HOUSTON FOOTBALL SEASON PREVIEW
Over the past several decades, the University of Houston has become a major power in Conference USA and has been buoyed by the strength of their offense and innovative passing attack. During 2011, the Cougars posted the first undefeated regular season in its history with a perfect mark of 12-0, but unfortunately fell to the University of Southern Mississippi in the Conference USA Championship Game. While many prominent seniors like quarterback Case Keenum and guard Chris Thompson have graduated, spirits are high at the UH facility as the program looks to cement its reputation on the Division 1 stage.
In 2011, the University of Houston offense scored a staggering 49.3 points per game, making them one of the most prolific scoring attacks in the country. This year, Drew Piland is expected to start at quarterback, and his past experience should be beneficial to getting the offense going. On the ground, All-Conference USA running back Charles Sims will return and will bring his unique combination of size and speed to the pass-driven Houston offense. At the receiver spot, the depth chart is wide open, with myriad freshmen and sophomore players vying for starting spots. Lastly, the Cougars' offensive line looks to be the strength of the team, with willing pass blockers like Jacolby Ashworth and Ty Cloud manning the tackle and guard positions.
On defense, the University of Houston will be switching back to a four-man front, and a series of athletic defensive ends like Zeke Riser and Eric Braswell will have to show they can adapt to the speed of the new defense. The linebacking corps will enjoy continuity with the return of 2011 starters Phillip Steward and Derrick Matthews. The secondary returns three of four 2011 starters and looks to be the strong spot on the Cougar defense.
Special teams have been a bright spot for the Cougars over the past several seasons, with kicker Matt Hogan expected to return and Richie Leone handling the punting duties. The team is also well-known for its vaunted return game, which took back three return touchdowns during the 2011 season.
Coming off of its coming out party of a year in 2011, the University of Houston has become one of the most dangerous teams in Conference USA. This year, they look to capture the C-USA Championship for the first time since 2006 and prove that they belong on the Top 25.
HOUSTON COUGARS INFORMATION:
First Season: 1946
Location: Houston, Texas
Stadium: Robertson Stadium
Conference: Conference USA
Rivals: Memphis Tigers, Rice Owls
Heisman Trophies: Andre Ward
Notable Alumni: Antowane Smith, Andre Ward, Staford Routt
Notable Bowl Games:
The Houston Cougars football program dates back to 1946 when they began playing in the Lone Star Conference. The Cougars would find some their best success when they played in the now defunct Southwest Conference (SWC). Some of the great Cougar football players include coaching legend Tom Landry and quarterbacks David Klingler and Andre Ware.
The Houston Cougars play their home games at Robertson Stadium, or "the Rob", in Houston, Texas. The stadium was the home of the Cougars from 1946 to 1950 before the team moved to Rice Stadium and then the Astrodome. In 1998, the university of Houston remodeled the stadium and brought its team back there for home games. Robertson Stadium is shared with the MLS Houston Dynamo and seats 32,000 fans. Home games this season will be electric as the Cougars begin a new coaching era and vie for conference glory. Buy University of Houston Cougars tickets today and don't miss any of the action!
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