Lights, Camera, Cougars: UH football hosts media day

After media day and fan appreciation day, UH took the field for its first summer practice. | Courtesy of UH Athletics.

After media day and fan appreciation day, UH took the field for its first summer practice. | Courtesy of UH Athletics.

The illuminations from the camera lights and the snaps of shutters greeted head coach Tony Levine as he stepped behind the podium, the first in nearly a dozen members of the program participating in the team’s media day.

Levine laid out the state of his team going into the 2014-2015 season.

“We officially kicked off our August training camp,” Levine announced. “We had an hour long team meeting, team dinner and then we came back in here and finished up 45 minutes as a team.”

UH’s head coach since the end of the 2011 season, Levine, 14-12 overall, mused that the final game of last years season, a loss to the Vanderbilt Commodores in the BBVA Compass Bowl, felt like ages, perhaps decades ago. The slow ebb of time has continued, he said, until he took his spot behind the podium.

“It seems like it has taken six months for the last six or seven days to go by and finally get to begin training camp Friday,” said Levine. We have had staff meeting after staff meeting and we are very detailed. We’re organized. We do a great job within our staff of communicating. It has been a lot of planning and a lot of preparation, and we are certainly prepared for today.”

Speaking of his team’s on the practice field exploits, Levine joked that sophomore starting quarterback John O’Korn had matured enough to start shaving. Assistant head coach/offensive coordinator Travis Bush later expanded on O’Korn’s development.

“The game has slowed down for him more. He is starting to understand more, being able to anticipate reads in the pass game,” Bush said. “We had a lot of run-pass concepts so he’s got the decision to give it or throw it based on what the defense is doing. A lot of times last year, he was guessing with it. Now, he’s starting to understand the defense better, and it starts with knowing our stuff better too and really focusing on what the defense is and taking advantage of what they’re giving us.”

The mood of the team, communicated through words and phrases centering the concept of experience and advancement.

“You should expect us to be a lot more dynamic this year, do a lot more offensively, see a lot more guys getting their hands on the ball, be a lot more up tempo this year,” said O’Korn. “Last year we went pretty fast. We’re going to take it to another level.”

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