Football Ready for Homecoming Clash vs. SMU This Weekend
Oct. 22, 2009
RADIO: Houston-ISP Sports Radio Network 790 AM The Sports Animal-Houston Tom Franklin, PxP; Ted Pardee, analyst; Chuck Brown, sideline
The Cougars (5-1 1-1 C-USA West) are off the program's best start since 2003 and look to extend their 11-game home winning streak. The Cougars have not lost at Robertson Stadium since early in the 2007 season.
Saturday's game also will be part of the University's annual Homecoming festivities. The Cougars have posted a 33-27-3 all-time record in Homecoming contests and have won each of their last five Homecoming games.
The Cougars returned to the nation's top 20 in both polls last week, appearing at No. 17 in the latest Associated Press poll and at No. 18 in the most recent USA Today Coaches' Poll. In addition, Houston recently made its first appearance in the Bowl Championship Series standings, standing at No. 17 in the first rankings of the 2009 season.
Junior quarterback Case Keenum leads the offense with 2,501 yards, 19 touchdowns and only four interceptions on 216-of-308 passing. The Abilene, Texas, native has thrown for at least 300 yards each game this season and has thrown at least one touchdown pass in each of his last 22 games.
When the Cougars move the ball the through air, Keenum enjoys a variety of targets. Junior wideout James Cleveland tops the Cougars with 45 catches and six touchdowns, but sophomore receiver Tyron Carrier leads the way with 483 receiving yards.
Sophomore Patrick Edwards, freshman running back Charles Sims, sophomore running back Bryce Beall and senior wide receiver Chaz Rodriguez each have posted at least 18 catches and one touchdown to date.
Beall paces the rushing attack with 437 yards and five touchdowns on 91 carries.
Defensively, sophomore linebacker Marcus McGraw tops the Cougars with 70 tackles and has added three pass breakups and 1.5 tackles for a loss of 20 yards. Senior defensive end Tyrell Graham leads the team with 4.5 tackles for a loss of 28 yards, including a team-high 2.5 sacks.
Quarterback Bo Levi Mitchell leads the team with 1,685 yards and 12 touchdowns on 144-of-257 passing with 10 interceptions.
Emmanuel Sanders paces the Mustangs with 53 catches for 581 yards, while Terrance Wilkerson leads the team with four touchdowns.
Shawnbrey McNeal tops the rushing attack with 500 yards on 105 carries, while Zach Neal has added a team-high three rushing scores.
Chase Kennemer leads the SMU defense with 68 tackles, including 7.5 for a loss of 23 yards, while Rock Dennis tops the Mustang defenders with four interceptions.
In addition, fans can watch the game live on CBS College Sports with Dave Ryan calling the play-by-play action and Akbar Gbaja-Biamila serving as analyst.
Houston looks to extend its three-game winning streak against the Mustangs. The Cougars have not lost to SMU since a 37-27 setback on Nov. 11, 2006, in Dallas.
The will call window is located between Gate 9 and Gate 10 at Robertson Stadium.
To order tickets before the game, fans can visit the Athletics Ticket Office (located on the first floor of the Athletics/Alumni Center, 3100 Cullen Blvd.), or call 713-GO-COOGS (462-6647) Monday through Friday, during regular business hours.
Fans always can purchase tickets to UH events, 24 hours a day, seven days a week, by visiting UHCougars.com and clicking the Tickets link.