Wednesday, Spetember 26, 2001 Volume 67, Issue 25


UH shoots for the moon

By Ed De La Garza
Daily Cougar Staff

If UH plays as well the rest of the season as it did against Texas, there isn't any reason the Cougars can't contend for the conference championship and one of four Conference USA-affiliated bowls.

At least that's what head coach Dana Dimel says.

"Have these first two football games prepared us to go on to the conference championship and has (our) football team shown the capacity to do
so?" Dimel said. "The answer to both questions are 'Yes.' I think that we have done that in both cases."

UH may have lost to Texas 53-26, but the Cougars led 14-10 with little more than one minute left in the first half.

Dimel is convinced the game was the Cougars' to be had, given a play here and there. With the offense's inspired play, it was a game in which
the team didn't quit, despite being down 40-14 in the third quarter.

"We did a lot of good things in that football game," Dimel said. "I left the field feeling that everyone continued to improve."

The play of freshman cornerback Stanford Routt was one of the bright spots for the Cougar defense. He's been thrust into a starting role
following Saturday's game, in which he intercepted one of Texas quarterback Chris Simms' passes.

"It surprised me. He threw it right to me," Routt said. "I didn't even have to break on it or anything. He just threw the ball right to me."

But Routt wasn't the only player who stepped up against Texas. Junior transfer quarterback Kelly Robertson outplayed Simms, connecting on 20
of 33 passes for 364 yards and three touchdowns.

This followed his first game against Rice, in which he completed 22 of 47 passes for 192 yards.

"I was really pleased with the way he played," Dimel said. "There were some opportunities where receivers were open and he missed them, but
I attribute that to trying to get used to being a starter."

Dimel expects Robertson to come up big against Texas Christian on Saturday. While the game will be the first conference game of the season,
it's also TCU's first C-USA game -- and a renewal of an old Southwest Conference rivalry.

"We feel like in the future, both (UH and TCU) can be top teams in this conference, as we improve and get to where we need to be and TCU
tries to maintain the level of play they have reached in the past," Dimel said.

It's a game Dimel feels that, even this early in the season, is crucial to having a successful year. The Horned Frogs may have only given up 21
points to national powerhouse Nebraska, but they also lost to a Division I-AA school -- Northwestern State.

"Both teams have to step up and show what they are made of when the game really matters in a conference game," Dimel said. "Neither team
has played a conference game at this point, and both teams have the ability to play really well."

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