Thursday, September 9, 1999
Houston, Texas
Volume 65, Issue 13

Cougar Comics Online
Ruggiano joins swim team

Player Profile

C-USA Football Notebook

About the Cougar

Cougar football team hopes to carry over adrenaline on the road at 'Bama

By Tom Carpenter
Daily Cougar Staff 

A formidable challenge awaits the UH football team at Legion Field in Birmingham, Ala., on Saturday afternoon.

The University of Alabama Crimson Tide, a team loaded with returning lettermen on both sides of the ball, is ranked 21st in the nation by the Associated Press.

After blowing Rice away 28-3 last week, the Cougars will rough it up in Alabama against the Crimson Tide on Saturday.

Pin Lim/The Daily Cougar

Alabama has one of the most celebrated histories in college football. Its 725 victories place it fifth, tied with Penn State, on the all-time wins list in NCAA history.

The Cougars will be going for win No. 300 against the Crimson Tide.

The Cougars are 0-8 against Alabama in the series history, having scored only 74 points while the Crimson Tide has scored 175 points, an average of 21.9-9.3 a game.

The last time Houston and Alabama played (1997), the Crimson Tide won 42-17 at Legion Field. 

Sports Illustrated ranks the Alabama schedule this year as the nation's fifth toughest behind Washington, California, Michigan and Clemson.

Alabama features a stable of outstanding running backs, including Heisman Trophy candidate Shaun Alexander.

Alexander needs only 1,129 yards to become Alabama's all-time leading rusher.

He holds the single game rushing record with a 291 yard effort against LSU in 1996. He needs 11 rushing touchdowns to become the school's all-time leader in that category.

Alabama also has a strong passing attack led by sophomore quarterback Andrew Zow.

Zow has started the last 8 games for the Tide. He completed 15 of 24 passes against Vanderbilt for 201 yards and two touchdowns without suffering an interception.

Cougar head coach Kim Helton has a lot of respect for the Crimson Tide football program.

"They think they're very good. They think they're back where they're supposed to be," Helton said.

The Vanderbilt Commodores gave the Crimson Tide a scare last week before the Tide prevailed 28-17.

The Alabama defense held Vanderbilt to 230 total yards. The Commodores rushed for 110 yards and passed for 120 more.

"They're very proud of their personnel right now," Helton said. "In the past, they think they've had lesser personnel than is historically true of Alabama."

The Sporting News issued a list of the top 100 professional football players in its September issue. Alabama had five former players on the list, more than any other college.

Three Alabama players made the Sport's Illustrated All-Century team, comprised of college players. Former Alabama head coach Paul "Bear" Bryant was selected to coach the team. 

Houston's opening victory over Rice declares that the Cougars will be stalking the Crimson Tide as an equal, unafraid of legends from the past, intent and focused on the present.

The game starts at 11:30 a.m. Saturday and can be seen on Channel 55.

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