|Wednesday, November 4, 1998||
Volume 64, Issue 52
Mike Green has continually grown into his role as the backup tailback, but is now being worked into the position of fullback. Green scored the winning touchdown last weekend against ECU.
Bowl possibilities are within reach for the Cougars
By Anna Sivadasan
If the Houston Cougars win their remaining three games, they have an opportunity to win the conference and go to a bowl game. Before the season begins, such is the goal of any team. But if UH accomplishes this goal, credit deservedly should go to the players on the field.
However, as Cougar head coach Kim Helton points out, credit should also go to some others as well. "I think all great football teams start with great leadership at the individual position coaches," Helton said.
"Football is a team sport, but when you really get down to it, you're a unit led by somebody who has enough strength of personality to make you play for four quarters," he said. "The benefactor of that, obviously, is the head coach. If you have a tremendous amount of individual leadership as assistant coaches, then you are always going to have a team that plays to the end. It all starts at the top."
Heading into the season, the Louisville Cardinals and their fans would have been happy if the team could double its win total from last year. That wasnit too much to ask from a squad that only recorded one win in 1997.
First-year coach John L. Smith took over a program that was not in the best of shape. The Cardinals finished last season at 1-10 overall and 0-6 in Conference USA, and nine of those 10 defeats were by double digits. Needless to say, optimism did not fill the beginning of this football season.
However, Louisville players and coaches should be commended for their 1998 season. Not many people, media and C-USA coaches included, gave the Cardinals a fighting chance to do anything this year. The conference coaches picked the Cards to finish next to last in their pre-season poll. But not only have the Cardinals been respectable this year, they have a shot at a winning season.
Louisville is 5-4 overall and 2-2 in C-USA. Most of the credit should go to Smith, who has brought a new winning attitude to this year's team. Smith should get strong consideration for conference coach of the year.
The Cardinals can also be grateful for their terrific passing attack, led by record-breaking junior QB Chris Redman.
Louisville has basically dominated its opponents in 1998, averaging 38 points per game to rank ninth in the nation. Redman had set numerous school records for passing last year, and he is on pace to shatter many of those same records this season. The UL signal caller has been named C-USA offensive player of the week three times, and he has a shot, although a slim one, at dethroning Tulane's Shaun King for the league's postseason offensive player of the year honors.
He will probably finish second to the Tulane QB, but Redman, along with the rest of his teammates, should get some sort of award for bringing Louisville back from the dead.
Green Wave sailing along
The Tulane Green Wave has moved up in both The Associated Press and coaches' polls, ranking at No. 15 and 16, after mauling Southwestern Louisiana Saturday 72-20.
The 72 points established a new C-USA record, and the Wave has now scored 298 points in its seven wins this season. At a perfect 7-0, Tulane has its best start since 1979 and is one of only seven teams in the country that does not have a blemish in the loss column.
It looks like Tulane will make it 8-0 when it visits the 2-6 Memphis Tigers this weekend. However, the Tigers have played well in their series with the Green Wave, winning five of the last six meetings. But the way Tulane is playing, that should not matter.
CIC Trophy on the line
It is not a game that will decide the winner of the conference. Nor is it going to decide who goes to which bowl. But every year, the meeting between the Army Cadets and the Air Force Falcons is one of the biggest games of the season.
The two academies will play each other Saturday for the Commander in Chief's Trophy. With their 49-7 win over Navy, the Falcons can win their 12th outright trophy. With a Cadet win, Army can claim a share.
Air Force is 7-1 and is ranked No. 21 in the coachesi poll and No. 25 in the AP poll. The Falcons lead the all-time series 19-12-1. The contest will be televised on Fox Sports Net at 11 a.m.
C-USA players of the week
Offense: Louisville running back Leroy Collins rushed for 154 yards on 20 carries in leading the Cardinals to a 63-34 victory over Western Kentucky. Collinsi five touchdowns tied a conference and school record.
Defense: UH defensive back David Williams made one of the key plays in the Cougarsi 34-31 win over East Carolina. Williams picked up an ECU fumble at the Cougar 1-yard line and returned it 99 yards for a touchdown and a 21-10 UH lead. Williams also totaled seven tackles in the win.
Special teams: Houston linebacker Louis Hampton also nabbed the
special team honors for the Cougars. Hampton blocked a Pirate punt in the
second quarter, setting up another touchdown for the UH offense.
Reach Sivadasan at