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UofH Preview

Postby Guest » Fri Sep 29, 2000 1:20 am

Sorry, but our system has been down, so I am going to put the preview here.

Every coach has his skeptics, regardless of his team's record. SMU head
coach Mike Cavan offered this to add fodder for those who follow his
team.
"If you watched the tape and didn't know the score," Cavan said after
watching the tape of Houston's 48-0 loss to Texas Saturday, "you would
have thought Houston won the game. They dominated a lot of the game.
They moved the ball and they have a good defense. They made some
mistakes, and Texas made them pay. (Houston) had two interceptions
returned for touchdowns and they got scored on by the special teams. But
they're a strong team."
The Mustangs face the Cougars Saturday at John O'Quinn Field at
Robertson Stadium. The game starts at 7 p.m., and can be heard on
KTCK-1310 (AM), "The Ticket." The pregame broadcast starts at 6:30.
There is plenty to concern the Ponies and their coaching staff.
The Cougars and the Mustangs will square off Saturday boasting equal 1-3
records; Houston is off to a slow start after a 7-4 season raised the
level of expectations around the UH program as high as they’ve been
since the run-and-shoot days under Jack Pardee and John Jenkins. Houston
is a team desperate for a win.
There also is more recent history -- the Cougars are coming the 48-0
pasting at the hands of the Longhorns. And finally, there is the fact
that this Houston team is not without talent, its less-than-stellar
record notwithstanding. Prior to Saturday’s shellacking in Austin, UH
quarterback Jason McKinley was the highest-rated signal-caller in the
nation, entering the game averaging 346.3 yards per game through the air
and having completed 90-of-146 passes (62 percent) for 1,039 yards and
five touchdowns over his team’s first three games. He now leads the
Cougars back home, after a shutout loss, to face an SMU team with an
exceptionally young secondary that has been susceptible to aerial
attacks all season. McKinley had a rough outing against the Longhorns,
going 14-for-34 for 173 yards with a pair of interceptions. The Mustangs
will need to generate significant pass rush against the UH signal-caller
to contain the Cougar offense.
On the ground, Houston is led by tailback Joffrey Reynolds, who was
limited to 31 yards on 13 carries by the Longhorn defense. Through the
Cougars’ first four games, Reynolds has a team-high 82 carries for 350
yards.
The Cougars return three receivers who started last year -- 6-3,
223-pound Orlando Iglesias, 5-11, 167-pound Brandon Middleton and 6-0,
184-pound Jerrian James -- but neither caught a pass against Texas. The
leading Houston receiver against the Longhorns was KeyKowa Bell, who
snared five passes for a team-high 86 receiving yards.
For the season, the UH receiving corps is led by Brian Robison, who has
29 receptions for 299 yards through the air. Middleton is next with 16
catches for 241 yards. Between them, Robison and Middleton have five
touchdown receptions.
The Mustangs’ defensive line needs to generate pressure on McKinley and
to contain Reynolds, and the Mustangs might get that from their
defensive front because of the lack of experience on the UH offensive
line. The Cougars return just two starters on the offensive front from
last year, but those two are experienced and huge. Tackles Jabari
Beauford and Josh Lovelady each carry 330 pounds over their 6-3 frames.
The UH line is relatively young, but they have been able to keep
McKinley upright and open holes for Reynolds. McKinley is mobile, but he
does not line up in the shotgun nearly as much as Tulane's Patrick
Ramsey did (almost every play) and the Cougars do not employ the
fast-break offense utilized by the Green Wave. Translation: The
Mustangs' defensive front will have a little more time to reach the
quarterback, either creating a sack or forcing an errant throw.
The Cougars feature a defense that has proven to be one against which
teams can score.
Houston has given up an average of 34 points per game this season, with
its stingiest performance coming in a 28-13 loss at LSU in the Cougars’
second game of the season. UH surrendered 30 points in a season-opening
overtime loss to the cross-town rival Rice Owls and again in a 31-30 win
over Conference USA foe Army.
Defensively, the Cougars return just four starters from last year’s
team, including defensive tackle Nikia Adderson. The 280-pound senior is
an effective run-stuffer, but his lack of height (5-10) should allow 6-4
SMU quarterback Josh McCown some passing lanes that are not available
against teams with taller interior defensive linemen.
The Houston secondary is led by 5-10, 168-pound junior Jason Parker and
6-1, 184-pound Will Pettis. Free safety Hanik Milligan was among three
UH players who had an interception against Texas.
The Cougar linebackers are led by 6-1, 236-pound senior Wayne Rogers,
who has a team-high 45 tackles through four games.
>From his safety spot, Milligan is third on the team with 32 tackles,
including a team-high nine in the loss to the Longhorns.
Against Houston, the Mustangs must find more offensive consistency than
they have had in their first four games. In the season-opening victory
over Kansas, the Ponies mixed a balanced offense in racking up 31 points
on the Jayhawks. But since then, they’ve struggled to move the ball and
score against UTEP (much of the offense in a 37-20 loss to the Miners
came late, against a prevent defense), North Carolina State (which shut
out the Ponies, 41-0) and Tulane, which knocked off the Mustangs
Saturday, 29-17.
The main thing the SMU offense needs is to rediscover its running game.
After three productive games, tailback Kris Briggs was held to just
seven yards on 14 carries. Johnnie Freeman, who played in the backfield
with Briggs last year before moving to wide receiver this year, returned
to the backfield against Tulane and racked up 102 yards on the ground.
But that total is misleading, because much of Freeman’s yardage came on
a 63-yard touchdown run in the first quarter. Other than Freeman’s
sprint to the end zone, SMU managed just 53 yards on 27 carries.
Cavan said this week that Freeman needs to get the ball 15-20 times per
game, and said the Mustangs will mix up their offense to utilize
Freeman's speed. He will get the ball, Cavan said, via handoffs, pitches
from McCown and as a part of the passing game.
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Re: UofH Preview

Postby D » Fri Sep 29, 2000 12:45 pm

What's their injury situation? You mention the returning starters at receiver, but I heard they were pretty depleted in that area due to injuries. Also, any PonyFans going to the game? Would be nice to have a good turnout to show we're still behind the Stangs
Thanks.
D
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Re: UofH Preview

Postby Joyous » Fri Sep 29, 2000 12:53 pm

D - We will be there and have about 30 with us! And we will be LOUD!!! Come join us before the game out in the parking lot on the visitors side.
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Re: UofH Preview

Postby MustangMom » Fri Sep 29, 2000 2:25 pm

I'll be there and loud! I know that Ole Jim will be there too. Go Mustangs -beat the Cougars!!!!!!!!!!!!!

------------------
Go Mustangs!!
-MustangMom
Go Mustangs!!<BR>-MustangMom
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Re: UofH Preview

Postby tristatecoog » Sat Sep 30, 2000 11:50 am

6-1, 184-pound Will Pettis was kicked off the team before practice began. Fr. Bachie McGruder has played a bunch in the secondary and returned punts but has been slow to adapt. He works hard but needs more seasoning. Ethan Ross (JUCO transfer) might return punts tonight.

About five receivers have been out. Orlando Iglesias, Middleton, Williams, James (academics) and Robinson. We might have Robinson and Williams back. We've been going to the tight end and backs more than we would otherwise.
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