Houston held its first practice in Fort Worth today for Wednesday’s Armed Forces Bowl. The Cougars will practice again tomorrow morning and then take Tuesday off.
Houston coach Kevin Sumlin has tried to treat the days leading up to the bowl as a regular practice week. The Cougars’ session Friday resembled a typical Monday practice, Saturday’s session was like a Tuesday (full pads) and today’s was like a typical Wednesday.
Houston was able to practice at home on Friday and Saturday before traveling to Fort Worth Saturday night and practicing in the sun today.
-I enjoyed talking to Sumlin after Houston’s practice. He’s direct, forthcoming and can be funny too.
He was asked today what new dimension Air Force quarterback Tim Jefferson brings to the Falcons’ offense (remember, Jefferson did not play in the teams’ first meeting). His response:
“He throws passes and completes them,” Sumlin said with a laugh (Shea Smith went 0-for-7 in Air Force’s first meeting with Houston). “How’s that?”
-Houston seems pretty excited about showing it is a different team from when it first met Air Force. And for jump-starting 2009.
Just the feel I get from watching them and listening to players and Sumlin. I don’t think this is a team that’s here just for the trip and free sweat suits.
-I wrote a story for tomorrow’s edition of The Gazette about Houston improving as it got used to its new coaches and schemes. Here are some thoughts from Cougars quarterback Case Keenum that didn’t fit in the story.
“We look back at the film and feel like we’re a totally different team,” Keenum said. “We felt like there was a lot left on the field last time (against Air Force). We’ve gotten a lot better since then, and we’re excited about this coming game.”
On what was most difficult about adjusting to new coaches and a new scheme, he said: “Probably getting my mindset wrapped around the philosophy, and just getting so I could think the same way the coaches are thinking. Just get my mind-set the same with coach (Dana) Holgorsen (Houston’s offensive coordinator) and coach Sumlin so what they want would be what I want, and so I could see the same thing that they see when they’re looking at film and when they see a defense.”