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Volume 68, Issue 14, Friday, September 13, 2002


UH works on protecting the ball against Cajuns

Cougar Sports Services

Coming off a second-game performance that saw the Cougars commit seven fumbles during a 34-13 loss to Tulane, head coach Dana Dimel said he's confident about the team's ability to bounce back against Louisiana-Lafayette.

The 1-1 Cougars will face the Ragin' Cajuns at 7 p.m. Saturday at Robertson Stadium. It will be the last home game until Army visits Oct. 19.

"I feel very comfortable about what we accomplished (during practices this week)," Dimel said. "We understand that this football team is going to have to fight and battle for everything that we get. That's the message right now."

Protecting the ball was one of the coaching staff's main problems it tried to correct during this week's practices. Cougar turnovers proved costly against Tulane, killing potential scoring drives and leading to points for Tulane.

"Fundamentally, we're doing everything the right way it needs to be done," Dimel said. "We just have to stay really focused on protecting the football in all cases that we have an opportunity to."

Had the Cougars beaten the Green Wave, it would have begun a season 2-0 for the first time since 1990, the last time UH finished a season ranked.

UL Lafayette (then known as Southwest Louisiana Institute) was UH's first opponent in 1946. The Cougars lead the all-time series against the Cajuns four games to two, and shut them out, 45-0, in 1999.

The Cougars' running game has been a different story, as senior running back Joffrey Reynolds gained 298 yards in two games and will look for a third consecutive 100-yard rushing game. The game will be broadcast on 790 AM KBME and on the Internet at

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