A Blog devoted to all things SWC, the greatest college athletic conference. Updated weekly with the SWC Game of the Week during football season. Other relevant SWC News will appear from time to time as well.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

SWC Game of the Week: Houston at UTEP

This week we will visit the newest member of the Southwest Conference, the Houston Cougars. Houston joined the conference in 1972, making Texas Tech feel better about no longer being the new guy. (Although Tech acts like they are still the new guy, or little brother.) UH has had some very successful football seasons, under legendary coach Bill Yeoman and more recently in the run and shoot days. Although joining in 1972, the Coogs weren’t eligible for the conference crown until the 1976 season and then promptly went to 3 Cotton Bowls their first 4 seasons. UTEP on the other hand, not a SWC school, but becoming prominent on the now second level of Texas college football pecking order. This should be a good game.

Southwest Conference Game of the Week does recognize that the past two weeks there has been some technical difficulties with text wrapping. We hope we have corrected the problem and apologize for any inconvenience this has caused.

THIS WEEK’S GAME:

This week’s game features the Houston Cougars visiting the UTEP Miners. This is a new series, with UTEP leading with 3 wins (all in El Paso) to the Cougars 1 win. This game could have Conference USA West division championship significance. The U of H offense averages 37.6 points a game is lead by receiver Donnie Avery, averaging 133.3 yards a game receiving, and running back Anthony Alridge, averaging 122.7 yards rushing a game. Against Rice on Oct. 13th the senior duet accomplished something no two have done in NCAA major college football history, a 300 yard receiving game and a 200 yard rushing game from two players in the same game. Avery recorded a UH record 346 yards receiving while Alridge rushed for 205 and 4 touchdowns. Sophomore QB Blake Joseph passed for 318 yards against Rice, completing the offensive dominance. QB Joseph splits time with red shirt freshman Case Keenum as the Cougars search for a replacement for Kevin Kolb, now with the Philadelphia Eagles. The Cougars are not strong on defense. Senior Rocky Schwartz has settled in at strong safety and was named CUSA defensive player of the week after recording two interceptions against UAB and delivering a devastating hit on a UAB receiver. Defensive coordinator Alan Weddell has tried to shake some things up on the defensive side of the ball for his head coach, Art Briles. Two constants however are linebackers Trent Allen and Cody Lubojasky, with the two combining for 70 tackles so far in 2007. UTEP is a very similar team to UH, good offensive output, not so good defensive results. They have scored 40 points in four straight games for the first time in school history, unfortunately the last week it game in an OT loss to East Carolina. Freshman quarterback Trevor Vittatoe threw for over 400 yards in last week’s loss and has thrown 13 touchdown passes this year and only 3 interceptions. He ranks 4th among Division I-A freshman QB’s with 1,704 yards passing. Senior RB Marcus Thomas has rushed for over 100 yards in each of the last 4 weeks, scoring 9 touchdowns along the way. On defense, senior defensive back Quinton Demps is 3rd in school history with 13 interceptions. Both teams have a tendency to play high scoring, close games. This game should be a good game, if you like scoring, just budget 4+ hours for viewing.

COTTON BOWL MEMORIES:

This week we will remember the 1979 Cotton Bowl where the Houston Cougars represented the SWC and played host to the Notre Dame Fightin’ Irish. The game was played in icy conditions, with the wind chills 20 below zero, chasing most fans away before the finish of the game. Houston overcame an early 12 deficit and scored 34 straight points. Cougar signal caller Danny Davis, who won here for the Coogs 2 years ago, threw for a touchdown and ran for two others. His QB keepers were scored in the 3rd quarter, when Irish QB Joe Montana was in the locker room being treated for low body temperature. With 7:37 left in the game, UH led 34-12 and it appeared Davis would be the star QB of this match. But Montana and the Irish were just getting warmed up. A blocked punt run in by the Irish’s Steve Cichy with a two point conversion from Montana put Notre Dame only down 14. The next time ND got the ball, Montana directed a 61 yard drive culminated by his 2 yard run and another 2 point conversion. 4:14 was left on the clock, with UH clinging to a 6 point lead. Two minutes later Montana fumbled the ball back to Houston, apparently preserving the UH win. But UH gambled on 4th down and came up short on a 4th and 1 at the Houston 29 yard line with 28 seconds left. Montana then scrambled for 11 yards and passed to Kris Haines for 10, then missing Haines in the end zone leaving 2 seconds on the clock. The next play Montana hit Haines on the same route and Joe Unis added the extra point for a 35-34 Irish victory. Montana would later go on to make comebacks his specialty, even hitting a fellow named Dwight Clark and beating the Dallas Cowboys, further breaking the hearts in Dallas.

Note, last year during the holidays I was home from work observing one of my sick days I’d saved and watched this game on ESPN Classic. It looked really cold out there.

OTHER GAMES THIS WEEK:

Florida International at Arkansas (If you take out the International, you end up with FU)

Baylor at Kansas State (Baylor, what more can be said?)

Rice at Marshall (Rice, maybe last year was a fluke)

SMU at Tulsa (SMU is having a rough year, Phil Bennett may be a defensive coordinator next year)

Nebraska at Texas (Nebraska may be done this year, Texas should win big)

Kansas at Texas A&M (A&M will get them in basketball season, ironically)

New Mexico at TCU (When is this game TCU? No one can keep up with you)

Colorado at Texas Tech (Winner is Big 12 West Champion, and gets a calf fry)

RESULTS FROM LAST WEEK:

SWC Game of the Week, Week 8:

Texas 31 Baylor 10 (Baylor hung in there, Bless their Hearts)

Other Games:

Arkansas 44 Ole Miss 8 (Houston Nutt lives another day)

Houston 49 UAB 10 (Coogs rolling now, biggest win for Art Briles)

Memphis 38 Rice 35 (Rice loses another close one, but Rice players will have jobs when the graduate)

Tulane 41 SMU 34 OT (SMU can’t get it going)

Texas A&M 36 Nebraska 14 (McGee, Aggie QB, runs 35 times for a school record, can you say balanced offense?)

Utah 27 TCU 20 (This was a Thursday Game, why did TCU isolate themselves from the rest of us, do we smell bad?)

Missouri 41 Texas Tech 10 (Tech plays a good team, gets beat)

STANDINGS:

Conference:

Overall:

W

L

W

L

Texas Tech

3

0

6

2

Texas

3

0

6

2

Houston

1

0

4

3

TCU

2

1

4

4

Arkansas:

0

0

4

3

Texas A&M

1

1

6

2

Baylor

1

3

3

5

SMU

0

2

1

6

Rice

0

4

1

6

FINAL WORD:

That’s a wrap for this week. Please feel free to forward to your friends, send me emails of those that should be included that aren’t, and submit your additions to the weekly newsletters (favorite SWC memories, player bio’s, funny old SWC stories, mascot hijinks, etc.) If you are receiving this note and you don’t want to, shame on you, but let me know, I’ll take you off the list.

Remember to visit http://www.honortheswc.com/home.asp and help build the SWC Gallery in the Texas Sports Hall of Fame.

3 comments:

Bubba's Sis said...

Happy Birthday, Aggie Bubba! Maybe they'll fire Coach Fran on your birthday - wouldn't that be a sweet gift??

I love you!

Sis

cjh said...

Yes, yes...happy birthday! And happy Halloween to Drew Bear. Can we see costume pictures?

Stacey said...

Happy Happy Happy Birthday Bubba! Don't be afraid...I'm a friend of Bubba's Sis. Hope your day is a good one--your sister, by the way, is a gem to me!