2010 Houston Cougars football
ConferenceConference USA
DivisionWest
2010 record5–7 (4–4 C-USA)
Head coachKevin Sumlin
Offensive coordinatorJason Phillips
Offensive schemeSpread
Defensive coordinatorBrian Stewart
Base defense3–4
Home stadiumRobertson Stadium (32,000)
Seasons
← 2009
2011 →
2010 Conference USA football standings
v · d · e Conf     Overall
Team   W   L         W   L  
East
#21 UCF x   7 1         11 3  
East Carolina   5 3         6 7  
Southern Miss   5 3         8 5  
Marshall   4 4         5 7  
UAB   3 5         4 8  
Memphis   0 8         1 11  
West
SMU xy   6 2         7 7  
#24 Tulsa x   6 2         10 3  
Houston   4 4         5 7  
UTEP   3 5         6 7  
Rice   3 5         4 8  
Tulane   2 6         4 8  
Championship: UCF 17, SMU 7
December 4, 2010
† – Conference champion
x – Division champion/co-champions
y – Championship game participant
As of January 11, 2011 • Rankings from AP Poll

The 2010 Houston Cougars football team (also known as the Houston Cougars, Houston, or UH) represented the University of Houston in the 2010 NCAA Division I FBS football season. It was the 65th year of season play for Houston. The team was coached by third-year head football coach Kevin Sumlin, and played its home games at Robertson Stadium—a 32,000-seat stadium on campus in Houston. The program is a member of Conference USA in its West Division. Although ranked favorably early in the season, the team finished with a 5–7 record, (4–4 in C-USA play) after season-ending injuries to starting quarterback Case Keenum and other key players.

Previous season[edit | edit source]

The 2009 Houston Cougars team defeated the nationally-ranked Oklahoma State Cowboys in their first match-up. Following the victory, the Cougars were ranked by the AP Poll for the first time in more than twenty years. The Cougars played the Texas Tech Red Raiders in front of a record-breaking 32,114 sold-out crowd at Robertson Stadium. The Cougars defeated the unranked Raiders to earn No. 12 spot in the AP Poll. The Cougars continued to be nationally ranked throughout the majority of the season.

Pre-season[edit | edit source]

Recruits[edit | edit source]

Houston's 2010 recruiting class was highly-rated relative to its previous seasons. Rated as the No. 45 best recruiting class in the nation ahead of TCU and behind Oregon State by Rivals.com, the 2010 class was Houston's highest-ever ranking by the site. Scout.com ranked Houston as #54, which was the highest Houston had been ranked since 2003, and the 3rd-highest-ever ranking by the site.

This was also the highest-rated recruiting class in Conference USA by both sites for the season.[1][2] In terms of position, Houston ranked No. 13 in the nation by Scout.com for best average ratings of quarterbacks recruited.[3] This reinforced the team's depth in the position, as senior Case Keenum was scheduled to compete in his last season in 2010.

Coaching staff[edit | edit source]

File:Kevin Sumlin Close-up.jpg

Houston head coach Kevin Sumlin

Name Position Alma mater (Year)
Kevin Sumlin Head coach Purdue (1986)
Jason Phillips Offensive coordinator Houston (1988)
Brian Stewart Defensive coordinator Northern Arizona (1992)
Tony Levine Special teams Minnesota (1996)
Kliff Kingsbury Co-offensive coordinator Texas Tech (2002)
Leon Burtnett Linebackers Southwestern College (1965)
Jim Jeffcoat Defensive line Arizona State (1982)
B.J. Anderson Offensive line Stephen F. Austin (1997)
Clarence McKinney Running backs Mary (1994)
Charles McMillian Defensive backs Utah State (1995)
Zac Spavital Cornerbacks Murray State (2004)

Top 25 rankings[edit | edit source]

During the pre-season, Houston was ranked in several notable top 25 polls. Sports Illustrated placed Houston at No. 21 in its power rankings list.[4] Lindy's Sports ranked Houston as #23, and Phil Steele ranked the team as #24.[5][6] Just outside the top 25, Sporting News ranked Houston as #26,[7] and in the Coaches' Poll as #27.[8]

Awards & award watch lists[edit | edit source]

Case Keenum

Jamal Robinson

James Cleveland

Marcus McGraw

Patrick Edwards

Tyron Carrier

Schedule[edit | edit source]

Date Time Opponent# Rank# Site TV Result Attendance
September 4* 7:00 pm Texas State Robertson StadiumHouston, Texas W 68–28   32,119[18]A
September 10 9:15 pm UTEP Robertson Stadium • Houston, Texas ESPN W 54–24   32,119[19]B
September 18* 9:30 pm at UCLA #23 Rose BowlPasadena, California FSN L 31–13   54,407[20]
September 25 2:30 pm Tulane Robertson Stadium • Houston, Texas CBSCS W 42–23   32,007[21]
October 9* 7:00 pm Mississippi State Robertson Stadium • Houston, Texas CBSCS L 47–24   32,067[22]
October 16 2:30 pm at Rice Rice Stadium • Houston, Texas (Bayou Bucket Classic) CSS L 34–31   26,342[23]
October 23 2:30 pm at SMU Gerald J. Ford StadiumDallas, Texas CBSCS W 45–20   20,741[24]
October 30 6:00 pm at Memphis Liberty Bowl Memorial StadiumMemphis, Tennessee CSS W 56–17   19,731[25]
November 5 7:00 pm UCF Robertson Stadium • Houston, Texas ESPN2 L 40–33   32,008[26]
November 13† 7:00 pm Tulsa Robertson Stadium • Houston, Texas CBSCS L 28–25   30,046[27]
November 20 6:00 pm at Southern Miss M. M. Roberts StadiumHattiesburg, Mississippi L 59–41   32,606[28]
November 27* 7:00 pm at Texas Tech Jones AT&T StadiumLubbock, Texas FSN L 35–20   53,461[29]
*Non-Conference Game. Homecoming. #Rankings from AP Poll released prior to game. All times are in Central Time.
  • ^A Denotes the largest crowd to have watched a football game at Robertson Stadium in its current capacity, and the largest Houston had ever hosted on-campus. This broke the record set during last season versus Texas Tech.
  • ^B Denotes a tie for largest crowd to have watched a football game at Robertson Stadium in its current capacity, and a tie for the largest Houston had ever hosted on-campus. This matched the attendance of the previous week.

Game notes[edit | edit source]

Texas State[edit | edit source]

File:Texas State Bobcats football at Houston 2010.jpg

Houston versus Texas State at a sold-out Robertson Stadium

1 2 3 4 Total
Texas State 7 0 7 14 28
Houston 20 34 14 0 68



As a season opener, Houston met with Texas State of the Southland Conference (a Division I FCS conference) for the fourth time in history. However, the two teams had not competed against each other in over six decades, with the last game being in 1948.[30] Texas State had been undefeated against Houston, and were led by fourth-year head coach Brad Wright.

Attendance was at an all-time high for Robertson Stadium, as 32,119 fans watched the game. The record-setting crowd at the stadium surpassed the previous season record against Texas Tech. This marked the largest home-opening crowd to watch the Cougars play since 37,652 fans watched Houston face California at the Astrodome on September 6, 1997. Quarterback Case Keenum set school records for both career passing yards and career pass attempts, surpassing then-current Philadelphia Eagles starting quarterback Kevin Kolb.

UTEP[edit | edit source]

File:2010 Houston Cougars vs UTEP Miners.jpg

Houston's offense gets ready to start a drive from their end zone against UTEP

1 2 3 4 Total
UTEP 7 3 7 7 24
Houston 14 17 6 17 54



Conference USA foe UTEP traveled to Robertson Stadium to face-off against Houston for the eighth time in history. Prior to UTEP's defeat, Houston's record against the team stood at 3–4.[31] During the previous season, UTEP defeated No. 12 Houston to knock the team out of the national rankings for a period of time. The team was led by sixth-year head coach Mike Price who had previously served as head coach for Washington State with Kevin Sumlin as a graduate assistant. Attendance for the game was again at an all-time high, as the 32,119 fans in attendance tied the previous record from the game prior. The matchup was nationally televised on ESPN.

The Cougars' offensive strategy appeared to be more focused on rushing rather than the passing game Houston was known for. It was the first time the team had achieved 300 rushing yards in a game since compiling 377 yards against Texas Southern on November 24, 2007.[31] After an interception thrown by senior Case Keenum to UTEP's Trauvan Nixon in the third quarter of the game, the quarterback attempted to tackle the opposing player. Keenum suffered a blow to the head, and was removed from the game. Back-up quarterback Cotton Turner took his place to carry on the win. It was later reported that Keenum was exhibiting symptoms of a mild concussion, but was showing dramatic improvement two days after the game. His condition was listed as being "day-to-day".[32]

Following the game, Houston became nationally-ranked for the first time since the previous season, as the Cougars entered both the AP Poll and Coaches' Poll as #23.[33] Junior running back Bryce Beall was named the Conference USA offensive player of the week. Houston's record at 2–0, made it the only team in its conference division to remain undefeated overall, and allowed the team to take the number one spot in the standings.

UCLA[edit | edit source]

1 2 3 4 Total
#23 Houston 3 0 0 10 13
UCLA 7 14 10 0 31



Matt Hogan kicked a 29-yard field goal to give the Cougars the first quarter lead. Johnathan Franklin answered with a 11-yard run for a Bruins 7–3 lead. The Bruins scored two touchdowns in the second quarter. Kevin Prince ran for a 2-yard touchdown and Franklin added a 1-yard run touchdown.

In the third quarter, UCLA had a 42-yard field goal by Kai Forbath, the 2009 Lou Groza Collegiate Place-Kicker Award winner, and a touchdown again by Franklin (12 yards). Houston scored twice in the fourth quarter, on James Cleveland's 10-yard pass from Terrance Broadway and on Matt Hogan's 31-yard field goal.

Two Houston quarterbacks, Case Keenum and Cotton Turner, were injured in the game and are out for the season.

UCLA's Patrick Larimore, who had a career-high and team-high 11 tackles (10 solos), including three for loss, forced a fumble and broke up a pass in the game was named Pac-10 Conference defensive player of the week. He was also named the FWAA/Bronko Nagurski National Defensive Player of the Week.

Tulane[edit | edit source]

1 2 3 4 Total
Tulane 0 14 3 6 23
Houston 7 21 0 14 42



First quarter scoring: Houston – Bryce Beall (3-yard run).

Second quarter scoring: Tulane - Cody Sparks (13-yard pass from Kevin Moore), Devin Figaro (36-yard pass from Moore); Houston – Beall (1-yard run, 1-yard run), Michael Hayes (1-yard run).

Third quarter scoring: Tulane - Cairo Santos (29-yard field goal).

Fourth quarter scoring: Tulane - Payten Jason (9-yard run); Houston - Beall (25-yard run), Loyce Means (42-yard interception return).

Poll rankings[edit | edit source]

Week-to-Week Rankings
Legend: ██ Increase in ranking. ██ Decrease in ranking. ██ Not ranked the previous week. RV=receiving votes.
Poll Pre Wk 1 Wk 2 Wk 3 Wk 4 Wk 5 Wk 6 Wk 7 Wk 8 Wk 9 Wk 10 Wk 11 Wk 12 Wk 13 Wk 14 Final
AP RV RV 23 RV RV RV NR NR NR NR NR NR NR NR NR NR
Coaches RV RV 23 RV RV RV RV NR NR NR NR NR NR NR NR NR
Harris Not released NR NR NR NR NR NR NR NR NR
BCS Not released NR NR NR NR NR NR NR NR

References[edit | edit source]

  1. "Conference Rankings". Scout.com. http://houston.scout.com/a.z?s=215&p=9&c=14&view=2&yr=2010. Retrieved 2010-05-20.
  2. "2010 Team Rankings". Rivals.com. http://rivals.yahoo.com/houston/football/recruiting/teamrank/2010/CUSA/all. Retrieved 2010-05-20.
  3. "Quarterback Rankings". Scout.com. http://houston.scout.com/a.z?s=215&p=9&c=14&view=3&yr=2010. Retrieved 2010-05-20.
  4. Staples, Andy (2010-05-04). "'Bama exits spring as No. 1 team". Sports Illustrated. Archived from the original on 7 May 2010. http://web.archive.org/web/20100507151125/http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2010/writers/andy_staples/05/03/post-spring/index.html?xid=cnnbin&hpt=Sbin. Retrieved 2010-05-19.
  5. "Lindy's announces its 2010 preseason Top 25 and All-America teams". Lindy's Sports. http://www.lindyssports.com/article.php?cn=1783. Retrieved 2010-05-19.
  6. Steele, Phil. "Phil Steele's College Football Preview". http://philsteele.com/. Retrieved 2010-05-24.
  7. "UH football ranked No. 26 in "The Sporting News" preseason Poll". KHOU. 2010-06-03. Archived from the original on 11 June 2010. http://web.archive.org/web/20100611082613/http://www.khou.com/sports/UH-ranked-26-in-The-Sporting-News-preseason-Poll-95582474.html. Retrieved 2010-06-03.
  8. "2010 NCAA Football Rankings - Preseason". ESPN. Archived from the original on 23 August 2010. http://web.archive.org/web/20100823063631/http://espn.go.com/college-football/rankings. Retrieved 2010-08-11.
  9. "Keenum Named to O'Brien National Quarterback Award Watch List". Houston Cougars athletics. 2010-07-14. http://www.uhcougars.com/sports/m-footbl/spec-rel/071410aae.html. Retrieved 2010-07-31.
  10. "Keenum Named to Unitas Golden Arm Award Watch List". Houston Cougars athletics. 2010-07-04. http://www.uhcougars.com/sports/m-footbl/spec-rel/070410aaa.html. Retrieved 2010-07-31.
  11. "Manning Award Adds Case Keenum to Watch List". Houston Cougars athletics. 2010-07-23. http://www.uhcougars.com/sports/m-footbl/spec-rel/072310aad.html. Retrieved 2010-07-31.
  12. 12.0 12.1 "Keenum Named to Two More National Watch Lists". Houston Cougars athletics. 2010-08-09. http://www.uhcougars.com/sports/m-footbl/spec-rel/080910aaa.html. Retrieved 2010-08-11.
  13. 13.0 13.1 13.2 13.3 13.4 13.5 13.6 "Five Cougars Named to Football Preseason All-Conference USA Team". Houston Cougars athletics. 2010-07-21. http://www.uhcougars.com/sports/m-footbl/spec-rel/072110aab.html. Retrieved 2010-07-31.
  14. 14.0 14.1 14.2 "Three Cougar Receivers Named to Biletnikoff Watch List". Houston Cougars athletics. 2010-08-10. http://www.uhcougars.com/sports/m-footbl/spec-rel/081010aad.html. Retrieved 2010-08-10.
  15. "Linebacker Marcus McGraw Named to Bronko Nagurski Trophy Watch List". Houston Cougars athletics. 2010-06-21. http://www.uhcougars.com/sports/m-footbl/spec-rel/062110aaa.html. Retrieved 2010-07-31.
  16. "McGraw Named to Lombardi Award Watch List". Houston Cougars athletics. 2010-04-29. http://www.uhcougars.com/sports/m-footbl/spec-rel/042910aaa.html. Retrieved 2010-07-31.
  17. "Carrier Named to Hornung Award Watch List". Houston Cougars athletics. 2010-08-17. http://www.uhcougars.com/sports/m-footbl/spec-rel/081710aaa.html. Retrieved 2010-08-19.
  18. "Texas State vs. Houston: Final Stats". Houston Cougars athletics. 2010-09-04. http://www.uhcougars.com/sports/m-footbl/stats/2010-2011/uhfb1.html. Retrieved 2010-09-04.
  19. "=UTEP vs. Houston: Final Stats". Houston Cougars athletics. 2010-09-11. http://www.uhcougars.com/sports/m-footbl/stats/2010-2011/uhfb2.html. Retrieved 2010-09-11.
  20. "Houston Cougars vs. UCLA Bruins Box Score". ESPN.com. Archived from the original on 22 September 2010. http://web.archive.org/web/20100922125841/http://scores.espn.go.com/ncf/boxscore?gameId=302610026. Retrieved 2010-09-19.
  21. "Tulane Green Wave vs. Houston Cougars Box Score". ESPN.com. Archived from the original on 22 September 2010. http://web.archive.org/web/20100922125841/http://scores.espn.go.com/ncf/boxscore?gameId=302610026. Retrieved 2010-09-25.
  22. "Mississippi State Bulldogs vs. Houston Cougars Box Score". ESPN.com. Archived from the original on 12 October 2010. http://web.archive.org/web/20101012173501/http://espn.go.com/ncf/boxscore?gameId=302820248. Retrieved 2010-10-10.
  23. "Houston Cougars vs. Rice Owls Box Score". ESPN.com. Archived from the original on 24 November 2010. http://web.archive.org/web/20101124181923/http://espn.go.com/ncf/boxscore?gameId=302890242. Retrieved 2011-01-04.
  24. "Houston Cougars vs. Southern Methodist Mustangs Box Score". ESPN.com. Archived from the original on 25 October 2010. http://web.archive.org/web/20101025151806/http://espn.go.com/ncf/boxscore?gameId=302962567. Retrieved 2010-10-24.
  25. "Houston Cougars vs. Memphis Tigers Box Score". ESPN.com. http://espn.go.com/ncf/boxscore?gameId=303030235. Retrieved 2011-01-04.
  26. "UCF Knights vs. Houston Cougars Box Score". ESPN.com. Archived from the original on 1 December 2010. http://web.archive.org/web/20101201182905/http://espn.go.com/ncf/boxscore?gameId=303090248. Retrieved 2011-01-04.
  27. "Tulsa Golden Hurricane vs. Houston Cougars Box Score". ESPN.com. http://espn.go.com/ncf/boxscore?gameId=303170248. Retrieved 2011-01-04.
  28. "Houston Cougars vs. Southern Miss Golden Eagles Box Score". ESPN.com. Archived from the original on 3 December 2010. http://web.archive.org/web/20101203141855/http://espn.go.com/ncf/boxscore?gameId=303242572. Retrieved 2011-01-04.
  29. "Houston Cougars vs. Texas Tech Red Raiders Box Score". ESPN.com. Archived from the original on 3 December 2010. http://web.archive.org/web/20101203141857/http://espn.go.com/ncf/boxscore?gameId=303312641. Retrieved 2011-01-04.
  30. "Football Postgame Notes vs. Texas State". Houston Cougars athletics. 2010-09-04. http://www.uhcougars.com/sports/m-footbl/recaps/090510aac.html. Retrieved 2010-09-05.
  31. 31.0 31.1 "Football Postgame Notes vs. UTEP". Houston Cougars athletics. 2010-09-11. http://www.uhcougars.com/sports/m-footbl/recaps/091110aab.html. Retrieved 2010-09-13.
  32. "Case Keenum listed as day to day". ESPN. 2010-09-12. Archived from the original on 18 September 2010. http://web.archive.org/web/20100918015059/http://sports.espn.go.com/ncf/news/story?id=5565594. Retrieved 2010-09-13.
  33. Campbell, Steve, (2010-09-13). "UH's Beall rushes to C-USA player of week honor". Houston Chronicle. Archived from the original on 14 September 2010. http://web.archive.org/web/20100914131406/http://www.chron.com/disp/story.mpl/sports/college/houston/7198733.html. Retrieved 2010-09-13.

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