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2009 MMM Houston Cougars Preview

The Cougars are coming off a solid under first year head coach, Kevin Sumlin. An overall record of 8-5 and a victory over Air Force in the Armed Forces Bowl, capped off a great start to the Sumlin era in Houston. Coach Sumlin will look to be even better in 2009.

Junior quarterback, Case Keenum, returns after having a stellar sophomore season where he threw for over 5,000 yards and 44 touchdowns. The passing offense was the second best in the country and Keenum will have plenty of weapons again this season. Tyron Carrier, the leading receiver from last season, should be the primary target. Patrick Edwards hopes to be productive as he is coming off his injury from last season. The receiver position is pretty deep, so Keenum should never have a problem with who to get the ball to.

Bryce Beall is back in the backfield as he had an amazing freshman season where he set a team record for rushing yards with 6.3 yards per carry. Beall rushed for 1,272 yards and also was dangerous as a receiver out of the backfield. He finished with 496 yards receiving and four touchdowns through the air.

The only negative part of the offense is the inexperience on the line. There are some guys who have been in the program for a few years, but do not have a lot of game experience. This could pose a problem for a unit that last year gave up 2 sacks per game.

The offense must continue to put up a lot of points because the defense has had problems for giving up too many scores. They ranked seventh in the division for total defense last season, and they only return four starters from last year. The defense will look to linebacker, Marcus McGraw, as a leader who led the team in tackles last season.

The defensive line will have to do some rebuilding. They lost three starters from last season, and will have to find players to fill the gaps. Unfortunately, the line lacks a lot of experience and are not deep at the position. Brandon Brinkley is the only returner in the secondary and similar to the line, there is a lot of inexperience in the secondary. There are some JUCO transfers and other players who are trying to earn a spot, but the secondary is still up in the air.

Prediction: 9-3