The last time the Cougars took the field, they broke a 28-year-old streak of eight consecutive bowl losses.
Houston defeated Air Force 34-28 in the Armed Forces Bowl in Fort Worth on Dec. 31 to capture its first bowl win since the 1980 Garden State Bowl.
Fans looking forward to the return of that team can start marking dates on their calendars with UH athletic director Dave Maggard and football head coach Kevin Sumlin announcing UH’s 2009 football schedule Wednesday.
In just his second year as head coach, Sumlin has lined up an impressive list of matchups, including the Sept. 26 contest with Texas Tech, a Bowl Championship Series opponent, at Robertson Stadium.
Last season, former Red Raiders quarterback Graham Harrell led the nation in passing offense with 5,111 yards and 45 touchdown passes, while UH quarterback
Case Keenum finished second with 5,020 yards and 44 touchdown tosses.
Houston ranked second nationally in total offense with 562.77 yards per game while Texas Tech came in fourth with 531 yards per game. The meeting of the two high-octane offenses will be broadcasted nationally on ESPN.
The teams haven’t met since Nov. 11, 1995, when they were rivals in the Southwest Conference. Texas Tech took that meeting, 38-26, but Houston owns the overall advantage with a mark of 17-10-1.
The Cougars’ other non-conference games include matchups against Northwestern State, the first meeting in the schools’ history, in the Sept. 5 season-opener and a road game against Oklahoma State on Sept. 12 before UH begins conference play with a battle against Texas-El Paso on Oct. 3.
Houston will then travel to Starkville, Miss. to face Mississippi State before beginning a seven-game stretch against Conference USA rivals Tulane, Southern Methodist, Southern Miss, Tulsa, Central Florida, Memphis and Rice. The Cougars’ meeting with SMU on Oct. 24 will be the first conference game played at Robertson Stadium in 2009.
Houston’s offense will likely be tested in its Nov. 7 contest with the Golden Hurricane in Tulsa, Okla. Tulsa boasted the top-ranked offense in the nation in 2008 with 569.86 total yards per game and an 11-3 record, but suffered a 70-30 defeat at the hands of Houston.
Tulsa and Houston have been the only two teams to represent the C-USA West Division in the league title game since C-USA moved to divisional play in 2005, with Tulsa holding the honor the last two seasons.
The Cougars will finish the regular season with the annual Battle for the Bayou Bucket against cross-town rival Rice.
Houston hopes to reclaim the trophy after Rice took a 56-42 victory over the Cougars in 2008, which prevented it from making its second trip to the C-USA Championship game in three years.
The Cougars own a 25-9 record against the Owls, but have gone 3-2 against Rice since 2004.
Students gain free admission to all home games with a valid Cougar 1Card. The deadline for renewing season tickets is May 16. New season tickets can be purchased starting June 2.