Oct. 17, 2011
Houston, Texas -
4th year at UH and Overall, 29-16
West Virginia 1979
2nd year at Marshall and Overall, 8-11
SERIES FAST FACTS
Series tied 1-1
Series Record in Houston: Houston leads 1-0
Series Record in Huntington Marshall leads 1-0
First Meeting: Houston 35, Marshall 28 (Nov. 17, 2007; Robertson Stadium, Houston)
Last Meeting Marshall 37, Houston 23 (Oct. 28, 2008; Joan C. Edwards Stadium; Huntington, N.C.)
« Just the third meeting in series history, Houston hosts Marshall for the second time and for the first time since a 35-28 victory on Nov. 17, 2007.
« Head Coach Kevin Sumlin was on the sidelines in Huntington, W. Va., for the most recent contest with the Thundering Herd (2008) and is 0-1 all-time vs. Marshall as a head coach ... Marshall Head Coach Doc Holliday will be facing Houston for the first time.
« Sumlin has led Houston to incredible success at Robertson Stadium, going 17-3 in his first 20 games on his home turf, an .850 winning percentage ... And for good measure the Cougars have topped 40 points at home 14 times in those 17 "W's".
COUGARS VS. THE HERD
Houston meets Marshall for the first time since 2008 and Saturday's contest will be the third for senior quarterback Case Keenum vs. the Thundering Herd ... Keenum is 1-1 as a starter vs. Marshall, including a 35-28 decision at Robertson Stadium on Nov. 17, 2007 ... Keenum has thrown for 615 yards vs. Marshall in those two meetings (46-73-3, 4 TDs), including a 14-yard pass to Bryce Beall in the third quarter.
In addition to that touchdown, senior running back Bryce Beall rushed for 68 yards on 14 carries, while contributing 73 yards receiving (and that score) on five catches vs. the Thundering Herd.
A meeting of division leaders takes place at Robertson Stadium this weekend as the Conference USA West Division leading Houston Cougars meet the East Division leaders, Marshall, at 3:30 p.m.
Houston debuted at #19 in the initial Bowl Championship Series polls of 2011 ... It's not the first time the Cougars have been ranked in the first B.C.S. poll of the year ... UH was #17 in the poll in 2009 as well.
Houston is one of six teams from the state of Texas ranked or receiving votes in this week's Top 25 poll ... Only Texas A&M is ranked higher than UH ... In the Coaches Poll A&M is #17, Houston is #20, SMU is #29, Texas is #30, Baylor is #33 and TCU is #37.
Houston is back in the national rankings and one of only 10 undefeated teams remaining in F.B.S. in 2011 ... The Cougars debuted at #22 nationally in the ESPN/USA Today Coaches Poll and were #25 in the Associated Press poll last week and elevated to #20 /#21 this week ... Houston has been ranked (at least one week) each of the last three seasons, a first for the Cougars since the 1989-91 campaigns.
Head Coach Kevin Sumlin is 5-0 at Robertson Stadium when coaching a ranked club ... In fact "home" has been a great place for the Cougars as a ranked program ... UH has won 18 consecutive home games as a ranked team dating back to a 14-7 loss to Miami (Fla.) in 1980.
As if that streak wasn't impressive enough, All-America signal caller Case Keenum has won 20 consecutive home games (18 as a starter) ... He boasts 17 TD throws and just two INTs already in 2011, but over his 18 consecutive home wins (as a starter) the Abilene, Texas, native has 60 TD tosses and just nine interceptions.
Houston is 6-0 for only the fourth time in school history, the first such start since 1990 ... Other Houston teams that started 6-0 were: 1979 and 1973 ... The last Cougar club to start out at 7-0 was in 1990 as well ... That crew opened 8-0 and elevated to #3 in the country.
The Cougars have been to six bowl games in the last eight seasons and are already bowl eligible in 2011 after starting 6-0.
Houston continues to lead the country in passing offense and total offense ... The Cougars average 435.5 yards per game through the air and are a very respectable #51 on the ground at 168.2 yards a game ... The club averages a national-best 603.7 yards in total offense as well.
Points have not been an issue either through the first six games ... UH is ranked #4 nationally with 47.0 points a night and when the Cougars do manage a rare fourth down, the club ranks #4 nationally at 42.6 yards per boot, including an average of 46.4 from sophomore Richie Leone on 20 total punts.
Senior linebacker Sammy Brown ranks #2 nationally in tackles for loss with 14.0 through six games ... Dating back the last 13 games (to Rice in 2010), Brown has recorded 31.5 tackles for loss, an average of 2.42 TFL per game ... Brown was recently added to the Chuck Bednarik Award Watch List, given annually to the nation's top defender.
Keenum needs 130 yards to break the NCAA career total offense record ... He is currently #2 in career passing yardage as well ... He has 15,895 career passing yards, 1,178 yards shy of Timmy Chang's (Hawaii) NCAA record.
With his three TD tosses in the 56-3 win over East Carolina, Keenum is third all-time in NCAA history with 124 scoring passes ... He needs seven more to pass Hawaii's Colt Brennan for second.
In Houston's 48-23 win over North Texas, the Cougars outscored the Mean Green 28-6 in the second half and 28-14 in the second half in their 35-34 win over Louisiana Tech ... Overall Houston is outscoring its foes 133-to-61 in the second half this season.
« In the season opener, the Cougars started nine new players, including the entire defensive secondary with junior college transfers Chevy Bennett at FS, D.J. Hayden at CB, Texas A&M transfer Colton Valencia at SS and sophomore Zach McMillian at CB ... The defense also had first-time starters at middle linebacker, true-freshman Derrick Mathews and junior college transfer noseguard Dominic Miller ... On the offensive side, three new faces were on the line, right tackle Rowdy Harper and guards Ty Cloud and Kevin Forsch.
KICKING IT OLD SCHOOL
« Houston will celebrate its rich football history on Saturday when it wears uniforms and helmets highlighting one of the great eras of Cougar Football, the late 1960s and 1970s ... Various design aspects of that era were added to these unique uniforms, which were worn while former UH head coach Bill Yeoman ruled the sidelines ... UH went 160-108-8 in Yeoman's 25 seasons at the helm of the program, including 11 bowl appearances and 10 teams that finished the season ranked inside the Top 25.
« The game-worn jerseys will be auctioned off online at UHCougars.com starting with a reserve price of $150 per uniform ... In addition, the auction will feature a pair of autographed jerseys, one signed by the 2011 Houston Cougar offensive unit and a second by the Cougar defensive squad ... An autographed helmet featuring current Houston Head Coach Kevin Sumlin and legendary sideline boss Bill Yeoman will also be available for bid.
« Houston will host its 66th annual Homecoming game this Saturday, with the 2011 theme being 1927 Red ... The week's festivities began on Oct. 15 and will culminate with Saturday's football game and a postgame fireworks show ... Houston is 32-28-5 all-time on Homecoming, but did suffer a 28-25 defeat last season to Tulsa ... Prior to that game UH had won six consecutive Homecoming tilts.
DON'T DISCOUNT IMPROVING DEFENSE
« If pressure leads to forced throws and forced throws lead to interceptions, it's no surprise the Cougars picked off a season high four passes in the Oct. 8 victory over East Carolina ... Houston's defense swarmed ECU signal callers, recording a season-best nine sacks.
« George Bamfo recorded three of those nine sacks, while Sammy Brown added 2.5 ... In fact six different Cougar defenders had a hand in a sack, including the team's top tackle producer, Marcus McGraw.
« That QB pressure allowed Houston to pick off a season-best four INTs as well ... Phillip Steward picked off a pair in the 56-3 win, his first two interceptions of the season, which led to him being named C-USA Defensive Player of the Week.
« Houston's defense has relinquished a total of just three points in home wins over Georgia State and East Carolina ... The defense pitched a 56-0 vs. GSU, before an emphatic 56-3 handling of ECU.
« The Cougars enjoyed a +4 turnover margin vs. East Carolina, resulting in 21 extra points ... UH is +7 in turnover margin this season.
« The three points allowed to ECU were the fewest in series history and the fewest allowed to a league foe since a 24-3 win over Tulane in 2004 ... The 21 yards rushing allowed were also the fewest since relinquishing 10 yards on the ground at Army in 2003.
Twice this season Houston has rallied from double-digit deficits to earn victories, most recently during a 49-42 win at UTEP on Sept. 29 ... Falling behind 14-0 in the opening quarter, the Cougars rallied with the next three touchdowns to take their first lead. Although the Miners rebounded to take a 28-24 lead midway through the third quarter, Houston scored the next two touchdowns to build an advantage it would never relinquish ... It eventually resulted in the eighth-largest comeback in school history. In Houston's 35-34 win over Louisiana Tech on Sept. 17, the Cougars overcame a 27-point deficit, the largest in school history ... It topped the previous record of 19 points (down 28-9, 3:46 left in 3rd quarter) vs. Conference USA-rival UTEP in a 42-37 win on Nov. 22, 2008 ... It was the biggest come-from-behind road win since a 31-30 win against Rice (down 30-14, 6:20 left in 3rd quarter) on Sept. 2, 2006. The comeback began with 4:27 in the third quarter when Case Keenum connected with Patrick Edwards for a 50-yard touchdown in a drive which only took 44 seconds off the clock ... UH continued with three touchdowns in the fourth quarter, including a back-of-the-end zone grab by Edwards with 1:36 left to go in the game ... The defense held Louisiana Tech to 69 yards in the fourth quarter and forced two turnovers, as well as a fourth-down stand. With the win at UTEP, Keenum has engineered three of the top four biggest comebacks in Houston history as well as four of the top 18:
- 1. 27 points down at Louisiana Tech in a 35-34 win (Sept. 17, 2011)
- 2. 19 points down vs. UTEP in a 42-37 win (Nov. 22, 2008)
- t-3 17 points down vs. UAB in a 45-20 win (Oct. 9, 2008)
- t-8 14 points down at UTEP in a 49-42 win (Sept. 29, 2011)
KEENUM CHASES NCAA RECORDS
The Abilene, Texas, native (15,895 career yards) threw for 304 yards in the win over East Carolina and passed former Texas Tech standout Graham Harrell (15,793, 2005-08) for second place on the NCAA career passing yardage list ... Hawaii's Timmy Chang holds the NCAA career record with 17,072 yards.
Keenum totaled 292 yards of total offense (304 pass, -12 rush) against ECU to move closer to the NCAA career record in that category ... He is 139 yards shy of passing Chang.
Keenum threw three touchdown passes against ECU as well, surpassing BYU's Ty Detmer (1988-91) for third place on the NCAA all-time touchdown pass list with 124 scores ... Up next in the NCAA records book is Hawaii's Colt Brennan, who threw 131 touchdowns from 2005 to 2007 ... Texas Tech's Graham Harrell holds the NCAA career record with 134 career passing touchdowns.
NCAA FBS All-Time Total OffenseSIXTH TIMES THE CHARM
Rk. Player, School Years Yards 1. Timmy Chang, Hawaii 2000-04 16,910 2. Case Keenum, Houston 2007- 16,781
NCAA FBS All-Time Passing Yardage
Rk. Player, School Years Yards 1. Timmy Chang, Hawaii 2000-04 17,072 2. Case Keenum, Houston 2007- 15,895 3. Graham Harrell, Texas Tech 2005-08 15,793
NCAA FBS All-Time Touchdown Passes
Rk. Player, School Years Yards 1. Graham Harrell, Texas Tech 2005-08 134 2. Colt Brennan, Hawaii 2005-07 131 3. Case Keenum, Houston 2007- 124
Senior quarterback Case Keenum learned in January 2011 he had been granted a sixth season of eligibility after suffering a torn ACL vs. UCLA in the third game of the 2010 season ... Keenum returns to captain a UH team which has won 30 games with him at the helm in four years as a starter, including 18 consecutive at home.
After leading the nation in total offense in 2008 and 2009, quarterback Case Keenum is back atop that list in 2011 with 388.8 total yards per game ... He also leads the country in passing offense with 384.8 yards per game. In 2008, he ranked No. 1 with 403.2 yards per game and repeated in the category with 416.4 yards in 2009 ... He also led the nation in passing in 2009 ... Keenum is only the seventh quarterback in FBS history to lead the nation in total offense in consecutive seasons and the first since Hawaii's Colt Brennan accomplished the feat in 2005-06 ... If Keenum matches that success in 2011, he could join Louisiana Tech's Tim Rattay (1997-99) as the only quarterback to lead the nation in total offense three years in his career.
Keenum is the school record holder in passing yards, total offense, passing touchdowns, attempts and completions. He also holds Houston's single-season records for completions, attempts, passing yards and total offense.
Keenum finished eighth in the 2009 Heisman trophy voting, and led Houston to a No. 1 ranking in the NCAA in passing offense, total offense and scoring offense in 2009 ... He passed for 5,671 yards in 2009, the third-highest passing total in NCAA Division I-FBS single-season history and joined Texas Tech's Graham Harrell as one of only two players to pass for 5,000 yards in two seasons.
Keenum has had 31 300-yard passing performances in his career, 15 over 400 yards, and has led Houston to 16 career come-from-behind victories ... He has also completed passes to 30 different receivers in his career as a starter.
START ME UP FOR KEENUM
Quarterback Case Keenum has 30 wins as the starting quarterback for the Cougars, breaking Kevin Kolb's record for most wins by a UH quarterback ... With the Oct. 8 win over East Carolina, Keenum improved to 30-13 as a starter, winning 70 percent of his games ... He also has the second-most wins of all active NCAA quarterbacks, behind only Kellen Moore's 44 wins at Boise State.
Most Wins - Active FBS Quarterbacks Rk. Name, School Wins 1. Kellen Moore, Boise State 44 2. Case Keenum, Houston 30 3. Andrew Luck, Stanford 26 4. Russell Wilson, Wisconsin 25 5. Tim Jefferson, Air Force 24 Landry Jones, Oklahoma 24 7. Austin Davis, Southern Miss 23 8. Matt Barkley, USC 22 Stephen Garcia, South Carolina 22 Jordan Jefferson, LSU 22 11. Kirk Cousins, Michigan State 21GOING FOR THE TRI-FECTA
Best Winning Percentage - Active FBS Quarterbacks Rk Name, School Pct. (W-L) 1. Kellen Moore, Boise State .957 (44-2) 2. Andrew Luck, Stanford .839 (26-5) 3. Landry Jones, Oklahoma .800 (24-6) 4. Jordan Jefferson, LSU .759 (22-7) 5. Matt Barkley, USC .733 (22-8) 6. Case Keenum, Houston .700 (30-13) 7. Kirk Cousins, Michigan State .677 (21-10) 8. Tim Jefferson, Air Force .649 (24-13) 9. Austin Davis, Southern Miss .622 (23-14) 10. G.J. Kinne, Tulsa .581 (18-13)
Senior receivers Tyron Carrier and Patrick Edwards have both posted two 1,000-yard receiving seasons ... If either, or both, receivers record a third 1,000-yard season, it will be a first in program history. Edwards, the former walk-on, missed four games of the 2008 season after a devastating leg injury ... One year later (2009), he posted 1,021 receiving yards on 85 catches ... In 2010 he followed up his performance with 1,100 (71 catches). In 2011, he has 37 catches for 642 yards through six games, including a career-best performance of 178 yards vs. North Texas ... He most recently added 12 grabs for 133 yards and two scores vs. ECU ... He leads Conference USA in receiving yards and stands 11th nationally. Carrier recorded his two 1,000-yard seasons in 2008 and 2009 with 1,026 and 1,029, respectively ... He got off to a great start in 2011 with a 10-catch performance for 138 yards in the season opener vs. UCLA and has a team high 39 grabs for 456 yards through six games ... His 6.5 receptions per game ranks 29th nationally. The duo both rank in the UH top-10 all-time receiving yards -- Edwards second with 3,397 yards and Carrier fifth with 2,991.
UH has been known for its passing offense, however the Cougars have a stable of running backs, creating the country's most potent offensive attack ... Three running backs -- seniors Bryce Beall and Michael Hayes and sophomore Charles Sims -- each own starting experience and a combined career yardage of 5,021 ... Among the three, Beall (2008) and Sims (2009) were honored as Conference USA Freshmen of the Year in their respective seasons.
In each of the first six games, the three have combined to rush for more than 100 yards with a season high of 226 yards at UTEP in the Conference USA opener ... Beall and Hayes lead the team with six rushing scores apiece, while Sims is a close third with five touchdowns, including four in his last two games.
BEALL'S A RINGING
Senior running back Bryce Beall has 3,073 rushing yards in three-plus years at UH, which currently ranks third on the school's career rushing yards list ... He needs 579 yards in his senior season to become Houston's all-time leading rusher and surpass record-holder Ketric Sanford's (1996-99) 3,636 yards ... Beall ran for 1,247 yards as a freshman, 670 as a sophomore in 2009 and 870 last year ... He has rushed for 286 yards this season.
Beall earned All-Conference USA First-Team honors in 2010 and broke the UH career record for total and rushing touchdowns after scoring 12 last season ... In three-plus seasons, he has rushed for 38 touchdowns and has 44 total for his career ... He also has averaged 5.6 yards per rush.
THE OFFENSE UNDER SUMLIN
In three-plus seasons at Houston, Kevin Sumlin has created an offense with gaudy numbers ranked among the nation's best each season ... It's tough to match the numbers posted in 2009 when three phases ranked No. 1 nationally ... However, through six games, UH has returned to the top of the rankings in passing and total offense and ranks fifth in scoring offense.
Year Passing (Rk) Total (Rk) Scoring (Rk) 2011 435.5 (1st) 603.7 (1st) 47.0 (4th) 2010 327.2 (5th) 480.5 (11th) 37.7 (13th) 2009 433.7 (1st) 563.4 (1st) 42.2 (1st) 2008 401.6 (2nd) 562.8 (2nd) 40.6 (10th)Houston became only the third team in NCAA history to have a 5,000-yard passer and three 1,000-yard receivers when it accomplished the feat in 2009 ... The other two teams are Texas Tech (2003) and Tulsa (2007).
Case Keenum is only the second quarterback in NCAA history to pass for over 5,000 yards in two different seasons (2008, 2009) ... The other was Texas Tech's Graham Harrell in 2007 and 2008.
UH became the fourth team in NCAA history to have three 1,000-yard receivers when Tyron Carrier, James Cleveland and Patrick Edwards each eclipsed the mark --the other teams were Texas Tech 2002, Hawaii in 2007 and Tulsa in 2007.
Senior receivers Tyron Carrier and Patrick Edwards have caught a pass in every game of their college careers ... Carrier is on a streak of 45 consecutive games with a catch, which is tied for longest in the country ... Edwards ranks fourth nationally with 40 straight games played with a reception.
45 -- Tyron Carrier (Houston, Sr.) 44 -- Ryan Broyles (Oklahoma, Sr.) 42 -- Kendall Wright (Baylor, Sr.) 40 -- Patrick Edwards (Houston, Sr.); 39 -- B.J. Cunningham (Michigan State, Sr.) 38 -- Jeff Fuller (Texas A&M, Sr.)
EDWARDS DEFYING THE ODDS
Houston receiver Patrick Edwards knows the word adversity ... He came to UH as a walk-on and earned a scholarship from head coach Kevin Sumlin in 2008 ... That same year, he suffered a devastating broken leg in a game against Marshall ... However in 2010, Edwards led the team with 70 receptions for 1,100 yards. Edwards has topped the 2,000-career receiving yard mark, becoming one of only nine Cougar receivers to hit that milestone ... If he puts together another 1,000-yard season, he could become the school's all-time receiving yards record holder (needs 371 yards).
Houston leads Conference USA in seven offensive categories this season, pacing the league with 29.5 per game and third-down conversions with a rate of 55.7 percent.
In a note to show the offensive line some love, the Cougars rank second with only eight sacks allowed and are fourth in C-USA with 168.2 yards per game rushing ... The team's 4.9 yards per carry is third in the league, just behind the 5.0 ypc of Southern Miss and Tulsa.
The Cougars continue to rack up incredible total offense and passing numbers, leading the nation in total offense (603.7), while throwing for 435.5 yards per night, also tops in America ... The Cougars scoring offense of 47.0 points per game ranks #4 nationally.
Kevin Sumlin will coach his 21st game at Robertson Stadium on Oct. 22 vs. Marshall and over his first 20 games he is 17-3 and his club has averaged a gaudy 47.5 points at home ... The Cougars own two undefeated seasons so far and are a perfect 3-0 in 2011.
With the win over Louisiana Tech, quarterback Case Keenum became the University of Houston's all-time winningest quarterback passing former UH and current Arizona Cardinals quarterback Kevin Kolb ... Keenum has won 30 games in 44 starts.
Keenum's 471 yards at Georgia State was his 15th 400-yard passing performance of his career ... He also has 31 career 300-yard efforts.
Houston had a C-USA best seven players make Phil Steele's Midseason All-Conference C-USA squad ... Case Keenum (QB), Patrick Edwards (WR), Chris Thompson (C) and Jacolby Ashworth (OT) were first team picks, Tyron Carrier (WR) was a second team selection and Michael Hayes (RB) and Justin Johnson (WR) represented UH on the third team.
Senior receiver Patrick Edwards earned Conference USA Offensive Player of the Week honors for his 187-yard performance in Houston's 48-23 win over North Texas ... His average of 107.0 yards per game receiving ranks #11 nationally.
Senior receiver Tyron Carrier posted his first 100-yard performance since the 2009 season with his 10 catches for 138 yards in the season opener against UCLA ... He is also one kickoff TD return shy of tying the NCAA record with former Clemson star C.J. Spiller.
The University of Houston has led the nation in total offense seven times, which is the most in the NCAA, tied with Arizona State and Tulsa ... UH has been the national total offense leader in 2009, 1992, 1990, 1989, 1968, 1967 and 1966 .
The Cougars' offense is led by coordinators Jason Phillips and Kliff Kingsbury ... Both enjoyed illustrious collegiate careers which led to time in the NFL. Phillips was an All-America receiver at the University of Houston, leading the nation in receiving yards in both 1987 and `88 ... He was drafted by Detroit in 1989 and went on to an eight-year career in the NFL ... Kingsbury recorded more than 12,000 yards passing in his All-America career at Texas Tech. He was a sixth-round draft pick by the New England Patriots.
Keenum has twice this season been named the Conference USA Offensive Player of the Week ... The first came for his 310-yard, two touchdown performance vs. UCLA in the season opener when he completed 75 percent of his passes ... The second was after he led UH from a 27-point deficit to defeat Louisiana Tech, 35-34. In that game, he passed for 351 yards and three touchdowns.
QUICK DRAW MCGRAW
Linebacker Marcus McGraw has started 45 straight games, every contest of his collegiate career, dating back to his true freshman season in 2008 ... With 424 total career tackles, McGraw ranks third in the UH record books, needing 83 to break the all-time mark held by Ryan McCoy (1990-93) ... He has started his senior season with a ban, posting with 55 total tackles through the first six games, which ranks tied for 36th in the NCAA and ninth in Conference USA.
He has topped the century mark in tackles in three consecutive seasons with 103 as a freshman, 156 as a sophomore and 110 in 2010 ... McGraw has also led the team in tackles three straight years, joining a group of only three other UH players who have accomplished that feat ... He could be the second defender in school history to be the team leader in tackles all four years of college.
As a sophomore he led the conference and ranked fifth in the NCAA in tackles with 11.1 per game ... McGraw was named Second Team All-Conference USA in both 2009 and 2010 as one of the league's top defensive players.
Houston hasn't allowed a touchdown at Robertson Stadium since the fourth quarter of the Sept. 3 season-opener vs. UCLA ... That's a stretch of eight consecutive TD free quarters at home for Brian Stewart's defense.
The Cougars lead Conference USA with nine interceptions in six games, including a season high four picks in the win over East Carolina ... The Cougars lead C-USA and rank #8 nationally in turnover margin (1.17).
Phillip Steward was named the C-USA Defensive Player of the Week for his two interceptions vs. East Carolina on Oct. 8.
Houston's 56-0 victory over Georgia State was the Cougars' first shutout since a 45-0 win against Louisiana-Lafayette on Sept. 18, 1999 - a streak of 146 games.
Georgia State's 133 passing yards was the fewest by a Cougar opponent since Memphis recorded 92 yards on Oct. 30, 2010 ... GSU's 241 yards of total offense (108 rush, 133 pass) was the fewest by a Cougar opponent since Texas Southern finished with 179 yards (48 rush, 131 pass) on Nov. 24, 2007.
Houston then held East Carolina to just 21 yards rushing in 30 attempts in that 56-3 victory, the fewest since limiting Army to just 10 yards on Nov. 15, 2003.
In addition to not allowing a TD at home since the season-opener, UH has been outstanding in the second half defensively all season ... It limited North Texas to just six second-half points and allowed only 107 yards of total offense in the final two quarters (46 rushing and 61 passing) in UH's 48-23 win ... Against Louisiana Tech, the defense kept the Bulldogs from scoring in 6-of-8 drives during the final two quarters ... Against ECU the Cougars pitched a second half shutout.
Senior linebacker Sammy Brown has picked up where he left off in 2010 adding 14.0 tackles for loss through six games ... Brown ranks #2 nationally in TFLs, which include 5.5 sacks (#8 nationally) ... Dating back to the last 12 games (to Rice in 2010), Brown has recorded 29 tackles for loss, an average of 2.42 TFL per game.
HOUSTON AGAIN REPRESENTED IN B.C.S. POLL DEBUT
Houston Football is once again in the Bowl Championship Series rankings as the Cougars debuted at #19 in the initial poll announced on Sunday evening ... The Cougars actually improved on their "human poll" ranking in the ESPN/USA Today Coaches and Associated Press ledgers, where they were ranked #20 and #21 respectively ... Houston was the lone Conference USA club in the rankings and joined Boise State (fifth) as the lone non-AQ schools in the Top 25. The Cougars were ranked highest by the computer polls, including the Anderson & Hester computer ratings (11th) and the Colley Matrix (12th).
In three-plus seasons under head coach Kevin Sumlin, the Cougars have blocked 18 kicks, second-most in the country during that time span. The 18 blocks have come from eight different players and include eight field goals, seven extra-point attempts and three punts.
In the 2011 season opener vs. UCLA, the Cougars had a crucial blocked kick on a Bruin extra-point attempt in the fourth quarter ... UCLA had a chance to get the score within three points after a late touchdown, but the UH block kept the margin at four points, which was the final score difference for the win, 38-34 ... UH followed up that performance with another blocked extra point at North Texas.
MOST BLOCKED KICKS SINCE 2008
23 -- Fresno State 18 -- Houston, Middle Tennessee 17 -- Florida, Texas 16 -- USC 13 -- Rutgers, Air Force 12 -- Louisiana-Lafayette 11 -- Louisiana Tech
CARRIER TAKING IT TO THE HOUSE
Senior kick returner Tyron Carrier has six returns for touchdowns over his four years at Houston, including four during the 2009 season ... In 2010, he added another touchdown to his total with a 91-yard return at SMU ... He is the only player in school history with multiple kickoff return scores in a single season.
Carrier is now just one touchdown from tying former Clemson running back C.J. Spiller's NCAA record of seven kickoff return touchdowns set from 2006 to 2009 ... Carrier had the school's most kickoff return yardage in a single season in 2010 with 1,174 yards on 50 returns ... He has 6,510 all-purpose yards in four years, and with his 180 yards in the season opener he broke the school career record ... Here is a list of Carrier's six returns:
1st - 93 yards vs. Tulsa, 11/15/08
2nd - 92 yards vs. SMU, 10/24/09
3rd - 98 yards at Tulsa, 11/7/09
4th - 99 yards vs. Rice, 11/28/09
5th - 79 yards vs. Air Force, 12/31/09 (Bell Helicopter Armed Forced Bowl)
6th - 91 yds at SMU, 10/23/10