Game Notes - Houston vs. Tulane

Nov. 21, 2012

» Game Notes Central

» In its first season under head coach Curtis Johnson, Tulane enters Saturday's matchup with a 2-9 overall record and a 2-5 Conference USA record.
» On the season Tulane ranks 100th nationally in scoring offense (21.8 points per game), 113th in total offense (313.2 yards per game), 37th in passing offense (273.9 yards per game), 119th in rushing offense (39.3 yards per game), 115th in scoring defense (38.3 points per game), 108th in total defense (472.7 yards per game), 114th in rushing defense (223.1 yards per game) and 80th in passing defense (249.6 yards per game).
» In its latest game, Tulane dropped a 28-23 home contest to East Carolina to extend its losing streak to three games. Tulane jumped out to a 7-0 lead but was outscored 28-9 until scoring a final TD with 1:22 left in the game. Tulane won the turnover battle as it intercepted two ECU passes while its offense did not give up the ball. The Pirates outgained the Green Wave in rushing yards, 172-9.

» Houston and Tulane have met 17 times with Houston owning a 13-4 series edge including the last nine meetings.
» Tulane last defeated Houston on Sept. 7, 2002, a 34-13 win at Robertson Stadium.
» Last season saw Houston claim a 73-17 road win as Charles Sims rushed for a career-high 207 yards, including touchdown runs of 72 and 52 yards. Houston continued its best start in school history with a 73-17 victory in a Thursday-night game that matched a season-high in points.
» Houston returns 12 players that started in the 2011 match up (five on offense, seven on defense).

» Houston fell to 0-4 on the road and out of bowl contention with a 44-41 loss at Marshall. After falling behind 38-17 with 2:29 left in the third quarter, Houston scored on touchdowns on three consecutive drives to knot the game up at 38. After the two teams traded field goals, Marshall's Justin Haig hit a game-winning 45-yard field goal with seven seconds left in the game.
» Crawford Jones made his first career start at quarterback and finished with five touchdowns and 316 yards with no interceptions on 31-of-44 passing. Xavier Maxwell and Shane Ros each hauled in two of Jones' five TD receptions.
» On the defensive side, seven Cougars finished with at least 11 tackles led by Phillip Steward with 16 stops. Adrian McDonald and Zach McMillian both picked off passes as Houston had an interception for the seventh straight game.

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.

School C-USA Record Overall Record
Tulsa 47-16 70-33
Houston 44-19 64-39
East Carolina 43-20 56-45
UCF 42-21 58-43
Southern Miss 36-27 57-44
Marshall 30-33 40-54
» Saturday marks the end of Houston's 17th and final year in Conference USA. Houston's first year came in 1996 as the Cougars recorded a 4-1 conference record. In its stint in C-USA, Houston is 67-60 entering Saturday's final game.
» Houston has never finished worse than third in the west division of Conference USA and a win Saturday would guarantee a third-place finish in the west while a loss and a Rice loss at UTEP would do the same.
» Houston will join the Big East next season and has been placed in the conference's west division with Boise State, Memphis, San Diego State, SMU and Temple. UCF, Cincinnati, Connecticut, Louisville, Rutgers and USF will make up the east division.
» C-USA title game participants in 2011, 2009 and 2006, Houston joins Tulsa (2012, 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 eight-year existence.
» Houston will end its Conference USA stint with the second-best league record since 2005 when the conference split into two divisions. Over the last eight years, Houston has accumulated a league record of 44-19 and an overall record of 64-39.

Player 2012 Streak Career
Ashworth (OL) 10 - 39
Sims (RB) 9 1 27
Cloud (OL) 11 25 25
Harper (OL) 11 25 25
Forsch (OL) 4 -- 18
Piland (QB) 10 - 18
Oragwu (OL) 10 8 10
Greenberry (WR) 10 9 10
R. Williams (WR) 7 -- 8
Spencer (WR) 7 -- 7
Peace (WR) 5 -- 6
Redman (OL) 7 5 7
McDuffey (WR) 4 1 4
Maxwell (WR) 4 4 4
Ros (WR) 3 3 3
Roberts (WR) 2 - 2
D. Sims (OL) 2 1 2
Farrow (RB) 2 - 2
Jackson (RB) 1 -- 1
Jones (QB) 1 1 1
Player 2012 Streak Career
Steward (LB) 11 46 46
Riser (DL) 8 6 26
Mathews (LB) 11 25 25
McMillian (CB) 11 15 24
Hayden (CB) 9 -- 21
King (DL) 6 -- 16
Miller (DL) 2 -- 15
Brooks (S) 4 3 14
Braswell (DL) 2 -- 13
Scypion (DL) 10 5 11
Valencia (S) 6 - 10
Daniels (LB) 10 3 10
Stewart (DB) 9 9 9
Mbu (DL) 8 - 8
Allen (DL) 6 2 6
Bates (CB) 2 2 5
McDonald (DB) 2 1 2
» 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, 12 sophomores, 14 juniors and 10 seniors.
» Nine true freshmen have played this season for Houston including 27 starts.
» Four of the top 10 receivers are true freshmen while three of the top four rushers are sophomores or freshmen.
» Trevon Stewart leads the team and all freshmen nationally with 118 tackles.

» 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).

» Houston has taken advantage of playing its home games inside Robertson Stadium with a record of 35-9 (.795) 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.
» Houston is 71-44-1 (.616) all-time in Robertson Stadium.

» Saturday marks the final game in Robertson Stadium history 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.

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.

NCAA Records set in La 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.

(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
(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)
» The 2012 senior class enters the weekend a victory away from moving into seventh 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.
» 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 .653 with a record of 32-17

» Injuries have hit the Houston program hard this season as members of the team's two deep have missed a combined 50 games this season due to injuries entering the weekend.
» Eight Houston players from the two deep have suffered season-ending injuries and have combined to miss 27 games prior to Saturday - WR Isaiah Sweeney (10), WR Alex Rodriguez (9), DE Desmond Pulliam (3), CB D.J. Hayden (2), WR Daniel Spencer (1), OL Jacolby Ashworth (1), OL Ralph Oragwu (1) and WR Shane Ros.
» Perhaps the most valuable player for Houston, RB Charles Sims has missed two whole games this season (UCLA, Tulsa) but has missed the second half of three games this season with injuries (UTEP, East Carolina, Marshall).

» Since 2006, no team in college football has racked up more offensive yards than Houston who has 47,724 yards in that time.

Rank Team Yards (2006-) Average (06-11) 2012 Average NCAA Rank
1. Houston 47,724 7,093 469.5 26th
2. Oregon 43,752 6,287 548.3 4th
3. Oklahoma 43,262 6,373 503.2 11th
4. Nevada 43,251 6,275 509.5 10th
5. Boise State 41,106 6,143 386.0 81st

» Three Houston seniors entered the 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.
» Both Sweeney and Williams received their bachelor's in 2011 and working on masters in human resource development.
» Three additional Cougars complete their degree requirements this December: Chris Cermin, Crawford Jones and Zeke Riser.

» Following the season-opening loss to Texas State, 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.
» 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.

» 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 10 games since taking over the Houston offensive play-calling duties, Houston has totaled 4,858 yards of total offense for an average of 485.3 yards per game, which would rank 17th 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%)
Tulsa (L) 7 262 yards 184 yards 78 yards 6-17 (35.3%)
Marshall (L) 41 430 yards 325 yards 105 yards 5-17 (29.4%)
Avg. under Bush 33.6 485.3 yards 337.5 yards 147.8 yards 72-130 (43.9%)

» 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 120 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 39 career starts and a streak of 31 consecutive starts that came to an end last week as the senior was held out with a leg injury. 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.
» With Ashworth out, DeAnthony Sims made the switch from the backup right tackle position to right guard.
» 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 16 sacks on the year which ranks second in Conference USA. The group also ranks second in the conference in having given up 51 tackles for loss in 11 games this season.
» In Houston's four wins, the line has given up just one sack (UAB).

» Of Houston's 58 offensive scoring drives this season, 27 have come in under two minutes. Nine of those 27 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.
» Thirteen scoring drives have consisted of five plays or less.
» Thirteen of Houston's touchdowns this year have covered at least 30 yards. Nine different Houston players have crossed the goal line on the 13 30-plus yard TDs.

» Senior walk-on quarterback Crawford Jones made his first career start last week against Marshall and responded with a 31-of-44 performance for 316 yards and five touchdowns against no interceptions, all career highs. His five TDs were a Houston season best and tied David Klingler for the most by a Houston quarterback in his starting debut. His 31 completions were the best ever by a Houston QB in his starting debut.
» Prior to Saturday, Jones most extensive action came in the second half of this year's SMU game when starter David Piland was knocked out of the game with a concussion. Jones finished the game with 252 yards and three touchdowns on 17-of-33 passing with two interceptions.
» Jones also threw UH's lone TD vs. Tulsa, a 16-yard strike to Ryan Jackson as he finished 3-of-8 for 36 yards and one interception.
» Jones has played in 30 career games for the Cougars as the team's holder on extra points and field goals.

» 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.
» 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. His 580 yards set a Robertson Stadium record as he set career highs in all four categories. For his efforts, Piland was named the Conference USA Offensive Player of the Week.
» 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 were the fifth-best single-game mark in NCAA history as his 77 attempts rank sixth.
» 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.

» 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 158 career receptions, 32 more than his closest competitor. He has multiple receptions in 29 of his last 30 games. The junior is now tied for 10th on Houston's 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.
» 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 three rushing touchdowns against UTEP, Sims has four games this season with multiple rushing TDs and 10 in his career.
» With 11 rushing TDs this year, Sims is four away from tying the Houston single-season record. 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.
» After leaving the East Carolina game in the first half with an injury, Sims missed the following game vs. Tulsa and left the Marshall game early in the second quarter. MOST VALUABLE PLAYER?
» A case could be made for Charles Sims as Houston's and Conference USA's Most Valuable Player when you compare Houston's offensive stats when Sims plays to when Sims is held out.
» Sims has missed two full games due to injuries (UCLA, Tulsa) while missing the second half of three games (UTEP, ECU, Marshall) due to injuries. Combined, Sims has missed seven of Houston's 22 halves this season (31.8%).
» In its two full games without Sims, Tulsa has scored just two touchdowns - an 86-yard David Piland run with 4:54 left against UCLA and a Ryan Jackson TD reception from Crawford Jones with 7:08 left against Tulsa. In both instances, Houston was trailing its opponent by at least 30 points.

» Total Houston offensive numbers:

Total Houston Offensive Numbers
Points Total Offense Rushing Yards Rushes YPC
With Sims 274 3,917 1,312 264 5.0
Without Sims 75 1,262 281 90 3.1

Total Houston Offensive Numbers Per Half
Points Total Offense Rushing Yards Rushing Attempts
With Sims 18.3 261.1 87.5 17.6
Without Sims 10.7 180.3 40.1 12.9

» 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 19 receptions and four with at least 37. 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 Roberts (5) Sweeney (93)
Tulsa 8 1 Greenberry (5) Greenberry (49)
Marshall 10 3 Greenberry (6) Maxwell (62)

» 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, before leaving a game with an injury that kept him out of the Tulsa game.

» The Houston defense ranks 16th nationally in tackles for loss with an average of 7.3 per game and are led by linebackers Phillip Steward and Derrick Mathews who are eighth and 12th, respectively, nationally with 1.64 and 1.55 tackles for loss per game.
» The two, along with middle linebacker Everett Daniels, have a combined 21 sacks with Steward leading the team and all linebackers nationally with 10 sacks. The 21 sacks represent more than 63 different NCAA teams.
» Houston is 10th nationally with 3.0 sacks per game and second in Conference USA behind Tulsa.
» Thirteen different Houston players have had their hand in on a sack while 20 have a tackle for loss.

» 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.
» A defensive captain, Steward leads all Houston players with 45 career starts, starting every game since the sixth game of the 2009 season.
» Steward already has 18.5 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 game-best 16 stops at Marshall, his seventh game this season with double-digit tackles and the 14th in his career. He is currently ninth nationally and third in Conference USA, with an average of 10.9 tackles a game. Steward also ranks eighth nationally with 1.6 tackles for loss per game and 12th nationally with 0.9 sacks per game.
» After forcing only one fumble in his first three seasons at Houston, Steward now has five forced fumbles this season, recovering one of his own against UCLA.
» Steward ranks sixth nationally with 370 career tackles.

» A defensive captain, senior D.J. Hayden's collegiate career was cut short when he suffered a tear of the inferior vena cava, the large vein that carries blood from the lower half of the body back to the heart, in a collision with a teammate during practice on Nov. 6. The injury, more commonly seen in high-speed vehicle injuries, is 95 percent fatal in the field. Hayden surprised everyone when he was discharged from the hospital on Nov. 12, just six days after suffering the injury and emergency surgery. He is now resting and recovering at home.
» Prior to Hayden's injury, just 45 of the 362 pass attempts (12.4%) from Houston's opponents had gone Hayden's way. Of the 45 attempts, just 11 were completed. The 11 represented just 5.0 percent of the total 216 completions from Houston opponents with Hayden in the lineup.
» 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
Avg. per game vs. rest	9.0 (90 total)	126.7 (1,267 total)	14.1		1.1 (11 total)

» While Houston ranks 115th in total defense, 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 29 seconds.

Team Defense TOP Third Down
Houston 115th (491.6) 120th (24:29) 98th (84-185, 45.4%)
Arizona 114th (488.0) 105th (27:38) 83rd (74-173, 42.8%)
Eastern Michigan 113th (485.6) 94th (28:33) 112th (75-156, 48.1%)
Miami (FL) 112th (477.6) 118th (25:54) 87th (66-153, 43.1%)
Miami (OH) 111th (477.2) 61st (29:57) 103rd (80-155, 46.2%)
Tennessee 110th (476.7) 111th (27:06) 41st (63-170, 37.1%)

» 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 35 double-digit tackle efforts.
» Derrick Mathews and Phillip Steward lead the way with seven double-digit tackle efforts this season. Steward leads the team with 14 career games with at least 10 tackles while Mathews is second with nine games.
» Freshman Trevon Stewart leads all freshmen nationally with 118 tackles and is second to 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.

Game		Double Digit Tacklers					
Texas State	Mathews (14), Steward (14), Cermin (13), Daniels (10)
Louisiana Tech	Mathews (13), Steward (12), Cermin (12), McMillian (11), Hayden (10)
UCLA		Stewart (16), Steward (13)
Rice		Stewart (11)
North Texas	Steward (12), Daniels (12), Mathews (11), Valencia (11)
UAB		Steward (13)
SMU		Daniels (10)
UTEP		Stewart (15), Daniels (13)
East Carolina	Stewart (21), Mathews (16), Brooks (11), Daniels (10)
Tulsa		Daniels (18), Steward (13), Stewart (12), Mathews (11)
Marshall	Steward (16), Daniels (13), Mathews (13), Stewart (12), McMillian (11), Brooks (11), McDonald (11)

» 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 sixth straight game with two interceptions against Marshall. Zach McMillian picked off his fourth pass of the season while true freshman Adrian McDonald returned his second career interception for 33 yards against the Thundering Herd.
» With the interceptions at Marshall, Houston has now picked off an opposing quarterback in seven straight games.
» Over the last seven games, the Houston defense has forced 18 turnovers (13 interceptions, five fumbles) for an average of 2.6 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 seven losses, it has given the ball away 26 times while forcing 14 turnovers.

» The nation's seventh-ranked punter with an average of 45.6 yards per punt, junior Richie Leone is handling Houston's punting duties for the third consecutive year.
» This season Leone has 55 punts with 19 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 17 punts inside the 20-yard line this season, including nine punts inside the 10-yard line, and opposing returners are averaging just 10.2 yards per return.
» Leone has excelled at hanging the ball in the air as just 20 of his punts have been returned with opponents calling for 21 fair catches.
» Leone also handles kickoff duties for Houston. Leone has 157 career kickoffs for 9,972 yards, an average of 63.5 yards per kick. Leone has 22 touchbacks on 63 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 43.0 yards per punt, behind the record of 43.5 set by Chase Turner (2007-09).

» 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 118 perfect snaps on the season this year (56 punts, 41 PATs, 21 FGA).

» 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.

» 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 four return for 11 yards.
» Twelve players have at least one kick return this season with freshman Ryan Jackson leading the way with 13 returns for 285 yards (21.9 yards per return). Marcus Williams has seen an increase of kick return 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 128 yards.

1. 224 Matt Hogan, Sr. Houston
2. 197 Matt Nelson, Sr. Louisiana Tech
3. 193 Dustin Hopkins, Sr. Florida State
4. 173 Aaron Jones, Jr. Baylor
5. 163 Matt Weller, Sr. Ohio
1. 470 Montee Ball, Sr., RB Wisconsin
2. 448 Dustin Hopkins, Sr., K, Florida State
3. 394 Matt Weller, Sr., K Ohio
4. 389 Matt Hogan, Sr., K Houston
» 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 224 along with the Conference USA career record for kick scoring with 389 points. Hogan is now 16th all-time on the NCAA charts for career points by a kicker and third among active kickers behind Florida State's Dustin Hopkins (448) and Ohio's Matt Weller (394).
» With 389 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 55 three-pointers are currently second behind Anderson's record of 70.
» Hogan leads all active kickers nationally with his 224 career extra points.
» The senior is fourth nationally among all positions with 389 career points trailing Wisconsin running back Montee Ball (470), Florida State kicker Dustin Hopkins (448) and Ohio kicker Matt Weller (394).
» 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 two field goals at Marshall, Hogan now has 18 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.

Information on returns during the Tony Levine era (assistant and head coach) at Houston ...
• Kickoff Returns -- 94 returns of 25 yards or more with eight touchdowns.
• Punt Returns -- 18 returns of 15 or more yards with three touchdowns.
• Interception Returns -- 32 returns of 10 or more yards with 10 touchdowns.
• Fumble Returns -- three returns of 15 or more yards with one touchdown.

» 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 Richie Leone.

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



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