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Doc Hancock’s Grand Tour Of C-USA: Houston Cougars

Posted by Ryne E. Hancock on September 12, 2008

Editor’s Note: My apologies to Doc and company, it is my fault this is late to the presses. Thanks, Management.

Houston Cougars

Head Coach: Kevin Sumlin (1st year)

Stadium: Robertson Stadium (32,000)

2007 Record: 8-5 (6-2 C-USA West)

Postseason: Lost to TCU 20-13 in Texas Bowl

Key Returnees on Offense: QB Case Keenum

Key Returnees on Defense: NT Eli Ash, DT Tate Stewart, DE Phillip Hunt, LB Cody Lubojasky, CB Brandon Brinkley, SS Ernest Miller, FS Kenneth Fontennette

The Skinny: After an 8-5 record in 2007 under coach Art Briles, the Cougars said goodbye to the longtime coach, who went to Waco to try his hand at turning around Baylor’s fortunes on the gridiron and hello to Kevin Sumlin, who spent five seasons at Oklahoma under Bob Stoops. With that he also brings in Dana Holgorsen, who served as offensive coordinator at Texas Tech to implement a new offensive scheme coupled with the offensive attack Briles had during his time at Houston. Case Keenum will be back for his sophomore season after throwing for over 2,000 yards and 14 touchdowns in his freshman season. The downside of it was the fact that Keenum also had 10 interceptions. But while he put up impressive numbers with his arm, he also put up impressive numbers with his feet, rushing for 412 yards and 9 touchdowns.

On defense, the Cougars will welcome back end Phillip Hunt, who led the team in sacks with 10.5 and safety Kenneth Fontennette, who was second in tackles for the Cougars in 2007 with 69.

Doc’s Prediction: After another banner season in 2007, the first without Kevin Kolb at quarterback, who is now studying under Donovan McNabb in Philly, the Cougars again will challenge the Golden Hurricane for the C-USA West title. With the Golden Hurricane coming for a visit November 15th, every game before that is nothing more than a warmup for the showdown with Tulsa.

Projected Record: 9-4 (6-2)

2008 Houston Cougars Schedule

August 30th-Southern

September 6th-@ Oklahoma State

September 13th-Air Force

September 20th-@ Colorado State

September 27th-@ East Carolina

October 11th-UAB

October 18th-@ Southern Methodist

October 28th-@ Marshall

November 8th-Tulane

November 15th-Tulsa

November 22nd-Texas El-Paso

November 29th-@ Rice

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