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Monday, April 17, 2000
Houston, Texas
Volume 65, Issue 134

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Offense takes shape in Red-White game

UH Football

Josh Gajewski

The UH football team now moves into phase three of head coach Dana Dimel's offseason training regimen. Phase two was completed Saturday with the annual Red and White game at O'Quinn Field at Robertson Stadium.

The game was highlighted by a second-half comeback by the Reds after they trailed 21-9 at the half.

Jason McKinley (12-of-20 for 205 yards) and Robert Stephenson, a transfer from Tulsa, combined to quarterback the Red team to the 35-28 win, while redshirt sophomore Joffrey Reynolds shined for the Whites, rushing for 89 yards on 10 carries.

"The most impressive thing to me is that we played extremely hard and didn't make a whole lot of mistakes," Dimel said. "And to have this much productivity from our football team in a spring game is really good.

"We were really pleased with the progress the offense made throughout the spring, and we're going to be very stout defensively as long as we can stay healthy," he said.

Wide receiver Jerrian James, who was forced to sit out the entire 1999 season with a fractured leg, returned to action with a solid performance, catching five passes for 111 yards.

"It's great to have Jerrian back," McKinley said. "We missed him a lot last year and we were lucky enough to have some other guys step it up (in 1999). Now we have all of the younger guys back who got some experience last year, plus Jerrian."

Another standout on offense was running back Chris Robertson, a transfer from Texas who isn't eligible to play until 2001, and who had six carries for 55 yards.

Running back Leif Penn rushed for 48 yards on 13 carries, and receivers Brandon Middleton and Brian Robinson each caught four passes.

Cornerback Will Pettis highlighted the defense with two interceptions and safety Emile White took one 34 yards for a touchdown.

"The guy that has impressed me the most this spring has been Joffrey (Reynolds)," Dimel said. "He's as good of a running back as I've ever been around. All he needs to do is polish his skills."

Dimel stressed an emphasis on academics in his postgame meeting with the players, with summer conditioning being the final phase of training before the start of the 2000 season.

"Right now this football team has a lot of confidence," Dimel added. "To me that's one of the most critical things a football team can have and everything is really coming together."
 

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