Although I would have preferred more touchdowns and fewer field goals, there really wasn't too much to complain about in Houston's 39-17 win over Alabama-Birmingham last Saturday. In addition to kicker Matt Hogan's six successful field goal attempts - a Conference USA record - the Cougar defense finally discovered how to properly execute a pass rush and sacked hapless UAB quarterback Austin Brown eight times. Meanwhile, running back Charles Sims rushed for 133 yards - his third 100+ yard game in a row - and quarterback David Piland had another decent game, completing 32 of 44 passes for 362 yards and a touchdown.
With the win, what a few weeks ago was the most disappointing team in college football is now .500 and on a three-game winning streak. They head into the second half of the season showing week-by-week improvement and what once looked like a disaster of a season is turning into one that could possibly see the Cougars go bowling.
However, the Cougars will have a short week to prepare for their next game, on the road against SMU Thursday night. The Ponies are nobody's idea of a powerhouse, but the Cougars need to continue to pressure the quarterback show more efficiency in the red zone than they did last Saturday if they expect to come away from that important divisional game with a victory.
Finally, while I know that the University of Houston is at the mercy of the television networks with regard to start times, the program really needs to avoid 11 am kickoffs as much as possible. They just don't work in Houston: too many people have other activities (kids' soccer, etc.) to attend to, students don't like to wake up that early on weekends, and even in mid-October it can be very hot. Such was the case last Saturday: the crowd was small, and I came away from the game with a nasty sunburn.