Game Notes - Houston vs. Tulsa

    Nov. 7, 2012

    » Game Notes Central

    FAST FACTS ON THE SERIES
    Series Record Overall: Houston leads, 20-17
    Series Record at Houston: Houston leads, 12-6
    Series Record at Tulsa: Tulsa leads, 9-8
    Last Meeting: Houston 48, Tulsa 16 (Nov. 25, 2011 at Tulsa)

    START CHART
    OFFENSE
    Player 2012 Streak Career
    Ashworth (OL) 9 30 38
    Sims (RB) 8 6 26
    Cloud (OL) 9 23 23
    Harper (OL) 9 23 23
    Forsch (OL) 4 -- 18
    Piland (QB) 9 9 18
    Oragwu (OL) 8 6 8
    Greenberry (WR) 8 7 8
    R. Williams (WR) 6 -- 7
    Spencer (WR) 7 -- 7
    Peace (WR) 5 -- 6
    Redman (OL) 5 3 5
    McDuffey (WR) 2 2 2
    Maxwell (WR) 2 2 2
    Roberts (WR) 2 - 2
    Ros (WR) 1 1 1
    D. Sims (OL) 1 -- 1
    Farrow (RB) 1 - 1
    Jackson (RB) 1 -- 1
    DEFENSE
    Player 2012 Streak Career
    Steward (LB) 9 44 44
    Riser (DL) 6 4 24
    Mathews (LB) 9 23 23
    McMillian (CB) 9 13 22
    Hayden (CB) 9 16 21
    King (DL) 6 -- 16
    Miller (DL) 2 -- 15
    Braswell (DL) 2 1 13
    Brooks (S) 2 1 12
    Valencia (S) 6 - 10
    Scypion (DL) 8 3 9
    Daniels (LB) 8 1 8
    Stewart (DB) 7 7 7
    Mbu (DL) 7 7 7
    THE GAME
    » Houston (4-5, 3-2) hosts its final Homecoming in Robertson Stadium as Tulsa (7-2, 5-0) comes to town in a pivotal Conference USA West meeting Saturday at 4 p.m.
    » Both teams enter the matchup coming off a loss last weekend as Houston fell at Conference USA foe East Carolina, 48-28, while Tulsa dropped its final non-conference game at Arkansas, 19-15.
    » The two teams met last season as Houston was victorious at Tulsa, 48-16. The win gave the Cougars a school record 12th consecutive win of the season as UH finished the regular season undefeated.
    » Tulsa (5-0) currently holds a two-game lead over Houston (3-2) and SMU (3-2) in the Conference USA West race. The Golden Hurricane host Conference USA East leader Central Florida the following week before closing the regular season with a trip to SMU. Houston travels to Marshall and closes out with Tulane on Nov. 24 while SMU hosts Southern Miss before traveling to Rice and hosting Tulsa. All three teams still factor into the divisional race with only Tulsa controlling its own destiny, needing two wins to clinch the division.
    » The game should feature a tightly-contested battle in the trenches as Tulsa leads the league in sacks (36), tackles for loss (79) and sacks allowed (5), trailed only by Houston in the three categories (28, 71, 11).

    THE OPPONENT
    » In its second season under head coach Bill Blankenship, Tulsa enters Saturday's matchup with a 7-2 record including a perfect 5-0 in Conference USA action. Tulsa's two defeats have come on the road in non-conference at Iowa State (38-23) on Sept. 1 and last week at Arkansas (19-15). Tulsa's two road wins (49-42 at UAB, 45-38 at Marshall) came in the midst of a seven-game winning streak.
    » On the season Tulsa ranks 24th nationally in scoring offense (36.8 points per game), 38th in total offense (443.3 yards per game), 86th in passing offense (210.4 yards per game), 15th in rushing offense (232.9 yards per game), 53rd in scoring defense (24.9 points per game), 51st in total defense (385.4 yards per game), 25th in rushing defense (122.7 yards per game) and 100th in passing defense (262.8 yards per game).
    » In its latest game, Tulsa lost on the road at Fayetteville, Ark., as Arkansas scored the game-winning touchdown with 10:08 remaining in a 19-15 victory. The Razorbacks outgained the Golden Hurricane, 407-328, while the Arkansas defense held Tulsa to a 3-of-15 third-down conversion rate and just 105 second-half yards.

    THE SERIES
    » Houston owns a 20-17 series lead over Tulsa including a 12-6 edge in Houston.
    » Houston has won five of the last seven meetings (2005, 2006, 2008, 2009, 2011) by an average margin of 19.4 points while Tulsa captured wins in 2006 by 49 points (56-7) and in 2010 by three points (28-25).
    » Last season saw Houston claim a 48-16 win in Tulsa as UH closed out the regular season with its program-record 12th-straight win of the season. Patrick Edwards hauled in four of Case Keenum's five touchdown passes as Houston scored the game's final 28 points after Tulsa closed the gap to 20-16.
    » Houston returns 12 players that started in the 2011 match up (five on offense, seven on defense).

    TIES WITH TULSA
    » Tulsa defensive tackles coach Calvin Thibodeaux has several ties to Houston's coaching staff and student-athletes. Prior to coming to Tulsa, Thibodeaux served as defensive line coach at Navarro Junior College in 2010, where Houston seniors D.J. Hayden and Chevy Bennett helped lead Navarro to the NJCAA National title.
    » Thibodeaux also spent time on Cullen Blvd. prior to coaching at Navarro, spending the 2008 and 2009 seasons with the Cougars as defensive graduate assistant, working alongside current UH head coach Tony Levine and defensive backs coach Zac Spavital.
    » Thibodeaux starred collegiately at the University of Oklahoma, playing on defense alongside current Houston defensive graduate assistant Alonzo Dotson, as the two helped lead the Sooners to four BCS games.
    » There are three players from the State of Oklahoma on Houston's roster - DB Adrian McDonald, OL Rowdy Harper and OL Zach Johnson.


    The weekly one-hour call-in radio show will take place each Wednesday from 7-8 p.m. CT and will be broadcasted on KBMF-AM SportsTalk 790. Join Houston head coach Tony Levine and host Jeremy Branham each Wednesday at Rajun Cajun restaurant on Richmond for the show.


    Cougar Insider, the official television show of the Houston Athletic Department, will be aired on Fox Sports Houston each Wednesday at 5:30 p.m., as well as other Fox Sports affiliates throughout the season. The 30-minute show, hosted by Patti Smith and featuring the Houston football program and the Houston athletic department, began airing on Wednesday, Sept. 5.

    LAST TIME OUT
    » Houston fell to 0-3 on the road this season after dropping a 48-28 contest at East Carolina. The Cougars quickly fell in a 28-0 hole before scoring its first touchdown with five seconds remaining in the first half. Despite outscoring the Pirates in the second half, Houston was not able to overcome its early deficit.
    » All four of Houston's scoring drives came under two minutes with two coming in under a minute. David Piland threw four touchdowns as Kenneth Farrow, Mark Roberts and Isaiah Sweeney all caught their first receiving touchdowns of the season.
    » For the second straight game, Houston running back Charles Sims was knocked out of a game early with a leg injury. The junior had five carries for 33 yards before leaving the game in the second quarter.

    School C-USA Record Overall Record
    Tulsa 45-16 68-33
    Houston 44-17 64-37
    East Carolina 42-20 55-45
    UCF 41-20 57-42
    Southern Miss 36-26 57-43
    Marshall 28-31 38-52
    CONFERENCE USA TIME
    » After beginning the season with three straight defeats, Houston reeled off three straight wins including two consecutive Conference USA victories. The Cougars added their third conference win with a 45-35 defeat of UTEP on Oct. 27.
    » C-USA title game participants in 2011, 2009 and 2006, Houston joins Tulsa (2008, 2007, 2005) in establishing a grip on the C-USA West crown. Only SMU (2010) has advanced from the west to the C-USA title game in its seven-year existence.
    » Since 2005, Houston owns the conference's second-best league record at 44-17 and overall record at 64-37.

    FIVE STRAIGHT AT 35
    » With 45 points against UTEP, Houston eclipsed the 35-point mark for the fifth straight game, a feat that has only been accomplished two other times in program history - by the 2011 team (12 straight games to open the season) and the 1989 team (six straight games to end the season).
    » In the five games it scored over 35, Houston averaged 41 points per game as compared to the average total of the other two 35-plus streaks - 2011 squad (52.7 per game) and 1989 (56.7 per game).

    YOUTH IS SERVED
    » When the Houston starting offense takes the field it sports just one senior - right guard Jacolby Ashworth. In fact, Ashworth is one of just four seniors on the entire offensive two deep. The elder of the two sides of the ball, the defense sports seven seniors.
    » The Houston two-deep sports six true freshmen, two redshirt freshmen, 11 sophomores, 14 juniors and 11 seniors.
    » Nine true freshmen have played this season for Houston including 21 starts.
    » Four of the top 10 receivers are true freshmen while three of the top four rushers are sophomore or freshmen.
    » Trevon Stewart leads the team and all freshmen nationally with 94 tackles.

    TOP 10 CROWDS AT ROBERTSON
    1. 32,413 vs. Southern Miss 12/3/11
    2. 32,207 vs. SMU 11/19/11
      32,207 vs. Texas State 9/1/12
    4. 32,119 vs. UTEP 9/10/10
      32,119 vs. Texas State 9/4/10
    6. 32,114 vs. Texas Tech 9/26/09
      32,112 vs. Rice 10/27/11
    8. 32,107 vs. Marshall 10/22/11
    9. 32,067 vs. Mississippi State 10/9/10
    10. 32,009 vs. Tulane 9/25/10
    TOUGH TO BEAT AT THE ROB
    » Houston has taken advantage of playing its home games inside Robertson Stadium with a record of 35-8 (.814) dating back to the 2006 season.
    » In the 35 home wins since 2006, Houston holds a margin of victory of 26.0 points with 911 total points scored in the 35 wins. NCAA Records set in Louisiana Tech game:
    » Prior to its UCLA outing, Houston fell 56-49 to Louisiana Tech in a shootout that saw seven NCAA records fall.
    » Total offensive plays: 115 - regulation record and ties Northwestern's overtime record set on 1/1/10 vs. Auburn.
    » Combined offensive plays: 209 (Houston 115, Louisiana Tech 94) - previous record of 196 set by San Diego State (99) and North Texas (97) on Dec. 4, 1971.
    » Total passing attempts without an interception: 77 - previous record of 76 set by Eastern Michigan vs. Temple (Nov. 22, 2008) and by Houston vs. UTEP (Oct. 3, 2009)
    » Individual passing attempts without an interception: 77 - previous record of 76 set by Andy Schmitt (Eastern Michigan vs. Temple, Nov. 22, 2008) and by Case Keenum ( Houston vs. UTEP, Oct. 3, 2009)
    » Combined pass attempts without an interception: 129 (Houston 77, Louisiana Tech 52) - previous record of 114 set by Illinois (67) and Purdue (47) on Oct. 12, 1985.
    » Most passes completed by both teams - 87 (Houston 53, Louisiana Tech 34) - previous record of 81 set by TCU (44) and Houston (37) set on Nov. 3, 1990.
    » Most first downs by both teams - 78 (Houston 40, Louisiana Tech 38) - previous record of 72 was set by New Mexico (37) and San Diego State (35) on Sept. 27, 1986. FINAL YEAR AT ROBERTSON
    » The 2012 season marks the final year of Robertson Stadium as the 70-year old facility will be torn down following the conclusion of the season. Houston will return to a new on-campus stadium in 2014.
    » Nine of the top 10 Robertson Stadium crowds have come in the last three seasons (2010, 2011, 2012) with four coming in 2011.
    » Houston set an attendance record of 32,413 in last year's Conference USA Championship against Southern Miss on Dec. 3.
    » With 32,207 fans at this year's home opener, Houston tied its regular-season attendance mark set last season against SMU.
    » The Texas State attendance also broke the previous record for a home opener at Robertson Stadium, eclipsing the 32,119 mark from the 2010 home opener also against Texas State.

    TOP 10 HOUSTON SENIOR CLASSES
    (By Victories)
    1. 36 2008-11
    36 2006-09
    36 1976-79
    4. 34 1978-81
    34 1971-74
    34 1970-73
    7. 33 1977-80
    8. 32 Six teams tied
    ...
    32 2009-12
    TOP 10 HOUSTON SENIOR CLASSES
    (By Winning Percentage)
    1. .766 1976-79 (36-11)
    2. .756 1966-69 (30-9-2)
    3. .750 1970-73 (34-11-1)
    .750 1968-71 (32-10-2)
    5. .745 1971-74 (34-11-2)
    6. .738 1967-70 (30-10-2)
    7. .722 1987-90 (32-12-1)
    .722 1969-72 (32-12-1)
    9. .719 1978-81 (34-13-1)
    10. .711 1988-91 (32-13)
    HEAD COACH Tony Levine
    » Houston opened a new era on Dec. 22, 2011, when Tony Levine was named the 13th coach in program history. Levine quickly made his mark on the Houston program by defeating #24/23 Penn State, 30-14, in the TicketCity Bowl.
    » Levine is the first UH head coach to open his career with a win vs. a nationally-ranked opponent since Harold Lahar in 1957.
    » The TicketCity Bowl victory marked the eighth time in Houston history that a head coach has won his opening game at the school.

    DEGREES IN HAND
    » Three of the Houston seniors entered the 2012 season having already earned an undergraduate degree. Matt Hogan, Isaiah Sweeney and Ronnie Williams all own Houston degrees.
    » Hogan received his bachelor's degree in management in the spring of 2012 and is pursuing a master's degree this fall.
    » Sweeney graduated with a bachelor's degree in retail and consumer science in December of 2011 and is now working on his master's degree in human resource development.
    » Williams graduated with a bachelor's degree in kinesiology in the summer of 2011 and is now working on his master's degree in human resource development.

    SENIOR CLASS EYEING VICTORY RECORD
    » The 2012 senior class enters the weekend just five victories away from capturing the record for the most wins by a single class in a four-year period at the University of Houston. With 32 wins, Houston's senior class of 27 currently sits eighth on the class wins chart, just one away from tying for seventh.
    » Last year's 2011 senior class was one of three classes in Houston history to win a program-record 36 games, joining the 2009 senior class and the 1979 senior class in accomplishing the feat.
    » The 1979 senior class also owns the program's top winning percentage, .750, with a four-year record of 36-12. The 2012 senior class currently owns a winning percentage of .681 with a record of 32-15.

    ON THE OFFENSIVE
    » Since 2006, no team in college football has racked up more offensive yards than Houston who has 47,032 yards in that time.

    Rank Team Yards (2006-) Average (06-11) 2012 Average NCAA Rank
    1. Houston 47,032 7,093 496.9 13th
    2. Oregon 42,772 6,287 561.2 4th
    3. Nevada 42,356 6,275 523.2 8th
    4. Oklahoma 42,140 6,373 488.8 14th
    5. Boise State 40,192 6,143 370.2 88th

    CHANGES IN OFFENSIVE STAFF
    » Following the season-opening loss to Texas State, Houston head coach Tony Levine announced that offensive coordinator Mike Nesbitt had resigned and Travis Bush would take over play-calling duties while also handling coaching the quarterbacks. With the switch, Director of Player Personnel Ken McClintock assumed Bush's role of coaching running backs.
    » Bush has four years of experience as an offensive coordinator on the collegiate level, most recently spending a year as the OC at UT-San Antonio after spending three seasons as co-offensive coordinator at Texas State. In his final season at Texas State, the Bobcats finished the season No. 8 in passing offense while his quarterback Bradley George was named the Southland Conference Offensive Player of the Year.
    » Offensive line coach Lee Hays adds six years experience as an offensive coordinator with stints at Tarleton (2011), Baylor (2006-07) and West Texas A&M (2003-05). Hays also has experience at Houston, having spent the 2010 season as the program's assistant offensive line coach. His final West Texas A&M squad led the FCS level in passing offense before his offenses at Baylor broke several program records.

    BOUNCING BACK OFFENSIVELY
    » In Travis Bush's first game as Houston's play caller, the offense bounced back in a big way despite losing to Louisiana Tech. The group jumped 57 spots nationally in total offense ranking and 56 spots in passing offense.
    » In the eight games since taking over the Houston offensive play-calling duties, Houston has totaled 4,161 yards of total offense for an average of 520.1 yards per game, which would rank 11th nationally.


    » A quick look at the per game offensive output shows why:

    Opponent Points Total Off. Passing Yards Rushing 3rd Down Conv.
    Texas State (L) 13 326 yards 211 yards 115 yards 1-13 (7.6%)
    Louisiana Tech (L) 49 693 yards 580 yards 113 yards 12-22 (54.5%)
    UCLA (L) 6 388 yards 249 yards 139 yards 6-20 (30%)
    Rice (W) 35 608 yards 361 yards 247 yards 10-15 (66.7%)
    North Texas (W) 44 623 yards 321 yards 302 yards 4-10 (40%)
    UAB (W) 39 566 yards 380 yards 186 yards 11-20 (55%)
    SMU (L) 42 560 yards 445 yards 115 yards 12-21 (57.1%)
    UTEP (W) 45 339 yards 174 yards 165 yards 4-12 (33.3%)
    ECU (L) 28 369 yards 341 yards 28 yards 3-12 (25%)
    Avg. under Bush 36.0 520.1 yards 358.3 yards 161.9 yards 61-130 (46.9%)

    THE BRICK SQUAD
    » Self nicknamed "The Brick Squad", the Houston offensive line returned four of five starters from the 2011 squad. Senior Jacolby Ashworth, junior Ty Cloud, junior Kevin Forsch and sophomore Rowdy Harper started all 14 games for Houston last season before being joined by Ralph Oragwu and Bryce Redman this season. Combined the group owns 115 career starts.
    » Across the line, the group weighs an average of 312 pounds and stands at an average height of 6-4. Harper leads the group of five at 6-6 while Cloud leads on the scale at 335 pounds.
    » Ashworth leads all Houston offensive players with 38 career starts and a streak of 30 consecutive starts. Ashworth has the versatility to play both tackle and guard, he was the team's left tackle in 2011 before switching to right guard this season.
    » Harper, a freshman All-American in 2011, started all 14 games at right tackle before swinging left this season.
    » The Brick Squad missed two key cogs against UCLA as center Kevin Forsch and right tackle Ralph Oragwu were forced to sit out with injuries. Bryce Redman stepped in at center while DeAnthony Sims manned RT.
    » The group has allowed just 11 sacks on the year which ranks second in Conference USA. The group also ranks second in the conference in having given up 40 tackles for loss in the nine games this season.
    » In Houston's four wins, the line has given up just one sack (UAB).

    QUICK STRIKE POTENTIAL
    » Of Houston's 50 offensive scoring drives this season, 24 have come in under two minutes. Seven of those 24 have come in under a minute with the season's quickest drive lasting just seven seconds at East Carolina as David Piland hit Isaiah Sweeney in the end zone from 34 yards out.
    » Ten scoring drives consisted of five plays or less.
    » Twelve of Houston's touchdowns this year have covered at least 30 yards. Eight different Houston players have crossed the goal line on the 12 30-plus yard TDs.

    PACKING HIS OWN SHOES
    » David Piland is in his third year with the Houston program. Piland started eight games as a true freshman in 2010 after Case Keenum and Cotton Turner went down with injuries. Piland threw for 2,641 yards with 24 touchdowns and 14 interceptions while leading Conference USA with 316.5 passing yards per game.
    » After Keenum was granted a sixth year of eligibility in 2011, Piland redshirted his second season on campus to save a year of eligibility.
    » Piland opened his career with 301 yards against Mississippi State before eclipsing the 300-yard mark three more times with games in 2010 against UCF (334), Southern Miss (467) and Texas Tech (441).
    » Against Louisiana Tech, Piland set the NCAA record for most attempts in a game without an interception as the sophomore finished the game 53-of-77 for 580 yards and four touchdowns. For his efforts, Piland was named the Conference USA Offensive Player of the Week.
    » Piland's 580 yards set a Robertson Stadium record as he set career highs in all four categories.
    » His 584 yards of total offense is the second-best single-game total in Conference USA history as were his completions, yards and touchdowns. His 77 attempts broke Case Keenum's conference record in the category. Piland's 53 completions are the fifth-best single-game mark in NCAA history as his 77 attempts rank sixth.
    » Piland threw for at least 300 yards for the sixth time of his career with 361 yards against Rice. The win was the first of his career when throwing 300 yards as Houston was 0-5 entering the game when Piland eclipsed the 300-yard mark.
    » Piland has nine career games of at least 300 yards and Houston is 3-6 in those nine games.
    » After throwing five interceptions and no touchdowns against UCLA, Piland responded with five touchdowns and one interception in the next three games. The sophomore now has 12 career games with multiple touchdowns.
    » Against SMU, Piland was knocked out of the game in the second quarter on a hit after he released the ball resulting in a personal foul penalty against the Mustangs. Prior to the injury, Piland was 15-of-25 with 180 yards and two interceptions.

    NCAA ACTIVE CAREER RECEPTIONS (RBs)
    1. 156 Charles Sims, Jr. Houston
    2. 114 Perry Jones, Sr. Virginia
    3. 101 Joseph Randle, Jr. Oklahoma State
    4. 80 James Washington, Sr. NC State
    5. 65 Cameron Marshall, Sr. Arizona St.
    CHARLES IN CHARGE
    » After splitting carries with Michael Hayes and Bryce Beall in 2011, junior running back Charles Sims is shouldering the load in 2012. Named to the Conference USA's first team last season, Sims led Houston with 821 yards on 110 carries. Sims ranked No. 4 nationally in yards per carry (7.5) and his 51 receptions ranked No. 2 nationally among running backs.
    » Sims leads all running backs nationally with 156 career receptions, 42 more than his closest competitor. The versatile back has multiple receptions in 28 of his last 29 games. The junior needs just two receptions to break into Houston's top-10 career receptions chart. Sims had 70 receptions in 2009 and 51 in 2011.
    » Sims has 14 career games with at least five receptions with a career high 11 on Sept. 8 against Louisiana Tech.
    » Carrying the ball, Sims has 17 career games with at least 10 carries and seven career 100-yard rushing games. Houston is 7-0 when Sims eclipses the century mark.
    » The junior ran for a career-best 210 yards against North Texas for his second career 200-yard game after finishing with 207 yards against Tulane last season on just 10 carries. Sims' effort against the Green Wave set a Houston program record with an average of 20.7 yards per carry while Sims averaged 10.0 yards per carry against the Mean Green with 21 attempts.
    » Sims had a career-high 32 touches (21 rushing, 11 receiving) vs. Louisiana Tech. His 11 receptions marked a career highs.
    » Sims was forced to miss the Cougars' game against UCLA as he dealt with a slight leg injury before returning against Rice with 158 yards and a career-best three rushing touchdowns on a career-high 24 rushing attempts.
    » In Houston's three-game winning streak, Sims totaled 501 rushing yards after finishing with 133 yards on a career-high 26 carries against UAB, his third straight game over 100 yards.
    » Sims now has 29 rushing touchdowns in his career, good for third on the Houston career rushing TDs chart. Sims also has eight career receiving TDs.
    » The SMU game also saw Sims record his third career 100-yard receiving effort as he finished the game with 114 yards and two touchdowns through the air on seven receptions.
    » With two receiving and two rushing touchdowns against SMU, Sims totaled 24 points, the sixth-most points by a Houston player in a single game.
    » Despite leaving the game early in the third quarter vs. UTEP, Sims earned his seventh career 100-yard game with 119 yards and a career-high three touchdowns on just 12 carries.
    » With his three rushing touchdowns against UTEP, Sims now has four games this season with multiple rushing touchdowns and 10 in his career.
    » With 11 rushing touchdowns this season, Sims is just four away from tying the Houston single-season record.
    » After leaving the East Carolina game in the first half with an injury, Sims has been ruled as doubtful for Saturday's game vs. Tulsa.

    A WHOLE CAST OF CHARACTERS
    » With five of the top six receivers from 2011 moved on, an array of receivers have been given the opportunity to replace the 354 receptions, 4,839 yards and 44 receiving touchdowns that the five accounted for in 2011.
    » Charles Sims actually led all returning players with 51 receptions for 575 yards and four touchdowns last season. Ronnie Williams led all returning wide receivers with 16 catches for 138 yards and one touchdown.
    » The 11 returning players who recorded a catch in 2011 combined for a total of 125 receptions for 1,462 yards and 10 touchdowns last season.
    » Levine's first signing class included five players at the wide receiver position: JUCO transfer Xavier Maxwell and freshmen Deontay Greenberry, Larry McDuffey, Devin Parks and Andrew Rodriguez.
    » So far this season 19 different Houston players have recorded a reception including eight players with at least 14 receptions and four with at least 33. At least seven different players have had a reception in each game including 11 players with a catch vs. UAB.

    Opponent No. of players with a reception No. w/receiving TDs Lead Receptions Lead Rec. Yards
    Texas State 8 1 Spencer (6) McDuffey (73)
    Louisiana Tech 10 4 Peace & Sims (11) Spencer (157)
    UCLA 7 0 Peace (10) Peace (103)
    Rice 7 2 McDuffey (8) McDuffey (100)
    North Texas 8 2 Peace (9) Peace (83)
    UAB 11 1 Ros (7) Ros (114)
    SMU 8 2 Sims & Spencer (7) Sims (114)
    UTEP 8 2 Three players (3) McDuffey (61)
    ECU 10 4 Roverts (5) Sweeney (93)


    » Five players have accounted for six 100-yard receiving efforts as Dewayne Peace (141 vs. Louisiana Tech, 103 at UCLA), Daniel Spencer (157 vs. Louisiana Tech), Larry McDuffey (100 vs. Rice), Shane Ros (114 vs. UAB) and Charles Sims (114 vs. SMU) have accomplished the feat.
    » Six different players had at least five receptions vs. Louisiana Tech: Peace (11), Sims (11), Spencer (7), Ronnie Williams (7), Rodriguez (5) and Greenberry (5). Five different players had at least 50 receiving yards in the game: Spencer (157), Peace (141), Rodriguez (82), Williams (68) and Sims (53).
    » Senior Isaiah Sweeney made his season debut against East Carolina after missing the first eight games with a leg injury and responded with a 34-yard touchdown grab on his first play. Sweeney would finish with a team-leading 93 yards, a career high, that was boosted with a career-long 49-yard catch in the second half.
    » After missing four games, Mark Roberts has made a name for himself in the past two games. Roberts did so on special teams first, blocking a field goal attempt vs. UTEP, before leading UH with five receptions at East Carolina, including his first career touchdown.

    BEHIND THE LINE
    » The Houston defense ranks fifth nationally in tackles for loss with an average of 7.8 per game and are led by linebackers Derrick Mathews and Phillip Steward who are sixth and 12th, respectively, nationally with 1.8 and 1.7 tackles for loss per game.
    » The two have a combined 14 sacks with Steward leading the team and all linebackers nationally with nine sacks. The 14 sacks represent more than 32 different NCAA teams.
    » Houston is 10th nationally with 3.1 sacks per game and second in Conference USA behind Tulsa (4 sacks per game).
    » Thirteen different Houston players have had their hand in on a sack while 18 have a tackle for loss.

    STEWARD OF THE DEFENSE
    » He may play on the defensive side of the ball but linebacker Phillip Steward claims to have the best hands on the team. If last year's defensive performance is any indication, the senior may be telling the truth as Steward finished the year with six interceptions, leading all linebackers nationally. His six interceptions were 11th nationally regardless of position as he helped the Houston defense to a total of 21 interceptions, a number that led the Conference USA and was third nationally.
    » Steward picked off his first pass of the season on a leaping effort against UAB and now has 10 on his career with an interception at East Carolina.
    » One of two defensive captains alongside D.J. Hayden, Steward leads all Houston players with 43 career starts, starting every game since the sixth matchup of the 2009 season.
    » Steward already has 14 tackles for loss this season including a career-high three stops behind the line against UAB. Steward surpassed his previous season best of nine tackles for loss (2010) in just five games.
    » The senior linebacker had a team-high 13 stops against UAB, his fifth game this season with double-digit tackles and 12th in his career, and is currently 11th nationally, and second in Conference USA, with an average of 10.5 tackles a game. Steward also ranks ninth nationally with 1.8 tackles for loss per game and with one sack per game.
    » After forcing only one fumble in his first three seasons at Houston, Steward now has four forced fumbles this season, recovering one of his own against UCLA.
    » Ranks ninth nationally with 341 career tackles.

    D.J.'S DILEMMA
    » Every cornerback wants interceptions but Houston's D.J. Hayden has a bit of a dilemma in that teams have not been throwing his way this season. Of the 362 pass attempts from Houston's opponents this year, just 45 attempts (12.4%) have gone Hayden's way. Of those 45 attempts, just 11 have been completed. The 11 represent just 5.0 percent of the total 216 completions from Houston opponents this season.
    » Hayden leads Houston with eight pass breakups and four interceptions including two touchdown returns of 97 yards vs. UTEP and 75 yards vs. SMU.
    » Facing off against Quinton Patton of Louisiana Tech, Hayden held the Biletnikoff Candidate, who had 21 receptions for 233 yards and four TDs vs. Texas A&M, to his lowest output of the season.

    Patton's Numbers	Receptions		Yards			Avg. per Catch	Touchdowns
    vs. Hayden		4			36			9.0		0
    Average vs. 8 others	8.9 (71 total)		120.5 (964 total)	13.6		1.4 (11 total)
    

    2012 Double Digit Tackle Efforts
    1. Phillip Steward 5
    Derrick Mathews 5
    3. Everett Daniels 4
      Trevon Stewart 4
    5. Chris Cermin 2
    6. Colton Valencia 1
      Zach McMillian 1
      D.J. Hayden 1
      Kent Brooks 1
    TACKLING MACHINES
    » With its opponents winning the time of possession battle, Houston defenders have been given the opportunity to pile up some numbers and several have done so as nine Cougars have racked up 24 double-digit tackle efforts.
    » Derrick Mathews and Phillip Steward lead the way with five double-digit tackle efforts this season. Steward leads the team with 12 career games with at least 10 tackles while Mathews is second with seven games.
    » Freshman Trevon Stewart leads all freshmen nationally with 94 tackles and is tied with Marshall's Dominick LeGrande as the nation's top defensive back in tackles.
    » Stewart posted a career high and Houston season best with 21 tackles at East Carolina. The 21 stops mark the seventh-best single-game total in Houston history.

    GREAT USE OF THE BYE WEEK
    » After starting the season 0-3, Houston's bye week the week of Sept. 22 could not have come at a better time. Not only were the Cougars winless but they suffered a number of injuries that needed time to heal. Following the bye week, Houston captured three consecutive wins by a combined score of 118-52 before falling to SMU.
    » After giving up 123 points in its first three games (an average of 41 points per game), the Houston defense tightened up in the next three games after the bye week, allowing just 52 points (an average of 17.3 points per game). Statistically, the defense actually improved in all categories except for scoring defense against SMU.
    » Scoring defense is one of several stat categories that Houston has improved on since the bye week...

    Stat Season Average (NCAA rank) Average prior to bye Average since bye Where UH would rank nationally using only after bye
    Total Offense 496.9 (13th) 469.0 511.7 No. 12 (National Leader - Baylor - 581.5)
    Scoring Offense 33.4 (42nd) 22.7 38.8 No. 17 (NL - Oregon - 54.3)
    Rushing Offense 181.3 (83rd) 122.3 174.7 No.50 (NL - Army - 375.4)
    Total Defense 470.8 (108th) 536.3 438.0 No. 91 (NL - Florida State - 227.1)
    Rushing Defense 181.3 (83rd) 246.7 148.7 No. 51 (NL - Stanford - 57.8)

    SPENDING TIME ON THE FIELD
    » While Houston ranks 108th in total defense after nine games, no other defense has spent more time on the field than Houston, as it ranks 120th in time of possession with an average of 24 minutes and 28 seconds.

    Team Defense TOP Third Down
    Houston 108th (470.8) 120th (24:28) 92nd (64-146, 43.8%)
    Toledo 107th (466.1) 29th (31:27) 39th (46-128, 35.9%)
    Ball State 106th (465.2) 16th (32.18) 74th (51-124, 41.1%)
    New Mexico State 105th (462.4) 82nd (29:03) 77th (52-125, 41.6%)
    Akron 104th (461.4) 110th (27:02) 30th (49-143, 34.3%)
    UNLV 103rd (460.1) 65th (29:45) 99th (66-144, 45.8%)

    TAKING IT AWAY
    » After forcing only one turnover in its first two games of the season, the Houston defense forced five turnovers in its trip to the Rose Bowl against UCLA. Cornerbacks D.J. Hayden and Zach McMillian each picked off Brett Hundley passes while Phillip Steward, Colton Valencia and Thomas Bates all recovered Bruin fumbles.
    » Houston forced one turnover against Rice, ending the Owls' opening drive as Steward forced a fumble that Radermon Scypion would recover.
    » The defense forced multiple turnovers for the fifth straight game with an interception and a fumble recovery at East Carolina. Phillip Steward picked off his 10th career pass against the Pirates while Everett Daniels notched the first fumble recovery of his career.
    » With Steward's interception at East Carolina, Houston has now picked off an opposing quarterback in five straight games.
    » Over the last five games, the Houston defense has forced 14 turnovers (10 interceptions, four fumbles) for an average of 2.8 takeaways per game.
    » Houston has forced five turnovers twice this season - versus UCLA and UTEP.
    » In Houston's four wins this season, the Cougars have turned the ball over six times while forcing 11 turnovers. In its five losses, it has given the ball away 21 times while forcing 10 turnovers.

    LEAVE IT TO LEONE
    » The nation's eighth-ranked punter with an average of 45.7 yards per punt, junior Richie Leone is handling Houston's punting duties for the third consecutive year.
    » This season Leone has 41 punts with 14 longer than 50 yards including a career-long 77-yard punt against Louisiana Tech, a 63-yard punt at SMU and a 62-yard kick versus Rice.
    » The junior has placed 14 punts inside the 20-yard line this season, including eight punts inside the 10-yard line, and opposing returners are averaging just 10.8 yards per return.
    » Leone has excelled at hanging the ball in the air as just 16 of his punts have been returned with opponents calling for 16 fair catches.
    » Leone also handles kickoff duties for Houston. Leone has 148 career kickoffs for 9,441 yards, an average of 63.8 yards per kick. Leone has 19 touchbacks on 54 kickoffs this season.
    » Facing off against the 2011 Ray Guy Award winner in Louisiana Tech's Ryan Allen, Leone bested the returning award winner with an average of 51.8 yards per punt to Allen's 42.1 yards per punt.
    » The 2011 Ray Guy Award semifinalist, Leone had 12 punts over 50 yards and 15 punts downed inside the 20-yard line last season.
    » Currently second on the Houston career punting average chart with a career average of 42.7 yards per punt, behind the record of 43.5 set by Chase Turner (2007-09).

    GET IT TO YOU IN A SNAP
    » Brandon Hartson returns for his fourth season as Houston's long snapper. The Fairfield, Texas, native did not have an errant snap the entire 2011 season which included 17 field goals, 51 punts and 92 PATs.
    » Hartson has 95 perfect snaps on the season this year (42 punts, 35 PATs, 18 FGA).

    WALKING ON
    » On the day of their final collegiate season opener, Houston head coach Tony Levine announced four senior walk-ons have been placed on scholarship prior to taking on Texas State. Ameen Behbahani, Chris Cermin, Crawford Jones and Braxton Welford all earned the honor after spending their previous seasons as walk-ons for the Houston program.
    » The walk-on program is critical for any college football team and the Houston program has recognized walk-on talent enough to award 17 scholarships in the past five years.
    » Houston's punt team currently features seven walk ons.

    RETURNING RIGHT BACK TO YOU
    » Combine the special teams background of Houston head coach Tony Levine, who has 13 special teams touchdown in four years as the unit's coordinator at Houston, and special teams coordinator Jamie Christian, whose Arizona State's special teams squad picked up seven return scores over the last two seasons, and hopes are high for Houston's return game.
    » Former Houston standout Patrick Edwards accounted for the majority of Houston punt returns in 2011 while classmate Tyron Carrier took back 30 of Houston's 41 kickoff returns last season. Six players accounting for eight kickoff returns totaling 105 yards return this season.
    » Dewayne Peace has handled punt returning duties for 11 of 13 returns with D.J. Hayden taking one punt return back 11 yards and Damian Payne with one return for one yards. Since Peace's suspension, Payne has taken over the duties.
    » Eight players have at least one kick return this season with freshman Ryan Jackson leading the way with seven returns for 125 yards (17.9 yards per return). Marcus Williams has taken over the duties as of late with six returns for 123 yards.
    » Jackson is one of three freshmen with a kick return this season as Larry McDuffey has three returns for 63 yards and Trevon Stewart has one for 16 yards. Redshirt-freshman Kenneth Farrow also has three kickoff returns for 67 yards.

    NCAA ACTIVE CAREER EXTRA POINTS
    1. 218 Matt Hogan, Sr. Houston
    2. 186 Dustin Hopkins, Sr. Florida State
    3. 184 Matt Nelson, Sr. Louisiana Tech
    4. 164 Aaron Jones, Jr. Baylor
    5. 158 Matt Weller, Sr. Ohio
    NCAA ACTIVE CAREER SCORING
    1. 446 Montee Ball, Sr., RB Wisconsin
    2. 429 Dustin Hopkins, Sr., K, Florida State
    3. 383 Matt Weller, Sr., K Ohio
    4. 377 Matt Hogan, Sr., K Houston
    EXTRA POINTS FOR HOGAN
    » Houston senior kicker Matt Hogan enters his final year with the program as one of its most prolific scorers. The Keller, Texas, native has a chance to become just the second player in program history to lead the team in scoring for three straight years. The only player to accomplish the feat? Kicker Ken Hebert from 1965-67.
    » Hogan holds the Conference USA and Houston records for career extra points with 218 along with the Conference USA career record for kick scoring with 377 points. Hogan is now 21st all-time on the NCAA charts for career points by a kicker and third among active kickers behind Florida State's Dustin Hopkins (429) and Ohio's Matt Weller (383).
    » With 377 career points, Hogan currently sits second on the Houston career scoring chart behind the 423 points behind former kicker Roman Anderson (1988-91).
    » On the program's career field goal chart, Hogan's 53 three-pointers are currently second behind Anderson's record of 70.
    » Hogan leads all active kickers nationally with his 218 career extra points.
    » The senior is fourth nationally among all positions with 377 career points trailing Wisconsin running back Montee Ball (446), Florida State kicker Dustin Hopkins (429) and Ohio kicker Matt Weller (377).
    » Hogan finished 2011 10th nationally among all positions with 130 points off 91 extra points and 13 field goals. The total was just one point away from tying the Houston single-season kick scoring record set by Anderson in 1989.
    » Hogan set the NCAA record for consecutive extra points made in a season in 2011 with 78 straight PATs. Hogan made every attempt in the season's first 11 games before recording his only miss of the season against Tulsa in the season's 12th game.
    » Houston's 39-17 win over UAB saw Hogan set Conference USA and school records with six field goals in the game including a career-long 52-yard kick that ranks second in length in program history. The senior also added three extra points to finish the day with a program-record 21 total points. For his efforts, he was named the Conference USA Special Teams Player of the Week and a Lou Groza Award Star of the Week.
    » With his six field goals against UAB, Hogan now has 17 career games with multiple field goals.
    » Hogan has three 50-yard field goals on the season, one each against Texas State, North Texas and UAB and now has four from 50 yards or further in his career. Prior to 2012, Hogan's lone 50-plus kick was a 51-yard game-winning field goal against Tulsa in 2009 in a game that saw him connect on all four field goal attempts. With his three conversions this year, Hogan is now 4-6 in his career from 50 yards or more.

    SWINGING THE FIELD
    Information on returns during the Tony Levine era (assistant and head coach) at Houston ...
    • Kickoff Returns -- 90 returns of 25 yards or more with eight touchdowns.
    • Punt Returns -- 18 returns of 15 or more yards with three touchdowns.
    • Interception Returns -- 31 returns of 10 or more yards with 10 touchdowns.
    • Fumble Returns -- three returns of 15 or more yards with one touchdown.

    Special Teams Tackles
      Player Kickoff Punt Total
    1. Shane Ros 13 3 16
    2. Brannon Beasley 10 3 13
    3. Kenneth Farrow 11 0 11
    4. Chris Cermin 5 2 7
    Braxton Welford 4 2 6
    6. Luke Stice 5 0 5
    Kent Brooks 5 0 5
    WE'VE GOT YOU COVERED
    » The special teams captains for Houston are selected weekly after grading of Houston's previous game is complete. UH's special teams captain for Saturday's game will be Marcus Williams.

    Special Teams Captains
    Texas State: Matt Hogan
    Louisiana Tech: Matt Hogan UTEP: Matt Hogan
    UCLA: Richie Leone
    Rice: Brandon Beasley, Braxton Welford
    North Texas: Brannon Beasley, Braxton Welford
    UAB: Matt Hogan, Shane RosSMU: Matt Hogan
    East Carolina: Richie Leone, Mark Roberts
    Tulsa: Marcus Williams

     

     

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