Cougars Prepare for Regular Season Finale at Texas Tech

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    Nov. 22, 2010

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    GAME 12
    Houston (5-6, 4-4 C-USA) at Texas Tech (6-5, 3-5 Big 12)
    Nov. 27, 2010 // Jones AT&T Stadium (60,454)
    7 p.m. CT // Lubbock, Texas // FSN

    RADIO BROADCAST
    The Houston/ISP Radio Network will carry the radio broadcast with its pregame show beginning at 6:00 p.m. CT. Calling the action will be Tom Franklin (play-by-play), Ted Pardee (color analyst) and Chuck Brown (sideline). The broadcast can be heard on 790-AM KMBE and six affiliates (see page 13 of game notes for list of affiliates). The postgame show lasts 30-minutes after game conclusion.

    TELEVISION BROADCAST
    This Saturday's game at Texas Tech will be nationally televised by Fox Sports Net. Handling the play-by-play is Bill Land along with analyst Joel Klatt and sideline reporter Emily Jones.

    THE SERIES
    • This weekend's contest will be the 30th meeting between Texas Tech and Houston and the Cougars lead the series, 18-10-1 and 8-5 in Lubbock, Texas.
    • Head coach Kevin Sumlin is 1-0 vs. the Red Raiders. Houston is 14-8-1 vs. Texas Tech during the time the two teams were a part of the Southwest Conference.
    • The 2009 game vs. Texas Tech was a thrilling 29-28 victory for the Cougars. UH scored 16 second-half points, including a 4-yard touchdown run by Case Keenum with 49 seconds left in the game to secure the win. Tyron Carrier had 104 receiving yards and James Cleveland added another 85 with a touchdown catch. The trio of Carrier, Cleveland and Patrick Edwards combined for 276 receiving yards. Bryce Beall led the team on the ground with 75 yards and a touchdown. Defensivley, Marcus McGraw posted a then career-high 19 tackles.
    Series Record Overall: Houston leads 18-10-1
    Series Record at Lubbock: Houston leads 8-5
    Series Record at Home: Houston leads 10-3-1
    First Meeting: Oct. 6, 1951; Houston 6, Texas Tech 0 (Rice Stadium)
    Last Meeting: Sept. 26, 2009; Houston 29, Texas Tech 28 (Robertson Stadium)

    FOR OPENERS
    • With his start vs. Southern Miss, junior linebacker Marcus McGraw recorded his 38th career start, which is the most of any active Cougar, passing Case Keenum's 37 starts. He also hit the 100-tackle mark for the third straight season.
    • True freshman quarterback David Piland threw for a career-best 467 yards, which also was the most by a quarterback in M.M. Roberts Stadium history. He passed 2,200 for the season. He has thrown for at least 250 yards in six of seven games (233, at SMU, Oct. 23) to open his collegiate career. He has passed for 300 yards or more in three games.
    • Starting linebacker Sammy Brown has come on strong in the past six games, recording 15.5 tackles for a loss of 63 yards and 6.5 quarterback sacks (-39 yards). He leads the league in tackles for loss and ranks sixth in the NCAA. His 6.5 sacks are fifth in Conference USA and 29th nationally.
    • Junior wide receiver Patrick Edwards is 77 receiving yards shy of recording his second straight 1,000-yard season. He has 61 receptions this year for a 15.1 yard per reception average. Entering this season, Edwards had scored 10 receiving touchdowns and in this year alone he has caught 13 touchdown passes.
    • Junior running back Bryce Beall is 178 yards short of posting his second career 1,000-yard rushing season. In 2008, he rushed for 1,247 yards as a freshman.
    • With his two rushing touchdowns at SMU, Beall broke the school career record for rushing touchdowns with 32, topping Jackie Battle's 31 scored from 2003-06. Beall also has 12 rushing touchdowns for the season which is three away from the school single-season record of 15.
    • Houston ranks in the top-12 nationally in total, passing and scoring offense. With 39.3 points per game, UH is 10th in the NCAA in scoring, while 316.9 passing yards per contest is seventh. The UH total offense is ranked 12th with 471.0 yards per game.
    • In Houston's five wins, the Cougars have outscored their opponents by an average of 30.6 points. UH won by 40 in the season opener vs. Texas State, by 30 over UTEP, were 19-point winners over Tulane, won by 25 at SMU and defeated Memphis by 39.
    • UH has started true freshmen quarterbacks the past eight games since the season-ending injury of senior Case Keenum -- David Piland has started the past seven games, and Terrance Broadway had one start against Tulane. Until the fourth game of the season, UH had not started a true freshman quarterback since Kevin Kolb in 2003.
    • Twelve (12) true-freshmen have played for the Cougars this season opener -- TE Kenneth Bibbins, Jr., QB Terrance Broadway, DB Kent Brooks, DL Jeremiah Farley, DB Aaron Johnson, DB D.J. Jones, WR Darian Lazard, P Richie Leone, DB Zach McMillan, LB Efrem Oliphant, QB David Piland and LB Austin Wilson.
    • Seven of UH's 11 FBS opponents are now bowl eligible -- Mississippi State (8-3), UCF (8-3), Southern Miss (8-3), Tulsa (8-3), SMU (6-5), Texas Tech (6-5) and UTEP (6-6).
    • Houston football is in its 65th season of the program.
    • With last year's trip to the Air Force Bowl, the Cougars have been to a school-record five straight bowl games and six bowl games in seven seasons.
    • UH will be televised in 11 out of its 12 games this season. During the Sumin era, the Cougars have been on television 22 times in 26 games.
    • Houston is the only FBS team in the NCAA with a minority head coach, offensive coordinator and defensive coordinator.

    CONFERENCE LEADERS
    Houston or Cougar individuals lead the conference in:
    - Patrick Edwards, WR, touchdown scoring (1.27 per game)
    - Patrick Edwards, WR, punt returns (16.5 per return)
    - Sammy Brown, LB, tackles for loss (1.68 per game)
    - Team, Scoring Offense (39.3 ppg)
    - Team, Punt Return Average (15.2 per return)
    - Team, Third-Down Conversions (52.7 pct)

    LEADING THE WAY
    • Head coach Kevin Sumlin is in his third season at Houston in 2010. In only two-plus seasons, the Cougar coach has established himself as one of the nation's premier collegiate leaders, compiling a 23-15 (.605) record and back-to-back bowl appearances.
    • He is the only head coach in school history to lead the Cougars to bowl appearances in each of his first two seasons.
    • With one more win he will tie Harold Lahar and Kim Helton's 24 wins, which is the fourth highest win total in school history.
    • In June, Sumlin was honored by the Black Coaches and Administrators as its Fritz Pollard Male Coach of the Year.
    • Sumlin has an undefeated record vs. ranked opponents with wins over No. 5 Oklahoma State in 2009 and over No. 23 East Carolina and No. 24 Tulsa in 2008.

    OFFENSIVE NOTES
    • Despite a loss to UCF, UH was just the second team to bypass the 30-point mark against the Knight's defense this season. Only East Carolina has scored more against the Knights in the 49-35 UCF victory. The Houston offense posted the most rushing, passing and total offense on the UCF defense this season. UH had 198 yards rushing, 334 yards passing and 532 yards of total offense. • The UH offense had a 300-yd passer (David Piland, 334 yards), 100-yd rusher (Michael Hayes, 110 yards) and a 100-receiver (Patrick Edwards, 162 yards) against UCF, marking the first time for the Cougars since UTEP in 2008.
    • Houston ranks 10th nationally in scoring offense with 39.3 points per game and leads Conference USA. The Cougars have scored 40 or more points in six of 11 games this season. In their five wins this season, the Cougars have won by a margin of 30.6 points. • UH's total offense average of 471.0 ranks No. 12 in the NCAA and its 316.9 passing yards per game are seventh. In Coach Sumlin's career at UH, the offense has averaged 536.4 yards, 388.9 passing yards and 40.8 points. In 38 games under Sumlin, the team has scored 1,551 points.

    Year   Games   Total Offense (Avg.)   Passing (Avg.)   Points (Avg.)
    2008    13       7,316 (562.8)         5,221 (401.6)    528 (40.6)
    2009    14       7,887 (563.4)         6,072 (433.7)    591 (42.2)
    2010    11       5,181 (471.0)         3,486 (316.9)    432 (39.3)
    Total   38      20,384 (536.4)        14,779 (388.9)  1,551 (40.8)
    
    • The UH offense has had only 18 three-and-outs all season, which is 12.9 percent of the 139 offensive drives this year.
    Patrick Edwards has 23 career touchdown receptions, which ranks tied for fifth in the Houston record books. He moves to third on the list with two more scoring catches.
    • The Cougars are 84.0 percent in the red zone this season, scoring 46 times in 55 tries. Among those scores are 34 touchdowns and 12 field goals.
    • Houston leads the conference and ranks third in the NCAA in third-down conversions at 52.5 percent (78-of-148).
    • Four different Houston quarterbacks have completed passes to 14 different receivers this season.
    • Junior running back Bryce Beall was named the Conference USA's Offensive Player of the Week on Sept. 13 for his 195-yard rushing performance in the league-opening 54-24 win over UTEP. In the game, he averaged 10.3 yards per carry and scored three touchdowns.
    • Edwards and Beall rank 1-2 in the conference in touchdown scoring with 7.8 and 6.5 points per game, respectively. Edwards has 14 touchdowns and Beall has 12 in 11 games and Edwards has an added two-point conversion to his total. Hayes follows up with 10 touchdowns, which ranks eighth.
    • True freshman quarterback David Piland threw for a career-best 467 yards, which also is the most by a quarterback in M.M. Roberts Stadium history. He has thrown for at least 250 yards in six of seven games (233, at SMU, Oct. 23) to open his collegiate career. He has passed for 300 yards or more in three games. He has thrown at least one touchdown pass in seven straight games to open his collegiate career. He recorded his first game with 50-plus yard passes vs. Southern Miss with his 68-yarder to J. Johnson and 54-yarder to K. Johnson. He also has led the UH offense on two 99-yard drives, the longest of the seasons -- vs. Rice, which ended in a 49-yard touchdown pass to Edwards and against Memphis culminating in a 33-yard TD to James Cleveland.
    • In seven starts, Piland has thrown 22 touchdown passes and averaged 314.3 passing yards per contest. His numbers are good enough to rank No. 1 in Conference USA in passing yardage and second in passing efficiency (he doesn't have enough games played to qualify).

    GROUND SURGE
    Hayes and Beall have worked as a two-headed tailback and combined have posted 1,367 yards in 11 games, 124.2 yards per game on 283 carries, averaging 4.8 yard per carry. The pair have scored 20 touchdowns. Beall also topped 2,000 yards rushing for his career and now ranks sixth on the school's all-time rushing list as a junior. He needs 38 yards to move up to fifth.

    Beall put up a career-best 195 yards against UTEP, and had 100-yard games vs. Tulane and at Rice. Beall ranks fifth in the league 74.7-yard average and is averaging 5.4 yards per carry. Hayes rushed for 110 yards vs. UCF, after posting 123 the previous week at Memphis. The back-to-back 100-yard rushing performances marks the first time a Cougar running back has achieved the feat since the 2008 season when Beall racked up 107 yards against UAB (Oct. 9) and 105 yards at SMU (Oct. 18). Hayes has eight rushing touchdowns, ranking second in Conference USA in touchdown scoring.

    Against UTEP, UH recorded 308 rushing yards, marking the first time the Cougars have topped 300 on the ground since Nov. 24, 2007 vs. Texas Southern (377). The Cougars also went over 200 yards rushing at Memphis with its 248-yard performance.

    DEFENSIVE CHANGES
    Sumlin made changes to the defensive coaching staff during the offseason, bringing in long-time professional and college coach Brian Stewart to serve as defensive coordinator. Stewart spent the past nine years in the NFL ranks, including a three-year stint as defensive coordinator for the Dallas Cowboys. He brought with him the 3-4 style, which has differed from the 4-3 run by the Cougars in Sumlin's first two seasons.

    QUICK DRAW McGRAW
    Junior linebacker Marcus McGraw is in his third year as a starter and leads the team in tackles for the second straight year with 9.10 per game. In 2009 he averaged 11.1 per game and ranked fifth nationally and led Conference USA. This season, he has 100 tackles, ranking fifth in the league, along with two sacks, one interception and two forced and three recovered fumbles including one 33-yard return. He ranks second in the conference in fumbles recovered. He topped 300 in career tackles and now has 359 in three seasons, an average of 119.7 per year. He reached 100 tackles vs. Southern Miss, making the third straight season over the century mark.

    DEFENSIVE NOTES
    • With his start vs. Southern Miss, junior linebacker Marcus McGraw recorded his 38th career start, which is the most of any active Cougar, passing Case Keenum's 37 starts.
    • Starting linebacker Sammy Brown has come on strong in the past six games, recording 15.5 tackles for a loss of 63 yards and 6.5 quarterback sacks (-39 yards). He led the team with 12 tackles at USM, 11 stops vs. UCF, eight tackles in Houston's win over SMU and had eight against Rice. He leads the league in tackles for loss and ranks sixth in the NCAA. His 6.5 sacks are fifth in Conference USA and 29th nationally.
    • Houston's new aggressive play has paid off through 11 games with 74 tackles for loss and 20 quarterback sacks. The Cougars are averaging 6.7 tackles for loss per game after only posting 4.6 per contest in 2009. The Cougar defense tallied the season's most tackles for loss vs. UCF, recording 11 for a loss of 24 yards.
    • Nine different UH player have recorded 12 interceptions this season. Loyce Means has a team high three, Phillip Steward has two and Jeremy Smith, Matt Nicholson, Nick Saenz, Jamal Robinson, Marcus McGraw, Kent Brooks and Jacky Candy each have one.
    • The Houston defense has forced 18 turnovers in 11 games, six fumbles and 12 interceptions. The Cougars have scored 58 points off turnovers. The offense has scored seven times off turnovers, and the defense has returned two interceptions for touchdowns. Senior linebacker Matt Nicholson had an interception return 42 yards for a touchdown vs. Texas State and senior corner Loyce Means had a 42-yard return vs. Tulane.
    • Senior cornerback Loyce Means was named the Conference USA's Defensive Player of the Week on Sept. 27 for his two-interception performance in the Cougars' 42-23 win over Tulane. Leading by five points, Means' two picks led to two scores, including his own 42-yard touchdown return, to ensure the win.

    AGAINST OTHER CONFERENCES
    Houston takes on Texas Tech in the final non-conference game of the season. UH is 1-2 vs. foes outside of Conference USA this season, bringing head coach Kevin Sumlin's non-conference regular season record to 6-5 (7-6 including bowl games) in his three years at UH. Outside of Houston's eight conference games, the Cougars battled schools from the Pac-10 (UCLA), SEC (Mississippi State), Big 12 (Texas Tech) and Southland Conference (Texas State).

    SEASON-ENDING INJURIES
    Senior starting quarterback Case Keenum will miss the remainder of 2010 with a season-ending torn ACL knee injury. Additionally, junior back-up Cotton Turner suffered a fractured clavicle also resulting in the end of his play this year. Both quarterbacks sustained injuries in UH's game vs. UCLA on Sept. 18. Keenum left at the four-minute mark of the second quarter, while Turner went down at 4:09 in the third quarter.

    The Cougars are also without two defensive players. Fifth-year senior linebacker Matt Nicholson went down with a season-ending knee injury vs. UCF. Defensive linemen Radermon Scypion suffered a broken leg and is out for the season.

    EDWARDS DEFYING THE ODDS
    Houston's leading 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 leads the team with 61 receptions for 923 yards. He has four times posted 100-yard games, at Southern Miss, vs. UCF, at Rice and vs. UTEP. Against Rice he topped the 2,000-career receiving yard mark, becoming one of only nine Cougar receivers to hit that milestone. He has 13 tocuhdown receptions this season, which ranks fifth on the school's single-season list. He ranks third in the conference in receiving yards and sixth in receptions per game.

    He also ranks sixth nationally and leads the conference in punt returns with a 16.5 per return average. Against Memphis, he took one 74 yards for a touchdown, the first of his career.

    SPECIAL TEAMS NOTES
    • Through 11 games, sophomore placekicker Matt Hogan is 12-for-15 on field goal attempts. His 12 field goals combined with 52 extra points made gives him 88 points scored for the season, which is an average of 8.0 per game. That average ranks third in Conference USA in total scoring and in kick scoring. He has also made 24-of-27 field goals in his career at Houston, for 88.9 percent.
    • Senior tight end Wesley Scourten has blocked four field goal attempts and one extra point this season. His block of a field goal at Southern Miss was picked up and returned 89 yards by Tyron Carrier for a touchdown. It is the first for the Cougars in doucmented history. Scourten also blocked two field goals and a punt in 2008. He missed the 2009 season with an injury. He now has seven blocks for his career, which is a school record.
    • The Houston special teams have blocked five kicks this season, bringing the total under Coach Sumlin to 16 in two-plus seasons.
    • True-freshman punter Richie Leone has averaged 42.1 yards on 30 punts, including 11 inside the 20 yard line and six over 50 yards. Against Tulane, he averaged 50.5 yards with punts of 63, 54 and 51 yards.
    • Junior receiver Patrick Edwards leads the conference and ranks sixth nationally with his 16.5-yard average on punt returns. He has returned 14 punts in 10 games, including a 74-yard return for a touchdown vs. Memphis, his first career return.

    CATCHES STREAK
    Junior receiver Tyron Carrier has caught a pass in every game of his college career, 38, which ranks third among active receivers in the NCAA.
    48 - Scotty McKnight (Colorado, Sr.)
    42 - Dwayne Harris (East Carolina, Sr.)
    38 - Tyron Carrier (Houston, Jr.); Jock Sanders (West Virginia, Sr.)
    37 - Damaris Johnson (Tulsa, Jr.); Greg Salas (Hawaii, Sr.)
    36 - Ryan Broyles (Oklahoma, Jr.); Kendall Wright (Baylor, Jr.); Kris Adams (UTEP, Sr.)
    35 - Kito Poblah (Central Michigan, Sr.)

    TAKE IT TO THE HOUSE
    As talented as junior Tyron Carrier has been as a wide receiver, he is just as impressive with his abilities on special teams. With his 91-yard kickoff return for a touchdown at SMU, Carrier recorded his sixth touchdown off kickoffs. In 2009, Carrier led the Cougars and the nation with four kickoff returns for touchdowns, including a 79-yard effort against Air Force during the Bell Helicopter Armed Forces Bowl. 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 Clemson's C.J. Spiller's NCAA record of seven kickoff return touchdowns set from 2006 to 2009. In 10 games, Carrier has returned 37 kicks for 882 yards, a 23.8 yard per return average, which ranks fifth in the league. He has 5,341 all-purpose yards in three years, becoming only the third player in school history to hit 5,000. That number ranks third in the Houston record books in career all-purpose yards. With 374 yards, he will move up to second on that list and 477 yards would break the record in just his third season as a Cougar. 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

    OFFENSIVE ACCOMPLISHMENTS UNDER SUMLIN
    • 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 (2002) and Tulsa (2007).
    Case Keenum was 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.
    • In 2008, Keenum passed for over 5,000 yards, running back Bryce Beall rushed for over 1,000 and receiver Tyron Carrier caught for over 1,000 yards, marking only the second time in NCAA history.
    • 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.

    2010 ATTENDANCE RECORDS AND NOTES
    Total Attendance
    • Total attendance figure ranks as the 10th highest total in Houston history in any home facility.
    • Total attendance figure was the highest total since 196,665 fans visited the Astrodome in 1981.
    • Total attendance figure easily ranks as the highest single-season total in Robertson Stadium history. Easily surpassed previous high of 175,277 in 2006.
    However, please keep in mind that that 2006 total consisted of eight games, including the Conference USA Championship Game. Previous 6-game Roberston Stadium high was 2009's 151,450.

    Average Attendance
    • Average attendance figure of 31,728 ranks as the 15th-highest mark in single-season history. With Robertson Stadium's current seating capacity, it would most likely not be possible to move into 14th place (32,778) on this list.
    • Was the highest average attendance figure since an average of 32,778 fans watched the Cougars compete in the Houston Astrodome in 1981.
    • Again easily surpassed previous Robertson Stadium record average of 25,242 in 2009

    Record Crowds
    • Each of the six home games in 2010 ranks among Robertson Stadium's top-10 largest all-time crowds. The 2010 totals also comprise five of the top-six marks in the facility's history.
    • The Cougars played in front of Robertson Stadium record crowds of 32,119 fans in back-to-back games against UTEP and Texas State to open the season.
    • Every 2010 home game enjoyed crowds of at least 30,000 fans. This is only the sixth time in Houston single-season history that milestone has been achieved in any Cougar home stadium. This is the first time that feat has been accomplished in any Cougar Football home facility since 1978.

    KEENUM'S ACCOMPLISHMENTS
    Prior to his season-ending injury, senior quarterback Case Keenun was in the race to break NCAA career records for total offense, passing yards, touchdowns, pass attempts and completions. After two-plus games played in 2010, Keenum will wrap up the year with 14,448 career yards of total offense (7th), 13,586 passing yards (5th), 107 touchdown passes (8th), 1,626 pass attempts (10th), 1,118 pass completions (7th).

    Keenum passed for 274 yards and recorded 22 pass attempts vs. Texas State and with both he became the Houston career record holder in each, passing Kevin Kolb (2003-06). He is the school record holder in passing yards, total offense, passing touchowns, attempts and completions. Keenum 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 the nation in passing offense and total offense in 2009 and ranked No. 1 in total offense and second in passing in 2008. He 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 had 25 300-yard passing performances during his career and led Houston to 14 career come-from-behind victories.

    COUGAR SUCCESS ACROSS THE BOARD
    First-year Cougar volleyball coach Molly Alvey and her squad have guaranteed at least a tie for third place in Conference USA. The final match of the season is Nov. 27 vs. Rice. A win would give them sole possession of third. With 19 wins, the team has already surpassed its nine total victories from a year ago.

    The UH women's soccer team finished third in Conference USA and head coach Susan Bush was awarded the Conference USA Coach of the Year Award. The team also made the semifinals of the C-USA Tournament with a 3-0 win over Marshall in the first round.

    The UH women's cross country team, under head coach Ryan Turner, finished their 2010 season with a 10th-place finish at the NCAA South Central Regional.

     

     

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