuesday Dimel cited junior offensive tackle Drew Lowery and senior defensive end Sam Hairston, a pair of Cougar starters, for their preseason work.

"Drew's done a nice job so far and I think Sam had a really good day today," Dimel said. "In addition to his defense, Sam has an important role on special teams. Special teams is something that can turn a game completely around, especially in the first game of the year."

Newcomer Darnerius Watson, a native of Longview, Texas, who transferred from Kilgore Junior College, is working as a guard with the first string offensive line. Junior Tommie Baldwin and sophomore Stephen Cucci have been working at tight end in place of the injured Jonathan Pritchett (fractured leg). Pritchett is expected to miss the first couple of games.



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