Houston offense running for dear life against UAB
By Christian Schmidt
Daily Cougar Staff
Saturday's game has been characterized as a clash of the titans — the
UH offense's irresistible force meets the immovable object of
Max Lacayo/The Daily Cougar
The Cougar offensive line faces up to Louisville's defense
Saturday in its most recent trial. It will go up against UAB and the nation's
UH has one of the nation's top offenses with quarterback Kelly Robertson
and running back Joffrey Reynolds combining to form one of the
nation's most productive backfield tandems.
UAB's defense has also earned its fair share of accolades this season.
The Blazers have the nation's top run defense, giving up a miniscule
53.8 yards a game on the ground, 16 fewer yards per game than Virginia
Tech, the nation's No. 2 rushing defense. Opposing teams are
averaging a mere 1.75 yards per carry.
"Another thing that we've spent a lot of time on is trying to establish
some kind of consistency in our run game," UH head coach Dana Dimel said.
"And that will be a big challenge for us."
Much of the onus of producing that running game will fall on the shoulders
of Reynolds. Reynolds is coming off a 114-yard performance last
week against Louisville, but should find the going much tougher against
the Blazer defense.
Houston's best chance to score will come through the air. UAB is ranked
47th in the nation against the pass, giving up 205 yards per game.
Dimel is equally as worried about what he terms "hidden yards." Such
yards do not show up on the opposing team's offensive statistics, but they
are vital in the battle for field position.
Last weekend at Louisville, the Cougars were victimized by a punt return
for a touchdown as well as a 59-yard kickoff return that set up a
"I was not especially pleased at all with our special team coverage
and kick-off coverage (last weekend)," Dimel said. "We need a real good
effort out of our kick-off coverage team. They've got to have a big
These hidden yards may prove the difference in a football game that
is likely to be a low-scoring affair.
While the Cougars are now playing for little more than their bruised
and battered pride, UAB is looking to become bowl eligible and go to the
first bowl game in their 10 seasons of football. With its game next
week against Pittsburgh, this may be the Blazers' best chance to get the
win they need.