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Volume 68, Issue 126, Friday, April 4, 2003

Sports

A house divided: Coogs vs. Coogs

By Keenan Singleton
The Daily Cougar

Gone is last seasonis top offensive player, running back Joffrey Reynolds.

Gone is last seasonis top defensive player, safety Hanik Milligan.

Gone is last seasonis top coach, Dana Dimel.

So to ensure he wouldnit be going anywhere, athletics top man, Dave Maggard went to the drawing board and came back with Art Briles, the new head football coach.



Sophomore running back Anthony Evans and the Cougar football team will conclude the spring practice season with the annual Red-White Game at 10 a.m. Saturday at Robertson Stadium. Admission is free.

Cougar file photo

And Saturday, Briles will show Cougar supporters his first brush strokes at the annual Red-White Game at 10 a.m. at Robertson Stadium.

"Weire looking for great attitude and effort from our guys on Saturday," Briles said. "Iim going to be looking for intensity and intelligence. Weire going to play fast, fearless and weire going to play physical."

And theyire going to play each other. The team will be split in two, pitting teammate against teammate in an approximately 140-play scrimmage. Senior quarterback Nick Eddy and sophomore quarterback Blade Bassler are slated to start.

Briles expects five or six players to get significant time at the running back position, which was vacated by first team all-Conference USA back Reynolds and Chris Robertson.

"Look for Bobby Tillman, Cody Thibodeaux, Anthony Evans, Matt Schirmer, Jackie Battle and Carl Francis to share the ball," Briles said.

Their jobs, according to Briles, will be significantly easier with an offensive line that has consistently cleared space for the backs.

"Our offensive line play has been impressive," said Briles, a former Cougar wide receiver. "They have really been a key for us this spring."

Briles expects to mix it up offensively, chunking the ball downfield, as well as, grinding it out on the ground.

"Weire not going to try exploit one side too much, weill try to keep a good mix going," he said.

Last seasonis most improved unit, the defensive line, is expected to anchor the newly minted 4-3 scheme (four linemen, three linebackers), installed by defensive coordinator Ron Harris.

"Our defense, as a whole, has really come on the last two weeks," Briles said. "(Ron) Harris has really done a good job with them, getting them to understand the zone-blitz scheme (the linebackers and defensive tackles blitz and the defensive ends drop into pass coverage)."

"Our main objective is to stay healthy and learn how to play together," said Briles, who coached Texas Techis running backs the last three seasons.

Sophomore quarterback Barrick Nealy is still recovering from a torn ACL that he suffered last season against the Texas Longhorns and will not participate, at least physically in the scrimmage. Defensive back Jason Davis is also injured and will not play.

Admission to the game is free.

 Send comments to dcsports@mail.uh.edu

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