Skip Holtz on Houston Cougars at East Carolina this Saturday

On Houston:
“We’re excited to have the opportunity to come back home. We’ve played three of our first four on the road, so we’re excited to come back here and play in front of our home crowd. Especially with the environment that we had the last time we were here, which was absolutely exciting.
“Houston is coming in here as a 1-3 football team. But as I said last week, you can never look at records and say, `These people are good and these people are not very good.’ Houston has lost to Oklahoma State, and has lost their last two games by three points each. They are a very explosive offensive football team. Last year, we had a heck of a battle with them down there, when they ended up missing two field goals in the fourth quarter for us to preserve a close win.
“When I look at this football team, I think it’s scary what they’re doing offensively right now. I’ve really been impressed with how Kevin Sumlin has come and they really haven’t missed a beat offensively.”

On Houston’s Offense:
“Their personnel really matches what they’re doing offensively. When you look at their offensive line, their two tackles are 6’8″ 320 pounds and 6’4” 310 pounds. Those are their bookends of that line. They’re all very experienced as they have three starters returning on their line and another who was a starter before he sat out last year due to a knee injury. They’re very seasoned, experienced and good at what they do. I believe they’ve thrown the ball over 200 times, about 240 times, and have only given up five sacks. That’s about one sack in every 50 plays, which is a very nice job.
“They get rid of the ball in a hurry. It’s the same quarterback that we played again last year.
“They’re averaging 526 yards of offense, throwing for 400 yards and 5.0 yards a rush in a game.

On Houston’s Defense:
“John Skladany is an excellent football coach. He was the defensive coordinator last year at UCF and we had an opportunity to go against him. I think with what they do and who they return they have a very good defensive football team.
“Their strength is really their defensive front and their secondary. They return three of their four starters on the front, led by Phillip Hunt, who has 20 sacks in his career. He’s very aggressive. Their two defensive ends are definitely the strength of their four inside. But it’s probably what they get the most work on in practice every day, going up against their offense.
*****from Jim Modlin, couresy of ECU media relations*****