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Volume 68, Issue 49, Friday, November 1, 2002


Road to bowl berth begins at Memphis

By Geronimo Rodriguez
The Daily Cougar

Now that the rumors are beginning to settle, talks of a bowl berth are on the rise.

For now, the UH football players just hope a road win against the Memphis Tigers will catapult them into the mix of the ever-surprising Conference USA standings. The contest between the C-USA rivals begins at 1 p.m. Saturday in Memphis, Tenn.

Itis also the site of the Cougarsi last road win. It took UH three overtimes to beat the Tigers, 33-30, on Oct. 21, 2000.

"This game could be a real springboard for us, if we take it one step at a time and play four quarters of three segments," head coach Dana Dimel said.

Junior quarterback Nick Eddy will lead the 3-4 Cougars into Tennessee on Saturday to take on Conference USA rival Memphis.

Kevin Harwerth/The Daily Cougar

Dimelis emphasis on the Cougarsi (3-4, 1-3 in conference play) ability to execute flawless football stems from the teamis habit of slipping during the latter part of games this season against both Alabama-Birmingham and Texas Christian.

The Cougars were tied 10-10 in Fort Worth on Oct. 5 before the Horned Frogs scored 14 unanswered points to open the third quarter. 

The Horned Frogs went on to win 34-17.

The Cougars led Alabama-Birmingham, 28-6, in the second quarter (28-13 at halftime), but were outscored, 38-6, in the second half.

But the teamis 56-42 win against C-USA rival Army on Oct. 19 brought the Cougarsi potential to the fore and sparked a surge that Dimel said he hopes will flow into the coming game against the Tigers (2-6, 1-4 in C-USA).

One of those sparks grew from the teamis explosive running game against the Black Knights, where senior rushers Joffrey Reynolds and Chris Robertson gained a combined 289 yards with five touchdowns.

"We have to let those two guys try to win the game for us by establishing some consistency," Dimel said.

The Cougars need to win six games to become bowl eligible. Their next three opponents Memphis, East Carolina and Cincinnati are a combined 7-16. Of those three, only the Homecoming game Nov. 9 against ECU is at Robertson Stadium.

The Cougars lead the all-time series against the Tigers, 8-6, but are 3-4 in Memphis. The Tigers beat UH 52-33 last season.

Memphis is on a four-game losing streak dating back to a 31-17 game at UAB on Sept. 28.

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