NCAA FB

2003 PREVIEW: Houston Cougars

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The Cougars showed signs of improvement throughout last year, but it wasn't enough to keep from making a coaching change. Enter Art Briles who has brought in enthusiasm and a positive attitude to a program that needs to start believing it can actually win. Briles has great tools to work with as Houston has enough overall talent and good enough playmakers to become a factor in the Conference USA race. He's not going to accept just coming close to pulling off wins, he's expecting big success. So are the Houston fans.

Houston Cougars
Team Information
Head coach: Art Briles 1st year
Returning O Lettermen: 22
Returning D Lettermen: 26
Returning ST Lettermen: 4
Lettermen Lost: 22
Ten Best Houston Players
1. OG/C Rex Hadnot, Sr.
2. WR , Jr.
3. C , Sr. Inj.
4. QB , Soph. Inj.
5. DE Farouk Adelekan, Sr.
6. SS , Sr.
7. TE , Sr.
8. QB , Sr.
9. LB , Sr.
10. OG . Sr.
2003 Schedule
8/30
9/6 at
9/13 at UL Lafayette
9/20 Miss State
9/30 at
10/11 at
10/18
10/25 TCU
11/8 Southern Miss
11/15 at
11/22 at
11/29
To become a player in the league, Houston must find a way to improve the defense. The offense is always going to move the ball, but the defense was giving up points by the truckload with a total inability to stop anyone through the air. Briles and and Ron Harris have switched the scheme from a 4-2 5 to a 4-3 to force the linebackers to play more of a role. With a little improvement and some more adjustments, Houston can be a winning program. The Schedule: There aren't many killers on the schedule, but there aren't any breaks. Road games at Michigan, and to go along with a home date with could making things tough right away. The league slate isn't kind playing TCU, Southern Miss and at over a four game stretch. The Cougars miss and . Best Offensive Player: Senior OG Rex Hadnot. With star center still recovering from a knee injury, Hadnot could move over to the middle. No matter where he plays, he's still one of the dominant overall blockers in the conference and a dominant run blocker. Best Defensive Player: Senior DE Farouk Adelekan. He might not even be a starter, but he's the most vital player on the Cougar defense providing the best pass rushing threat. He made nine sacks and 18 tackles for loss last year in a reserve role. Key player to a successful season: With the loss of 1,545 yards, 11 touchdown runs, 19 passes and two touchdown catches of , sophomore has to be come a rushing threat. The season will be a success if: Houston finishes with a winning season. It's not going to be easy with this schedule to win more than six games, but Art Briles isn't going to accept anything less. Key game: Sept. 30 at . With the big boys of the league coming up later, Houston has to get out of with a tough road win or it could be a long season. 2002 Fun Stats:
  • Third quarter scoring: Opponents 110 - 74
  • Turnovers: 39 - Opponents 23
  • Time of possession: 31:54 - Opponents 28:06
    2003 Recruiting Class
    Star of the Class
    DaVell Lauder 6-3 225 DL Fr. Houston, Texas/Smiley Jeff Akeroyd 6-3 270 OL Fr. Lubbock, Texas/Monterey
    Byron Alfred 6-3 275 OL Fr. Port Arthur, Texas/Memorial
    Trent Allen 6-2 210 LB Fr. Longview, Texas/Spring Hill
    Anthony Alridge 5-10 165 RB Fr. Denton, Texas/Denton
    Donnie Avery 6-0 180 WR Fr. Houston, Texas/Hastings
    Dustin Dickinson 6-4 270 OL Fr. Springtown, Texas/Springtown
    Jeff Fillmore 6-1 170 WR Fr. Brenham, Texas/Brenham
    Austin Griffith 6-1 190 LB Fr. Huffman, Texas/Hargrave
    John Harrell 6-2 285 DL Fr. Stephenville, Texas/Stephenville
    Wade Koehl 6-2 210 LB Fr. Midland, Texas/Midland
    Kevin Kolb 6-3 230 QB Fr. Stephenville, Texas/Stephenville
    Marquay Love 6-2 295 DL Fr. Fort Worth, Texas/Crowley
    Eddie McCray 6-3 225 DE Fr. Baytown, Texas/Lee
    Perry McDaniel 5-8 170 WR Fr. Lubbock, Texas/Frenship
    Gerard Price 5-10 175 DB Fr. Webster, Texas/Clear Creek
    Jason Price 6-3 195 LB Fr. Denton, Texas/Sanger
    Marcus Ross 5-11 170 DB Fr. Houston, Texas/Sterling
    Roderick Schwartz 5-11 180 ATH Fr. Bradenton, Fla./Lakewood Ranch
    *Bennie Swain 6-2 175 WR Fr. Houston, Texas/Madison
    Harold Taylor 5-11 185 RB Fr. Houston, Texas/Smiley
    Beau Tuft 6-6 285 OL Fr. Houston, Texas/Westside
    Jason Wagner 6-6 290 OL Fr. Keller, Texas/Keller
    Ricky Wilson 5-10 180 DB Fr. Port Arthur, Texas/Lincoln
    *Potential Instant Impact Players
  • Tagged: Michigan, Florida, Mississippi State, Rice, Tulane, East Carolina, Army, Houston, Louisville, UAB, Memphis, South Florida

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