Cougar sports services
University of Houston head football coach Kim Helton remains upbeat despite his team's 45-10 loss to No. 5-ranked USC Saturday.
Helton, speaking at his weekly media luncheon, played down the Cougars' 0-3 record.
"The resiliency of this football team to maintain its positive attitude has been very good," he said. "The leaders on this team have sustained it very well, and that's not an easy thing to do. Right now, we're far better than any team we've had since I've been here, and it's still early. We're still playing out of conference, and by the time that comes around, we could be a pretty good team."
The Cougars will face another tough opponent Saturday when they travel to Lawrence, Kansas, to face the undefeated Kansas Jayhawks.
The Jayhawks' 3-0 record includes wins over Cincinnati and TCU.
Kansas, which features a strong running game and a great deal of team speed and quickness on both sides of the ball, is the early favorite for Saturday's game after an impressive performance against TCU last week on national television.
"No one thinks we can win this game but us, and the fact that we believe it gives us a chance," Helton said. "We'll match up better against Kansas than we did against either USC or Florida, and I think we have a great chance of winning.
"Before this thing is all said and done, we're going to win some football games, and it would be nice to do it against a good team like Kansas."
The Cougars will most likely be without the services of starting running back Antowain Smith, who suffered a strained achilles tendon early in the USC game.
Junior running back Jermaine Williams is also listed as doubtful for the Kansas game.
Freshman defensive end Louis Hampton, who missed the last two games with a strained hamstring, returned to practice Tuesday for the first time since Sept. 1.