Houston Continues Preparations For Saturday's Game at Rice

    Head coach Art Brilles will welcome back Byron Alfred, Jeff Akeroyd and Will Gulley to Houston's starting lineup when the Cougars kick off the 2006 season at Rice Saturday night.
    Head coach Art Brilles will welcome back Byron Alfred, Jeff Akeroyd and Will Gulley to Houston's starting lineup when the Cougars kick off the 2006 season at Rice Saturday night.
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    Aug. 30, 2006

    Houston - When the University of Houston football team kicks off its 2006 season with a Conference USA game at Rice, head coach Art Briles will welcome back Byron Alfred, Jeff Akeroyd and Will Gulley after they sat out the 2005 season with knee injuries. All three are listed as starters for Saturday night's game.

    "Byron, Jeff and Willie have looked real good," Briles said. "They are a year and a half removed, so they should look good with today's medicine and rehabilitation they go through with (head athletic trainer) Mike O'Shea and (strength and conditioning coach) Larry Jackson. Byron and Jeff have got to play well, because we have be good up front on both sides of the ball in order to win. They can't look around and point the finger at someone else."

    The Cougars and Owls are among six schools which begin their 2006 season with a conference game, and that adds a little extra meaning to the game.

    "The only thing that matters this week is that if we are wanting to win a conference championship, we have to win conference games," Briles said. "We can throw out the fact that Rice is a rivalry and in the same city as we are. Our goal is to be 1-0 in conference play after Saturday night's game."

    The game can be heard live on ESPN 790 AM with the pre-game show beginning at 7:00. Tom Franklin calls the play-by-play, while former record-setting All-America quarterback David Klingler provides analysis, and former All-Southwest Conference center Chuck Brown serves as a sideline reporter.

    The game also will be nationally televised by CSTV with Carter Blackburn and Brian Jones serving as announcers. It is the first of four nationally televised games for the Cougars this season.

     

     

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