A Q&A With Houston Publisher Dan Daues

Scout.com University of Houton publisher Dan Daues of CoogFans.com answered a few questions that GenesPage.com subscribers had pertaining to the University of Houston football.

GenesPage.com Subscribers: How much has their defensive gameplan had to change since the loss of their defensive captain that they lost for the year?
CoogFans.com Publisher: Senior OLB Matt Nicholson was a motivational leader of our defense and will be sorely missed. We hope that his leadership from the sidelines will be helpful in keeping the defense focused on playing as a team and not as individuals. The gameplan changes week to week as the opponents change, but, yes, this was a blow to the defense.

GenesPage.com Subscribers: What is the mood like after beating Texas Tech and Oklahoma State only to fall to UTEP?
CoogFans.com Publisher: Obviously, the mood was initially one of shock and disappointment. Most importantly, the loss was a conference loss, our #12 AP ranking and all the national buzz of being a potential BCS Buster also went out the window with a loss to UTEP. After a few days many realized that this is, indeed, a very young team having what could be an excellent season with two signature wins thus far and the promise of the 2010 season with senior-to-be QB Case Keenum and a much more experienced team overall.

GenesPage.com Subscribers: Is the Houston fanbase confident that their team can bounce back from their UTEP loss and win a road game?
CoogFans.com Publisher: Many are worried about playing a good Bulldog team on the road, however, we did beat a #5 ranked OSU team in Stillwater earlier this season so we have proven that when all cylinders are firing we can be a force on the road.

GenesPage.com Subscribers: Do you get the impression that the Houston coaches believe MSU's running game poses a threat that the UH defense hasn't seen this season?
CoogFans.com Publisher: They and the fans realize the MSU will present a good test of our run defense, no doubt. We respect the Bulldog's ability to run and are gearing up for it. Yes, your running game should be the best we've seen, although Oklahoma State has a good one as well.

GenesPage.com Subscribers: Do you think Houston has faced a defense this season with the caliber speed that the SEC is known for?
CoogFans.com Publisher: Yes, the OSU defense is very quick and Texas Tech has speed as well. Again, we respect, but do not fear your defense. We feel and know that we can score on anyone.

GenesPage.com Subscribers: Based on what you have seen the past couple of years, what type teams have the best chance to defeat Houston?
CoogFans.com Publisher: Teams with high-octane offenses. We are going to run anywhere from 80-100 offensive plays per game and this will wear on any defense. We can score on anyone and fast, so the other team must be able to score often. It is going to be a track meet.

GenesPage.com Subscribers: Thinking back to before Houston had such a powerful offense how long would you say it takes to recruit and implement the offense Houston runs to be successful? MSU has rarely if ever run an offense that passes this much and our fans probably all wonder how long we should expect it to take for the players and coaches to be as comfortable running it as the more successful spread offense teams.
CoogFans.com Publisher: In the Run and Shoot offense of Coach Jack Pardee, it really took half a dozen games or so for the offense to click. In Coach Art Briles' offense it was a much quicker transition due to having QB Kevin Kolb who had played in the system since middle school in Stephensville. Texas under Coach Briles. In Coach Kevin Sumlin's offense led by former Texas Tech OC, Dana Holgorsen it was a very quick transition as well with QB Case Keenum on board. We have been blessed with great offensive schemes since Coach Bill Yeoman invented the Houston Veer Triple Offense in the 1960s.

GenesPage.com Subscribers: Who does Houston think of as their biggest rival?
CoogFans.com Publisher: The rival question is a good one. Rice represents a cross-town rival and they have us circled on their calendar annually. Overall, in C-USA West it is arguably Tulsa and in C-USA East it is Southern Miss. After the break-up of the Southwest Conference we lost many of our traditional in-state rivals.

GenesPage.com Subscribers: Who do you think was/is the best Houston QB between Andre Ware, David Klingler, Kevin Kolb, Case Keenum?
CoogFans.com Publisher: Wow, it is hard not to pick a Heisman winner in Andre Ware, but David Klingler actually had better stats the very next season and deserved the honor as well. Kevin Kolb was a four-year starter and a top NFL pick so, obviously, he ranks right up there and he set many UH passing records as well. Our current QB Case Keenum is putting up Heisman type numbers and getting national hype this season as a junior. It is tough call, but overall, I'd have to say it is Andre Ware, IMHO. Honorable mention also goes to Veer QB Danny Davis.

GenesPage.com Subscribers: What's their average attendance at games? Has it gone up and down as the program went up and down?
CoogFans.com Publisher: Robertson Stadium is an on-campus, cozy 32,000 seat venue with not a bad seat in the house. This season we are averaging 27,078 for the two games played. Attendance and season ticket sales have increased every year since the hiring of Coach Art Briles in 2003 and as the team continues to improve under Coach Kevin Sumlin after many years of poor performances following the great teams of the Run and Shoot era.

GenesPage.com Subscribers: What's the tailgating like for college games there?
CoogFans.com Publisher: The Houston tailgating experience is fantastic. CoogFans.com has had a large tailgate, feeding several hundred fans for years. For $5 you can eat and drink (beer) your fill among our great fans and opposing fans as well. The parking lots are overflowing with the tailgating activity.

GenesPage.com Subscribers: Is Phi Slamma Jamma the best Houston team ever regardless of sport?
CoogFans.com Publisher: Generally, yes, Phi Slamma Jamma was the best Houston team ever regardless of sport. It was certainly the most publicized and one of the greatest college basketball teams ever assembled under coaching great Guy V. Lewis, who took us to five Final Fours and coached three of the NBA's 50 greatest players along with scores of other NBA players.

Our golf program has a proud history having won 16 NCAA Championships with players such as Fred Couples, Billy Ray Brown, Steve Elkington, Bruce Lietzke, John Mahaffey, Fuzzy Zoeller and Bill Rogers.

We have had many Olympians such as multiple medal winner and former 100-meter world champion Carl Lewis. Another former two-time 100-meter world champion, Leroy Burrell, coaches the track teams here at Houston.

GenesPage.com Subscribers: How do alumni feel about the McNabb, Vick, Kolb situation in Philly?
CoogFans.com Publisher: We back Kolb, of course, all the way, however, his injury has made that improbable this season. Obviously, McNabb and Vick are proven NFL QBs.

GenesPage.com Subscribers: Did Hurricane Ike do much damage to the University?
CoogFans.com Publisher: Yes, there was considerable wind and water damage as Hurricane Ike was the worst storm to hit the Greater Houston Area in a very long time, if ever.

Gene Swindoll is the publisher of the GenesPage.com website, the source for Mississippi State sports on Scout.com sports network. You can contact him by emailing swindoll@genespage.com.

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