Football to Meet C-USA Rival UTEP in Regular-Season Home Finale
Nov. 21, 2008
Fans are reminded that Saturday's game recently was changed from earlier published schedules and publications and now will kick off at 2:30 p.m., Saturday.
The Cougars sit in the driver's seat to play host to the Conference USA Championship Game on Dec. 6 at Robertson Stadium. With back-to-back wins over UTEP and at Rice on Nov. 29 to close out the regular season, the Cougars will win the West Division and host the league's Championship Game for the second time in the last three years.
The Abilene, native has reeled off a school-record 11 consecutive 300-yard passing games dating back to last season and is poised to join David Klingler and Andre Ware as the only signal-callers with 4,000-yard seasons during their careers.
On the ground, freshman running back Bryce Beall leads the way with 857 yards and 10 touchdowns on 140 carries.
Senior tight end Mark Hafner leads the wideouts with 73 catches for 782 yards and 11 touchdowns, while redshirt freshman wide receiver Tyron Carrier is a close second with 60 catches for 735 yards and seven touchdowns.
Carrier was honored as the league's Special Teams Player of the Week after returning four kickoffs for 142 yards, including a 93-yard return for touchdown that stole the momentum from Tulsa only nine seconds before halftime.
Defensively, freshman linebacker Marcus McGraw leads all players with 75 tackles during his first collegiate season. Senior defensive end and All-America candidate Phillip Hunt is tops with 14.5 tackles for a loss of 89 yards, including 10 sacks.
Sophomore cornerback Loyce Means was honored as the C-USA Defensive Player of the Week after picking off three Tulsa passes last weekend, including a 69-yard return for a touchdown.
However, the Cougars can boast of the most recent success, entering this weekend's game as winners of the last two meetings against the Miners.
Saturday's game will be only the second all-time meeting at Robertson Stadium with the Cougars enjoying a 34-17 victory in the most recent contest.
Sophomore quarterback Trevor Vittatoe paces the Miner offense with 2,599 yards and 27 touchdowns on 196-of-332 passing. Junior wide receiver Jeff Moturi leads the way with 42 catches, while sophomore wide receiver Kris Adams is tops with 731 receiving yards and 10 touchdowns.
On the ground, sophomore running back Terrell Jackson is tops with 377 yards on 90 carries.
Defensively, Adam Vincent leads the Miners with 91 tackles, 40 more than his closest competitor on the team. Senior linebacker Nuuese Punimata paces the team with 5.5 sacks, including 2.5 tackles for a loss of 24 yards.
Donations still can be delivered until kickoff to the Star of Hope truck, which will be parked in the tailgate area just outside of Gate 7. An additional drop-off location will be located at the student entrance, which is now located at Gate 10 at the stadium.
The Athletics Department will match donations of five or more non-perishable food items with a discount voucher that will be good for discounted tickets or Cougar Authentic merchandise.
Supporting sponsors of the Campaign include Smart Financial Credit Union, Wells Fargo, New York Life, Irma's Southwest Grill, Fabenco, Tallowood Baptist Church, Houston First Baptist Church and Halliburton.
The Star of Hope Mission ministers to more than 900 people every day with food, clothing, shelter and structured recovery programs. The organization touches the lives of more than 7,000 homeless people each year, including more than 1,600 children.