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Volume 71, Issue 48, Thursday, November 3, 2005

Sports

UH looks to put dent in Knights' armor

Football returns to action, traveling to face Central Florida 
after one week off the field

By Louie Vera
The Daily Cougar

Fresh off a bye week, UH football head coach Art Briles has his team zealous and ready to travel to Orlando, Fla., to take on Central Florida at 5 p.m. Saturday.

"We had a week off," Briles said. "We had a chance to freshen up on some things academically and strength-wise. 

"We tried to place a little personal improvement on ourselves through that week, figuring out ways we could help ourselves to help our team get better. That was our focus a week ago, along with getting ready for UCF. This week, we will get ready for Central Florida."


Junior linebacker Scott Lee has registered a total of 10 tackles in seven games worth of play. UH will travel to the Florida Citrus Bowl to take on Central Florida at 5 p.m.Saturday.
Cougar file photo
The Cougars (4-3, 2-2) are locking up this weekend against Conference USA rival Central Florida, who is coming off a 30-20 win against East Carolina and features a challenging offense.

"From watching (the) film last week, it seems like they are really going to try to run the ball at us," junior linebacker Scott Lee said. "Two tight ends are going to come downhill on us and try to run the ball. We are going to try to stop the run and make them one-dimensional; making them just throw the ball will be really good for us."

The Golden Knights (5-3, 4-1) are averaging 26 points per game and have racked up 1,225 rushing yards. In the air, UCF has registered a total of 1,891 yards while giving up 1,914. Freshman Kevin Smith leads the Golden Knights with 651 yards on the ground, while quarterback junior Steven Moffett has made 136 completions in 229 attempts to gather 1,771 yards. Junior Mike Walker and senior Brandon Marshall are possible threats to the Cougars, as they have caught the ball for a total of 703 and 649 yards, respectively. 

In a press conference held at the Athletic/Alumni Center on Tuesday afternoon, Briles said the Cougars' performance against Mississippi State on Oct. 22 was the best he--s seen the team play.

"We had a good win at Mississippi State," Briles said. "It was probably as complete a game as we have played in the three years that we've been here.

"We made the plays that we had to make. We converted on offense numerous times and had big stops on defense. They had first-and-goal from the 2-and-a-half and got three points. That's critical if you are going to have a good football team to be able to do things like that. I was really impressed with that."

Briles also mentioned he likes how the team has made improvements every week of the season.

"The thing that I have liked all year long is that every time we have stepped on the field, we have gotten better," Briles said. "We are going to continue to do that, continue to climb. That has been our theme. It's been our goal. It's been our mission, so that's what we will continue to do."

With a week to rest and revitalize, the Cougars seem to be in a good position, health-wise. Senior linebacker Lance Everson, who has been on the sideline the entire season because of a knee injury he suffered in the spring, might get a chance to contribute this weekend.

"From a health standpoint, we are in really good shape for this late in the season," he said. "Lance (Everson) is going to travel this week and maybe get on the field and play a little bit. 

"That will be a big step for him and probably a little bit of a momentum lift for us because Lance is a respected member of our team on and off the field."

Saturday--s game against UCF is the last road game of the season for the Cougars.

"All of our focus is on Central Florida," Briles said. "Every time we step on the field, it--s a huge game. We feel like we have a really good football team, and I want this team to enjoy the fruits of being a good team. For us to do that, we have to take care of business over the next four weeks."

The game will air on iTV, formerly known as PAX, and can be seen locally on DirecTV channel 255, or Time-Warner Channel 7. The game can be heard live on 740 KTRH-AM.

Send comments to dcsports@mail.uh.edu

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