The number 14 ranked University of Houston Cougars in this so far special season have a chance to go where no UH football team has ever gone before when they take on the University of Alabama- Birmingham Blazers on Saturday in a 6 PM EDT kickoff at Legion Field.
It’s their first road game in a month. They will not only be trying to continue their rise in the BCS rankings from their all time program high number 13 spot and stay unbeaten in C-USA West play, they’ll be attempting to become the first Cougar football squad in school history to go 9-0.
They are also aware of the excitement they are generating among Cougar fans and the national attention and buzz they are getting with the media outside the Houston area.
According to UH Head Coach Kevin Sumlin, he has addressed it as they prepare for each week’s opponent.
We talked about it (Monday),” Sumlin said in a Houston Chronicle interviewwith Sam Khan Jr. “With winning, that comes
along with it. We’re the same team Thursday night after we won the game
(versus Rice) that we were on Sunday night at 7:15 (p.m., when the BCS rankings were
released). That’s a number to put on it. We’re happy about it. As I’ve
said many times, it’s great for our university, great for our city,
great for our fans. As a team, we’ve got our own goals. To achieve those
goals, we’re going to have to keep winning. If you keep winning, those
things will take care of themselves.”
Cougar quarterback Case Keenum says the team is aware they have a chance to achieve something special for the school and themselves, but are taking it one game at a time.
“We try not to look at the big picture too much,” Keenum said. “We
obviously know that there is something special out there in front of us,
but a lot of these guys were around in 2009 when we got up pretty high
in the rankings and fell off towards the end of the year. We know that
was fun, but we also know that there is a lot more out there. We’ve been
to this point and fell off and that’s not somebody anyone wants to do.
So we know the importance of taking it one week at a time and we know
the importance of winning above anything else. That’s what’s most
important to us and we’re going to go around and give it our absolute
best every time we go out on the field.”
And we Cougar fans are aware that early in the year the road games presented some stiff challenges.
There was the Louisiana Tech one in which the Coogs were down 34-7 midway through the third quarter but roared back to win itand the one against UTEP in El Paso where our 2009 attempt to BCS bust died They were two TD’s down to UTEP early but got the offense and defense cranked up to outlast the Miners 49-42
The Coogs know they will get A games from every team they play for the rest of the season. After another road trip next Thursday to the Superdome to play Tulane there are still dangerous games ahead against SMU and Tulsa.
As ‘easy’ as certain burnt orange Hateraid drinking detractors claim UH’s schedule is, the reality is no one has gone unbeaten in C-USA football play since Louisville did it in their 2004 championship season. Since divisional play and the championship game was started in 2005 there has never been a C-USA team that has gone unbeaten while winning the title including UH’s 2006 C-USA championship squad. They had a 31-27 loss pinned on them by Southern Miss in Hattiesburg on October 14, 2006 but beat them 34-20 in the December 1 title game rematch at Robertson Stadium.
But before they can even think about getting to that point, they have to handle their football business against the 1-7 (1-4) Blazers first..
Eat ’em up!