Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Armed Forces Bowl: Houston vs. Air Force


For a 7-5 team, Houston has some eye-popping stats. They are first in the nation in total yards per game (590.7), first in passing yards per game (429.7) and tenth in points scored (41.2 per game). Cougar quarterback Case Keenum has thrown for a phenomenal 4,768 yards and 43 touchdowns — that’s only five less than Heisman Trophy winner Sam Bradford. That’s some rarified air and he’s only a sophomore. Needless to say, if a quarterback is putting those kind of numbers up, you know he has weapons. For Keenum, that would be Tyrone Carrier and Mark Hafner, each of which has more than 70 catches to their credit this season. Add to that a thousand-yard back in freshman Bryce Beall and you should have a formula for winning. Air Force goes about scoring a different way. It relies on its fifth ranked run game and a spread offense to get the job done. They have three different backs with over 100 carries this season and two of those – senior Todd Newell and freshman Asher Clark – have topped 500 yards rushing on the season. Overall, the Falcons are a very young team, and they have yet to round out their offensive attack. Their 81.2 passing yards per game makes them vulnerable – if they fall behind by more than a touchdown, it could be incredibly difficult for them to come back.

Inside the Numbers – Pass, Run & Catch

Houston Cougars (7-5, 6-2)

Pass: Case Keenum – 4,768 yards, 43 TDs
Run: Bryce Beall – 1,112 yards, 12 TDs
Catch: Tyron Carrier – 75-977-9 TDs

Air Force Falcons (8-4, 5-3)
Pass: Tim Jefferson – 557 yards, 5 TDs
Run: Todd Newell – 594 yards, 4 TDs
Catch: Kyle Halderman – 11-256-3 TDs

Photo Credit: University of Houston