Sunday, October 18, 2015

Houston Cougars climb in both AP and Coaches Polls

Houston jumps three spots to No. 21 in AP poll while entering coaches poll at No. 22.

Photo by Darla Tamulitis-La Vita Loca Photography
Copyright 2015 All Rights Reserved.
HOUSTON, TEXAS (October 18, 2015) The Houston Football program climbed in both the Associated Press and USA Today coaches polls released Sunday, coming in at No. 21 in the AP poll and No. 22 in the coaches poll.

Houston’s climb comes after a 42-7 win over Tulane Friday night in New Orleans. The No. 21 ranking in the AP poll is Houston’s highest ranking since coming in at No. 18 in the final poll of the 2011 season when the Cougars finished the year 13-1.

Houston is one of 14 teams still undefeated including three teams in The American (UH, Memphis, Temple).  Twelve of the 14 are in action this weekend including Memphis (at Tulsa) and Temple (at East Carolina).

Houston is the only team in The American to defeat four different opponents by 21 points or more. The Cougars are one of three undefeated teams nationally with at least four wins of 21 points or more (Baylor, Ohio State).

This season is the fifth in Houston history for the Cougars to start 6-0 and the first since 2011. Houston has started 7-0 three times in program history (1979, 1990, 2011).

The Cougars rank 11th nationally in rushing defense, allowing just 98.5 yards per game, while ranking 10th in rushing offense with an average of 279.2 yards per game. Houston and LSU are the only teams in the nation to rank in the top 11 in both categories.

Junior quarterback Greg Ward Jr. (shown above right) is tied with LSU’s Leonard Fournette for the nation’s lead the nation with 14 rushing touchdowns, despite 57 less rushing attempts than Fournette.

Ward is second nationally in scoring with 84 points while ranking fourth in points responsible for per game with 23.0 per game.

Ward leads The American and is seventh nationally with an average of 359.2 yards of total offense per game. Ward is the only player nationally to average over 200 passing yards per game (260.4) and over 100 rushing yards per game (110.8). He ranks in the top 10 nationally in seven different stat categories.

UH, Baylor and TCU are the only three teams nationally to rank in the top 28 in rushing offense and passing offense. Houston ranks 10th in rushing offense (279.2) and 28th nationally in passing offense (275.5).

Houston returns to action this Saturday when it travels to Orlando to face UCF. Kickoff is slated for 11 a.m. CT and the game will air on ESPNews and KPRC 950 AM.

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