Houston vs. Cincinnati Special for Coach Dimel
HOUSTON -- When the University of Houston travels to Cincinnati this Saturday for a Conference USA game against the Bearcats, the game will have a special meaning for Houston head coach Dana Dimel.
It will mark only the second time as a head coach that Dimel will coach against a school from his home state. A native of Columbus, Ohio, Dimel's first game as a head coach in 1997 was at Ohio State when he was at the University of Wyoming. Saturday's game at Cincinnati will mark the first time he has coached a game in the state of Ohio since his first game.
Before the Ohio State game, Dimel was the offensive coordinator at Kansas State when the Wildcats won a 23-21 victory on the last play of the game.
Dimel is hoping that the game won't be decided by a last second field goal even though the Cougars have one of the top kickers in the country. Cincinnati enters Saturday's contest having made 17 of their 18 field goal attempts this season, while the Cougars have connected on just five of 10 tries as Houston has had four different player snapping the ball in their first five games. Tony Nicholas will be the snapper for the second straight week after he walked on in August.
Dimel thinks that Houston will improve in the area as the Cougars have reduced the time it takes for Clark to kick to ball from 1.5 seconds down to 1.2 seconds.
"It is amazing what a difference that three-tenths of a second can make," said Dimel. "But that is the amount of time it takes for a player to block a kick when rushing from the outside end."
Clark did show a lot of courage last week in Houston's 17-15 victory over SMU when he kicked a 35-yard field goal with 4:50 left to play after having his previous attempt blocked.