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Tuesday, December 11, 2018

Football

Cougars healthy and ready for Tulsa


The Cougars will be looking to continue its momentum heading into conference play. | Thomas Dwyer/The Cougar

On Monday, the Cougar was able to catch up with head coach Major Applewhite about the storylines heading into this week’s game against Tulsa.

Applewhite started with a recap of the things the team focused on during the bye week. The Cougars went into the break directly after a dominating win over Texas Southern.

“The focal points that we talked to our team about was number 1: get healthy,” Applewhite said.

UH sustained some significant injuries in the first four games of the season. Baylor transfer running back Terrence Williams was out for the game against TSU and will not be available for the Tulsa game. Senior safety Garrett Davis had a season-ending injury in the game against Texas Tech.

Senior linebacker Derrion Owens was another player that suffered an early-season injury. He played the first game against Rice, but then got injured shortly after.

“It’s all touch-and-go in terms of when the guy is actually going to be able to play,” said Applewhite. “He is progressing the way we thought. How soon he comes back is up to the doctors and how he moves around.”

This season, the Cougars made an active effort to increase the conditioning of the players and help them stay healthy. Sophomore Marquez Stevenson, a player that struggled with injuries all last year, is benefiting from this push.

“It is one of those deals that is an accumulative effect,” Applewhite said, “If you continue to stay out there, stay out there, stay out there, stay out there, and you can dive out there for 20 to 25 minutes of a practice, take them out of the heat, save legs, hydration, body mass, all those things stay together when you have those kind of facilities.  It has been a gift to all of our players.”

Coach Applewhite made it clear that the coaches don’t pay attention to the standings. He assured that the focus for this week was entirely on Tulsa.

“What we know for sure is that we’ve got to beat Tulsa, so that’s all that our focus is on, and it’s all we’re talking about right now,” Applewhite said, “They dominated us last year, so our focus is Tulsa, and that’s how we approach all our games.”

UH plays its first Thursday game of the year on Oct. 4 against Tulsa.

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