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Monday, November 2, 1998
Houston, Texas
Volume 64, Issue 50

Cougar Volleyball

About the Cougar

'Big Back Mike' saves day for Cougars

By Anna Sivadasan
Daily Cougar Staff 

UH running back Mike Green had an interesting premonition prior to Saturday afternoon's game against the East Carolina Pirates. 

"I had told my roommate (Friday night) in the hotel that I had a good feeling about this game. I didn't know that I was going to make the play, but I had a feeling that we were going to win," he said. 

The play he was referring to was, of course, the play of the game in the Cougarsi 34-31 victory over the Pirates. Every athlete, regardless of the sport, dreams about having the ball in his or her hands with a chance to make the play of the game and lead the team to the victory.

"Big back Mike," a name given him by the coaching staff, got his opportunity because starting tailback Ketric Sanford went out with a hip-pointer injury.

"I felt that I was going to have to step up," Green said. "Ketric wasn't feeling too good, so I had to step up my play. When he went down, I felt it was my job to step up and take over for this football team."

Take over is exactly what he did with 2:35 left in the game. The Cougars trailed 31-27, and on their first play of the game-winning drive, Green took a screen pass from quarterback Jason McKinley and ran 57 yards down the sideline to the ECU 8. Two plays later, he found the end zone for the Cougar lead and eventual win. Green was responsible for 58 of the 65 yards on UH's game-winning drive, but he gave most of the credit to his offensive teammates.

"The offensive line did a great job all day," he said. "We ran the screen pass earlier, but they didn't throw it to me. So we came back to it and did it on the other side (in the fourth quarter), and it was there. I had two blocks by the receivers, and that's what sprung me."

But that wasn't his only contribution to the UH win. With Sanford's injury, Green got the majority of the playing time in the Cougar backfield and rushed for a career-high 94 yards on 18 carries and two touchdowns. He ended his break-out day with 178 all-purpose yards, and in the process, he impressed his head coach. "What a great game by Mike Green," UH coach Kim Helton said. "Ket was nicked up all night, and Mike came in and did a great job. Mike Green is a good, big back. He'll play more from here on out."

And that is just fine for the Cougar tailback. More playing time will only give him the opportunity to enhance his skills. "I want to be an all-around back," he said. "Hell, if I can throw it, I want to throw it. I want to try and do everything."

Reach Sivadasan at

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