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2008 Houston Cougars Season
Houston QB Case Keenum
Houston QB Case Keenum
CollegeFootballNews.com
Posted Jan 17, 2009


2008 Houston Cougars Season, Game Recaps, Scores and Reviews

2008 Houston Cougars

Dec. 31
2008 Armed Forces Bowl
Houston 34 … Air Force 28

Houston got out to a 17-7 first quarter lead helped by one-yard touchdown runs from Bryce Beall and Case Keenum, but Air Force fought its way back with Eric Herbort running for a five-yard touchdown and Ryan Harrison hitting field goals from 44 and 37 yards out. But every time Air Force appeared to be getting over the hump, the Cougars came up with the drive and score needed to pull away with Keenum connecting with Andre Kohn catching a 13-yard touchdown pass early in the fourth for a 31-20 lead. But the Falcons wouldn’t go away, getting a two-yard Jared Tew touchdown run and forcing a Houston fumble in the end zone to stay alive, but the offense failed to get the passing game going on the late last gasp drive.
Player of the Game: Houston RB Bryce Beall ran 22 times for 135 yards and a touchdown, and he caught four passes for 92 yards.
Stat Leaders: Air Force - Passing: Eric Herbort, 7-14, 98 yds
Rushing: Jared Tew, 27-149, 2 TD. Receiving: Spencer Armstrong, 2-60
Houston - Passing: Case Keenum, 22-33, 252 yds, 1 TD, 1 INT
Rushing: Bryce Beall, 22-135, 1 TD. Receiving: Tyron Carrier, 5-49
Inside The Box Score ...  5 Thoughts on the Armed Forces Bowl …Houston LB Marcus McGraw made 15 tackles with a forced fumble and a tackle for loss, and C.J. Cavness made 15 tackles … Air Force LB Chris Thomas led all defenders on 16 tackles with two tackles for loss … Time of possession: Air Force 38:07 – Houston 21:53 … 2nd quarter time of possession: Air Force 13:24 – Houston 1:36 … Third down conversions: Houston 7-of-13 – Air Force 11-of-22 … Average yards per play: Houston 6.4 – Air Force 3.1

- 2008 Houston Preview
- 2007 Houston Season

2008 Schedule
CFN Prediction: 6-6
2008 Results: 8-5

Aug. 30 Southern  W 55
Sept. 6 at Oklahoma St L 56-37
Sept. 13 Air Force L 31-28
Sept. 20 at Colorado St L 28-25
Sept. 27 at E Carolina W 41-24
Oct. 4 OPEN DATE
Oct. 11 UAB W 45-20
Oct. 18 at SMU W 44-38
Oct. 28 at Marshall L 37-23
Nov. 1 OPEN DATE
Nov. 8 Tulane W 42-14
Nov. 15 Tulsa W 70-30
Nov. 22 UTEP W 42-37
Nov. 29 at Rice L 56-42
Armed Forces Bowl
Dec. 31 Air Force W 34-28

2007 Schedule
CFN Prediction: 7-5
2007 Results:
8-5

Sept. 1 at Oregon L 48-27
Sept. 15
at Tulane W 34-10
Sept. 22 Colorado St W 35-24
Sept. 29
East Carolina L 37-35
Oct. 6 at Alabama L 30-24
Oct. 13
Rice W 56-48
Oct. 20 at UAB W 49-10
Oct. 27 at UTEP W 34-31
Nov. 4
SMU W 38-28
Nov. 10 at Tulsa L 56-7
Nov. 17
Marshall W 35-28
Nov. 24 Texas South. W 59-6
Texas Bowl
Dec. 28 TCU L 20-13

Nov. 29
Rice 56 … Houston 42
James Casey caught three touchdown passes and ran for another as Rice ruined Houston’s Conference USA title dream. The Owls took a 35-14 first half lead on a Casey 23-yard touchdown catch, and then his nine-yard grab helped Rice pull away early in the third. Chase Clement finished with five touchdown passes and an eight yard run, but Houston was able to make things interesting with 634 yards of total offense and five touchdown passes from Case Keenum. But two of the touchdown throws came late in the fourth after the Owls had done their damage, finishing up with a Casey three-yard touchdown pass to Taylor Wardlow.
Player of the game: Rice TE James Casey made 12 catches for 172 yards and three touchdowns, ran five times for 10 yards and a score, he threw a three-yard touchdown pass, and he returned two punts for 18 yards
Stat Leaders: Houston - Passing: Case Keenum, 30-54, 494 yds, 5 TD, 1 INT
Rushing: Bryce Beall, 17-88, 1 TD. Receiving: Kierrie Johnson, 6-142, 1 TD
Rice - Passing: Chase Clement, 28-41, 381 yds, 5 TD
Rushing: C.J. Ugokwe, 18-110. Receiving: James Casey, 12-172, 3 TD
Whoopty doo. What does it all mean, Basil? ... With everything on the line, Houston’s defense couldn’t handle the Rice attack. The offense finally woke up, and while the team has been used to getting hot late, it was too late against the Owls. The secondary wasn’t even close, while the pass rush wasn’t able to do enough to disrupt the mobile Case Keenum. Now that the Conference USA title hopes are gone, it’s all about looking good in a bowl to set the tone for next year. However, after all the big things that were done, including the win over Tulsa, this is a bitter end to the regular season.

Nov. 22
Houston 42 … UTEP 37
In a wild shootout, Houston came up with a 26-point fourth quarter with Case Keenum throwing two touchdown passes in the frame, highlighted by a 62-yarder to Tyron Carrier, and ran for a one-yard score in the final minute to put the game away. Bryce Beall added a 71-yard touchdown dash and caught a 15-yard touchdown pass. UTEP got up 28-9 on three of Trevor Vitattoe’s four touchdown passes and he ran for a score, while Kris Adams made touchdown catches from eight, 28, and 42 yards away.
Player of the game: Houston QB Case Keenum completed 41-of-51 passes for 480 yards and three touchdowns, and he ran for two scores
Stat Leaders: UTEP - Passing: Trevor Vittatoe, 27-45, 362 yds, 4 TD
Rushing: Donald Buckram, 9-49. Receiving: Kris Adams, 6-111, 3 TD
Houston - Passing: Case Keenum, 41-51, 480 yds, 3 TD
Rushing: Bryce Beall, 19-167, 1 TD. Receiving: Tyron Carrier, 9-141, 1 TD
Whoopty doo. What does it all mean, Basil? ... After the big win over Tulsa, Houston almost blew it with an uneven effort in the win over UTEP. Case Keenum and the attack woke up and got sharp late to pull off the win, but it took a while for everything to get rolling. The defense struggled early on, but it came through when it had to by finally generating pressure on Trevor Vitattoe to halt the UTEP attack. Now it’s this simple. Beat Rice, play for the title. That’s it.  

Nov. 15
Houston 70 … Tulsa 30
Houston jumped out to a 14-0 lead on two four-yard Case Keenum touchdown passes, and the rout was on. The defense came up with two fourth down stops in the first half and took away five turnovers, but it was the offense that was the story as Keenum threw six touchdown passes and Tyron Carrier caught a 66-yard touchdown pass and returned a kickoff 93 yards for a score with nine seconds to play in the first half. Keenum added a six-yard touchdown run early in the fourth quarter to get Houston to 70, and the defense even got in the act with a 69-yard interception return for a score from Loyce Means. Tulsa’s offense cranked out 501 yards of total offense with four touchdown passes from David Jonson. Houston LB C.J. Cavness made 16 tackles
Player of the game: Houston QB Case Keenum completed 24-of-37 passes for 402 yards and six touchdowns, and he ran four times for 43 yards and a score
Stat Leaders: Tulsa - Passing: David Johnson, 18-29, 271 yds, 4 TD, 1 INT
Rushing: Tarrion Adams, 12-62. Receiving: Charles Clay, 6-83, 1 TD
Houston - Passing: Case Keenum, 24-37, 402 yds, 6 TD
Rushing: Bryce Beall, 17-56. Receiving: Mark Hafner, 8-93, 2 TD
Whoopty doo. What does it all mean, Basil? ... Houston took control of the Conference USA West race. After walloping Tulsa, the Cougars might be tied in the West with Tulsa and Rice, but they still have to face the Owls and could win the division by winning out. While the attention will be paid to Case Keenum and the offense that rolled up 641 yards, the defense did its part despite allowing 501 yards. With five takeaways and the big stops early on to swing all the momentum Houston’s way, the game was never in doubt. Up next is a date with a decent UTEP team before the battle with Rice.


Nov. 8
Houston 42 … Tulane 14
Houston cranked out 693 yards of total offense with Case Keenum throwing for 384 yards and four scores. RB Bryce Beall dominated in the first half with three touchdowns scoring from 15 and two yards out and catching a 19-yard touchdown pass on the way to a 21-7 first half lead. The Cougar offense kept on rolling in the third quarter on three Keenum touchdown passes including a 38-yarder to Chaz Rodriguez and a 49-yarder to Tim Monroe.
Player of the game: Houston RB Bryce Beall ran 21 times for 176 yards and two touchdowns, and he caught four passes for 27 yards and a score.
Stat Leaders: Tulane - Passing: Kevin Moore, 12-27, 142 yds
Rushing: Nathan Austin, 22-39. 2 TD. Receiving: Alan Mitchell, 5-72
Houston - Passing: Case Keenum, 29-40, 384 yds, 4 TD, 1 INT
Rushing: Bryce Beall, 21-176, 2 TD. Receiving: Tyron Carrier, 4-67
Whoopty doo. What does it all mean, Basil? ... Houston wasn’t perfect against Tulane, there were 12 penalties for 143 yards and three turnovers, but when you crank out close to 700 yards of total offense, you can afford a few mistakes. Case Keenum has remained brilliant, throwing for 300 yards or more in 10 straight games, but it was the running of Bryce Beall who took the pressure off Keenum and the passing game. Now come the big battles in the Conference USA race with Tulsa and Rice in the final three games, along with the home date with UTEP.

Oct. 28
Marshall 37 ... Houston 23
Marshall jumped out to a 30-3 lead with a stunning first three quarters. Mark Cann threw two touchdown passes and ran for another, with his five-yard throw to Emmanuel Spann coming off a fumble return on a goal line stand.
Craig Rantanamorn added three field goals in the run. Houston made it interesting late with Bryce Beall running for a short score and catching a 14-yard touchdown pass, and Kierrie Johnson taking a pass 59 yard for a score. Houston's Kenneth Fontenette made 19 tackles.
Player of the game: Marshall DE Michael Janac made nine tackles with 1.5 sacks and three tackles for loss with a forced fumble.
Stat Leaders: Marshall - Passing: Mark Cann, 15-25, 157 yds, 2 TD
Rushing: Darius Marshall 15-102, 1 TD. Receiving: Emmanuel Spann, 5-33, 1 TD
Houston - Passing: Case Keenum, 22-41, 217 yds, 2 TD, 2 INT
Rushing: Bryce Beall, 14-68, 1 TD. Receiving: Tyron Carrier, 6-104

Whoopty doo. What does it all mean, Basil? ...  Houston's offense sputtered and coughed early on against the Marshall defense, and as good as Case Keenum was late, the damage had already been done. Turnovers were a problem, and the lack of a big defensive stop was a bigger issue. The Herd seemed to be all over the field and Keenum struggled to keep the chains moving. The lack of a pass rush was an issue, but keeping Keenum clean was a bigger problem as the offensive line struggled against a quick, aggressive Marshall defensive front that had one of its best performances of the year. With a week off to recover, the Cougars need a dominant win over Tulane before dealing with the showdown against Tulsa. The Conference USA title is still there for the taking, but there's no room for error. However, loss of star receiver Patrick Edwards, who broke his leg running into an equipment cart, is a big problem. The loss of star receiver Patrick Edwards, who broke his leg running into an equipment cart, is a big problem.

Oct. 18
Houston 44 … SMU 38
Case Keenum connected with Tyron Carrier for the game-winning 26-yard touchdown pass with 24 seconds to play to cap a 21-point fourth quarter rally. Bo Levi Mitchell threw four touchdown passes and ran for another as SMU jumped out to a 21-7 lead and was up until the final minute. Aldrick Robinson caught touchdown passes from nine and 70 yards out in the third quarter, but the Cougars dominated the fourth quarter with Keenum running for a nine-yard score and Bryce Beall scoring from one-yard out before the final 85-yard drive. Beall finished with three rushing scores and 105 yards on the ground as part of the 535-yard day from the Cougar offense.
Player of the game: Houston QB Case Keenum completed 28-of-36 passes for 404 yards and two touchdowns with an interception, and he ran for a score.
Stat Leaders: SMU - Passing: Bo Levi Mitchell, 29-39, 354 yds, 4 TD, 2 INT
Rushing: Andre McKinney, 8-41. Receiving: Aldrick Robinson, 8-186, 2 TD
Houston - Passing: Case Keenum, 28-36, 404 yds, 2 TD, 1 INT
Rushing: Bryce Beall, 22-105, 3 TD. Receiving: Mark Hafner, 10-160

Whoopty doo. What does it all mean, Basil? ... Houston’s defense is an ongoing issue, but the team is finding ways to come up with wins thanks to an offense that can explode at any time from anywhere on the field. Case Keenum is playing extremely well and he has shown he can be clutch when he has to be leading the Cougars to a 21-point fourth quarter to beat SMU. On a three-game winning streak and 3-0 in conference play, now the job is to focus on Tulane before the shootout against Tulsa.

Sept. 9
Houston 45 ... UAB 20
In a tale of two halves, UAB got up 20-3 on two Swayze Waters field goals and a scoring run and a 21-yard touchdown pass from Joe Webb. And then it was all Houston as the Cougar offense cranked out 375 second half yards and 42 unanswered points. Case Keenum threw two touchdown passes, including a 70-yarder to Patrick Edwards, and ran for a one-yard score, while Andre John and Bryce Beall each ran for short scores. The defense got into the act with a 35-yard interception return for a touchdown from Brandon Brinkley.
Player of the game: Houston QB Case Keenum completed 24-of-36 passes for 360 yards and two touchdowns, and he ran for a score.
Stat Leaders: Houston - Passing: Case Keenum, 24-36, 360 yds, 2 TD
Rushing:
Bryce Beall, 12-107, 1 TD. Receiving: Tyrone Carrier, 7-108, 1 TD
UAB
- Passing: Joe Webb, 24-40, 234 yds, 1 TD, 3 INT
Rushing:
Joe Webb, 25-72, 1 TD. Receiving: Frantrell Forrest, 8-84
Whoopty doo. What does it all mean, Basil? ... If you're going to get off to a lousy start, it helps to have the type of team that can throw up 42 points on the board in a half. It also helps to play UAB. The Cougars were breathtaking in the second half against the Blazers, but they sputtered, coughed, and didn't show up in the first half. Defensively, Phillip Hunt was unstoppable with eight tackles and three sacks, and if he keeps getting into the backfield on a regular basis, the Cougars won't have any problem over the next few weeks before dealing with Tulsa.

Sept. 27
Houston 41 … East Carolina 24
Houston busted open a close game with an 84-yard touchdown catch from Kierrie Johnson in the fourth quarter, and two minutes later, got a five-yard Bryce Bell touchdown run after a turnover. The Cougars cranked out 621 yards of total offense while the defense stuffed the ECU attack, holding it to just 275 yards. The Pirates got an 11-yard interception return for a touchdown from Emanuel Davis and a four-yard Brandon Simmons touchdown run, but Houston never trailed. ECU converted just one of 13 third down chances and the two teams combined for seven turnovers.
Player of the game: Houston QB Case Keenum finished 36-of-44 for 399 yards, three touchdowns and an interception, running nine times for 23 yards.
Stat Leaders: Houston - Passing: Case Keenum, 36-44, 399 yds, 3 TDs, 1 INT
Rushing:
Bryce Beall, 22-132, 2 TDs. Receiving: Patrick Edwards, 11-146, 1 TD
East Carolina
- Passing: Patrick Pinkney, 10-20, 100 yds, 1 TD, 1 INT
Rushing:
Brandon Simmons, 19-86, 1 TD. Receiving: Dwayne Harris, 5-52
Whoopty doo. What does it all mean, Basil? ...
The Cougars might have had their problems, but they turned it on once again when the Conference USA spotlight turned on. The dominated East Carolina on the road, and with an off-week, UAB, and SMU coming up next, there’s a chance to go on a big run before going to Marshall. Case Keenum was tremendous and he bombed away at will thanks to the time allowed him by the line, while the defense did a great job of keeping ECU in check. There were too many turnovers (4) and ECU was able to stay alive a bit too long considering how well the Cougar offense played, but this was a nice, big win to set up the Conference USA pecking order.

Sept. 20
Colorado State 28 … Houston 25
On the CSU 15-yard line, Houston had a chance to kick the game-tying field goal with eight seconds to play but chose to try one more shot in the end zone. Case Keenum’s pass was picked off by Klint Kubiak, and Colorado State held on for the win. The Rams got up 21-0 on short touchdown runs from Kyle Bell and Gartrell Johnson, and they started out hot with a 79-yard Dion Morton touchdown catch in the opening minute, but Houston came roaring back with three Keenum touchdown passes including a three-yarder to L.J. Castile, along with a two-point conversion, to pull within three with 2:31 to play. The Cougar defense was able to force a three-and-out, before going on the final drive.
Player of the game:
Colorado State QB Billy Farris finished 24-of-33 for 276 yards and touchdown passes.
Stat Leaders: Houston - Passing: Case Keenum, 37-54, 380 yds, 3 TDs, 3 INTs
Rushing: Bryce Beall, 14-96. Receiving: Mark Hafner, 8-73, 1 TD
Colorado State - Passing: Billy Farris, 24-33, 276 yds, 2 TDs
Rushing: Gartrell Johnson, 19-69, 1 TD. Receiving: Dion Morton, 5-126, 1 TD
Whoopty doo. What does it all mean, Basil? ... Houston shouldn’t have lost to Colorado State. The offense needed a half to wake up, and when it did it was unstoppable. Now the team has to learn how to do a better job of playing a full four quarters to the running game can get more involved, and that’ll happen if Case Keenum doesn’t make a slew of mistakes. The four UH turnovers turned out to be a killer, but Keenum did do a good job of leading the team back into the game. Now, on a three-game losing streak, the Cougars have to gear it up for a road trip to East Carolina.

Sept. 13
Air Force 31 … Houston 28
In the rain and wind thanks to Hurricane Ike, Air Force jumped out to a 31-7 lead, and then held on for deal life. The Falcons didn’t complete a pass, but they ran for 380 yards and got three short touchdown runs from Shea Smith. Houston owned the final 20 minutes with Case Keenum throwing three touchdown passes including two seven-yarders to Mark Hafner in the fourth quarter. Houston never got the ball back as Air Force ran out the clock. The two teams combined for 20 penalties for 160 yards.
Player of the game: Air Force QB Shea Smith failed to complete any of his seven passes, but rushed 15 times for 93 yards and three touchdowns.
Stat Leaders: Air Force
- Passing: Shea Smith, 0-7, 0 yds, 0 TDs
Rushing: Shea Smith, 15-93, 3 TDs. Receiving: none
Houston
- Passing: Case Keenum, 34-57, 362 yds, 4 TDs, 1 INT
Rushing: Case Keenum, 10-75. Receiving: Tyron Carrier, 8-91

Whoopty doo. What does it all mean, Basil? ... Houston struggled with the Air Force running game, like everyone does, but in horrible conditions, the Cougar offense did a good job of getting back in the game with the late rally. This is still a young team replacing several key players, but eventually, this team is going to be much tighter and much more efficient. Now it needs a better ground game. 172 yards were nice but 75 came from the quarterback, Keenum.

Sept. 6
Oklahoma State 56 … Houston 37
Oklahoma State ripped off 699 yards of total offense as Dez Bryant caught 236 yards worth of passes and Kendall Hunter ran for 210 yards to mark the first time the school has had a 200-yard rusher and a 200-yard receiver in the same game. Houston had a 16-14 halftime lead, and then it was all Cowboys as they reeled off 28 straight points with Bryant scoring from 39, 29 and 74 yards out and Keith Toston running for a 29-yard score. Bryant also added a 71-yard punt return for a score in the fourth to put the game well out of reach. Houston rolled up 483 yard of its own with Case Keenum throwing four touchdown passes.
Player of the game:  Oklahoma State WR Dez Bryant caught nine passes for 236 yards and three touchdowns. He also returned three punts for 75 yards and a touchdown.
Stat Leaders: Oklahoma State - Passing: Zac Robinson, 14-21, 320 yds, 3 TD
Rushing: Kendall Hunter, 22-210, 2 TD  Receiving: Dez Bryant, 9-236, 3 TD
Houston - Passing: Case Keenum, 35-61, 387 yds, 4 TD
Rushing: Case Keenum, 9-81. Receiving: Patrick Edwards, 8-106

Whoopty doo. What does it all mean, Basil? ... Alright, so defense might be a bit of a problem early on. To be fair, the Oklahoma State offense is among the best in the Big 12 and it’s going to put up big numbers all season long, and Houston just couldn’t keep up the pace. Even so, the play of Case Keenum was still a major plus as he bombed away for 381 yards and four scores and ran for 81 yards. Let this one go, but if the run defense doesn’t improve next week, then it’ll be time to worry for the meat of the Conference USA season.

Aug. 30
Houston 55 ... Southern 3
Houston rolled to 615 yards of total offense to kick off the Kevin Sumlin era with a bang. Case Keenum threw five touchdown passes including two to L.J. Castile, and and Andre Kohn added a touchdown run as the Cougar offense exploded. Southern gained just 35 yards rushing and managed a second quarter field goal.
Player of the game: Houston QB Case Keenum completed 33 of 43 passes for 392 yards and five touchdowns.
Stat Leaders: Southern - Passing: Bryant Lee, 22-34, 182 yds
Rushing: Bryant Lee, 9-40. Receiving: Juamorr Stewart, 8-56
Houston - Passing: Case Keenum, 33-43, 392 yds, 5 TD
Rushing: Andre Kohn, 11-54, 1 TD. Receiving: Mark Hafner, 7-103, 2 TD
Whoopty doo. What does it all mean, Basil? ... Talk about your opening debuts, Houston made things easy for head coach Kevin Sumlin as the passing game was unstoppable from the start against Southern. Case Keenum had a huge day, while Blake Joseph was perfect. The two QBs combined to complete 39 of 49 passes for 467 yards and six touchdowns. Converting 10 of 15 third down chances is always a plus.

2008 Recruiting Class

Star of the Class

Jarvis Smith LB 6-2 215 Fr. Houston, Texas/Chavez
Four-star recruit by Scout.com. ... Ranked nationally #15 by Scout.com. ... A member of the Houston Chronicle Area Top 110 team


Potential Instant Impact Players

Jackie Hinton, Jr. DB 5-11 187 Fr. Channelview, Texas/Channelview
Three-star recruit by Scout.com. ... Ranked nationally #71 by Scout.com. ... Ranked #101 in the Texas Top 110 by SuperPrep. ... Runs a 4.5 in the 40-yard dash. ... A member of the Houston Chronicle Area Top 110 team. ... Pulled the trifecta, as he was named First-Team, All-District on offense, defense and special teams. ... Rushed for 1,030 yards and 11 touchdowns, while adding 23 receptions for 196 yards and one score as a senior. ... As a junior had 30 catches for 421 yards and seven TDs as well as three interceptions, 351 yards on kickoff returns and 78 punt return yards. ... Also plays baseball. ... Also recruited by Arizona State, Oklahoma State, Utah, Baylor, Rice and Boston College.


Anthony Lewis LB 6-1 200 Fr. Houston, Texas/Aldine
Three-star recruit by Scout.com. ... Ranked nationally #32 by Scout.com. ... Ranked #91 in the Texas Top 110 by SuperPrep. ... Runs a 4.5 in the 40-yard dash. ... A member of the Houston Chronicle Area Top 110 team. ... A member of the Dallas Morning-News State Top 100 team. ... Ranked #84 by the Dallas Morning-News. ... Finished senior season with 100 tackles, with seven sacks, seven forced fumbles and three fumble recoveries. ... Named First-Team, All-State as a senior. ... Two-time all-district performer at defensive end. ... Also recruited by Nebraska, Arizona, Baylor, Kansas, Iowa State, Minnesota and Purdue.


Rest of the Class
Jacolby Ashworth OL 6-3 275 Fr. Lufkin, Texas/Lufkin
Bryce Beall RB 5-11 195 Fr. Tatum, Texas/Tatum
Gino Collins CB 5-11 185 Fr. Houston, Texas/St. Pius X
Doran Guillory DE 6-3 245 Fr. Beaumont, Texas/Kelly
David Hunter DL 6-2 270 Fr. Waller, Texas/Waller
Kris Johnston DB 6-0 190 Fr. Texas City, Texas/Texas City
Jordan Mannisto K/P 6-0 175 Fr. Westlake Village, Calif./Westlake
Marcus McGraw LB 5-10 210 Fr. Arlington, Texas/Bowie
Nick Saenz DB 5-11 185 Fr. Pearland, Texas/Pearland
Blake Sargent OL 6-3 275 Fr. Friendswood, Texas/Friendswood
Isaiah Sweeney WR 5-9 160 Fr. Missouri City, Texas/Hightower
Ari Tatum OT 6-5 240 Fr. Dacula, Ga./Dacula
Mohammed Usman DE 6-1 235 Fr. Arlington, Texas/Bowie
Ken Van Heule OL 6-4 265 Fr. Hurst, Texas/L.D. Bell
Ronnie Williams WR 5-11 180 Fr. Houston, Texas/Sterling
Chris Wilson RB 5-11 208 Fr. Sugar Land, Texas/Austin

2007 Recap

Recap:
After rebounding admirably from the graduation of franchise QB Kevin Kolb, the Cougars must do it again after the departure to Baylor of head coach Art Briles, the architect of the program’s recent revival.  While Houston failed to repeat as Conference USA champs, and lost a bowl game for the eighth straight time, it did win eight games and tie Tulsa atop the Western Division in somewhat of a transition season.  When the Cougars were having problems last year, the defense was often the culprit, giving up an average of 42 points a game in their four regular season losses.       

Offensive Player of the Year: RB Anthony Alridge

Defensive Player of the Year: DE Phillip Hunt

Biggest Surprise: QB Case Keenum.  Faced with the unenviable task of succeeding Kolb, the freshman did an admirable job, flashing a live arm and good mobility, while providing hope for the future.  While sharing time with tag-team partner Blake Joseph, Keenum tossed 14 touchdowns passes and scrambled for nine more.

Biggest Disappointment: With the West up for grabs on Nov. 10, Houston played its worst game of the Briles era, getting blitzed by Tulsa, 56-7.  Despite boasting two of the league’s most explosive players, RB Anthony Alridge and WR Donnie Avery, the Cougars were never able to break through against a very suspect Hurricane defense.

Looking Ahead: Former Oklahoma offensive coordinator Kevin Sumlin takes the reigns of the program, promising to build on the success of the past few seasons.  Although the new head coach will have weapons on offense, replacing the speed and big-play ability of Alridge and Avery will be next to impossible.

 

 

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