Houston v. Georgia State Preview Notes
« The Houston coaching staff will be wearing Coach to Cure MD patches this week to raise awareness and funding for Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy research. Fans are encouraged to donate online at www.CoachtoCureMD.org or donate $5 by texting CURE to 90999.
« With a win over Louisiana Tech, quarterback Case Keenum became the winningest quarterback in school history passing former UH and current Arizona Cardinals quarterback Kevin Kolb with 27 wins.
« Senior linebacker Sammy Brown has picked up where he left off in 2010 adding 3.5 tackles for loss in the season opener and another four in a game vs. Louisiana Tech. Dating back the last 10 games (to Rice in 2010), Brown has recorded 25 tackles for loss, an average of 2.5 TFL per game. He currently leads the NCAA and Conference USA (also led the league in 2010).
« Punter Richie Leone is averaging 49.7 yards on 12 punts, including seven over 50 yards and ranks second nationally in the category. He has landed two punts inside the 20 yard line and only four have been returned. As a team Houston ranks third the NCAA in net punting with 45.17 yards per game.
« Leone is the only member of the squad from the state of Georgia. He was a national recruit for Kevin Sumlin in the Class of 2010.
« After the third week of play, Houston is receiving 25 votes in the Associated Press poll and 60 votes in the USA Today Coaches’ Poll, good enough for No. 28 in both polls.
« In Houston’s 48-23 win over North Texas, the Cougars outscored the Mean Green 28-6 in the second half.
« Keenum needs four yards to pass Graham Harrell (Texas Tech) on the NCAA career total offense list and 327 passing yards to jump Ty Detmer (BYU) on the NCAA all-time passing yardage list. He would be third on both lists.
« Through three games, Houston is back as the NCAA’s top passing team with 408.0 yards per game. The team also ranks eighth in total offense with 536.0 per contest. Both those numbers are the best in Conference USA.
« The Cougars have been to six bowl games in the last eight seasons.
« In the season opener, the Cougars started nine new players, including the entire defensive secondary with junior college transfers Chevy Bennett at FS, D.J. Hayden at CB, Texas A&M transfer Colton Valencia at SS and sophomore Zach McMillian at CB. The defense also had first-time starters at middle linebacker in true-freshman Derrick Mathews and junior college transfer noseguard Dominic Smith. On the offensive side, there were three new faces on the offensive line in right tackle Rowdy Harper, and guards Ty Cloud and Kevin Forsch.
In Saturday’s 35-34 win over Louisiana Tech, the Cougars had to overcome 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 thrid 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-of-the-endzone 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 Saturday’s win, Keenum has engineered three of the top four biggest comebacks in Houston history:
• 27 points down at Louisiana Tech in a 35-34 win (Sept. 17, 2011)
• 19 points down vs. UTEP in a 42-37 win (Nov. 22, 2008)
• 17 points down vs. UAB in a 45-20 win (Oct. 9, 2008)