Houston Game Notes - Conference USA Championship Game

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    Nov. 28, 2011

    Houston Game Notes
    Southern Miss Game Notes
    Conference USA Game Notes

    THE COACHES
    Kevin Sumlin
    Purdue, 1988
    4th year at UH and overall, 35-16

    Larry Fedora
    Austin College, 1984
    4th year at Southern Miss, 32-19

    FAST FACTS ON THE SERIES
    Series Record Overall: Southern Miss leads 8-5
    Series Record at Houston: Houston leads 4-3
    Series Record at Southern Miss: Southern Miss leads 5-1
    Series Record at Neutral: 0-0
    First Meeting: Houston 27, Southern Miss 12 (Nov. 9, 1957; at Jackson, Miss.)
    Last Meeting Southern Miss 59, Houston 41 (Nov. 20, 2010; at Southern Miss )

    THE SERIES
    « Houston makes its third appearance in the Conference USA Championship Game and will be hosting for the second time ... UH is 1-1 in the C-USA title tilt, with that win coming in 2006 (34-20) vs. Southern Miss at Robertson Stadium ... Houston fell at East Carolina in 2009 (38-32).
    « Houston owns a 4-3 series lead vs. Southern Miss at home, but the Golden Eagles own an 8-5 advantage in the series overall ... Houston has won three consecutive at Robertson Stadium vs. USM.
    « Head Coach Kevin Sumlin is 1-1 vs. Southern Miss, including a 50-43 win in 2009 at Robertson Stadium.
    « Houston looks for its 13th win on the season, which would extend this season's school record total ... Houston is also looking for its 13th consecutive win, which would also extend the school's longest winning streak.
    « A 13th win by Houston would be tied for the sixth highest win total of the modern era ... Only five teams have won 14 games since 193.

    Case Keenum, QB, SR.
    Case Keenum is the NCAA's career leader in every major passing category ... He recently set the NCAA record for career completions and surpassed Timmy Chang's career mark with his 37th career 300-yard passing game ... Keenum needs 274 yards passing to become the first player in NCAA history with three 5,000-yard passing seasons in a career ... He already owns NCAA career marks for passing yardage, TD passes and total offense ... He has directed UH to its first-ever 12-0 record and its highest national ranking (No. 6) since 1990.

    D.J. Hayden, CB, JR.
    D.J. Hayden has been Conference USA's most important newcomer this season and ranks sixth on the team with 54 tackles ... A junior college transfer, Hayden has been huge producing turnovers for UH ... He has two interceptions, has recovered two fumbles, forced three fumbles and has six tackles behind the line of scrimmage ... He also paces the team with nine passes broken up ... Last Friday at Tulsa, Hayden had eight tackles, a fumble forced, a fumble recovery and had a tackle for loss in the West Division clincher.

    FOR OPENERS
    « Houston and its record-breaking senior class makes one final appearance at Robertson Stadium this week as it hosts Southern Miss in the 2011 Conference USA Championship Game ... UH is hosting the game for the second time and is 1-1 all-time in C-USA Championship Games ... UH won 34-20 vs. Southern Miss in 2006, but fell 38-32 at East Carolina in 2009.
    « General ticket sales for the game sold out on Saturday evening within three hours of going on sale.
    « Did you know that Houston is the most improved team in college football this season? ... UH went 5-7 last year, but has improved seven games on that total en route to its current 12-0 record.
    « UH and Robertson Stadium will host a ranked opponent for the first time since 2008 ... That season, Kevin Sumlin's first, the Cougars defeated No. 24/25 Tulsa 70-30.
    « UH's current 12-game winning streak is the longest in school history ... The Cougars also won 12 straight over the 1990-91 campaigns, but the current run of 12 consecutive wins in ONE season is the most all-time for Houston.
    « Prior to this season only two UH teams had ever won 11 games (1973 and 1979).
    « Houston is enjoying its highest national ranking in two decades ... The Cougars are ranked No. 6/7/6 in each of the three majors polls (Coaches' / AP / B.C.S.) and that's the highest since being ranked No. 3 on Nov. 10, 1990, before a 45-24 loss at Texas.
    « This 2011 Houston offense is one of the most prolific in NCAA history ... This year's club is averaging 613.3 yards per game in total offense, just behind another UH team, the 1989 Cougars, who averaged 625 yards ... The 1990 Cougars are actually No. 3 in NCAA history as well, averaging 587 yards of offense.
    « Houston is chasing the 1944 Army team led by Mr. Inside and Mr. Outside for the highest scoring team in NCAA history ... The Cougars are averaging 52.7 points, while Army averaged 56.0 tallies.
    « Houston football has scored 350 points the last six weeks ... That's more than 72 teams in college football have scored ALL SEASON.
    « Did you know that every team to average at least 50.0 points per game had a Heisman Trophy finalist? ... Sam Bradford of Oklahoma (2008) was the most recent ... That OU squad averaged 51.1 points per game ... Vince Young (Texas) led the Longhorns to 50.1 ppg in 2005.
    « UH is coming off a dominating 48-16 win at Tulsa to clinch the C-USA West Division crown ... The Cougars and Golden Hurricane entered the game unbeaten in league play, but Houston's defense held TU without a touchdown over the final three quarters and outscored the hosts 35-6 in the second half to get the win.
    « The 16 points scored by Tulsa was its fewest at home all season and the second fewest overall ... TU scored 14 points at Oklahoma in the season-opener .. The 337 yards of total offense by Tulsa was also their second lowest output of the season.
    « That defense has been among the most improved in America this season ... From 2008-10 the Cougars allowed 31.1 points per game and ranked anywhere from No. 92-96 in scoring defense, however in 2011, under the direction of second year defensive coordinator Brian Stewart, Houston is allowing just 20.9 points per game and ranks No. 30 nationally in scoring defense ... That 66-spot improvement makes Houston the nation's third most-improved scoring defense in America.
    « The Cougars improved to 8-0 in Conference USA play for the first time in school history ... It also marked the program's first 8-0 start in conference play.
    « Houston has scored at least 35 points in 12-straight games, which is a school record ... UH has twice topped 70 points in a league game, which is a C-USA record ... Houston has also topped 500 yards of total offense in nine consecutive contests following the 558 yards put up against Southern Miss ... Houston has topped 500 yards 10 times this year.
    « In 2011, Houston has posted 45 scoring drives of six plays or less ... In addition, Houston has recorded 50 scoring drives lasting two minutes or less.
    « Houston has 100 plays of 20+ yards this season, the top total in America ... The Cougars also have 26 plays of 50+ yards in 2011, including 15 passes of 50+ yards from Case Keenum ... If you count throws of 40+ yards Keenum has 23.
    « Houston is undefeated at home in 2011 and has outscored its last five opponents 285-72 inside Robertson Stadium, an average score of 57.0-to-14.4.
    « The Cougars are one of two remaining undefeated teams in college football and will look to improve to 13-0 on the year, which would extend the best start in school history.
    « A 13th win would also be the most ever by a Conference USA member ... The current record for wins is 12 by Tulane (12-0) in 1998.
    « In fact not many teams have ever won a 13th game and the NCAA record for wins in a season in the modern era is 14.
    « Head Coach Kevin Sumlin is reaching rarefied air at UH ... He is in his fourth season and already owns three seasons of eight or more wins ...The last time Houston had three seasons of 8+ wins over four years was 1976-79 under Bill Yeoman.
    « Sumlin is the winningest coach at Houston through his first 3+ seasons ... Sumlin has 35 wins (35-16), which is already thrid in school history ... He is just two wins shy of second place ... Yeoman is first with 160 wins in 25 years at UH ... Sumlin's .686 winning percentage is tops among Houston coaches.
    « Houston is the highest ranked team in the state of Texas.
    « The Cougars have been ranked each of the last nine weeks and are enjoying their highest ranking since Nov. 3, 1990, when they were ranked #3 ... Houston has been ranked (at least one week) each of the last three seasons, a first for the Cougars since the 1989-91 campaigns.
    « Head Coach Kevin Sumlin is 8-0 at Robertson Stadium when coaching a ranked club ... In fact "home" has been a great place for the Cougars as a ranked program ... UH has won 21 consecutive home games as a ranked team dating back to a 14-7 loss to Miami (Fla.) in 1980.
    « As if that streak wasn't impressive enough, All-America signal caller Case Keenum has won 23 consecutive home games (21 as a starter) ... He boasts 43 TD throws and just three INTs already in 2011, but over his 21 consecutive home wins (as a starter) the Abilene, Texas, native has 76 TD tosses and just 10 interceptions.
    « The Cougars have been to six bowl games in the last eight seasons and are already bowl eligible in 2011 after starting 12-0.
    « Houston continues to lead the country in passing offense, total offense and scoring offense ... The Cougars average 449.7 yards per game through the air and are a very respectable #55 nationally in rushing at 163.6 yards a game ... The club averages a national-best 613.3 yards in total offense and score 52.7 points per game.
    « Houston leads Conference USA in eight offensive categories this season, pacing the league with 28.4 first downs per game and third down conversions with a rate of 55.0 percent.
    « In a note to show the offensive line some love, the Cougars lead Conference USA having allowed just 13 sacks through 12 games and are fourth in C-USA with 163.6 yards rushing per game ... The team's 5.3 yards per carry leads the league.
    « The University of Houston has led the nation in total offense seven times, which is the most in the NCAA, tied with Arizona State and Tulsa ... UH has been the national total offense leader in 2009, 1992, 1990, 1989, 1968, 1967 and 1966 .
    « The Cougars' offense is led by coordinators Jason Phillips and Kliff Kingsbury ... Both enjoyed illustrious collegiate careers which led to time in the NFL ... Phillips was an All-America receiver at the University of Houston, leading the nation in receiving yards in both 1987 and `88 ... He was drafted by Detroit in 1989 and went on to an eight-year career in the NFL ... Kingsbury recorded more than 12,000 yards passing in his All-America career at Texas Tech ... He was a sixth-round draft pick by the New England Patriots.

    COUGAR OFFENSIVE PLAYER TIDBITS
    « Case Keenum leads the country in several offensive categories and continues to shatter NCAA career marks in the process ... Keenum is the NCAA's career leader in passing yardage (18,312), total offense (19,217), touchdown passes (150) and touchdowns accounted for (173).
    « Over his last seven games Keenum has 29 TD passes... That's more than (or equal to) 98-of-120 Division I teams this entire season, which includes his five TD throws last Friday at Tulsa en route to the C-USA West Division title.
    « Keenum is among the Top Five nationally in virtually every passing category, including ranking first in touchdown passes (43), first in yards (4,726), first in touchdown-to-interception ratio (43-to-3), first in total offense (397.4), third in pass efficiency (187.3), second in yards per attempt (10.1) and second in completion percentage (73.2).
    « Keenum produced a performance for the ages against Rice, throwing for 534 yards and nine touchdowns ... It's the top performance (overall) in college football this season and the nine TDs is second in school history to David Klingler's 11 vs. Eastern Washington in 1990.
    « Keenum is completing a career high 73.2 percent of his passes in 2011, which also ranks No. 2 in the country ... In fact every time Keenum drops back to pass the Cougars average 10.1 yards per attempt ... He also averages 13.8 yards per completion.
    « Speaking of completions, Keenum (1,460 completions) is the NCAA record holder for that statistic as well ... He passed former Texas Tech QB Graham Harrell (2005-08) with his 30 completions vs. SMU.
    « Keenum owns the NCAA record for touchdowns responsible for (currently 173) and career points responsible for (currently 1,038).
    « He is on pace to break the NCAA's single-season pass efficiency mark as well ... Keenum's rating is 187.3 so far in 2011, with the record being 186.0 (Colt Brennan of Hawaii in 2006) ... Keenum has three career 4,000-yard seasons, joining former Hawaii QB Timmy Chang as the only signal callers to accomplish that feat ... If Keenum reached 5,000 yards throwing this season, that would be a career first in NCAA history.
    « Keenum was named one of three finalists for the Davey O'Brien Award ... That award will be announced at the Home Depot College Football Awards show at 8 p.m. CT on ESPN in Orlando, Fla.
    « Thanks to his strong senior season, Keenum is also a finalist for the Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Award.
    « Keenum was named the Walter Camp National Player of the Week on Oct. 30 for his performance vs. Rice.
    « Keenum was named the Rivals.com National Player of the Week on Oct. 30 for his performance vs. Rice.
    « Keenum was named a semifinalist (one of 16) for the 75th Maxwell Award, given to the nation's top player.
    « With the win over Louisiana Tech, quarterback Case Keenum became the University of Houston's all-time winningest quarterback, passing former UH and current Arizona Cardinals quarterback Kevin Kolb ... Keenum has now won 36 games in 49 starts.
    « Keenum has 18 career 400-yard games and 37 games of 300+ yards ... He recently passed Timmy Chang (Hawaii) for the most 300- yard games in a career.
    « Keenum has topped 300 yards passing in every game this season.
    « Keenum has been named the Conference USA Offensive Player of the Week three times this season ... The first came for his 310-yard, two touchdown performance vs. UCLA in the season opener when he completed 75 percent of his passes ... The second was after he led UH from a 27-point deficit to defeat Louisiana Tech, 35-34 ... In that game, he passed for 351 yards and three touchdowns ... Keenum recently won the award with his 534-yard, nine-TD effort vs. Rice.
    « Houston boasts a talented trio of running backs and the collection of Charles Sims (68.2), Michael Hayes (59.7 ypg) and Bryce Beall (34.6) are averaging a combined 163.6 rushing yards per game this season.
    « Sims enjoyed a career game at Tulane, rushing just 10 times for 207 yards and a pair of scores ... He now leads the team with 750 rushing yards this season and his nine TD's is tops on the club ... The 207 yards is a season high and the first 200-yard effort for a Cougar since 2007.
    « Sims broke the school record in the win, averaging 20.7 yards per carry for the game and had three first-half runs of 50+ yards, including a career long 72-yarder to close out the second quarter.
    « Sims, a Houston native, also has four receiving scores, including a pair of TD grabs vs. Rice.
    « He has scored at least one TD in seven of his last eight games, with three scores coming at UTEP and two more vs. East Carolina.
    « Hayes is tied for the team lead with nine rushing scores ... Hayes has 13 total TDs in 2011 with his four receiving touchdowns.
    « Hayes grabbed two of his four TD receptions in the win over Marshall, a new career high.
    « Hayes has scored at least one TD in 10 of his last 11 games this year, including three games with multiple TDs ... He had two rushing scores vs. UCLA and one rushing TD and one receiving TD at North Texas before his two TD catches vs. Marshall.
    « Patrick Edwards continues to be one of the country's top pass-catchers, ranking No. 5 nationally at 124.7 ypg.
    « Edwards has 41 career TD grabs, which is No. 5 all-time in NCAA history and he is the NCAA's active leader in TD grabs.
    « Edwards has 1,496 yards receiving this season, just behind Western Michigan's Jordan White (1,527) for the national lead.
    « Edwards owns the country's best receiving day in 2011, making seven catches for 318 yards and five TDs vs. Rice ... The yardage is tops in college football, as is the five TDs ... His 318 yards is the second most in school history (Donnie Avery had 346 in 2007) and the five TDs tied Manny Hazard's school record of five TD grabs vs. Baylor in 1989 ... And for good measure, his 45.4 yards per catch against Rice was a Conference USA record.
    « He nearly equaled that five-TD day at Tulane, catching five passes for 129 yards and three TDs, but also added a 70-yard punt return for a score.
    « Edwards enjoyed a second four-TD effort at Tulsa, grabbing eight passes for 181 yards and four scores ... Two of his TDs came on fourth-down conversions.
    « Edwards now has 16 career 100-yard receiving games, the most in school history ... His 181 yards at Tulsa allowed him to top Vincent Marshall's old school record total of 15.
    « Edwards also owns the school record for career TD catches with 41 ... He surpassed the total of 34 previously held by Elmo Wright (1968-70).
    « Edwards recorded a reception in his 46th consecutive game at Tulsa and has caught a touchdown pass in six of his last eight outings, including those four scoring grabs at TU.
    « Edwards has 276 career receptions, which is third in school history ... His 4,251 career receiving yards is now the standard all-time at Houston ... He recently passed Vincent Marshall's 3,770 career yards from 2003-06 ... Edwards has 16 career 100-yard games, which is tied for the Conference USA record ... His career receiving yardage is both the school and C-USA standard for a career.
    « Edwards is fourth in NCAA history for career receiving yards ... He needs 336 yards in his final two games to break the current NCAA record of 4,586 yards, which is held by Oklahoma's Ryan Broyles ... No. 2 on the NCAA list is Rashaun Woods (Oklahoma State) with 4,414 yards.
    « Tyron Carrier is Houston's and Conference USA's all-time reception leader ... Carrier broke the UH record vs. Rice and now has 307 career catches ... His nine grabs at Tulsa allowed him to pass Arnold Jackson's (Louisville 1997-00) Conference USA mark of 300 ... OU's Ryan Broyles is the NCAA all-time record holder with 349 career catches.
    « Carrier is nine catches shy of No. 2 in NCAA records book ... Second all-time is Taylor Stubblefield of Purdue with 316.
    « The senior had a career high 12 catches for 105 yards and a score at UAB ... It was his 11th career 100-yard receiving day and second of the year (vs. UCLA).
    « Carrier is No. 2 in the conference and No. 18 nationally with his 6.9 catches per game in 2011 ... He also enjoyed a season high 138 yards receiving with a score in the season-opening win vs. UCLA.
    « Carrier is an explosive return man and has seven career kickoff returns for scores, tying C.J. Spiller's (Clemson) NCAA record of seven ... His next kickoff return for score will of course put him in sole possession of first place on that list.
    « Carrier owns the NCAA's longest active streak with a catch in 51 consecutive games (every game of his career), while Edwards has at least one catch in 46 straight ... The NCAA record is 54 by Bryan Anderson of Central Michigan ... Carrier also owns the school record for consecutive games with a reception.
    « Carrier is No. 2 all-time in NCAA history in kickoff return yards (3,378) ... He needs just 40 yards to break the NCAA record for career kick return yards, which is currently held by Damaris Johnson (3,417) of Tulsa.
    « Houston had a C-USA best seven players make Phil Steele's Midseason All-Conference C-USA squad ... Case Keenum (QB), Patrick Edwards (WR), Chris Thompson (C) and Jacolby Ashworth (OT) were first team picks, Tyron Carrier (WR) was a second team selection and Michael Hayes (RB) and Justin Johnson (WR) represented UH on the third team.
    « Justin Johnson has nine TD grabs in 2011 ... Johnson is second on the club with those nine receiving scores, including a score last week at Tulsa.
    « Johnson has caught TD passes in five of his last six games.
    « When the Cougars do manage a rare fourth down, the club ranks No. 7 nationally at 38.6 net yards per boot, including an average of 42.1 from sophomore Richie Leone on 38 total punts.
    « Leone was named to the Ray Guy Award semifinalists list, given annually to the nations top punter.

    KEEPIN' KEENUM CLEAN
    « Houston's offensive line has done an excellent job protecting its quarterbacks this season and has allowed just 15 total sacks in 546 pass attempts, one sack for every 36.4 attempts on the year.
    « B.J. Anderson's crew is one of the country's top units in 2011 and boasts one senior, returning all-league pick Chris Thompson ... Thompson made the difficult transition from guard (First Team All-Conference in 2010) and was a midseason first team All-Conference USA pick at center by Phil Steele earlier this year ... Thompson was named to Watch Lists for the Lombardi and Outland Awards this season.
    « Thompson was just named to the Rimington Award Watch List on Nov. 11.
    « Houston's offense is coming off a 558-yard effort at Tulsa ... Tulsa led C-USA in total defense coming into the game.
    « That same offensive line helped UH pass for more than 400 yards and rush for 292 and four scores in the 73-17 win at Tulane.
    « Houston's O-Line held a vaunted Marshall pass rush without a sack on Oct. 22 ... Marshall's Vinny Curry entered the game with 9.5 sacks through seven games, but had just three tackles and zero behind the line of scrimmage.

    DEFENSIVE PLAYER NOTES
    « Houston ranks No. 7 nationally in turnover margin (1.0) and paces Conference USA.
    « Pressure on the quarterback is a huge reason for that number and the Cougars lead C-USA and rank No. 3 nationally with 8.1 tackles-for-loss per game in 2011 ... The Cougars also have 16 interceptions, which is tops in Conference USA.
    « Houston has made some impressive second-half adjustments on defense and is allowing just 9.3 points per game in the second half this season ... In fact, over the last four games, opponents are scoring just 5.8 points per game in the final 30 minutes.
    « In the fourth quarter that number gets even more impressive ... The UH "D" is allowing just 3.3 fourth-quarter points per game and hasn't allowed a team to score more than seven points in the fourth period of any game this year ... Over the last 10 games UH has allowed just 28 total fourth-quarter points and is outscoring foes 144-28 during that stretch.
    « Houston ranks No. 2 in Conference USA in scoring defense (20.9) and limited Tulsa's high-powered offense to just one TD and three long field goals en route to a 48-16 win ... The 16 points were the fewest scored by Tulsa at home all season.
    « Over its last seven games Houston is averaging an outstanding 8.8 tackles-for-loss per game ... Houston is coming off 10 TFLs at UAB, 11 vs. Rice and 12 vs. East Carolina.
    « Houston has really stepped up the defense the second half of 2011 and limited Tulsa, who ranked No. 2 in C-USA in total offense (465.1), to just 327 total yards ... That was the Golden Hurricane's second lowest offensive output of the year (291 at Boise State) and the 16 points scored were also the second fewest (14 at Oklahoma).
    « The Cougar defense held SMU to just 24 rushing yards and 263 total yards in a 37-7 win last Saturday ... That was the fewest yards allowed by UH this season vs. a FBS opponent.
    « Houston had four defenders named to the Midseason All-Conference team by Phil Steele ... Marcus McGraw (2nd), Thomas Bates (3rd), Sammy Brown (3rd) and David Hunter (3rd) were named to the squad.
    « Houston's 56-0 victory over Georgia State was the Cougars' first shutout since a 45-0 win against Louisiana-Lafayette on Sept. 18, 1999 - a streak of 146 games.
    « Georgia State's 133 passing yards was the fewest by a Cougar opponent since Memphis recorded 92 yards on Oct. 30, 2010 ... GSU's 241 yards of total offense (108 rush, 133 pass) was the fewest by a Cougar opponent since Texas Southern finished with 179 yards (48 rush, 131 pass) on Nov. 24, 2007.
    « Houston then held East Carolina to just 21 yards rushing in 30 attempts in that 56-3 victory, the fewest since limiting Army to just 10 yards on Nov. 15, 2003.
    « Houston has dialed up its defensive pressure in recent weeks and boasts 11 interceptions in wins vs. East Carolina, Marshall, UAB, Tulane, SMU and Tulsa ... The Cougars picked off four passes vs. ECU and two more vs. the Thundering Herd, including one pick that was returned 20 yards by Derrick Mathews for a score ... The Coogs recently picked off two passes in the win at Tulsa.
    « Phillip Steward leads UH with four interceptions this season ... Steward's most recent INT's came in the endzone vs. Tulane and SMU.
    « Steward won C-USA Defensive Player of the Week honors on Oct. 10 follow his two interceptions against East Carolina ... He also ranks among team leaders with 8.0 tackles for loss.
    « Steward tied a season high with 12 tackles in the win vs. Rice, which included a stop for an 11-yard loss.
    « Derrick Mathews has three interceptions over his last six games ... His 20-yard return for a score vs. Marshall was the first of his career ... Mathews is a candidate for Freshman All-America honors in 2011 and ranks second on the team and second among all C-USA freshmen with 89 total tackles.
    « Mathews recorded 12 stops in the win over Rice, his second double-digit tackle effort of the year ... The rookie enjoyed a career best 16 stops at Louisiana Tech.
    « One Cougar defender standing out with big plays is senior Sammy Brown ... Brown leads the country in tackles-for-loss (2.2 per game) and is fourth nationally with 1.0 sacks per contest ... Despite being in just his second season at UH, Brown is already fourth on the career list in TFLs with 46.0.
    « Brown was named the Walter Camp National Defensive Player of the Week following his 10 tackles vs. SMU ... His afternoon was highlighted by three sacks and 4.5 total tackles behind the line of scrimmage.
    « Dating back the last 18 games (to Rice in 2010), Brown has recorded 43.5 tackles for loss, an average of 2.6 TFL per game.
    « Marcus McGraw is moving up the UH career lists for tackles ... McGraw is second all-time with 489 total stops and is the school's all-time leader in assisted tackles with 350, passing Wade Phillips for the mark.
    « The four-year starter is also third all-time at Houston with eight career fumbles forced.
    « McGraw is coming off a tremendous outing at Tulsa, where he recorded 15 tackles, including 12 solo stops, and three tackles for loss ... The three TFLs tied a career high.
    « Newcomer D.J. Hayden has been an outstanding addition at cornerback and has been a big-play machine ... Hayden has two interceptions, three forced fumbles and two fumble recoveries to go with six tackles for loss.
    « Hayden was dominating at Tulsa, racking up eight tackles, a fumble forced, a fumble recovery, a tackle-for-loss and two passes broken up ... Hayden leads the club with nine total PBU's.
    « Hayden forced and recovered a fumble vs. Rice, while adding two TFLs and five total tackles in the win.
    « His second INT of the year was at UAB, which he returned 52 yards for a score.
    « Lloyd Allen had a huge defensive effort at UAB on Nov. 5, recording 3.0 sacks and 4.0 solo tackles in the victory ... Allen now ranks third on the club with his 3.5 sacks.

    COUGARS SEEKING SECOND C-USA CHAMPIONSHIP
    Houston is seeking its first undefeated regular season in school history on Saturday as it battles East Division Champion Southern Miss ... Houston is a perfect 12-0 on the year and needs just one win to secure its third C-USA Championship ... Houston is making its third appearance in the title game and is hosting for the second time ... UH won the 2006 C-USA Championship Game against Southern Miss, 34-20, at Robertson Stadium, but fell at East Carolina in the 2009 title tilt ... Houston has 10 conference championships in program history ... The Cougars won four Missouri Valley Conference titles in the 1950s (1952, 1956, 1957, 1959) and four Southwest Conference crows in the 1970s and 80s (1976, 1978, 1979, 1984) ... UH also won the inaugural Conference USA title in 1996, but there was no championship game played until 2005.

    COMPARATIVELY SPEAKING... KEENUM MORE THAN MEASURES UP
    You can't compare scores, but Houston and senior quarterback Case Keenum sure compared nicely to Oklahoma, Boise State and Oklahoma State during last week's 48-16 win at Tulsa ... TU's four losses this season have all come to teams ranked in the Top 10, but only Oklahoma State and Houston played on the road at Tulsa... The Golden Hurricane traveled to both Norman and Boise in the other Top 10 tilts ... Keenum's numbers surpassed the throwing efforts of Boise State's Kellen Moore, Oklahoma State's Brandon Weeden and Oklahoma's Landry Jones in the process as well:

    Top QB's vs. Tulsa 		C-A-INT Yds TD 	Outcome 	Location
    Case Keenum, Houston 		33-46-0 457 5 	W, 48-16 	at Tulsa
    Kellen Moore, Boise State 	23-29-0 279 4 	W, 41-21 	at Boise State
    Landry Jones, Oklahoma 		35-47-0 375 1 	W, 47-14 	at Oklahoma
    Brandon Weeden, Oklahoma State 	29-39-2 369 3 	W, 59-33 	at Tulsa
    Houston's 32-point margin of victory (48-16) at Tulsa was also greater than both Boise State (41-21) and Oklahoma State (59-33) vs. TU and nearly identical to Tulsa's 47-14 loss at Oklahoma ... When you take into account the fact UH won at Tulsa, it could be considered the most lopsided win over the Golden Hurricane this season.

    IMPROVED DEFENSE KEY FOR COUGARS IN 2011
    Houston's defense is ranked among the most improved in college football this season, jumping from No. 96 in 2010 to No. 30 this season ... UH is allowing just 20.9 points per game, a marked improvement from the 32.2 points it allowed in 2010.

    			2010	2011 	Improvement
    Michigan 		107 	9 	98
    Arkansas State	 	91	18 	73
    Houston 		96 	30 	66
    Vanderbilt 		94 	29 	65
    Eastern Michigan 	118 	54 	64
    Southern Miss 		81 	25 	56
    Cincinnati 		68 	15 	52
    Florida Int'l 		65 	16 	49
    Western Kentucky 	99 	57 	42
    Penn State 		49 	8 	41

    HOUSTON CREW AMONG TOP RECEIVING TRIOS IN NATION
    Case Keenum has done a great job spreading the football around in 2011 and his top three receivers, Tyron Carrier, Patrick Edwards and Justin Johnson have combined for 220 catches this year, making them the No. 2 receiving trio in America ... Carrier (83 catches), Edwards (74) and Johnson (63) trail only Western Michigan's Jordan White (115), Robert Arnheim (56) and Chleb Ravenell (55) ... That WMU group has 226 total grabs, just ahead of UH's 220 ... Other top trios include San Jose State's Noel Grigsby (89), Chandler Jones (61) and Ryan Otten (52) and Arizona's Juron Crizer (75), Gino Crump (65) and David Douglas (65).

    HISTORIC NIGHTS FOR KEENUM, EDWARDS
    Case Keenum and Patrick Edwards produced two of the top passing and receiving days in the college football this season when Keenum threw for 534 yards and nine touchdowns and Edwards caught seven passes for 318 yards and five scores during a 73-34 victory over Rice at Robertson Stadium on Oct. 27 ... Below are the top passing and receiving nights in college football this season:

    2011 Top Passing Efforts
    Alex Carder, W. Michigan 	548 yards, 7 TD's vs. Toledo
    Case Keenum, Houston 		534 yards, 9 TDs vs. Rice
    Tyler Wilson, Arkansas 		510 yards, 3 TDs vs. Texas A&M
    Landry Jones, Oklahoma 		505 yards, 5 TDs vs. Kansas State
    Brandon Weeden, Okla. State 	502 yards, 4 TDs vs. Kansas State
    

    2011 Top Receiving Efforts C-Yds-TD Patrick Edwards, Houston vs. Rice 7-318-5 Paul Richardson, Colorado vs. Cal 11-284-2 Jarvis Wright, Arkansas vs. Texas A&M 13-281-2 A.J. Jenkins, Illinois vs. Northwestern 12-268-3 Robert Woods, USC vs. Arizona 14-255-2

    HOGAN CLAIMS EXTRA POINT RECORD
    Houston junior place kicker Matt Hogan owns an NCAA record of his own ... The Keller, Texas, native made 78 consecutive extra points this season, before having his 79th attempt blocked vs. Tulsa on Nov. 25 ... Hogan bested the previous NCAA record of 77 (77-of-77) set by former Louisville kicker Art Carmody ... Carmody made all 77 of his PATs throughout the 2004 campaign and coincidentally, his special teams coach was current UH special teams guru, Tony Levine.

    The NCAA record for most PATs in a season is 94, held by former Oklahoma Sooner, Jimmy Stevens ... Stevens made 94-of-99 tries in 2008 ... Hogan has made 83 extra points this season, needing 11 more to equal Stevens' NCAA mark.

    CARDIAC COOGS
    Three times this season Houston has rallied from double-digit deficits to earn victories, most recently during a 73-34 win over Rice on Oct. 27 ... Falling behind 17-7 in the opening quarter, Houston outscored the Owls 45-3 to earn the resounding victory.

    Houston also rallied for wins at UTEP and Louisiana Tech ... UH fell behind 14-0 in El Paso before surging to a 49-42 victory ... Down two scores, the Cougars rallied with the next three touchdowns to take their first lead at UTEP ... Although the Miners did rebound to grab a 28-24 lead midway through the third quarter, Houston scored the next two touchdowns to build an advantage it would never relinquish ... It eventually resulted in the eighth-largest comeback in school history.

    In Houston's 35-34 win over Louisiana Tech on Sept. 17, the Cougars overcame a 27-point deficit, the largest in school history ... It topped the previous record of 19 points (down 28-9, 3:46 left in 3rd quarter) vs. Conference USA-rival UTEP in a 42-37 win on Nov. 22, 2008 ... It was the biggest come-from-behind road win since a 31-30 win against Rice (down 30-14, 6:20 left in 3rd quarter) on Sept. 2, 2006.

    The comeback began with 4:27 in the third quarter when Case Keenum connected with Patrick Edwards for a 50-yard touchdown in a drive which only took 44 seconds off the clock ... UH continued with three touchdowns in the fourth quarter, including a back-ofthe- end zone grab by Edwards with 1:36 left to go in the game ... The defense held Louisiana Tech to 69 yards in the fourth quarter and forced two turnovers, as well as a fourth-down stand.

    With the win at UTEP, Keenum has engineered three of the top four biggest comebacks in Houston history as well as four of the top 18:

    1. 27 points down at Louisiana Tech in a 35-34 win (Sept. 17, 2011)
    2. 19 points down vs. UTEP in a 42-37 win (Nov. 22, 2008)
    t-3. 17 points down vs. UAB in a 45-20 win (Oct. 9, 2008)
    t-8. 14 points down at UTEP in a 49-42 win (Sept. 29, 2011)

    GROUND CHUCK
    Yes, UH is known for being a strong passing program and with the NCAA annals littered with former and current Cougar passers / receivers, it's a deserved reputation, however Charles Sims is enjoying an outstanding 2011 campaign and leads the club with 750 yards and nine rushing TDs, despite sharing the load with talented seniors Michael Hayes (657 yards and nine TDs) and Bryce Beall (311 yards and seven TDs).

    Sims leads the club with 7.9 yards per carry this season and has needed just 95 rushes to amass those 750 yards and nine scores ... He ran for a career high 207 yards on just 10 carries two weeks ago vs. Tulane and ripped off runs of 52, 56 and 72 yards en route to 199 yards in the first half alone (on just seven carries) ... The 207-yard effort was the most for Houston since Anthony Alridge in 2007 and he paced an offense that scored 73 points and racked up a season high 735 yards of total offense.

    Sims has scored at least one TD in eight of his last nine games and actually has his 13 total TDs (also four receiving) during that incredible stretch.

    COOGS SYNONYMOUS WITH OFFENSE
    Houston is the country's top offensive team and the Cougars are moving the football and scoring at historic rates in 2011 ... Below is a rundown of the top offensive teams all-time, many of which were led by Heisman Trophy finalists.

    NCAA All-Time Leaders in Scoring Offense
    PPG Year Team		Heisman Finalist
    56.0 1944 Army 		Glenn Davis
    53.5 1989 Houston	Andre Ware
    52.7 2011 Houston	-
    52.4 1995 Nebraska 	Tommie Frazier
    52.0 1983 Nebraska 	Mike Rozier
    51.1 2008 Oklahoma 	Sam Bradford
    50.1 2005 Texas 	Vince Young
    49.8 2004 Louisville	-
    49.1 2005 USC 		Reggie Bush
    

    NCAA All-Time Leaders in Season Total Offense YPG Year Team Heisman Finalist 625 1989 Houston Andre Ware 613.2 2011 Houston - 587 1990 Houston - 584 1983 BYU Steve Young 583 2003 Texas Tech - 580 2005 USC Reggie Bush

    KEENUM CHASES NCAA RECORDS
    « Where to begin? Case Keenum has shattered most of the NCAA's career passing marks and is eyeing a few more for good measure ... One month ago at UAB Keenum threw for 407 yards to break the NCAA's career passing yardage record of 17,072, which had been previously held by former Hawaii QB Timmy Chang ... Keenum currently has 18,312 career yards passing.
    « Keenum is coming off a 57-yard performance at Tulsa last week ... The effort gave Keenum his 37th career 300-yard day, surpassing Chang's NCAA record of 36.
    « He also recently broke Graham Harrell's (2005-08) career completions mark ... Keenum currently has 1,450 completions, topping Harrell's career mark of 1,403.
    « Keenum is on pace to become the first player in NCAA history with three 5,000-yard seasons in his career ... He just topped 4,000 yards this season ... It was his third career 4,000-yard campaign, tying Timmy Chang for the most 4,000-yard seasons in a career ... No player has recorded three 5,000-yard seasons, so Keenum is 274 yards away from that NCAA first too ... Keenum threw for 5,020 yards as a sophomore in 2008 and 5,671 yards in 2009 ... Through 12 games in 2011, he has passed for 4,726 yards.
    « The Abilene, Texas, native (18,312 career passing yards) threw for 534 yards and a 2011 NCAA best nine touchdowns in the Oct. 27 victory against Rice ... He currently leads the country with his 4,268 yards passing and 38 total TD throws.
    « Earlier this season Keenum passed Timmy Chang (Hawaii) for the most total yards in F.B.S. history (Keenum has 19,217) and will look to put that record out of reach with a number of games remaining.
    « Keenum (173) also broke former Central Michigan QB Dan Lefevour's record of 149 TDs accounted for mark ... Keenum has 150 career TD throws and 23 career TD runs ... Lefevour set that record in 2010 ... Keenum has accounted for 1,038 career points, also an NCAA record.
    « The nine TD tosses vs. Rice gave him the career TD passing record as well ... He broke the previous mark of 134 career scoring tosses held by former Texas Tech signal caller, Graham Harrell.
    « He is also the first player in NCAA history to top 18,000 passing yards in a career.

    NCAA FBS All-Time Total Offense
    Rk. Player, School 		Years	Yards
    1. Case Keenum, Houston 	2007-	19,217
    2. Timmy Chang, Hawaii 		2000-04	16,910
    

    NCAA FBS All-Time TD's Accounted For Rk. Player, School Years TDs 1. Case Keenum, Houston 2007- 173 (150 passing, 23 rushing) 2. Dan Lefevour, Central Michigan 2007-10 149 (102 passing, 47 rushing)

    NCAA FBS All-Time Passing Yardage Rk. Player, School Years Yards 1. Case Keenum, Houston 2007- 18,312 2. Timmy Chang, Hawaii 2000-04 17,072 3. Graham Harrell, Texas Tech 2005-08 15,793

    NCAA FBS All-Time Touchdown Passes Rk. Player, School Years TDs 1. Case Keenum, Houston 2007- 150 2. Kellen Moore, Boise State 2008- 137 2. Graham Harrell, Texas Tech 2005-08 134 3. Colt Brennan, Hawaii 2005-07 131

    SIXTH TIMES THE CHARM
    Senior quarterback Case Keenum learned in January 2011 he had been granted a sixth season of eligibility after suffering a torn ACL vs. UCLA in the third game of the 2010 season ... Keenum returns to captain a UH team which has won 36 games with him at the helm in four years as a starter, including 21 consecutive at home.

    KEENUM'S ACCOMPLISHMENTS
    After leading the nation in total offense in 2008 and 2009, quarterback Case Keenum is back atop that list in 2011 with 397.4 total yards per game ... He also leads the country in passing offense with 393.8 yards per game.

    In 2008, he ranked No. 1 with 403.2 yards per game and repeated in the category with 416.4 yards in 2009 ... He also led the nation in passing in 2009 ... Keenum is only the seventh quarterback in FBS history to lead the nation in total offense in consecutive seasons and the first since Hawaii's Colt Brennan accomplished the feat in 2005-06 ... If Keenum matches that success in 2011, he could join Louisiana Tech's Tim Rattay (1997-99) as the only quarterback to lead the nation in total offense three years in his career.

    Keenum is the school record holder in passing yards (also NCAA), total offense (also NCAA), passing touchdowns (also NCAA), attempts, completions (also NCAA) and 300-yard games (also NCAA)... He 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 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.

    START ME UP FOR KEENUM
    Quarterback Case Keenum has 36 wins as the starting quarterback for the Cougars, breaking Kevin Kolb's (29) record for most wins by a UH quarterback ... With the Oct. 8 win over East Carolina, Keenum improved to 30-13 as a starter, breaking Kolb's career mark ... He also has the second-most wins of all active NCAA quarterbacks, behind only Kellen Moore's 48 wins at Boise State.

    Most Wins - Active FBS Quarterbacks
    Rk. Name, School 		Wins
    1. Kellen Moore, Boise State	48
    2. Case Keenum, Houston 	36
    3. Andrew Luck, Stanford 	31
    4. Russell Wilson, Wisconsin 	29 (19 wins came at N.C. State / 10 at Wisconsin)
    5. Austin Davis, Southern Miss 	28
    Tim Jefferson, Air Force 	28
    7. Landry Jones, Oklahoma 	27
    Matt Barkley, USC 		27
    Jordan Jefferson, LSU 		27
    10. Stephen Garcia, South Carolina 26
    Kirk Cousins, Michigan State	26
    

    Best Winning Percentage - Active FBS Quarterbacks Rk Name, School Pct. (W-L) 1. Kellen Moore, Boise State .941 (48-3) 2. Andrew Luck, Stanford .838 (31-6) 3. Landry Jones, Oklahoma .771 (27-8) 4. Jordan Jefferson, LSU .794 (27-7) 5. Matt Barkley, USC .759 (27-9) 6. Case Keenum, Houston .734 (36-13) 7. Kirk Cousins, Michigan State .702 (26-11) 8. Tim Jefferson, Air Force .651 (28-15) 9. Austin Davis, Southern Miss .651 (28-15) 10. G.J. Kinne, Tulsa .621 (23-14)

    EDWARDS ENJOYING INCREDIBLE SENIOR CAMPAIGN
    Patrick Edwards is enjoying one of the greatest pass-catching seasons in Houston history and the senior ranks No. 2 nationally in receiving yardage and is also No. 1 with 18 TD grabs through 12 games ... Edwards trails Western Michigan's Jordan White by just 31 yards and his 18 TDs leads the country ... Edwards' 20.2 yards per catch is No. 3 nationally, but tops among players with at least 50 receptions in 2011.

    Pos. Player, Team 		Rec.	Yards YPC Long	TD
    1. Jordan White, W. Michigan 	115	1527 13.3 61	16
    2. Patrick Edwards, Houston 	74	1496 20.2 70	18
    3. Nick Harwell, Miami (Ohio) 	97	1425 14.7 71	9
    4. Kendall Wright,Baylor 	95	1406 14.8 87	12
    5. Marquess Wilson, Wash. State 82	1388 16.9 85	12

    GOING FOR THE TRI-FECTA
    Senior wide out Patrick Edwards became the first player in school history to catch for 1,000 yards in three seasons when he hauled in seven catches for a career high 318 yards and five scores on Oct. 27 vs. Rice ... Edwards is currently the lone Cougar to top 1,000 yards receiving in three consecutive years, but could be joined shortly by fellow senior, Tyron Carrier ... Carrier has 873 yards receiving this season and leads the club with 83 catches.

    Edwards, the former walk-on, missed four games of the 2008 season after a devastating leg injury ... One year later (2009), he posted 1,021 receiving yards on 85 catches ... In 2010 he followed up his performance with 1,100 yards (71 catches). In 2011, he has 74 catches for 1,496 yards through 12 games and he ranks No. 1 nationally in TD receptions (18), while ranking No. 2 in receiving yards (1,496) ... His 318 yards and five scores vs. Rice are tops in college football this season and the 318 is the second most in school history and eighth all-time in NCAA history.

    Carrier recorded his two 1,000-yard seasons in 2008 and 2009 with 1,026 and 1,029, respectively ... He got off to a great start in 2011 with a 10-catch performance for 138 yards in the season opener vs. UCLA and has a team high 83 grabs for 735 yards through 12 games ... His 6.9 receptions per game ranks 18th nationally.

    The duo both rank in the UH top-10 all-time receiving yards -- Edwards first with 4,253 yards and Carrier fifth with 3,408 ... It's the first time in school history two 3,000-yard receivers are playing together ... In fact, Carrier and Edwards are the top receiving tandem (catch-wise) in NCAA history ... Combined the pair have 583 career grabs.

    RUSH HOUR
    UH has been known for its passing offense, however the Cougars have a stable of running backs, creating the country's most potent offensive attack ... Three running backs -- seniors Bryce Beall and Michael Hayes and sophomore Charles Sims -- each own starting experience and a combined career yardage of 5,834 ... Among the three, Beall (2008) and Sims (2009) were honored as Conference USA Freshmen of the Year in their respective seasons.

    In 10 of 12 games, the three have combined to rush for more than 100 yards with a season high of 226 yards at UTEP in the Conference USA opener ... In addition, Sims (9), Hayes (9) and Beall (7) have a combined 25 rushing scores on the year to go with a combined eight receiving TDs.

    BEALL'S A RINGING
    Senior running back Bryce Beall has 3,098 rushing yards in three-plus years at UH, which currently ranks third on the school's career rushing yards list ... He needs 565 yards in his senior season to become Houston's all-time leading rusher and surpass record-holder Ketric Sanford's (1996-99) 3,636 yards ... Beall ran for 1,247 yards as a freshman, 670 as a sophomore in 2009 and 870 last year ... He has rushed for 297 yards this season.

    Beall earned All-Conference USA First-Team honors in 2010 and broke the UH career record for total and rushing touchdowns after scoring 12 last season ... In three-plus seasons, he has rushed for 39 touchdowns and has 45 total for his career ... He also has averaged 5.6 yards per rush.

    THE OFFENSE UNDER SUMLIN
    Now in his fourth season at Houston, Kevin Sumlin has created an offense ranked among the nation's best each season ... In fact, his 2011 offense is No. 2 all-time in NCAA history! Below is the list of UH offenses under Sumlin and this current pace of 613.2 is No. 2 all-time just behind the 1989 Houston Cougars that logged 625 yards per game.

    Year Passing (Rk) Total (Rk) Scoring (Rk)
    2011 449.7 (1st) 613.2 (1st) 52.7 (1st)
    2010 327.2 (5th) 480.5 (11th) 37.7 (13th)
    2009 433.7 (1st) 563.4 (1st) 42.2 (1st)
    2008 401.6 (2nd) 562.8 (2nd) 40.6 (10th)

    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 (2003) and Tulsa (2007).

    Case Keenum is only the second quarterback in NCAA history to pass for over 5,000 yards in two different seasons (2008, 2009) and is just 274 yards from becoming the first QB in NCAA history to accomplish that feat three times ... Only Keenum and Texas Tech's Graham Harrell (2007 and 2008) are the only players to pass for 5,000 yards twice in a career.

    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.

    GOIN' STREAKING
    Senior receivers Tyron Carrier and Patrick Edwards have caught a pass in every game of their college careers ... Carrier is on a streak of 51 consecutive games with a catch, which is tied for longest in the country ... Edwards ranks fourth nationally with 46 straight games played with a reception.
    51 -- Tyron Carrier (Houston, Sr.)
    46 -- Kendall Wright (Baylor, Sr.)
    46 -- Patrick Edwards (Houston, Sr.);
    45-- Ryan Broyles (Oklahoma, Sr.)
    42 -- B.J. Cunningham (Michigan State, Sr.)
    41 -- Jeff Fuller (Texas A&M, Sr.)

    EDWARDS DEFYING THE ODDS
    Houston 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 since that injury, Edwards has been one of the country's most productive receivers and has 276 career catches for 4,251 yards ... That yardage total is both a school and Conference USA record, while his 41 career TD grabs is the most in UH history (Top 5 all-time in NCAA). This season Edwards has been the country's most explosive receiver, setting a career high with 1,496 receiving yards and those 18 TD grabs ... He leads the country in TD receptions and ranks No. 2 nationally in receiving yardage.

    Edwards recorded one of the greatest pass-catching days in NCAA history on Oct. 27 vs. Rice, catching seven passes for a career high 318 yards and a school-record tying five TDs ... The effort allowed Edwards to become Houston's career leader in receiving yardage (4,251) and receiving TDs (41).

    Edwards has had several big days in 2011, catching five passes for 129 yards and three TDs, but also added a 70-yard punt return for a score in the 73-17 win ... He also caught eight passes for 181 yards and four TDs at Tulsa on Nov. 25.

    QUICK DRAW MCGRAW
    Linebacker Marcus McGraw has started 51 straight games, every contest of his collegiate career, dating back to his true freshman season in 2008 ... With 489 total career tackles, McGraw ranks second in the UH record books, needing 19 more stops to break the all-time mark held by Ryan McCoy (1990-93) ... He has started his senior season with a bang, posting with 120 total tackles through the first 12 games, which ranks 18th in the NCAA and fourth in Conference USA. He has topped the century mark in tackles in four consecutive seasons with 103 as a freshman, 156 as a sophomore and 110 in 2010 ... McGraw has also led the team in tackles three straight years, joining a group of only three other UH players who have accomplished that feat ... He could be the second defender in school history to be the team leader in tackles all four years of college. As a sophomore he led the conference and ranked fifth in the NCAA in tackles with 11.1 per game ... McGraw was named Second Team All-Conference USA in both 2009 and 2010 as one of the league's top defensive players.

    HOUSTON AGAIN REPRESENTED IN B.C.S. POLL
    Houston Football is once again in the Bowl Championship Series rankings as the Cougars debuted at No. 19 in the initial poll and have moved up to No. 6 in the latest announcement, the highest B.C.S. ranking in school history ... Houston moved up two spots following its 48-16 win at Tulsa.

    BLOCK PARTY
    In three-plus seasons under head coach Kevin Sumlin, the Cougars have blocked 18 kicks, fourth-most in the country during that time span ... The 18 blocks have come from eight different players and include eight field goals, seven extra-point attempts and three punts. In the 2011 season opener vs. UCLA, the Cougars had a crucial blocked kick on a Bruin extra-point attempt in the fourth quarter ... UCLA had a chance to get the score within three points after a late touchdown, but the UH block kept the margin at four points, which was the final score difference for the win, 38-34 ... UH followed up that performance with another blocked extra point at North Texas.

    MOST BLOCKED KICKS SINCE 2008
    24 -- Fresno State
    23 -- SMU
    20 -- Middle Tennessee
    18 -- Houston and Florida
    16 -- USC

    CARRIER TAKING IT TO THE HOUSE
    Senior kick returner Tyron Carrier has seven returns for touchdowns over his four years at Houston, including four during the 2009 season ... In 2011 he added his seventh career KO return score, racing 100 yards vs. Rice on the opening kickoff to tie an NCAA record ... Carrier equaled the NCAA mark of Clemson running back C.J. Spiller, who had seven kickoff return touchdowns from 2006 to 2009 ... Carrier had the school's most kickoff return yardage in a single season in 2010 with 1,174 yards on 50 returns ... He has 7,165 all-purpose yards in four years and needs just 41 all-purpose yards to move into the Top 5 in NCAA history, surpassing Ricky Williams of Texas who has 7,206 ... Here is a list of Carrier's seven 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
    7th - 100 yds vs. Rice, 10/27/11

    POSITION CHANGES
    After starting 36 games at offensive guard for Houston the past three years, senior Chris Thompson has moved to center ... He has started 47 career games at UH ... In the season opener vs. UCLA he scored a touchdown on a fumble recovery ... Thompson has been a part of offensive lines that led the nation in total offense in 2008 and 2009 and ranked in the top-15 in 2010 ... With 12 games played, UH is back as the NCAA's No. 1 team in scoring, passing and total offense. Junior Kelvin King played two seasons at linebacker before being moved full-time to defensive end ... In two years at linebacker, he totaled 6.5 tackles for a loss of 34 yards and three sacks ... This season, he has 23.0 tackles, 4.0 for loss, including two sacks and an interception.

    JUCO NATIONAL TITLES
    The Cougars have five players on the roster who are no strangers to winning national titles ... Junior college transfers DL Dominic Miller, RB Michael Hayes and OL Josh McNeil from Blinn (Brenham, Texas) won a title in 2009 ... Defensive backs Chevy Bennett and D.J. Hayden transferred from Navarro (Corsicana, Texas) after winning the title in 2010.

    TOUGH TO BEAT AT THE ROB
    The Cougars have taken advantage of playing at home at Robertson Stadium ... Dating back to the 2006 season, UH is 32-5 record (.865) at home ... Even more impressive, the Cougars' margin of victory in those 32 wins is a remarkable 25.0 points per game (800 in 32 wins).

    AGAINST NON-CONFERENCE OPPONENTS
    Kevin Sumlin has a 10-6 record (11-7 including bowl games) in his first three-plus years at UH against non-conference opponents ... Outside of Houston's eight conference games on the schedule in 2011, the Cougars battle schools from the Pac-10 (UCLA, W, 38-34), Sun Belt (North Texas, W, 48-23), WAC (Louisiana Tech, W, 35-34) and one independent (Georgia State, W, 56-0).

    Conference 	Record 	Team (Result, Year)
    Big 12 		2-2 	Oklahoma State (L, 37-56, 2008; W, 45-35, 2009)
    			Texas Tech (W, 29-28, 2009; L, 20-35)
    Independent	1-0	Georgia State (W, 56-0)
    MWC 		1-3 	Air Force (L, 28-31, 2008; W, 34-28, 2008*; L, 20-47, 2009*)
    			Colorado State (L, 25-28, 2008)
    Pac-12 		1-1 	UCLA (W, 38-34, 2011; L, 13-31, 2010)
    SEC 		1-1 	Mississippi State (W, 31-24, 2009; L, 24-47, 2010)
    Southland 	2-0 	Northwestern State (W, 55-7, 2009); Texas State (W, 68-28, 2010)
    Sun Belt 	1-0 	North Texas (W, 48-23, 2011)
    SWAC 		1-0 	Southern (W, 55-3, 2008)
    WAC 		1-0 	Louisiana Tech (W, 35-34, 2011)
    * bowl games

    RECORD CROWDS AT ROBERTSON
    Kevin Sumlin has helped UH record its largest attendances in program history, including a Robertson Stadium record 32,207 fans for the 37-7 victory over SMU ... UH finished the regular season with three consecutive sellouts and sold out five of its six home games in 2010 ... Twelve of the top-15 attendance numbers have come during Sumlin's four years as head coach.

    Top Crowds at Robertston Stadium
    1. 32,207 vs. SMU 11/19/11 Sumlin
    2. 32,119 vs. UTEP 9/10/10 Sumlin
         32,119 vs. Texas State 9/4/10 Sumlin
    4. 32,114 vs. Texas Tech 9/26/09 Sumlin
    5. 32,112 vs. Rice 10/27/11 Sumlin
    6. 32,107 vs. Marshall 10/22/11 Sumlin
    7. 32,067 vs. Mississippi State 10/9/10 Sumlin
    8. 32,009 vs. Tulane 9/25/10 Sumlin
    9. 32,008 vs. UCF 11/5/10 Sumlin
    10. 32,005 vs. Georgia State 9/24/11 Sumlin
    11. 31,818 vs. Southern Miss 12/1/06 Briles
    12. 31,784 vs. Texas 9/22/01 Dimel
          31,784 vs. Rice 9/4/99 Helton
    13. 31,144 vs. UCLA 9/3/11 Sumlin
    14. 30,126 vs. East Carolina 10/8/11 Sumlin
    15. 30,046 vs. Tulsa 11/13/10 Sumlin

     

     

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