Wednesday, October 24, 2001 Volume 67, Issue 45


Cougars ready to take next step

By Tom Carpenter
Daily Cougar Staff

Nobody can say UH football head coach Dana Dimel doesn't lead by example.

Dimel received two personal foul penalties when he stepped out on the playing field Saturday night to protest a defensive holding call that thwarted the Cougars'
fourth-quarter bid to pull out a victory against Cincinnati.

Kevin Harwerth/The Daily Cougar

The offensive line blasts a hole in the Cincinnati defense for junior running back Joffrey Reynolds. Reynolds ran for his third consecutive 100-plus yard game Saturday.

In accordance with team policy, Dimel paid the price, just like his players do when they receive penalties during games.

The players must run 250 yards and hit the deck every five yards for each penalty they incur.

"My legs and my back and my shoulders are sore from doing the 'up-downs,'" Dimel said. "I just got 250 in yesterday and I've got 250 more I still owe."

The Cougars finally played a complete game Saturday against Conference USA leader Cincinnati, but lost their chance at victory when the Bearcats ran out the clock after
benefiting from a defensive holding call and Dimel's two personal fouls.

"Obviously we got a lot closer to getting a victory, but still didn't make the plays that we need to make at the end of the game to win a football game," Dimel said. "But
we're a lot closer and did lots of things better on both sides of the football."

The Cougar defense dug in and stopped Cincinnati's ground game, limiting the Bearcats to 142 yards rushing.

"Early in the ballgame we did a nice job of stopping the run," Dimel said. "When you stop the run you can start to become more aggressive."

The Cougars' newfound aggressiveness caused turnovers that resulted in the team's first defensive touchdown of the season.

"That was a big step for our program to get back doing that again," Dimel said. "It all comes back to stopping the run. To correlate that into this week's ballgame we have
to stop the run against Southern Miss."

The Cougars ran the ball efficiently and effectively into and around the Bearcat defense, gaining 157 yards on 47 carries.

Junior running back Joffrey Reynolds registered his third consecutive 100-yard rushing game, gaining 116 yards on 27 carries.

The 47 rushes versus 24 passes, a 2-1 ratio, was just the opposite of Dimel's carefully crafted game plan that called for a 60-40 ratio of pass-run plays.

"We enjoyed having the opportunity to do that. If we run it well early in a ballgame we're going to be able to throw it well later in the ballgame," Dimel said. "Going into
this ballgame (Southern Miss), again we'd like to be able to establish the running game to help (quarterback) Nick (Eddy) in his passing game."

Dimel expressed enthusiasm for the improvement his offensive line has shown as the season progresses, especially the play of Darnerius Watson, a 6-2, 300-pound
senior lineman.

"The (UH) player of the week last week offensively was Darnerius, but Al James and Rex Hadnot also played excellent," Dimel said. "Tyrone Green played outstanding
as he came in to replace Jabari Beauford who was injured."

Dimel believes the Cougars are primed to wrest their first victory of the season.

"We've got to finish a game. We have to hold on to that 11-point lead and we've got to do it by being prepared to battle in the fourth quarter as a defense," Dimel said.
"That's the next step that we have to make."

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