Working overtime pays off for Coogs

From the Gridiron


P. Davis

The Houston Cougars refuse to lose when the game extends beyond four quarters. In three overtime games since new overtime rules went into effect, the Cougars pulled out victories in the extra frame.

Only five NCAA Division I teams (Houston, Air Force, Fresno State, Oregon and USC) have played in three overtime games since the rule took effect last year. Of those five teams, only Air Force and UH are 3-0. This week's 41-38 double overtime victory over Cincinnati was UH's first double-OT game.

Offensive player of the week

The Cougars had the statistics to sweep Player of the Week honors this week. But voters at Conference USA felt differently.

This week's "Shaun King Award," previously dubbed Offensive Player of the Week, goes to three-time winner Shaun King. The Tulane quarterback tied a career high with four touchdown passes in Tulane's 33-16 win over East Carolina. King completed 17 of 30 passes for 258 yards, his sixth straight game with at least 250 yards passing. UH's Jason McKinley had comparable statistics, collecting 18 of 32 passing for 298 yards. It wasn't enough for C-USA voters, but he's my choice for Offensive Player of the Week.

Defensive Player of the Week

UH linebacker Vaughn Washington received the honors this week due to his performance against Cincinnati. Washington had six solo tackles (eight total) and caused two key turnovers (one fumble, one interception) resulting in two Cougar touchdowns.

Special Teams Player of the Week

Cougar kicker Sebastian Villarreal booted the game-winning field goal in double-overtime to give UH a 41-38 win over Cincinnati. Villarreal had a 22-yard field goal earlier in the game and finished with an 11-point day.

Villarreal has moved to second in the nation in field goals made per game (1.83).

Game of the Week

Two of the toughest teams in C-USA meet this week to determine who gets the driver's seat to the Liberty Bowl. The 4-2 Southern Mississippi Golden Eagles bring in the 4-2 Green Wave of Tulane for a battle of teams with colored mascots. Both teams are undefeated in conference play.

Around the state ...

The clearly over-rated Texas A&M Aggies finally faced a real opponent and got whipped 36-17 at Kansas State.

The Texas Longhorns faced a not-so-real opponent in the Missouri Tigers and were upset 37-29.

Just to maintain consistency, Texas Tech also received a shellacking. The No. 1 Nebraska Cornhuskers shutout the Red Raiders 29-0 points.

Rice (5-2 overall, 3-1 in WAC) and UH (2-4, 1-0) are the only two teams in Texas with hopes in its conference races.

Pigskin Notables ...

On Monday Night Football, Bills' kicker Steve Christie connected on a last second field goal to keep Indianapolis winless as the Bills scraped a 9-6 win.

For only the second time in NFL history, a game was played with no turnovers and no touchdowns.

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