"There are two things that can happen after an open date," Dimel said. "The players can be fresh and ready to play, but there's also a chance of not being as precise on our assignments. A team can get rusty. We have to be very guarded that we make the most of the open date and not slip on execution.
"We're only at the halfway point of the season," he added. If we zero-in on getting on a run and work hard for that goal, we can win the conference and certainly go to a bowl game. I am pleased that we looked fresh today because this is a key road game for us Saturday in the Liberty Bowl."
Dimel used the open date to make some adjustments to the Cougar two-deep. On the defensive side of the ball, junior transfer Waymond Ervin (Dallas/Bishop Dunne HS) will now start at will-linebacker ahead of Arthur Gissendanner (Bradenton, FL). Junior Robin Tremblay (Ancienne-Lorette, Quebec, Canada) has moved from the No. 2 defensive right end to back-up defensive right tackle with sophomore Rufus Williams (Daytona Beach, FL). True freshman David Midyett (Corpus Christi/Carroll HS) has moved into the No. 2 spot at defensive right end. On special teams true freshman Choni Francis (Houston/Westbury HS) will return punts while Kendall Williams (Dallas/Roosevelt HS) has been added as a deep man on kickoffs.
"One of the reasons we had some slight adjustments to our defensive personnel is because Memphis is such an outstanding defensive team," Dimel said. "I told our defense that both defenses will dictate how this game goes and that they better be prepared to redeem themselves after their showing at Cincinnati (where UH gave up 48 points in a loss on Oct. 7). Our defense must be up to the challenge to win what could be a low-scoring game."
Kickoff vs. Memphis will be at 7:00 p.m. in the Liberty Bowl. The game
will be broadcast on the radio in the Houston area on KBME (790 AM).