Page 1

THE DAILY COUGAR

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FRIDAY, AUGUST 30 , 2013

COVER STORY

AVOIDING AN UPSET UH takes steps to prevent a season-opening loss | page 3

OPENING UP SHORT MEMORY McMillian proves that size isn’t a factor for cornerbacks | page 4

UH President Renu Khator could be the biggest sports fan on campus. She dishes on why she’s so infatuated with games. | page 10


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2 \\ Friday, August 30, 2013

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When the season turns from summer to fall, the anticipation begins to build. In Texas, we can’t get enough football. The Lone Star State has a reputation for filling football stadiums at every level from high school to the NFL. So there’s no shortage of Christopher excitement for Shelton the Cougars’ first game against Southern. Between joining the American Athletic Conference and a burgeoning stadium beginning to take form, the future of UH football seems to be trending upward. But fans still want to see wins now. Balancing the team’s short- and long-term goals is one of the biggest challenges for head coach Tony Levine. The Cougars are coming off a 5-7 season that ended without a

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bowl appearance. On offense, they return most major skill position players and their starting quarterback redshirt senior David Piland. The team also has an experienced offensive line. On defense, the Cougars struggled last season and lost some talented players to the NFL. UH returns only four defensive starters. And in the first game they face Southern’s Dray Joseph, who threw 25 touchdowns last season. In the first issue of Overtime, you’ll find compelling articles chronicling the Cougars’ present and ones that give a view into the team’s future. You can read about senior defensive back Zachary McMillian’s journey to becoming a Football Bowl Subdivision player or our exclusive Q&A with President Renu Khator. Also included is a breakdown of the offensive line’s chemistry and an insight into the challenge that Southern brings.

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FOOTBALL SCHEDULE SECTION EDITOR Christopher Shelton

SOUTHERN Aug. 30

COPY CHIEF David Bryant

@ TEMPLE Sept. 8

COPY EDITOR Jenae Stizes

RICE Sept. 21

COVER PHOTOS File photo Courtesy photo

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Overtime is produced by The Daily Cougar, the official student newspaper of the University of Houston. No part of the publication in print or online may be reproduced without the written consent of the Director of the Student Publications Department. To contact Student Publications, call (713) 743-5350. CONTACT Editorial 713.743.5360 Advertising 713.743.5340

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UTSA Sept. 28 Memphis Oct. 12 BYU Oct. 19 Rutgers Oct. 26 South Florida Oct. 31 Central Florida Nov. 09 Louisville Nov. 16 Cincinnati Nov. 23 SMU Nov. 29

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Friday, August 30, 2013 // 3

The Daily Cougar

Last year’s season opener provided ‘wake up call’ Christopher Shelton Sports editor

Of the more than 32,000 people who attended UH’s 2012 season opener, only the players and coaches from Texas State envisioned what would happen next on the football field. Las Vegas sports books labeled the Cougars as a 37-point favorite, but the Bobcats proved that games are won during the previous week’s preparation. Texas State took a happy bus ride back to San Marcos after stunning UH with a 30-13 win in Robertson Stadium’s last home opener. The loss was a wake-up call, said junior offensive lineman Bryce Redman. “There’s a lot more leadership, and I also feel there’s another hunger. I think after that 13-1 season ... a lot of people felt like we were going to come out there and (wins) were going to happen,” Redman said. “We’re going to have to really grind this out to get where we need to be.” The 17-point loss arguably set the tone for a 5-7 season, in which the Cougars missed a bowl game. Then-offensive coordinator Mike Nesbitt resigned the following day.

In the Cougars’ 2012 season-opening loss to the bobcats they were 37-point favorites. Against Southern, UH is favored to win by 40. | File photo/The Daily Cougar But this season, after several internal changes, the Cougars expect a different outcome, said head coach Tony Levine. After gaining two new coordinators, joining a stronger conference and changing their look with new helmets and jerseys, the Cougars are in a similar position with this Friday’s contest against Southern. UH is favored by 40 points,

according to Bovada, but the team has a different mindset. “We’ve made some changes to practice and we have a new offensive and defensive coordinator. We’ve done some things in terms of modifying how we practice,” Levine said. “To help our defense, we’ve changed some things within our August schedule to help our guys stay fresh and more injury-free.”

Defensive coordinator David Gibbs will play multiple defensive formations after last season’s experiment with the 4-3 defense yielded negative results. Last season, the Cougars were ranked No. 115 out of 120 Football Bowl Subdivision schools in total defense after allowing 483 yards per game. The secondary surrendered more than 290 yards per game.

“(Gibbs is) very confident and he’s very positive. We’ve seen a change in our demeanor on defense from our student athletes, and I think we’re going to see that starting Friday night,” Levine said. “We’re going to be aggressive, but we’ve simplified our package and allow them to play fast.” READY continues on page 10

With much experience, offensive line ensures stability Christopher Shelton Sports editor

Before he became the starting center in week three, junior offensive lineman Bryce Redman needed a team manager to follow him around on the sidelines. Redman, one of the team’s six captains, played both tight end and offensive line before settling in at center, making eight starts last season. Because of number requirements for different positions, he had to switch form-fitting jerseys each time he entered the game as a tight end, which became a pain for Redman. “To not have to worry about the whole jersey situation and just concentrate on one position is a good thing,” Redman said. Though the other members of the offensive line haven’t needed a manager to monitor their jersey number, the starters have displayed their versatility, which the squad proved this offseason. After an injury to senior guard Ty Cloud, who was sidelined early during fall camp due to head and leg injuries, his teammates have shuffled around to fill the void.

Cloud may play, but has been ruled out as a starter this week. Junior left tackle Rowdy Harper will move to guard until Cloud returns, while senior Ralph Oragwu will move to Harper’s position at left tackle. Sophomore Zach Johnson, who emerged as a player who can contribute in Cloud’s absence, will start at right tackle. “When you look at their resumés, if you will, we have five offensive linemen that have all started for us in the past... There’s a number of ways to win football games,” said head coach Tony Levine. “One of them, I believe, is to control the line of scrimmage on both sides of the football.” The veteran group has grown to the point where it can communicate without speaking. “With all of the offensive linemen, we’ve been together since I’ve been here – I know (Forsch, Cloud and Harper) and I have. And that’s huge as far as communication goes,” Redman said. “You kind of get to know how a person is going to act in play after a while. Sometimes you don’t have to say anything, and it works out.” The close-knit group built that

All five of the Cougars’ projected offensive line starters have playing experience. | File photo/The Daily Cougar relationship through long hours in the weight room and hours off the field spending time together in their personal lives. Redman is the godfather to Harper’s son, Jax, and was at

the hospital when he was born. The offensive line helped the Cougars rush for five 100-yard rushing games and gave up 18 sacks last season. The group hopes to build on

those numbers. Their experience and talent should allow it to become one of the Cougars’ strongest position groups.


The Daily Cougar

4 \\ Friday, August 30, 2013

Small stature, larger heart Andrew Valderas Assistant sports editor

Senior cornerback Zachary McMillian has never been the most physically gifted player on the field. To compensate, he knew he had to play smarter and outwork his competition. While in high school, he stood at 5-foot-10 and weighed about 150 pounds, according to rivals.com. The former Dulles High School standout was told he was too small by recruiters. Early on, Zachary wasn’t pursued like a five-star recruit, as he had zero offers from any Division I schools after his sophomore year. Football camps To get his name out, he participated in a plethora of camps, including Nike, Under Armour, National Underclassman and The Old Coach, prior to his junior year. As one of the most undersized corners at the camp, he knew he had to perform well enough to get noticed, as the other defensive backs were more physically appealing to the coaches and scouts. “I had a mean chip on my shoulder going into all of them,” Zachary said. “I felt I had the ability to play (college football), but none of the coaches really wanted to mess with me based off how small I was.” To draw attention, he made sure to line up with all the receivers that were highly praised. “Going into the camps, the coaches already know who they’re recruiting and sending letters to, and I was not that guy,” he said. “I would go and get to the camp early and see who the coaches were talking to, and I would make sure I was in front of that receiver when we did one-onone drills.” He said he would never forget those camps. “When I knew I was going and shutting down receivers who had offers from Oklahoma State, who had offers from Kansas State, I knew I can actually do this and compete at a high level,” he said. Like father, like son After his stellar performances at the camps letters began to pile up from programs such as UTEP, Rice, New Mexico, Air Force and UH. Zachary, a Missouri City native, narrowed it down to UH and Rice because he wanted to play in front of his friends and family. He ultimately chose UH because he wanted to continue to make plays and earn recognition on the same field as his father, Audray McMillian.

Audray played cornerback for the Cougars from 1980-1984 and was a third-round draft pick by the New England Patriots in 1985. His nineyear career in the NFL included stints with the Houston Oilers and the Minnesota Vikings. In the 1992 season, he earned himself a spot on the Pro Bowl roster when he tied for a leagueleading eight interceptions. Zachary attended a number of his father’s NFL games as a kid and has built a strong relationship when it comes to the gridiron. However, his father didn’t want him to pursue a career path in football. Instead, Zachary said his father wanted him to play golf because of the physical grind his body took for more than 20 years. “He said he hurts everyday, and it wears and tears on his body. He told me, ‘You don’t want to do something like that, and I’d rather have you do something that involves your mind where you don’t have to hurt.’ There are people that make a lot of money that don’t have to sweat, ache or hurt,” Zachary said. Mind made up But when Zachary decided he was going keep football in his life, his dad stood by his side. When he enrolled at UH in 2010, his father did more than just watch his son’s practices. Sometimes, the former NFL player found himself actively helping the Cougars’ secondary learn man-to-man, zone coverage and backpedaling tips and techniques to help improve their play at the position. “Every time we see him sometimes after practice, he’ll be like, ‘I watched y’all and this is what y’all messed up on; this is what y’all did right.’ But most of it is the stuff that we did wrong,” said sophomore safety Trevon Stewart. “It’s definitely a good thing, though, because it’ll all help out in the end. That’s why Zach is the player he is.” After last year’s season-ending injury to former UH cornerback D.J. Hayden, who played the No.1 corner spot, Zachary was forced to step up from his No.2 corner spot and become the secondary’s top performer. He recorded an interception in the three remaining games to bring his total to five, which tied a Conference USA lead. Zachary said his goals are teamcentered this season. “I want to be a person that my team can depend on times when you need that somebody to make a big play. I want to make that kind of play for my team.”

Senior cornerback Zachary McMillian leads the way in the secondary on and off the field. | File photo/The Daily Cougar

McMillian tied for the Conference USA lead in interceptions during last season. | Courtesy of UH Athletics


Friday, August 30, 2013 // 5

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* Teacher Certification Available. Please Consult the Department Advisor for More Information.

MINORS AFRICAN AMERICAN STUDIES AIR FORCE LEADERSHIP ART Art History Studio Art COMMUNICATION Advertising Corporate Communication Film Studies Health Communication Interpersonal Communication Journalism Media Production Media Studies Public Relations COMMUNICATION SCIENCES & DISORDERS

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HONORS COLLEGE Creative Work Medicine and Society Phronesis, Politics, and Ethics INTERDISCIPLINARY ART MILITARY SCIENCE (ARMY ROTC) MEXICAN AMERICAN STUDIES MODERN & CLASSICAL LANGUAGES Arab Studies Chinese Studies Classical Studies French French for Business Professionals German Greek Italian Studies Jewish Studies Latin World Cultures and Literatures

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AGNES ARNOLD HALL, ROOM 320


The Daily Cougar

6 \\ Friday, August 30, 2013

16 McDonald (SS)

23 Stewart (FS)

13 Bates (CB)

10 McMillian (CB) 50 Oliphant (WLB)

21 Eiland (DE)

54 Mathews (MLB)

95 Mark (DT)

38 Bamfo (SLB)

92 Mbu (DT)

97 Braswell (DE)

DEFENSE OFFENSE 69 Oragwu (OL)

74 Harper (OL)

58 Redman (OL)

63 Forsch (OL)

71 Johnson (OL)

08 Piland (QB) 88 Maxwell (WR)

03 Greenberry (WR)

27 Spencer (WR)

06 McDuffey (WR)

35 Farrow (RB)

TEAMLEADERS

UNDERTHEHELMET

// 2013 stats, UH vs. Southern starters

// Getting to know the Cougars

PASSING Player

Cmp

Att.

Yrds.

Cmp% TD

David Piland

256

448

2,929

57

Dray Joseph

210

359

2,516

58.5

Int

Avg

16

12

266

25

7

228

VIDEO GAME

GENRE

JERSEY NUMBER

RUSHING Player

Att.

Avg.

Yrds.

TD

Long

Kenneth Farrow

86

5.4

477

2

48

Kenneth Farrow

Darrius Coleman

54

3.4

207

0

15

RUNNING BACK CLASSIFICATION: SOPHOMORE AGE: 20

RECEIVING Player

Rec.

Avg.

Yrds.

TD

Long

Deontay Greenberry

47

12.1

569

3

61

Lee Doss

65

10.8

703

8

36

MAJOR: COMMUNICATIONS

Madden

Hip Hop

(35) That’s what they gave me so I made it my own


Friday, August 30, 2013 // 7

The Daily Cougar

BIGBOARD

THE AP TOP 25 RK

TEAM

// College football at a glance

AAC MATCHUPS RECORD

PTS

1 Alabama (58)

0-0

1498

2 Ohio State (1)

0-0

1365

3 Oregon

0-0

1335

4 Stanford

0-0

5 Georgia (1)

STANDINGS

FRIDAY

NETWORK

TIME

AMERICAN

W

L

W

L

Cincinnati

0

0

0

0

Connecticut

0

0

0

0

Houston

0

0

0

0

Samford at Georgia State

ESPN3

7 p.m. CT

Texas Tech at SMU

ESPN

8 p.m. CT

1294

North Dakota State at Kansas State

Fox Sports 1

8: 30 p.m. CT

Louisville

0

0

0

0

0-0

1249

Northern Arizona at Arizona

PACN

10 p.m. CT

Memphis

0

0

0

0

6 South Carolina

0-0

1154

7 Texas A&M

0-0

1104

Rutgers SMU

0 0

0 0

0 0

0 0

8 Clemson

0-0

1083

South Florida

0

0

0

0

9 Louisville

0-0

1042

Houston

0

0

0

0

10 Florida

0-0

894

Temple

0

0

0

0

11 Florida State

0-0

845

SATURDAY, AUG. 31

NETWORK

TIME (CT)

UCF

0

0

0

0

12 LSU

0-0

802

Purdue at Cincinnati

ESPNU

11 a.m.

13 Oklahoma State

0-0

755

Southern Illinois at Illinois

BTN

11 a.m.

14 Notre Dame

0-0

748

Buffalo at Ohio State

ESPN2

11 a.m.

Massachusetts at Wisconsin

BTN

11 a.m.

Toledo at Florida

ESPN

11: 21 a.m.

ESPN2 ACCN ESPN

11:30 a.m. 11:30 a.m. noon

15 Texas

0-0

677

16 Oklahoma

0-0

579

17 Michigan

0-0

531

18 Nebraska

0-0

382

TV GUIDE

19 Boise State

0-0

328

FIU at Maryland Louisiana Tech at North Carolina State Rice at Texas A&M

20 TCU

0-0

323

Central Michigan at Michigan

BTN

2:30 p.m.

21 UCLA 22 Northwestern 23 Wisconsin

0-0 0-0 0-0

286 199 185

Temple at Notre Dame

NBC

2:30 p.m.

Mississippi State at Oklahoma State

ABC

2:30 p.m.

24 USC

0-0

134

Penn State at Syracuse

ABC

2:30 p.m.

25 Oregon State

0-0

129

BYU at Virginia

ESPNU

2:30 p.m.

Louisiana- Lafayette at Arkansas

ESPN3

3 p.m.

North Carolina Central at Duke

ESPN3

3 p.m.

Nicholls at Oregon

FXS1

3 p.m.

Virginia Tech at Alabama

ESPN

4:30 p.m.

Eastern Washington at Oregon State

PACN

5 p.m.

Austin Peay at Tennessee

ESPN3

5 p.m.

Washington State at Auburn

ESPNU

6 p.m.

Old Dominion at East Carolina

FCS

6 p.m.

Western Kentucky at Kentucky

ESNN

6 p.m.

Miami (OH) at Marshall

CBSS

6 p.m.

Louisiana-Monroe at Oklahoma

OKPV

6 p.m.

Georgia at Clemson

ABC

7 p.m.

Wyoming at Nebraska

BTN

7 p.m.

New Mexico State at Texas

LGHN

7 p.m.

LSU at TCU

ESPN

8 p.m.

Nevada at UCLA

PACN

9 p.m.

Boise State at Washington

FXS1

9 p.m.

Northwestern at California

ESPN2

9:30 p.m.

Others receiving votes: Michigan State 95, Baylor 92, Virginia Tech 86, Miami (FL) 85, Arizona State 53, Kansas State 43, Fresno State 36, Vanderbilt 19, Washington 17, Northern Illinois 16, Ole Miss 11, Utah State 8, Georgia Tech 6, Cincinnati 3, Arizona 3, North Carolina 3, Penn State 2, Brigham Young 1

SAY WHAT? We’re looking through the windshield, not the rear view mirror. We’re looking ahead and I think our team, and some people might say this is coach speak but it’s true, is a completely different team. — Tony Levine, on the Cougars’ new season

FLASHBACK

File photo

HOUSTON 55, SOUTHERN 3

Cougars too much for Jaguars to handle On this day, five years ago, the Cougar offense led an aerial attack that was overwhelming for the Jaguars to handle, as they put up more than 600 yards of offense in head coach Kevin Sumlin’s debut. Quarterback Case Keenum passed for 392 yards and tossed five touchdowns, including two to receiver L.J. Castile The Cougars would finish the season 8-5 to cap off a win against Air Force in the Bell Helicopter Armed Forces Bowl. — Andrew Valderas


The Daily Cougar

8 \\ Friday, August 30, 2013

President makes athletic footprint Similar to many other facets of life at UH, Khator is driving force behind Athletics Department Christopher Shelton Sports editor

When the football team takes on President Renu Khator’s previous school, the University of South Florida, on Halloween, fans should have no worries about where her loyalty lies. She encouraged the team to “show no mercy at all” toward South Florida. Khator said she can’t eat or sleep preceding a game. She tries to attend each home basketball and football game when she is in Houston. She was present during ESPN’s College GameDay and said she will be in Springfield, Mass. when former coach Guy V. Lewis is inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in September. The president sat down with The Daily Cougar to discuss her die-hard UH sports habits and why it’s important that a person in her position root for the sports at their university.

UH President Renu Khator has been a lifelong sports fan. Growing up in India she was a die-hard Cricket fan. | Photos by Mahnoor Samana

The Daily Cougar: Why are sports valuable to a university? Renu Khator: It’s the same reason why we invite lecturers, you know, distinguished speakers to come here, why we have these stellar programs the University puts (on). It is simply to get the students a comprehensive overall engaging experience of the University. Same way, I feel, athletics are. TDC: Can you talk about sports’ value to getting the alumni base fired up where they might be more likely to make donations to the school? RK: The engagement starts right from freshman year. Then it starts after people have graduated, with the alumni, and obviously it’s a great opportunity to engage the community. For the University of Houston, it’s really a great opportunity to build the brand for the city. Because if you notice, for our football games, basketball games, it does not say “UH” — you know, any time the score board is there on national television. It says “Houston.” So while we are displaying our talent in athletics, we are also branding our city. So I think definitely there is an engagement value, there is a value

in long-term relationship, but there is a myth out there. People think, if you have athletics programs, then everybody will give to the athletics. It’s really doesn’t happen. Generally 10 to 15 percent of the funds come to athletics. But when the University becomes a place where people can feel pride, a lot of those donations do come, and float into academic programs. So I think having a very strong athletics (program) that engages donors and alumni is really good for the whole University. TDC: I know a lot of presidents aren’t as directly involved with sports — they aren’t as engaged in games as much as you are. Why do you feel like it’s important for you to be involved? RK: Well, because I think I understand what athletics and sports bring to the University as a whole. I mean, other than their entertainment value, I know how emotionally involved people can get. I can’t eat anything before a game, and

depending on how the game is going, you know, my whole reaction, my whole body just responds in a different way — I feel really great joy, I feel great disappointments, you know — so it’s all an all-out engaging experience. Presidents have their own personal preferences. Some have their logic based on financing, some may have their logic based on where they’re located. I say, we are in Texas, we are in a great city in Texas, which has such a significant sports presence, and we are at a university that has always had a great legacy in sports.

full picture — but I can tell you, I like to see the bridge between both athletics and academics, and I try to do it both ways. So, for instance, I went to visit the football team, and I told them the number one priority for me is that they are going to get their degrees, because they are student athletes — student first, and athlete later. So I want them to be successful as a student and then in their life. So I try to put the academic values in front of anybody and everybody who’s in athletics in the same way I try to bring the value that athletics have — I try to infuse that in our academic enterprise.

TDC: At some universities you hear about strife between the athletic and academic communities. Do you think your presence in athletics — as well as people like professor Simon Bott — breaks down those barriers and brings people together?

TDC: When you spoke at the new stadium groundbreaking ceremony, you talked about your hand in getting the new stadium built. That’s one of the things that people who have recruited against UH have talked about: the facilities. Why was it important for you to see that the new facilities come? RK: The facilities have been a big part of my priorities anyway,

RK: Well, it can happen sometimes, and people may not get the

because, you know, when you walk on this campus, I want you to feel that you have arrived at a place that’s welcoming, that’s inviting, that sees the future with you. And that’s what I feel that students should be able to feel. And in order to do that, that’s why we build. It’s not just the stadium; we have put (in) a billion dollars’ worth of construction since I arrived here. There are 21 buildings, over six million square footage in construction. So athletics, to me, is just the same way. I want everything to be nationally competitive. And I know in order for our sports to be nationally competitive, we ought to have the tools for our coaches, we ought to have the tools for our student athletes. And the facilities are important. TDC During your time as president, you have presided over some of the biggest moments in UH history – Guy V. Lewis getting KHATOR continues on page 10


Friday, August 30, 2013 // 9

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10 \\ Friday, August 30, 2013

KHATOR continued from page 8

elected, Hakeem Olajuwon and Clyde Drexler being selected to the NCAA’s 75th Anniversary team, Case Keenum’s season in 2011. How special was it for you to be around those teams? RK: Super. It was like, for a second, you feel you are the star yourself because you are surrounded by all these big names and big stars. I felt so little in front of all of those — they are big guys anyway, but they are also big in terms of their accomplishments. I wanted to just go there and stop by because it was just a special moment. And it was a selfish interest, because I wanted to keep it in my heart. TDC: How did you come to enjoy sports?

THE OPPOSITION

Odums seeks success in first full year Morris J. Dillard Southern Digest

Southern introduced Dawson Odums, the Jaguars’ defensive coordinator, as its football coach on Dec. 18. Known as “the hard-working country boy that loves coaching football,” Odums takes charge of a program at a university that is “weeping” from the Stump Mitchell era and that has been under investigation by the NCAA for failing to meet their academic progress rate requirements. But for the immediate future, replacing a coach who served a program with great tradition is a daunting task. Given the 10-23 record during the past three seasons for the Jaguars, Odums enters a situation that is both challenging and unprecedented. “Most of the coaches that have come here have ultimately won,” Odums said during his first press luncheon at A.W. Mumford Stadium. “I want to be one of those coaches that are remembered at Southern University for a long time.” The most impactful moment for Odums and Southern last season was three signature wins against rival programs. They were enough to remove the interim tag Odums carried for nine games. Having had more than seven months to prepare for this moment, he knows more will be asked of him now. “When you’re named the interim, you’re pretty much doing everything

RK: I think sports are just really great fun. I didn’t go to a school where there was any sports program. But, you know, India has had a rich history of cricket and field hockey and soccer, and actually, India was — during my time, when I was growing up — they were champions in field hockey and in cricket. And I was a big, big fan and really obsessive about cricket and field hockey, both, actually. For cricket, you could have asked me at that time, any player, any score, anything, and I knew all of that. So I followed it very closely. So I think I had interest in sports, but of course, here it’s a different level. I love every minute of it.

READY continued from page 3

After taking command midway through the season, head coach Dawson Odums’ led Southern to a 4-5 record and defeated three rival teams. The interim tag was then removed on Dec. 18. | Photos courtesy of the Southern Digest that a head coach would be doing,” Odums said. “I had nine games to get myself prepared.” The Southern University System Board of Supervisors removed the interim tag Dec. 13 and approved Odums unanimously, rewarding him for “accomplishing much with little,” said athletic director William Broussard, who recommended that Odums stay. SU went 4-5 under Odums after replacing Stump Mitchell, following a 6-0 home loss to Mississippi Valley. Broussard said Odums proved to be a capable leader during adverse times for Southern.

He joins what was already an impressive roster of coaches at Southern (A.W. Mumford, Robert Smith and Pete Richardson), defeating three rival schools in the same season (Jackson State, Florida A&M and Grambling). Odums and Southern will have the daunting task of playing against an angry group, the Cougars, who were picked to finish sixth in the American Athletic Conference. The Cougars were upset at home by Texas State in last year’s season opener and finished 5-7. Former coach Kevin Sumlin put the Cougars on the national radar before taking the head coaching

position at Texas A&M. “We know we’re going to be over-matched,” Odums said during Tuesday’s press luncheon. “We’re looking at it as an opportunity. Everybody is tired of seeing the same color jerseys in practice, and what better opponent than UH?” The teams met once before in 2008, when the Cougars pushed around Southern in a season-opening 55-3 victory in front of 26,555 fans at Robertson Stadium. So far, Odums has been pleased with his team’s mental focus this month and expects it to show in Friday’s season opener.

“We’re going to be aggressive, but we’ve simplified our package and allow them to play fast.” On offense, the transition is not as steep. The starting quarterback is still redshirt junior David Piland, but Levine said freshman John O’Korn will also see action. Offensive coordinator Doug Meacham has experience in a fast-paced offense similar to the Air Raid that the Cougars run. Outside of junior running back Charles Sims, the team returns all of its skill position players. With so much suspense surrounding the Cougars’ new season, the team is ready to hit, block or tackle opposing players. Last season’s loss to Texas State proved games are not won on paper, so UH is not taking its opener lightly. “We know it’s a new team with new dreams. We want to go out and win games,” said senior safety Zachary McMillian.


Friday, August 30, 2013 // 11

The Daily Cougar

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The Daily Cougar

12 \\ Friday, August 30, 2013

Department of Campus Recreation

PROGRAMS

INFO

AQUATICS/SAFETY

HOURS Monday 6:00 AM-11:30 PM

713-743-7529 (PLAY) WWW.UH.EDU/RECREATION

Swim Lessons, SCUBA, Master Swim & First Aid/CPR

Tuesday 6:00 AM-11:30 PM Wednesday 6:00 AM-11:30 PM Thursday 6:00 AM-11:30 PM

OUTDOOR ADVENTURE

Friday 6:00 AM-8:00 PM

Trips, Equipment Rentals, Gear Shop, Workshops & Resource Guide

Saturday 10:00 AM-8:00 PM Sunday Noon-11:30 PM

FITNESS Group Exercise, Personal Training & Fitness Assessments

FACULTY & STAFF Annual Golf Tournament, Memberships, Meeting Spaces & Rentals

OUR FACILITIES

SPORT CLUBS Competition and Leadership

INTRAMURAL SPORTS ms

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Overtime: UH vs. Southern  

UH President Renu Khator shares her love of sports, and Cougars seek to rebound in a new conference

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