Cougars garner C-USA awards
After Houston dropped three consecutive games early in the season, head coach Kevin Sumlin said his team needs to play complete games to get on the winning side of things.
In Thursday’s comeback victory over Alabama-Birmingham at Robertson Stadium, the Cougars proved Sumlin’s point.
Sophomore quarterback Case Keenum and senior defensive end Phillip Hunt were both named Conference USA Players of the Week after Houston’s 45-20 beating of the Blazers.
"It feels good. It’s an honor," Hunt, who earned defensive honors, said.
Hunt tied a career-high by getting three sacks against UAB.
He finished the game with eight tackles and helped the defense hold the Blazers scoreless in the second half.
"The rest of my fellow D-linemen, they made it possible because they closed the running lanes for the quarterbacks so I could be able to come around and make the tackles," he said.
Hunt has 28 tackles in six games and leads the team with eight sacks this year, but he doesn’t take sole credit for his accomplishments.
Keenum earned offensive player honors after completing 360 yards and two touchdowns against the Blazers on 24-of-36 passing. It was his seventh consecutive game with at least 300 passing yards, matching a record set by former UH quarterback David Klinger in 1990.
"When we were down at halftime he came back out with some steam and some fire and he moved the ball up and down on those guys. That’s what you have to do to change the momentum, and he did it," Hunt said.
Keenum, who averages 407.2 yards per game, leads the nation in total offense and has completed 68 percent of his passes this season.
The Cougars look to remain undefeated in conference when they take on the SMU Mustangs in Dallas on Saturday.
"I feel we finally found ourselves as a team," Hunt said. "As we make it through the season, I think (the) guys are realizing once you come out strong and play hard, we can be one of the best teams in the nation and we can beat anybody we play against."