Cougars anticipate dogfight against Bulldogs
After the Cougars’ only bye week of the season, the team is set to begin the remainder of the 2010 campaign. The Cougars will put their 18-game home win streak at Robertson Stadium on the line when they host Mississippi State Saturday.
The game gives the Cougars a chance to compete with a team from a BCS conference. Mississippi State (3-2) hails from the SEC, which is arguably the most competitive conference for football in the NCAA.
“Every week you play, no matter who you play against, you’re going to have to prove something,” head coach Kevin Sumlin said. “Nobody is ever beyond proving anything. I can’t speak for anybody else, but I think in our situation, just like everybody else, you have to prove week-to-week where you are and who you are.”
The quarterback situation for UH is unresolved, as Sumlin will decide between true freshman Terrance Broadway or David Piland to be the starter Saturday.
Both Sumlin and Mississippi State head coach Dan Mullen come from illustrious coaching trees. Sumlin’s last coaching job was under Bob Stoops at Oklahoma for five years. Mullen coached under Urban Meyer at Bowling Green, Utah and Florida. As an offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach, Mullen won two NCAA championships at Florida in 2006 and 2008.
Sumlin said he is expecting the Bulldogs’ defense to be disruptive with the personnel they have at linebacker.
“You look at their linebacker core and they’re all seniors,” Sumlin said. “It’s probably the strength of their football team.”
“Linebackers (Chris) White and (K.J.) Wright are excellent college players, obviously pro prospects. They have big, strong and fast guys, 240-pound and 250-pound guys that can do a lot of damage.”
After beating Mississippi Sate 31-24 last year, Sumlin said he is expecting an improved offensive attack from the Bulldogs, but that it won’t differ too much from last season’s approach.
“Ideally and conceptually I think they want to do the same thing,” Sumlin said. “They just weren’t able to execute it the way they wanted to. Chris gives them a one-two punch at quarterback now. He’s an excellent player and an excellent athlete. I bet he’s chomping at the bit to play this game after watching last years’ video. Schematically, they’re the same football team. He adds something that they didn’t have last year.”
The game begins at 7 p.m. and will be televised on CBS College Sports.