Oct. 12, 2012
HOUSTON - Phil Steele named nine members of the Houston football program to his Midseason All-Conference USA Team this week. Four players earned first-team status while four more captured second-team honors and one was on Steele's third team.Charles Sims, Phillip Steward, Derrick Mathews and Richie Leone all were named first team while Daniel Spencer, Dewayne Peace, Jacolby Ashworth and D.J. Hayden earned second-team honors. Freshman Trevon Stewart rounded out the group on third team. Sims leads Conference USA and is 10th nationally in rushing yards with an average of 127.6 yards per game. The junior has 510 yards rushing on 79 attempts in just four games, an average of 6.5 yards per carry, along with six rushing touchdowns. Sims also owns 166 receiving yards and one touchdown through the air on 21 receptions. Steward leads Conference USA and is fifth nationally in tackles with 59 total stops for an average of 11.8 per game. The senior, who leads the team with 59 tackles, is also 10th nationally and second in conference with 1.9 tackles for loss per game. Mathews leads the conference and is seventh nationally with 2.0 tackles for loss per game. The sophomore is second on the team with 48 overall tackles, 10 of which have gone for a loss. The nation's top punter, Leone is averaging 48.0 yards per kick and has placed seven of his 25 punts inside the 20-yard line. The junior has 10 punts of at least 50 yards including a career-long 77-yard punt vs. Louisiana Tech. With his hang time, Leone has forced 10 returners to call for a fair catch. An offensive captain, Ashworth is leading a line that has only given up six sacks on the season and is blocking for the nation's No. 9 offense. The senior has yet to give up a sack at right guard has helped Sims to rank 10th nationally in rushing. The top two receivers in the nation's sixth-ranked passing offense, Peace and Spencer have combined for 60 of David Piland's 155 completions. Peace leads the way with 33 receptions for 356 yards and two touchdowns while Spencer has pulled in 27 receptions for 396 yards and two touchdowns. The two both rank in the top seven of Conference USA rankings in receptions and receiving yards per game. The 2011 Conference USA Defensive Newcomer of the Year, Hayden owns one of Houston's four interceptions on the year and is second among all defensive backs on the team with 36 tackles. The cornerback has broken up four passes on the season and has also forced one fumble. A true freshman, Stewart is third on the team with 47 tackles despite starting only three of five games. The safety has broken up for passes and has made two tackles behind the line of scrimmage. Stewart made his first career start at UCLA and finished with 16 tackles in the game. Houston's game Saturday against UAB kicks off at 11 a.m. as the Cougars look to win their third straight game and second straight Conference USA game. Houston defeated North Texas, 44-21, Saturday night after beating Rice, 35-14, the previous weekend. A special four pack that consists of four tickets, four drinks and four hot dogs for just $80 can be ordered online at UHCougars.com, by phone at 713-462-6647 or visiting the University of Houston Athletics Ticket Office in person inside the Athletics/Alumni Center at 3100 Cullen Blvd.